March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. The campaign seeks to raise awareness about the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all facets of community life, as well as awareness of the barriers that people with disabilities still sometimes face in connecting to the communities in which they live. In honor of the month, please feel free to share stories with me about individuals who are accessing community life! I would love to hear them! Especially as the pandemic makes community integration difficult for all of us right now.
- COVID-19 in Illinois: The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity rate for cases as a percent of total tests from February 22-28, 2021 is 2.4%. The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity rate from February 22-28, 2021 is 2.7%.
- Remember to register for the Supportive Housing: Supportive Housing Waitlists 101 and How You Can Use the Existing DD Waiver to Fund Supports webinar on March 11.
WELCOME OUR NEW DEPUTY DIRECTOR, LIGAS CONSENT DECREE
I am so pleased to announce that Meg Cooch will be joining the Division as the Deputy Director of the Ligas Consent Decree on April 5, 2021. Meg will be leading our work to meet requirements of the Ligas Consent Decree. Meg served for four years as Executive Director of the Arc of Illinois, a statewide coalition working to ensure people with intellectual and developmental disabilities can fully participate in community life through informed choices. Prior to this, Meg spent 20 years in local, state and national nonprofits focused on policy, advocacy and community organizing with people with disabilities of all ages, families and community organizations. Meg worked on federal health and disability policy in Washington, DC and long-term services advocacy in San Francisco, CA. Meg has a bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia and a master's degree in public policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. She lives in Chicago with her husband and two children. We're so excited for Meg to join the team. Please join me in welcoming her!
NATIONAL CORE INDICATORS STAFF STABILITY SURVEY
The Division of Developmental Disabilities and the Human Services Research Institute are interested in learning about our Direct Support Professional (DSP) workforce-paid workers who provide support, training, supervision, and personal assistance to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The survey is being administered by National Core Indicators (NCI) on behalf of Illinois. State policymakers and advocates will use the data to guide decisions. While the management of the survey will be done by the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) Bureau of Quality Management (BQM), it is not associated with any survey or review being conducted by BQM, or the DDD. This survey is meant to identify trends, discrepancies, and advancement in the area of DSP employment. Any provider that employs DSPs is eligible and encouraged to participate. In the upcoming weeks, you will receive an email from NCI with directions on how to access and complete the survey. If you believe you are eligible to participate in this survey and have not received an introductory email regarding it, please send an email to : Cynthia.email@example.com to get enrolled.
1B VACCINATION EXPANSION
Effective 2/25/21, individuals with disabilities are included in 1b plus (with the exception of Cook County and the City of Chicago). IDPH has defined individuals with a disability as a "person who is, and who is expected to indefinitely continue to be, subject to any of the following five types of disabilities: physical disability, developmental disability, visual disability, hearing disability or mental disability." This definition is aligned with Illinois Statute: 15 ILCS 335/4a.
HRST CLINICAL REVIEWER REQUIREMENT
There are still many providers who do not have a Clinical Reviewer registered with HRST. As a reminder, each agency must have a nurse who is a designated Clinical Reviewer for all screens that receive a Health Care Level Rating of 3 or higher. To become a Clinical Reviewer, you must have taken the online, self-guided rater training, and completed the online live webinar provided by HRS, Inc. The next Clinical Reviewer training is March 24 from 9 am to 3 pm. You can register online.
Additionally, the Division expects that all individuals who receive residential CILA services will have their electronic screen completed by June 30, 2021. If you need to submit an HRST to the Division for nursing services, it must be the electronic version.
If you need support on completing these tasks, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each year, the Illinois Crisis Prevention Network (ICPN) hosts an annual conference. This year's conference theme is "Serving with Passion and Purpose" and will be virtual. There are 3 conference sessions spread out over the first 3 Wednesdays in March from 1 pm to 4 pm. The conference is open to everyone and free of charge. I encourage you to register today!
Thank you for all you do!
Allison V. Stark
Director, Division of Developmental Disabilities
Illinois Department of Human Services
600 East Ash-Building 400, Springfield, IL 62703
Tel: (217) 782 -6803
The information contained herein should not be considered a substitute for the appropriate official statutes, rules, regulations, or the advice of legal counsel.
To request to be added to our email database, or to update your contact and service information, please complete our Contact Survey at the following link:
Information provided will help us to better tailor communications to you in the future.