September 30, 2015
Olmstead Plan Approved
Judge Donovan Frank approved the Minnesota Olmstead Plan on Tuesday. In his conclusion. Judge Frank made clear that individual choice is central to the Olmstead decision and the plan should not be construed as an effort to force the closure of certain facilities.
Today, Options and programs like ours are faced with several state and federal initiatives that will have a significant impact on the services we provide such as the Olmstead Plan and the principles it incorporates. While writing an article for the website that covers the key initiatives and the potential impact to Options services, I received a special edition newsletter, The Buzz, from Wacosa. Wacosa is a Day Training & Habilitation program, serving people in the St. Cloud and surrounding areas.
In The Buzz, Steve Howard, the Executive Director, writes about five initiatives that will have the most significant impact on programs like ours. His article effectively captures the key elements of each initiative, expresses the concerns, and poses those questions all providers like ours are asking. Because Steve graciously allowed me to link his newsletter to our website, I would like to share Steve’s article as he has done an amazing job in thoroughly explaining why these changes are worthy of our attention.
In conclusion, he provides excellent recommendations on what we can do to share our views regarding the future of center-based services. I too encourage you to take the time to read the articles in The Buzz and welcome any questions you might have. Over the next year we will hear much more about these initiatives and face continued change. We will pass on information and action alerts as we hear of it.