Advocacy Corner – April 2020

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The Governor’s emergency declaration resulted in a great deal of temporary regulatory and funding actions intended to reduce the risk of spreading the Novel Coronavirus to and among individuals with disabilities and to insure that needed care is sustainable. Day programs are currently permitted to bill for clients absent due to the Shelter in Place orders or other coronavirus-related concerns. Many programs have been allowed to stream programming as appropriate. Residential service providers including Supported Living (SLS) and Family Home Agency (FHA) programs have been promised additional funding for extra care and, as needed, flexibility around rates in case we need to provide hazardous duty pay or bring in nursing staff for someone who tests positive. There are about a thousand challenges for an agency in the regional center system during this pandemic but financial resources seem pretty secure.

It also bears noting for individuals not served by Imagine, that the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) has made some one-to-one day services such as Independent Living Services (ILS,) Personal Assistance and Supported Employment available through the “participant-directed services” which means, as I understand it, that people can use support providers who are not vendored by the regional center.  If this solves a problem for you, contact your regional center service coordinator.

The Governor’s budget for 2020-2021 will start over. Forget whatever we’ve told you and whatever you’ve heard in terms of expectations from anyone. To keep up with the budget, the emergency order, new regulations and anything else related to statewide advocacy, follow the CDCAN alerts. Also, if you are in a position to donate, please consider supporting CDCAN.  You can mail a check to: CDCAN 1500 West El Camino Avenue Suite 499 Sacramento, CA 95833

While regional center service providers in the current crisis have been relatively well-funded, it is important to be aware of what it is doing to the State and federal budgets. We will need to advocate for our supports when we reach the other side of this crisis.

-Submitted by Doug

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