Input sought on plan for people with developmental disabilities

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AUGUSTA – The Maine Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Aging and Disability Services (OADS) is holding a pair of public hearings starting next week and is seeking comments on Maine’s services to people with developmental disabilities. Specifically, DHHS is looking for feedback on the changes that have taken place over the last 10 years, as well as what is on the horizon in the next decade.

In 2003, DHHS developed a Roadmap for Change in response to a Supreme Court ruling known as the “Olmstead Decision”. The court required all states to provide services to people with disabilities in their communities, as opposed to providing institutional care.

Last year, Maine DHHS reviewed the services for people with developmental disabilities and updated its plan. The public is invited to examine and give comments on the DHHS report: Olmstead Roadmap for Change – Update for Developmental Services either in writing or at the public hearings.

“These hearings will give the public and opportunity to comment on our current plan and to offer concrete suggestions for potential changes and revisions,” said OADS Director James Martin. “We encourage anyone who is interested to review the report and to share comment, either at the hearings or in writing.”

The first hearing takes place on Tuesday, May 6, from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Maine DHHS Office, 151 Marginal Way in Portland. On May 13, a hearing will be held at Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Center, 656 State Street in Bangor. In addition, written comments will be accepted for 30 days via e-email (OADS@maine.gov) or by mailing a letter to: The Office of Aging and Disability Services, 41 Anthony Avenue, STS #11, Augusta, Maine 04333-0011.

For a copy of the report Olmstead Roadmap for Change – Update for Developmental Services please go to http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/oads/aging/news-details.shtml?id=616598 . A copy of the report can also be received via mail by calling (207) 287-9200.