Montanaro to Meet with Families and Individuals with Developmental Disabilities

By Gina Macris 

Rhode Islanders with intellectual or developmental disabilities and their family members will have a chance to speak with Maria Montanaro, director of the state Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals Wednesday, April 27, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Buttonwoods Community Center, 3027 West Shore Rd., Warwick. 

The session will be the third such community meeting for Montanaro, who was appointed to the position by Governor Gina Raimondo in January, 2015. 

 Montanaro is expected to take questions from the audience and to discuss reforms underway in the division of developmental disabilities, one of the state agencies under federal oversight until Jan. 1, 2024, in connection with the way it delivers daytime supports to adults receiving its services. 

The division is gearing up for a shift from group home residential care to shared living arrangements with individual families throughout the state.  The move, intended to add 300 adults to shared living arrangements by June 30, 2017, would free up millions of dollars that would be reinvested in supported employment services and other integrated activities as required by a 2014 statewide consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice. 

There are now roughly 1300 people with intellectual or developmental disabilities living in group homes in Rhode Island. At the end of March, there were 288 individuals in shared living arrangements, an increase of 10 during that month, according to the most recent figures publicly available.

For directions to the Buttonwoods Community Center, click here.