COVID-19: Leo’s Letter: Essential Services Are More Essential Than Ever

Over the past weeks, day programs have opened for adults with disabilities. This week’s Leo Live webinar features an interview with Dan Burke, who shares several weeks of experience at Lifeworks, which opened its day services in mid-July.

Participants continue to return. Some of the barriers: transportation and space limitations. Dan talked about the daily safety protocol that Lifeworks and other agencies across the state are using to insure infection control. In addition, the team has begun outreach visits to those individuals who have not been able to come back yet.

But there is still much to worry about. The state is the funder of the disability services. For day programs to be truly responsive to all participants, including those still at home (online programming, outreach visits), they require predictable and adequate funding.

Revenue for agencies in August is far lower than billing in July. The funding level will not sustain our services. In addition, residential service providers have not been reimbursed for daytime staff (many in group settings are not attending day programs) for months.

We need to maintain essential services. Please stay tuned. In the meantime, see Monday’s recording as Dan Burke recounts the re-opening experience.

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