The DDD Scoop (7-14-17)

Helping Families. Supporting Communities. Empowering Individuals.

Welcome to the latest edition of the DDD Scoop! We are pleased to announce the third Illinois Employment First Provider Transformation Summit will take place July 26, 2017 at 600 East Ash, Building 500, Room 2D in Springfield. The summit will run from 10:30 - 2:30 and registration is as simply as sending an RSVP to The summit will spotlight an exciting and educational presentation by a team from Marcfirst in Normal, Illinois. Marcfirst is an early adopter of Employment First ideology. They began provider transformation activities supporting competitive, integrated employment opportunities in 1995. Tania will be sending out a complete agenda soon.

Iles Park Blood Drive

On July 11th, DHS had 18 employees volunteer their time to donate blood at the Central Illinois Community Blood Center Blood Mobile. The day was a huge success; they were able to collect 12 units of blood, which translates into 36 life-saving products for our local hospitals! We had 5 first time donors and we have a few dedicated folks who have already signed up for the next blood drive. A sincere thank you to everyone who participated in this worthy life-saving cause, we appreciate you! Fun Fact: Did you know that you burn a whopping 600 calories when you donate a pint of blood? It's true!

NCI Staff Stability Survey Update

Although we were unable to meet our goal of 100% participation in the 2016 NCI Staff Stability Survey, the Division was able to gather responses from 75% of the providers eligible to participate in the survey. The survey period has now ended and National Core Indicators staff will begin the process of reviewing and analyzing the data. This process can sometimes take several months and we anticipate a report of the information in early spring of 2018. That report will be shared with Illinois stakeholders as soon as it is available. After reviewing the information and learning more about how the Illinois data impacts decisions related to direct support staff, we look forward to even broader provider participation in the years to come! Thanks to all who took the time to respond to this survey!

Graph showing completion of survey from 4/7/17 to 6/30/17

Transition to the Personal Centered Planning Process

As we transition to Person Centered Planning, we continue to be reminded of the need to be flexible through the transition process yet remain compliant with the Waiver requirements. For each person in a DD Waiver, there must be a current Individual Service Plan (ISP), Addendum to the ISP or Personal Plan in place to guide the provision of services. Current continues to mean on or before 365 calendar days from the previous Plan. By June 30, 2018, all individuals in a DD Waiver must have a Personal Plan. Because of the volume of individuals receiving DD Waiver services, the ISC agencies must strategize their workload with this added responsibility of the Person Centered Planning process. If the ISC agency is able to complete a Personal Plan within 365 days of the ISP, this is ideal. In the event that this is not possible, the ISC agency might use one or more of the following approaches to transition to the Person Centered Plan process.

Scenario 1: ISC staff can shift their caseloads within the agency allowing their peers to conduct all or a portion of the Discovery and Personal Plan process. This allows the date of the Personal Plan to be within 365 days of the date of the Individual Service Plan.

Scenario 2: Where possible, some ISC staff began the Person Centered Planning process in the spring of 2017 to accommodate at least a portion of the ISPs that are due in July and August.

Scenario 3: If an Individual Service Plan becomes due prior to the date the Personal Plan can be developed, the ISC, provider agency, individual and family should work jointly to review the current Plan and ensure that all aspects continue to be relevant and the ISP will remain in place until the Personal Plan can be developed. This would constitute an acceptable process for the addendum to the current ISP.

  • The ISC must communicate to the provider agency the need for an ISP Addendum.
  • The addendum should be completed on or before 365 days from the most recent ISP.
  • The provider agency develops the ISP Addendum. It is not necessary to convene an Interdisciplinary Team meeting.
  • The team discusses the individual's current goals and objectives; discusses edits as appropriate and adds new goals and objectives as needed.
  • ISC must identify the date and month, prior to June 30, 2018, that the Personal Plan will be developed.
  • Provider agency updates the ISP with all the above information.
  • The individual, guardian, provider agency, and ISC are still required to review and sign the addendum.
  • The date of the Personal Plan will reset the 365 day requirement for completing the Personal Plan.

All persons new to DD Waiver services must have a Personal Plan or preliminary Individual Service Plan in place prior to entering services, with the exception of crisis cases. When possible, the ISC should complete the Discovery and Personal Plan prior to the person entering services. It is also acceptable, between July 1 and September 30, 2017, for the residential provider agency to continue to develop a preliminary ISP prior to initiating services. In this case, the preliminary ISP will remain in place and the ISC agency would then complete the Discovery and Personal Plan process within 30 days of service.

In all cases, the Division is asking providers and ISC agencies to work together and coordinate the best possible transition to the Person Centered Planning process for participants in the DD Waiver.

