Thursday, November 16, 2017

Welcome News

I got a couple of reactions from DDS to my last blog post, and both conveyed welcome information so I wanted to share the news promptly.

First, Andy Reese reached out with the new DDS organizational chart, which you can find here:

and which he says will soon be posted to the DDS website (  I’ve updated my page, “Acronyms and Organizations You Should Know,”  to reflect these changes.

Second, Erin Leveton (formerly with the State Office, now the DDS Office of Policy, Planning and Innovation), sent reassuring words with respect to ongoing activity in the Supporting Families Community of Practice.  She let me know that the next SF CoP meeting will take place on December 8 at DDS (250 E St. SW).  According to Erin: “Topics will include employment, the new cultural and linguistic community of practice, update on the HCBS waiver, and hopefully a presentation by Capital Asset Builders related to ABLE accounts + more.” 

Hurray for the potential Capital Asset Builders briefing!  I’m still exploring ABLE accounts, and have been surprised that the D.C. Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO), which is the designated contact point for D.C. ABLE, hasn’t yet been able to clarify some pretty basic questions.  Still, from what I can tell the D.C. account is a pretty solid choice.

Erin also wanted me to know that the SODA’s transformation into the Policy office is a good thing.  She notes they’re still in the DDS director’s office, and adds: “We have added the person who does RSA policy to my team, which is great from an Employment First perspective.”  I definitely agree with anything that fosters DDA/RSA collaboration and helps folks find appropriate jobs (more on that in an upcoming post!), but I’m still not buying the idea that removing a state-level oversight office is a positive development. 

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