The People First Waiver (1115 Waiver) public forum was held on 6/2/11. The Deputy Commissioner, Jim Moran, was present and provided a brief explanation of the intended purpose for the Waiver redesign. The main objective of the Waiver reform is to create a system that provides services based on the needs and wants of each individual, not the current model of "one-size-fits-all". The changes will explore new ways for individuals to receive services from multiple state agencies, for example a person with a developmental disability and a psychiatric illness will be able to receive services through the People first waiver and the Office of Mental Health simultaneously.
Approximately 40 people spoke (individuals receiving services, families, and agency representatives) and offered ideas about what they would like to see included in the Waiver reform. Several speakers expressed dissatisfaction with the way funds have been managed by New York State. Individuals receiving services advocated for Person Centered Services that are very much in line with eliminating the "one-size-fits-all" system that is currently in place. OPWDD representatives indicated that they will be posting all information from each of the Public Forums on their website.
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