Clarification on Implementation Strategies

Last month the Division held a live webinar regarding provider Implementation Strategies. If you have not viewed the webinar you can access the recording and related documents by clicking on the links below. After this presentation the Division received various questions regarding the development of Implementation Strategies and wanted to clarify the following. At this time, the Division is not requiring Service Facilitators, Self-Direction Assistants, or families in HBS to develop Implementation Strategies. The Division continues to discuss this issue, including when this will be required and how this will be communicated to all parties.

Implementation Strategy Webinar:

Implementation Strategy Handouts:

On the Move

On July 17, 2017 the Division will be welcoming three new employees!

Antishay Gardner will be joining the Division's Bureau of Quality Management as a Social Service Program Planner III. Antishay was born in Chicago, Illinois and raised in Bloomington, Illinois. She still lives in the Bloomington Normal Area. She has had the opportunity to work with a number of diverse populations throughout her career. She is engaged to soon be married and has a seven year old son. She began her state career in 2013, at Shapiro Development Center as a Mental Health Technician. Antishay then transferred to University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria in 2014 where she worked as a Medical Case Manager. She most recently worked with the Illinois Department of Public Health as a Statistical Research Specialist.

Also joining the Division's Bureau of Quality Management as a Social Service Program Planner III is Blake Ivers. Blake was born and raised in Illinois and has lived and worked all throughout the state. His entire career has been in the social services field. He has worked with children in residential settings, at risk and/or drug addicted teens, adults with mental health and/or developmental disabilities, seniors with Alzheimer's disease and/or Dementia, and for the past 10 years he has worked as a Child Protection Investigator for the Department of Children and Family Services. Blake lives with his wife, 3 of his 5 children (aged 6 through 27) are still at home, and enough animals for a small zoo. He is a fan of Star Wars, sports, video games, and cartoons.

Tameka Sipes will be joining the Division's Bureau of Community Services as a Social Service Program Planner III. She began her state career in 2014 as a Caseworker with the Department of Human Services. Tameka and her husband are new parents to their child, Cayden, who is only 5 months old! Tameka loves to eat out, learn new things and is looking forward to joining our Division.

State Operated Developmental Center News

Choate Center - A Rehabilitation Counselor from DRS gave a presentation to Choate individuals regarding the new work law Work Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA) which indicates individuals with disabilities have a right to work within the community and receive minimum wage pay if they desire that route.

Fox Center - Fox Center individuals participated in a week-long scavenger hunt, attended a movie in the auditorium on the 4th of July and went outside to watch fireworks on July 4th.

Kiley Center - On Sunday, July 2, 2017, 12 individuals participated in the Waukegan Park District Parade and had a great time. The Parents of Kiley participated as well and came to watch the parade.

Kiley Center - Kiley individuals participated in open mic and it was a huge success! 10-15 individuals participated in the event. They were singing, dancing and reciting poetry.

Ludeman Center - On July 28th due to a generous donation from the Chicago Sky organization, individuals from Ludeman will be attending a game between the Chicago Sky and the Phoenix Mercury.

Ludeman Center - The Janitorial Training Program at Ludeman will be holding a graduation on July 17th for individuals who have completed the program.

Mabley Center - On July 6th Gina Hopson-Harris with the Division's Bureau of Transitional Services came to Mabley to take a tour and meet individuals on Tier One. It was her first time at Mabley.

Murray Center - Murray hosted a Blood Drive on July 12th. They had 20 people present to donate and were able to produce 18 units for donation!

Shapiro Center - Vocational Coordinators continue to meet to discuss community employment and shared ideas to improve programs at Shapiro. Vocational Coordinators are exploring opportunities for individuals to be involved in community employment.

DDD Information Bulletin - Supportive Housing

This Information Bulletin can also be located on the DHS website:

Purpose: This Supportive Housing Information Bulletin is to clarify and confirm that individuals with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities can choose to live in independent affordable housing settings in their community.

Background: Service Providers, Families, Guardians and Consumers have been unclear if the current DD Medicaid Waiver regulations allow consumers to access the supports needed to reside in independent affordable supportive housing settings. The Division of Developmental Disabilities has created four information bulletins clarifying specific pieces of the support options that make independent living possible:

  • Clarification of DSP Hours for Family and Intermittent CILAs posted June 2015
  • Community Integrated Living Arrangements (CILA) Clarification of Family or a Person's Own Home posted April 2016
  • Draft - Additional Staffing Hours in Community Integrated Living Arrangements (CILA) posted April 2016
  • Increase in Behavioral Intervention/Treatment Hours (56U from 66 hours to 104 hours) posted July 2016

In order to comply with Federal CMS Home and Community Based Services settings regulations, the spirit of community integration espoused in the U.S. Supreme Court Olmstead decision and the move to Person-Centered planning, the Division of Developmental Disabilities encourages all persons with I/DD, family members and guardians, service providers and ISC agencies to discuss an array of housing options when planning service needs and acquisition of resources.

