Rhode Island DD Council to Focus on Plans to Launch Family Advocacy Coalition Saturday

By Gina Macris

The Rhode Island Developmental Disabilities Council will devote its day-long annual meeting Oct. 15 to the issue of family advocacy, featuring discussions led by two officials central to implementation of the 2014 federal consent decree in the so-called “sheltered workshop” case.

Charles Moseley, the U.S. District Court Monitor in the case, and Jennifer Wood, Rhode Island’s Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services, will speak throughout the morning on ways to establish and sustain a statewide family advocacy coalition for individuals with developmental disabilities. Wood also will speak during the afternoon session.

The Developmental Disabilities Council plans to launch a family advocacy coalition which would become independent in the next few years, as the state shifts from segregated daytime programs for individuals with developmental disabilities to integrated, community-based services, with emphasis on supports needed for employment.

The change is driven by the Olmstead decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled in 1999 that services must be provided in the least restrictive setting that is therapeutically appropriate to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act. 

Saturday's meeting is open to the public. It will be at the Radisson Airport Hotel, 2081 Post Road, Warwick, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Officials of the Developmental Disabilities Council ask that those planning to attend r.s.v.p.at the following email address: riddc@riddc.org. Anyone without access to a computer may call the Council office at 401-737-1238.

Click here for the complete agenda.