The Rhode Island Developmental Disabilities Council (RIDDC) has scheduled its Annual Meeting for Saturday, October 15, 2016 at the Radisson Hotel in Warwick from 8:30 am-4:00 pm. The primary focus is to discuss strategies for building a statewide Family Advocacy Coalition in RI. The Council has invited two prominent individuals currently involved with oversight and implementation of RI’s 2014 Federal Consent Decree.
Charles Moseley, the U.S. District Court Monitor for the RI Consent Decree, and Jennifer Wood, Deputy Secretary, RI Office of Health and Human Services (OHHS), are the Guest Speakers for the Council’s Annual Meeting. Chas Moseley and Jennifer Wood will speak about the Consent Decree, changes made and planned for in the DD system and within the State Department of BHDDH, and key steps to establish an effective statewide family advocacy coalition for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families in RI.
The Cross Disability Coalition has been working on the development of a Speakers Bureau to provide education/training on various topics to different audiences including people with disabilities, families, advocates, agency administrators and support staff, employers and the public.
“Public Education” and “Leadership Development” are two of the Priority Areas of the Coalition. The other two areas are “Employment” and “Accessibility”.
Coalition staff Tanja Blicker-Ucran, Deanne Gagne and Jack Ringland identified Members who had an interest in the various topic areas. People met and talked about information that would be important to include. Individual Powerpoint presentations with handouts were developed for each topic area (see the flyer below) with support from DDC Staff Sue Babin and Kevin Nerney. Specific Speakers from the Coalition were then identified for each presentation.
The presentation topic areas include:
- “You Are NOT Alone!” (Bullying)
- “Life Is Good!” (What does “Independence, Productivity, Integration/Inclusion, and Self-Determination” mean to people with disabilities?)
- “Employment Can WORK For You!”
- “Let’s Talk About Money” (Financial Education)
- “Healthy and Unhealthy Relationships and Keeping Safe”
- “Understanding My Human Rights”
- “Invest in Hiring People with Disabilities”
- “Sexual Abuse Awareness”
- “Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE Act)” (Tax Free Savings Accounts)
- Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
- Person Centered Planning (“What is Person Centered Planning and HOW Can I Run My Own Meeting?”)
The RI Developmental Disabilities Council (RIDDC) and the Cross Disability Coalition have worked collaboratively to develop this Speakers Bureau. We are very pleased with the presentations and proud of the work completed!
The Council has provided initial funding to support the start-up of the Speakers Bureau and payment to members for presentations made.
For more specific information on any of these topic areas or if you would like to have any of these presentations scheduled for a special event, group, meeting or your agency or organization, contact:
Special Projects Coordinator, RIDDC
By Gina Macris
When she became director of Rhode Island’s developmental disability agency in February, 2015, Maria Montanaro inherited a budget with no relation to actual costs that was destined to run a deficit.
She had to work with a state-run system of group homes resistant to change, which she said exists to preserve jobs and not to serve clients.
And she had virtually no high-level staff to form the leadership team necessary to move forward on compliance with the 2014 federal consent decree that requires Rhode Island to transform its services for adults with disabilities from segregated programs to integrated, community-based supports.
By Gina Macris
Rhode Island’s developmental disability budget for the next fiscal year includes assurances that a total of $9.1 million in Medicaid money will be spent to raise pay for direct support workers and to begin transforming the state’s system of services for those with intellectual challenges.
Shortly after 1:30 am on Saturday, June 18, The Senate approved total developmental disability funding of $246.2 million beginning July 1 in concurrence with the House vote taken Wednesday. That total, almost all of it state and federal Medicaid funds, is nearly $15.4 million more than the General Assembly approved last year at this time for the current budget, which closes on June 30.
Developmental Disability News is a RI website that covers the long-term impact of the 2014 Consent Decree between the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the State of RI, as well as a related Interim Settlement Agreement between the DOJ and the City of Providence signed in 2013.
Gina Macris is a career journalist with 43 years’ experience as a reporter for the Providence Journal in Providence, RI. She retired in 2012. During her time at the newspaper, she wrote two series about her first-born son, Michael M. Smith. Both series won prizes from the New England Associated Press News Executives Association.
Ms. Macris is an excellent writer who has taken the initiative to develop this News articles to provide information on the status of implementation of the Consent Order in RI and other related interesting topics that people should know about. She has written a number of articles so check the website frequently to keep up to date!
Check out Ms. Macris’ Developmental Disability News Blog Updates at: