The DDD Scoop (3-20-17)

Helping Families. Supporting Communities. Empowering Individuals.

Welcome to the latest edition of the DDD Scoop! My apologies for the delay in sending this to you. I was feeling under the weather last Friday and didn't have the energy to get it out.

Adult Waiver Renewal Public Comment Period

As you may know, the public comment period for the draft Adult Waiver Renewal Application ended on March 10, 2017. We wish to thank everyone who assisted us in spreading the word about the public comment opportunity, including our trade and other advocacy organizations that disseminated the information to their members. We most especially wish to thank the more than 100 individuals who submitted comments. We are now working to compile the issues raised and determine what changes can be made to the application based on the comments received. We will be making the final modifications during the remainder of March in order to submit the application by April 1, 2017.

2016 NCI Staff Stability Survey

The 2016 National Core Indicators Staff Stability Survey invitations have been sent!!! This is the first year for Illinois to participate in this survey, intended to gather valid and reliable data on the quality and stability of the Direct Support Professional workforce. This survey is intended only for those working with adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Surveys were mailed to the email address on file for each provider agency based on responses received last fall asking for input on the best person to respond to the survey questions. If you have not received your survey, please check your "junk" or "spam" email folder. The email will be from Dorothy Hiersteiner and show a subject of IL NCI Staff Stability Survey 2016. If no one at your agency has received it and you would like to participate, please contact Jayma Bernhard at for assistance.

Responses are due no later than June 30, 2017, but we encourage you to respond as early as you can. The tracking software associated with this survey allows us to see which providers have responded but does not allow us to view your survey responses.

We know that your time is valuable and we appreciate your participation in this survey!

Personal Outcome Measures (POM) Corner

Many agencies across Illinois have made a decision to be trained in the Personal Outcomes Measures developed by Council on Quality and Leadership. The Division offers the 4 day training through the Bureau of Quality Management, Quality Enhancement Section and is proud to say there are currently two certified trainers, Gary Tucker ( and Pamela Manning ( If you would like to set up training at your agency, please contact to begin the process.

There may be some agencies that are not able to participate in the training for various reasons, so it may be helpful to review the 21 outcomes through the DDD Scoop. One outcome per DDD Scoop publication will be reviewed until all 21 are shared. Please consider the following this time:

Outcome: People are connected to Natural Support Networks

Most people have natural support networks, whether it is parents, spouses, aunts, uncles, children, nieces, nephews, etc. Despite geographical hardships, the support remains stable. Whether near or far, natural supports are there if needed.

"Natural support networks are groups of people whose commitment to support each other is usually lifelong. These support networks cannot be manufactured or created. They can only be nurtured as they grow and evolve over time. Families provide lifelong support and a safety net for many people. Lifelong relationships with non-family members are also part of the support network."

Just like you, variables contribute to the closeness of the connection, including time, age and distance, but just like you the type and extent of the natural support relationships are determined by you and the other members of the connection.

Question - How does your agency and you support the persons you serve remain connected to their natural support networks if they want to? Have you asked who is in each person's natural support network? Have you asked if they would like to be connected more or if they feel connected enough? How will you implement what the person you serve wants or if they want more? If you don't ask, you don't know. If you ask, you must act.

Reference: CQL The Council on Quality and Leadership Personal Outcome Measures Manual, Copyright 2005

There is still time to register for the Division's upcoming training events. Please see the DDD Provider Training page on the IDHS page link: for more information and to register.

Bureau of Quality Management and Enhancement's Training Corner

There is still space and time to register for the Prospective New Provider Orientation Training on April 19, 2017 in Oak Lawn, Illinois. See IDHS web site link: for more details and to complete the required registration form to secure your seat.

