On several occasions I’ve mentioned the Supporting Families Community of Practice (CoP), and in my last posting I said the CoP’s next meeting would be on March 13. I was out of town for that meeting (also the reason it’s taken me so long to write a new post) but there was a lot on the agenda that’s of interest so I’ve caught myself up on the content and wanted to highlight a few things that deserve your attention:
- Family Support Council (FSC). DDS (firstname.lastname@example.org) is seeking applications for membership on this new Council, which is being set up to ensure that D.C. government agencies are held accountable to citizens with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. The CoP was set up in 2013 under a grant from the Department of Health and Human Services, and the FSC is being created to make sure there’s a continued voice for family concerns when the five-year grant comes to an end.
- No Wrong Door (NWD). Since October of last year DDS, in collaboration with other D.C. government agencies that deliver long-term support services to people with disabilities, chronic illnesses or other challenges, has been developing a three-year plan to streamline application processes and develop a customer-oriented entry point and person-centered procedures for all citizens in need of these services. If the District gets a follow-up grant it will start implementing the NWD plan this fall. If you’ve tried to figure out the world of service provision in D.C., you’ll know that this is really worth doing, so provide feedback and ideas if you have them, to Erin Leveton at email@example.com.
- Supported Decision Making (SDM) Work Group. In close collaboration with the Quality Trust, the CoP is setting up a work group to examine D.C. laws that may interfere with the ability of people to have family or friends involved in helping with their decision making. This work group will have a short time fuse – the plan is for it to report in six months. Either Erin (see above) or Rhonda White of the Quality Trust (firstname.lastname@example.org) can tell you more about this effort.
I’m told that DDS is going to start posting minutes and other materials from the CoP meetings to its website (www.dds.dc.gov) and when that’s happening I’ll let folks know. In the meantime, I’m attaching a number of handouts from the March 13 meeting, at this link:
The next meeting of the CoP will likely be in June. The plan is for it to focus on community supports and organizations, and ways to ensure such information is regularly available and updated for those who need it. It’s also possible that there will be a keynote by someone well placed in the new administration, presenting an opportunity to sensitize Mayor Bowser to the concerns of D.C. citizens with developmental disabilities. Stay tuned to the DDS website and you’ll hopefully see information on the June meeting there by next month.