Self-Determination (SD) “is an approach to service delivery in which the participant is given control over the decision-making process for the participant’s supports or services and budget and the participant may tailor the support to meet the participant’s needs.”
This coming Monday, days before Thanksgiving, a hearing is scheduled on the long-awaited regulations for the law called Real Lives, including in the Acts of 2014.
The regulations however do NOT match up with the law’s language.
A few examples:
- The control referenced in the law’s definition is diluted.
- Nearly one page of participant responsibilities are listed in the 4 pages of regulations (not including definition page) while little on DDS responsibilities regarding process and guidance appears.
- No reference to the independent facilitator either by name or by definition since the law has the facilitator as a support while the regulation focuses on a monitoring and evaluating the participant.
- “Parent” is omitted in the regulation’s definition of supporting the participant.
We hope that these regulations were rushed out and the omissions and problems are not purposeful. We don’t believe the present SD regulations can serve as a foundation for DDS to oversee these options.
The Arc has hosted the MA21 Collaboration focused on self-determination since the 2000s and most of our historical partners continue (scroll down here to see).
Along with some amazing volunteers, we have advocated in the past year for fully realizing the “Real Lives” law and other flexibilities for individuals and families.
With your help and voice, we can.