Rhode Island Department of
Behavioral Healthcare,
Developmental Disabilities & Hospitals
Division of Developmental Disabilities
Community Newsletter
December 2016

"Eligibility by 17" 

We have launched a new policy called “Eligibility by 17” that begins a referral process at age 16 that will give a decision for eligibility by the age of 17

Our goal is to identify individuals with disabilities in Rhode Island schools who are eligible for adult services before they leave school or transition programs.

School districts will let families know that they have a right to file an application for BHDDH adult services at the age of 16. This is for youth who, under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), have:

--  an intellectual disability
--  autism
--  "multiple disabilities," as described by IDEA

Families can also file an application at age 16 for students who are believed to have a developmental disability and be eligible for BHDDH services.

It is the family’s decision whether to submit an application for services at this age. Making eligibility decisions earlier will help us to make sure students are receiving the right transition services at the right time.

For more information, please go to our website.

Consent Decree Updates/Feedback

Looking for updates on the Consent Decree? Be sure to check our website. The Consent Decree section has up-to-date information.

Do you have Feedback for the Division?
Please feel free to send your comments, suggestions and/or questions to BHDDH.AskDD@bhddh.ri.gov .
     The Director's Corner  

Hi folks,

First and foremost, I want to thank everyone who came out to the DD Community Forum last month. It was great to speak with so many of you! Our DD team and I enjoy spending time with families and providers. If you missed the meeting, you can check out our notes and FAQ online.

Speaking of families and providers, we have been receiving lots of inquiries from both groups about our search for a new Director of the Developmental Disabilities Division. We are in the final stage of the process and look forward to sharing information with you very soon.

We hope the updates that our team has been making to the website have been helpful. We have also updated our eligibility materials, application instructions and accompanying documents. We believe these updates will make the application process easier for you (learn more).

During December 2016 and January 2017, we will accept the old version or the new version of the application to allow for some transition time and additional feedback from the community. Beginning February 1, 2017, we will only accept the new version of the application. 

Finally, please accept our warmest wishes to you and your family for a very happy and healthy holiday season! 

Rebecca Boss
Acting Director

January 6, 2017
I f you or someone you know is looking for supported employment, please join us on Friday, January 6, 2017 at the Arnold Conference Center in Cranston between 9:00 am – 1:00 pm.  More than 20 certified employment providers will be there to talk to you about finding a job. Anyone looking for employment is welcome!

Questions?  Please call Tracey Cunningham at 462-3857 or email her at Tracey.Cunningham@bhddh.ri.gov.

Quarterly Developmental Disabilities Community Forum
We are holding two community forums in February, with the first forum for self-directed individuals and families. Please save the following dates and times. As we get closer to February, we will send out meeting agendas. 

February 6, 2017Self-Directed Individuals and their Families Forum from 4:00 - 6:00 pm at the Cranston Senior Center, 1070 Cranston Street, Cranston.

February 9, 2017Quarterly Developmental Disability Community Forum from 4:00 - 6:00 pm at the North Providence Senior Center, 2 Atlantic Blvd, North Providence.

A Staff Member Dedicated to Help
Transitioning Students Leaving School

Early in the New Year, BHDDH will have a staff member dedicated to help the transition process for students leaving schools

This Statewide Transition Coordinator will work very closely with the RI Department of Education and all Local Education Authorities (LEAs) on the new “Eligibility by 17” policy (see article above). The Coordinator will looks for ways to improve how we identify and serve youth transitioning to adult services.  Other areas the Coordinator will work on include:
  • Serving as a point of contact for all Individual Education Plan (IEP) meeting requests
  • Attending IEPs upon request
  • Providing education to school districts to prepare teachers and special education staff about services for adults with developmental disabilities
  • Coordinating with RIPIN to ensure education materials are helpful for youth transitioning from school to the adult system
  • Making continuous process improvement recommendations to the Interagency Consent Decree Implementation Team. 
If you have any questions, please contact our DD Administrator, Heather Mincey, at Heather.mincey@bhddh.ri.gov 
RI Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities & Hospitals
(401) 462-3201

Questions about -

Authorizations:  (401) 462-1833

Transportation issues:  (401) 462-3231

Services(401) 462-3421