Public Forum on DD Services in RI Scheduled For Nov. 9 at Cherry Hill Manor in Johnston

By Gina Macris

Rhode Island officials will explain continuing changes in the state's developmental disability service system during a public forum Wednesday, Nov. 9, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Cherry Hill Manor Nursing and Rehab Center, 2 Cherry Hill Road, Johnston.

The meeting will include updates on the search for a director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities as well as details of efforts to implement provisions of a federal consent decree calling on the state to end segregated daytime services that violate the Americans with Disabilities Act.

In addition, state officials will describe technical assistance the state receives from the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDDS). The state has asked the organization for guidance in implementing a shift to community-based services, with an emphasis on supported employment, as required by the consent decree.

The application process for adult developmental disability services and the assessment used to assign individual funding to those found eligible also will be reviewed, according to an announcement from the state Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals (BHDDH).

Individuals who need interpreter services for the hearing impaired or need other accommodations for the meeting are asked to call Emily Limoges at 401.462.3405 or email her at before Monday, November 7th.

Consumers and their families will have an opportunity to ask questions at the meeting.  The forum, the third to be held this year, represents part of the state's promise to the U.S. District Court, the U.S. Department of Justice, and an independent court monitor to improve communications with the public about the consent decree. BHDDH officials also will give an overview of the department's recently-revamped website at the meeting.

In the meantime, the Division of Developmental Disabilities has released contact information for those who wish to call or email the division directly concerning service-related issues.