2016-2017 Budget

 

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Historic Investments for Ohioans with Developmental Disabilities

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Governor Kasich’s historic budget invests $286 million ($116.5 million State share) over the next two years to increase opportunities for Ohioans with disabilities to live and work in the community. The initiatives in this budget expand supports for those who are waiting for services, increase opportunities for community participation, and improve the experience for those who are receiving services by modernizing our programs and strengthening the direct care force. Initiatives will bring the following benefits:

More people will have access to the services they need.

Approximately 3,000 new state-funded Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waivers will increase support to people on the waiting list, and those who choose to leave Intermediate Care Facilities (ICF) and Developmental Centers (DC). This is in addition to new waivers supported by County Boards. Also, individuals on the Transitions DD (TDD) Waiver will be converted to Individual Options (IO) Waivers, improving access to providers, and increasing access to services such as day services.

People will have increased space and privacy.

Continuing the work from the last biennium, 1,200 people will move from ICFs and DCs into smaller settings, either a small ICF or a home in the community with an HCBS waiver. Individuals will receive the needed level of support in either setting.

Also, over a ten-year period, all ICFs will move to having only two people living in a bedroom. This will help more people live in smaller settings, and increase the space and privacy for those who want to continue living in larger ICFs. The new two to a bedroom requirement won’t apply to children (up to 21 years old) and those who are currently living with more than 2 to a bedroom and want to continue that arrangement.

People will have access to new and improved employment and day services options.

The budget includes nearly $3 million in new funding for each of the next two fiscal years to create new service models that promote community employment and integrated day services. Individuals, who desire, will transition from workshops and other facility-based day settings to community-based alternatives over an extended time frame.

This will increase opportunities for community participation, and ensure the State is in compliance with federal regulations.

Additional funds for community employment are earmarked for ongoing support of DODD’s partnership with Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) to assist in the cost of transitioning to integrated day services and supported employment, and to inform and assist individuals and families, as well as those who develop person-centered plans, regarding the options available to them.

The community infrastructure will be stronger.

The budget continues to prioritize funding to reflect the growing demand for Home and Community-Based Services. Funding will allow DODD to add nursing services to the IO waiver to enable people with medical needs to live in community settings, provide for much-deserved increase for direct care staff, increase the availability of add-on services for individuals with complex needs and behavioral challenges, provide training for those who receive, plan, and deliver waiver services, and strengthen oversight and quality assurance efforts so the person-centered plan is delivering meaningful outcomes.

Thank You

Our system includes thousands of committed and engaged individuals and families, thousands of dedicated direct support professionals, unpaid family caregivers, innovative private and public service providers, community members, advocates, and much-need tax payer support.

Regardless of which role we play in the system, we are all bonded by our shared passion to improve the lives of the more than 90,000 individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.

The Department thanks each of you for your suggestions, assistance, and support during the budget process. We look forward to continuing the work with you to improve the lives of Ohioans with disabilities.