Process and Procedures: Persons with I/DD, family members and guardians who are interested in pursuing community living should speak with their ISC representative and/or their service provider. ISC agents and/or service providers may place interested individuals onto the State of Illinois' online housing waiting list and assist in pursuing other affordable housing resources (public housing authorities, rental housing support program, etc.).

The Division of Developmental Disabilities encourages all ISC agencies to schedule training on using the State of Illinois' online housing waiting list as well as accessing additional affordable housing resources. Lore Baker, Statewide Housing and Employment First Coordinator, can provide this training free of charge. To arrange a training session, contact Lore at 217-782-6865 or

Effective Date: Immediately

Provider Notice: Money Follows the Person

HFS released a notice on July 6, 2017 regarding the Money Follows the Person Demonstration: Illinois Pathways to Community Living Program's referrals and transitions.

This notice can be located on the HFS website:

Personal Outcome Measures (POM)

Gary Tucker and Pamela Manning are both Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL) certified trainers for the Personal Outcome Measures (POM). POM trainings consist of a 4-day workshop experience where trainees learn the POM interview tool. The trainings have been ongoing since March 2017 and are booked through December 2017. Feel free to contact the Bureau of Quality Management to schedule a training for fiscal year 2018 by telephone at 217-782-9438 or by email to

Emotional Intelligence and Civility in the Workplace Workshops for All DDD Staff

The Bureau of Quality Management offered an instructor-led all day Emotional Intelligence and Civility in the Workplace training to all Division staff. The Emotional Intelligence (EQ) workshop is a learning opportunity and provides the ability to identify, use, understand and manage emotions in positive ways to communicate effectively, defuse conflict, overcome challenges, and relieve stress and its impact.

The Civility in the Workplace training, "The New Cultural Competence" training, addresses the growing problem of incivility in the work place. This training introduces the concept of awareness, emphasizes the skills needed to effectively practice Civility in the Workplace, teaches competencies needed to integrate these skills into everyday work life and demonstrates its importance to IDHS. The Quality Enhancement trainers for these workshops are Ronald Cooley and Gary Tucker.

We plan to offer these workshops to community agencies in the future.

DSP Training

The Division of Developmental Disabilities is in the midst of updating the DSP Training Curriculum. Input from providers is very important to this process. As a result, there were several webinars for Direct Support Professionals (DSP) held in mid- to - late May seeking input from the DSP perspective.

It is now time to move to the second step of the process. The Division scheduled a number of Focus Group Webinars seeking additional input from Executive Directors and Training Coordinators. Additional information with date, time and log-in link will be sent out within the next week.

In order to keep the group at a manageable size, each webinar will be limited to 15 providers. Each agency is allowed one computer log in. There will be 12 webinars in August to choose from.

Dates & Register link:

DDD Curriculum

The Direct Support Person Course Coordinator (DSP), Human Rights Committee Chairperson (HRC) and Residential Director Core (RDC) trainings are being revised and will not be offered until 2018. Please be watching for these to be offered in 2018.

Coming Soon - IDHS Abuse and Neglect Resource Page

The Abuse and Neglect Resource page is a work in progress and features definitions, contact numbers, video library, resources and more. In the future, resources for training targeted towards agencies regarding abuse and neglect will be posted to the Abuse and Neglect Resource page quarterly. This information will be posted on the DDD Provider Training page link:

Supporting Each through Challenging Times

Before closing, I want to report that yesterday we held an All Staff meeting where we updated staff on our initiatives and I asked for volunteers for an Assistive Technology Workgroup. The Assistive Technology Workgroup will map out strategies for leveraging technology to promote more independent living. As I indicated in the June 19th edition of the DDD Scoop, assistive technology offers this state a unique opportunity to be among the more progressive states in at least one critical domain. We will certainly be looking for additional volunteers from external stakeholders, so if this is something tugging at your heartstrings, please let us know.

At the beginning of the staff meeting, I stressed to staff the importance of keeping an eye on one another as we attempt to cope with life's struggles - to which none of us are immune. While we finally have an approved budget, our Division is yet again in period of great transition. At this particular juncture in our history, we have a lot of balls in the air and there are a lot of moving parts to keep track of. With the changes that went into effect on July 1st, I regret that we've undoubtedly increased stress levels for many stakeholders. I truly regret this and any inconveniences caused by these changes. Moreover, I am personally aware of a number of Division staff who are dealing with emergency situations involving family members and close friends. And many outside of our Division are doubtless dealing with their own personal challenges. During the meeting, I asked Division staff to look out for one another - and I would ask the same of all of you. I think many of us believe that we are a lot better at coping with stress than we actually are. I have to remind myself of this daily. I am especially concerned about anyone going through a difficult period who doesn't have a support system - i.e., a family member or friend to talk to or to use as a sounding board.

As members of a "caring community", I think it's essential that we keep tabs on one another and support each other through stressful personal and professional situations.

Let's remember to always support each other, be good to each other - and be good to ourselves.

Have a great weekend!