The Division of Developmental Disabilities is offering a new webinar - Medicaid Eligibility and Process - on April 27, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. We will provide an overview of the application process IDHS/Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services uses in determining Medicaid eligibility for Children (AllKids) and Adults (Affordable Care Act and Aid to the Aged, Blind, and Disabled). A question and answer session will be included. Presenters are Jay Bohn, Division of Developmental Disabilities and Jennifer Frescura, Healthcare and Family Services. In order to register, use the following link:

On the Move

The Division welcomed two new employees on March 16. Brittany Winders joined the Bureau of Quality Management as an Office Coordinator. Brittany is from Riverton, and currently resides in Springfield. She previously worked as an Office Associate with SIU Pediatrics and began working as an Office Assistant with the Bureau of Disability Determination Services in May of 2016. Brittany is engaged and has three little boys: Caleb, Andrew and Trenton. In her free time she loves to go to the park with her boys and watch them play football, basketball, and practice Karate.

ShuMei Lien joined the Bureau of Community Services as a Social Services Program Planner III. She received her Master's Degree in Special Education and a Ph.D. in Child, Youth and Family Studies from University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is a certified teacher in both special education and elementary education. ShuMei had previously worked for the Illinois Department of Human Services as a caseworker and as a Methods and Procedures Advisor in the Division of Family and Community Services' Bureau of Policy Development.

In addition to our new employees, Trevelyn Florence-Thomas accepted a Management Operations Analyst II position within the Bureau of Reimbursement and Program Support. Since august 1, Trevelyn has been working for the Division as a Social Service Planner III within the Bureau of Community Services/Transitional Services. Trevelyn began her career with the State of Illinois in 2010 at Jacksonville Developmental Center where she served as a Qualified Intellectual Disabilities Professional and a Mental Health Administrator. Prior to her state service, she worked as an Adult Probation Officer for Morgan County and in various positions in the private sector. She holds Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Sociology.

Kerrie Rawlings left the Bureau of Reimbursement and Program Support to accept a position with the Department's Youth Intervention Bureau within the Division of Family and Community Services. While we are sorry to see Kerrie leave, we are happy for the opportunity this move presents for her.

Folks, it is with mixed emotions that I write to announce that Jerry Stam has advised me of his plans to retire from state service effective May 1, 2017. Jerry joined what was then the Illinois Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities as an Educator in the summer of 1987. He worked in vocational training until 1997 to take the position of Vocational Director at the Lincoln Developmental Center, a position he held for the next four years. During his tenure at Lincoln, the Center developed a not for profit business "Lamp Lighter Industries" that consisted of a board of directors comprised of individuals residing there. Several small businesses, including the "Break Away Café", were run by residents until 2002 when the center closed.

Jerry then moved to the "Sexually Violent Program" in Joliet, now known as the Treatment and Detention Facility, as the Education/Vocation Director. When the decision was made to move the Treatment and Detention Facility to Rushville, Jerry assisted with the closing process in Joliet and the set- up of the new building in Rushville. Following the completion of that move, he took a position at the Howe Center where he supervised second shift administrators for the next year. He joined me in the fall of 2007 as Assistant Deputy Director of State Operated Developmental Centers.

Jerry and I have worked closely together over the past nine (almost ten) years. At the time we began working together, there were nine state operated developmental centers. The Howe Center had been decertified and was eventually closed. We then spent significant time at the Ludeman Center during a time in which a systemic change in operations was needed. Jerry's next assignment was at Jacksonville, followed by special assignments at Choate from 2013 to 2015, and at Murray from May to October in 2015. At various time, he has served as Acting Center Director at Murray, Interim deputy Director of State Operated Developmental Centers, and most recently as Deputy Director for State Operated Developmental Centers, when I was appointed Division Director. During Jerry's tenure as Deputy Director, he has put together a regional team with a focus on support for the state operated developmental centers.

Throughout my association with Jerry, he has distinguished himself as a caring and experienced administrator. While he will be sorely missed, I am pleased that he will be able to embark on this next stage of his life. Please join me in giving Jerry a heartfelt thank you for his dedication toward improving the lives of the individuals we serve.

