Dear Friends and Colleagues,
The Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) is pleased to announce that we are expanding the Supported Decision-Making New York pilot program to develop greater support for people with developmental disabilities who choose to exercise supported decision-making.
The Supported Decision-Making NY pilot program, originally funded by the Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, began in 2016. OPWDD is now dedicating a portion of the funding it will receive through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to continue the pilot program, expanding it to include supported decision-making facilitation as an effective way to ensure that people are assisted to implement effective and sustainable supported decision-making agreements. Facilitation can make a critical difference in the success people experience in implementing supported decision-making by ensuring that they are appropriately prepared for the challenges of making their own decisions with supports.
To inform our development of supported decision-making policy and help us define the scope of supported decision-making facilitation services to be made available under the Home and Community-Based Services waiver, OPWDD will fund a 3-year facilitation pilot program. Supported Decision-Making NY has operated the existing 5-year supported decision-making pilot program in New York and will be funded to expand that pilot to further advance the field of supported decision-making with a focus specifically on facilitation. The new pilot will allow OPWDD to refine its understanding of supported decision-making facilitation, implement facilitation training materials, identify and equip providers of facilitation services, develop a supported decision-making facilitation resource center model, embed the use of supported decision-making in existing systems, and advance the use of supported decision-making as an alternative to adult guardianship.
This initiative is part of a greater effort to enhance, improve and transform key aspects of the OPWDD service system using COVID-19 relief funds awarded by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. These funds are targeted to specific activities across a wide range of OPWDD programs and provide a timely opportunity to address critical challenges. I encourage you to watch for future announcements and check our website regularly for updates on these exciting projects.
OPWDD’s plans for all of its ARPA funds can be found at: https://opwdd.ny.gov/american-rescue-plan-act-arpa.
Kerri E. Neifeld