The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities is working with the Federal Department of Justice to design a transition process to move toward more integrated services. The catalyst for this direction is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which requires services in the most integrated (least segregated) setting. A federal lawsuit, Olmstead, requires opportunities for individuals to receive service in community-based integrated settings. Legal interpretations of the ADA and Olmstead have resulted in a number of lawsuits against states across the nation. These lawsuits have resulted in states redesigning their DD service delivery systems to reduce and/or eliminate segregated settings as an option for people served.
County boards of Developmental Disabilities across Ohio are required to change their service delivery design moving away from segregated settings to integrated opportunities. Some unknowns remain regarding timelines to have full implementation of thresholds for integrated service delivery. The federal government has indicated that the integrated service redesign must be completed by 2019. The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities has requested that the Federal Department of Justice extend the time frame to 2024. At this point, county boards of Developmental Disabilities are following the 2019 date to be prepared for the eventual shift in service delivery to more integrated settings. In the future, services will not just be provided at a facility; rather, small group integrated services will become the norm.
Although historically, boards of Developmental Disabilities were designed to provide a place for individuals with developmental disabilities to spend their day, times are changing with regard to that approach. Now, Boards are challenged to focus on integrating individuals into their communities — providing opportunities for full community participation.
In reality, for some individuals, services will be provided as a combination of community-based and facility- or ‘hub’-based options — based on their individual interests and needs. The Van Wert County Board of Developmental Disabilities will continue our work toward an integrated service design. The Board will provide service delivery in integrated settings both philosophically and financially.
The Van Wert County Board of Developmental Disabilities DD will continue to be the principal funder of services for individuals with developmental disabilities living in the county. Local levies will support integrated options to empower people and explore possibilities. Services will be based on what individuals need and want as the focus on services in the community increases.
Person-centered planning identifies the needs and wants of participants and focuses on supports needed to accomplish goals. Funding is considered as part of this process. Historically, the Van Wert County Board of Developmental