Moving forward we will be looking at various options for filling the void left by Jerry's retirement. We will keep you informed on these efforts. In the meantime, I know that I can count on your usual support during this important leadership transition.

Division Blood Drive

The Division sponsored a blood drive on March 13. Fifteen people were able to give blood. Most important, four of them were first time donors! Twenty-four people signed up to donate, but snowy weather and sickness kept the final number down. We hope to have another drive in May when the weather should be better. We will also go back to a time frame that goes longer into the afternoon. There was not as much interest in donating first thing in the morning. Thanks to everyone who donated and a special thanks to Sherry Hinds, who once again organized this effort.

SODC Operations News

Choate Center - One individual was successfully transitioned last week to a local CILA provider. Altogether, 14 individuals are actively pursuing community placement. Three individuals from the Tier 1 Transition List have interested providers and may potentially be transitioning to the community in the very near future.

Fox Center - Fox Center is pursuing the purchase of two additional MyGaze bars, courtesy of the Center's Parent's Board. The hardware is being outfitted in what is shaping up to be the Center's Computer Lab. The added programs will allow three individuals to access the MyGaze program at the same time. MyGaze is a developer of products that provide easy and affordable eye gaze control systems for hands-free computer access.

Kiley Center - Thirteen Kiley individuals, along with one guardian, met with representatives from a community agency to explore potential community residential opportunities.

Kiley Center - Every Tuesday in March, some of Kiley's individuals participate in a bowling league. The league is going well and the individuals really enjoy the activity. The highest scoring female's score is 103 while the highest scoring male's score is 117.

Ludeman Center - On March 10, 2017, 17 Mental Health Technician IIs completed Mental Health Technician III training. Congratulations, all!

Murray Center - A Red Cross Blood Drive was held last week in the Murray Center. Thirty-nine pints of blood were collected. Pat Kornegger, Technician 5, was honored by receiving her 5 Gallon Pin.

Shapiro Center - Vocational Coordinators met to discuss community employment and shared ideas to improve programs at the Center. Vocational Coordinators continue to explore opportunities for individuals to be involved in community employment. Along those lines, one individual has been accepted by KCTC Workshop (Kankakee County Training Center) for employment in the community.

On the Road Again

Finally, I pleased to report that on Friday, March 10th, I visited with Orchard Village's Chief Executive Officer Allison Stark and a number of her staff. Orchard Village is one of the service providers that was awarded the Employment First grant to increase the number of individuals with I/DD working in individualized, competitive integrated employment environments. Allison is an impressive young administrator who told me that the agency's goal is to work themselves out of a job. Staff at Orchard Village have some solid accomplishments, including consistent work with over 100 individuals per year and a 90% placement rate in community-based employment. During my visit, I had an n opportunity to speak with three individuals who have been placed in competitive jobs in the community. All of the individuals reported that they were happy with their jobs. One individual is now making sixteen times the amount he was paid in his day program. As he spoke about his job, it was clear to me that through his work experience he was gaining more than just an increase in pay. He reported that "work at the day program got stale - doing the same thing over and over again, seeing the same people at the same time every day". In his job in the community, each day he faces new challenges, new experiences, and new opportunities to interact with different people from different backgrounds. With the money he is making now, he hopes to move out on his own in the next year so. As I listened to him speak, it affirmed that so much of our identity - who we are and who we want to be - is connected to our jobs and work experiences. As such, a good way to increase people's confidence in themselves - their self-perception and self-worth - is to help them obtain meaningful work at a reasonable wage. Of course, the reverse is also true - the best way to destroy people's confidence in themselves is to give them mindless tasks of no real value in exchange for little to no pay.

I may be old-fashioned, but I firmly believe that we all want to be in jobs that have real value and real meaning that contribute to something exciting and important. Imagine what a profound difference we could make in the lives of the people we serve if we could help them get placed in competitive jobs where they would work alongside non-disabled employees and have an opportunity to make a huge difference in the lives of others.

I look forward to working with you to bring that dream into a physical reality.