DDD Communication - October 7, 2020

Good Afternoon!


We have received about half of the CDS Surveys to date. As a reminder, please send the completed survey by Friday, October 9! Completion of this survey will help the Division better understand the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the Community Day Services (CDS) system and how it has impacted individuals returning to services. We will share the results!


The Division has received a several questions from providers asking if blanket approval for At-Home Day Program (37U) will be ending effective 12/1. The Division has not determined an end date to the blanket approval. We will be analyzing the provision of At-Home Day to ensure individuals are participating in a structured, habilitative program also considering the current conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic. We will notify providers well before blanket approval ends.


I wanted to remind our providers that the Mental Health/Developmental Disabilities Code was amended to require access to sex education, related resources and treatment planning for all persons admitted to a developmental disability facility and receiving habilitation services (MHDD Code Amendment). This statutory change took effect January 1, 2020 and applies to persons in Community Integration Living Arrangement (CILA), ICF/DDs, State Operated Developmental Centers and Community Day Service (CDS) programs.

DDD along with the Illinois Guardianship and Advocacy Commission's Human Rights Authority has established a workgroup which has taken the lead in developing resources to assist in implementing the intent of this legislation. Understanding that the unforeseen events currently affecting provider organizations make this a less than ideal time to undertake a new initiative, we are nonetheless required by statute to move forward in implementing the intent of the legislation. We will be discussing this topic at the DD Advisory Committee next week and I will be sending a letter to providers in the coming weeks to provide an overview. In addition, the Division will be issuing an Information Bulletin on this topic. For questions, please reach out to Kathy.Ward@illinois.gov.


Over the next year the Division will be releasing a number of Information Bulletins (IB) to better communicate policies, procedures and expectations for providers. You may have already noticed an uptick. We post IBs as DRAFT and allow for a 14-day comment period. During this time, you may communicate your thoughts or response to the IB. We review and, may, update the IB based on the feedback. Major changes to the IB may result in re-publishing an updated DRAFT IB. In most cases, we will update based on feedback and issue as FINAL. You can find DRAFT bulletins here: https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=57957

And FINAL bulletins here: https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=51195


On Friday, HHS Secretary Alex Azar extended the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency for an additional 90 days. The PHE, which would have ended on October 23rd, is now extended to January 23rd. 2021, unless there is a further extension. The PHE renewal can be found here: https://www.phe.gov/emergency/news/healthactions/phe/Pages/covid19-2Oct2020.aspx


I would like to encourage providers to check out the following webinar series that was sponsored by SIARF and IARF. The series focuses on the transformation of Day Services to build meaningful lives and create pathways to community employment for people with I/DD. It encourages Illinois' providers to think differently and use state/federal resources in creative ways; as well as provides field-tested tools and strategies for creating integrated, person-centered services and pathways to employment. I've heard nothing but extraordinary things about the series. Please check it out! https://www.iarf.org/siarfiarfseries.html

Thank you for all you do!