John's usual excuses & apologies--
The video above was put together by OPRA (Ohio Provider Resource Association) to highlight the workforce crisis that we're in right now in the DD field. I appreciate OPRA's initiative putting this video together. They've asked that all providers share this video in our newsletters and on social media.
Almost 10 years ago, Ohio changed the law, making old-school segregated services not an option after 2022. While I am proud of the kind of workshop day program that CLI provided for more than 40 years-- I do think that moving away from this model is better for people with disabilities-- IF the system replaces the old system appropriately.
169 legislation created County Boards of DD in the late 60's because individuals with DD should be supported in their communities-- and because families needed day time supports. The shift toward small groups integrated into the community, away from very large, segregated spaces, is progress. However, it also requires professional staff who can work completely independently vs. old-school top-down management.
Professions that take care of people-- regardless why those people need care have always struggled to recruit-- even in good economies. In this labor market, DD providers are are in trouble. There is no way getting around that if Ohio wants the next chapter in DD services to be successful, the system is going to have to figure out how to reallocate more of the money toward the actual services and the people who provide those services. When Director Davis visited Huron County in 2019, he said that Ohio spends approximately $4,000,000,000 on roughly 100,000 individuals with DD. That's an average of $40,000 per person. Somehow, we need to make a larger portion of that money available to families so that they have more viable options-- and so the rate they pay to providers is sufficient to hire/expect quality.
That's my $.02 for this week. I know we're all excited about the new mask rules-- but please be smart about when you take it off-- especially if you aren't vaccinated. CLI will be rolling out our new safety standards soon. Stay tuned.
Just keep washing those hands!