Blog & News

A Diversity of Services Requires A Diversity of Providers

Posted by on Jul 27, 2015 in 2015 changes, Advocacy, History | 0 comments

A Diversity of Services Requires A Diversity of Providers

Community-based services are different.  In 2001, Oregon made a deep investment in community supports when it began to develop Support Services Brokerages.  This style of service, which seeks to serve people where and how they wish to live, is very different from the institutional settings of the past.  People make different choices when you let them, they express different needs than you might have anticipated–they surprise you.  Oregon found that community-based services demanded a wider diversity of providers.  People inviting...

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Back to the Future

Posted by on Apr 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Back to the Future

Let’s get one thing straight up front: this isn’t new.  Not at all.  In fact, this has been around for years.  In Oregon, we started to dream this dream fifteen years ago and more.  Support Services Brokerages started here.  Take a moment to read this treatise/article/manifesto/guide by Ellen Cummings, a national consultant on Self-determination.  What jumps out at you?  Do you see Oregon’s past reflected in these descriptions?  Do you see Oregon’s future?  Ellen begins by speaking to archaic systems that have yet to...

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Choosing Between Vital Parts is a Losing Proposition for I/DD

Posted by on Apr 13, 2015 in Advocacy, Budget Cuts, History, OSSA's Vision for Oregon, Positions | 0 comments

Choosing Between Vital Parts is a Losing Proposition for I/DD

When it comes to full lives for Oregonians with intellectual and developmental disabilities, we want it all.  As a member of the Oregon I/DD Coalition, OSSA helped to identify four top priorities for the 2015 legislative budgeting session.  These four priorities, together, represent a pathway to richer lives for Oregonians with I/DD.  The four priorities are: DSP Wages: Raise the wage for Direct Support Professionals. Brokerage and CDDP Workload Model Budget:  Fund workload model at proposed 95% equity for CDDPs and Brokerages. Fairview...

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The Time for Advocacy is Now!

Posted by on Mar 26, 2015 in Advocacy, Budget Cuts, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Distressing news out of the capitol: lawmakers may be looking to cut $140 million from human services in order to fund a budget “hole.”  The question is, what does a $140 million cut to human services look like?  Though plan hours are not likely to be cut, vulnerable areas include provider pay rates and Brokerage funding for Personal Agents.  Brokerage Personal Agents and direct support providers have worked to implement dozens of system changes over the past two years.  With these changes has come a lot of additional workload and...

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DD Awareness Event Honors Margaret Theisen as DD Champion

Posted by on Mar 10, 2015 in 2015 changes, Advocacy | 0 comments

Last Friday March 6th, the Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities hosted the 2015 DD Awareness Celebration kickoff event.  As part of the festivities, attendees enjoyed guest speakers Robin Shobe and state DD Director Lilia Teninty, and the unveiling of the 2015 DD Awareness poster “I Have Something to Say,” highlighting adaptive technology, with participation from poster model Maddie Zielinski.  Sherri Osburn, Vice Chair of the Oregon Council, served as emcee, and Senator Sara Gelser read a message to the community from...

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OSSA’s Vision for the Future of Disability Services in Oregon

Posted by on Feb 24, 2015 in 2015 changes, Advocacy, History, OSSA's Vision for Oregon, Positions | 0 comments

Sometimes, in the midst of change, it is hard to see the way forward.  Oregon’s system of services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities once felt like it had a clear identity as a national leader for progressive, community-based service.  We closed down institutions.  We gave control to the people using the services.  We showed that giving people self-determination can not only be right, it can also be cost-effective, good business.  Somewhere, in the crush of change and hurtling, forward momentum, we have lost the...

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Who is OSSA?

Posted by on Feb 17, 2015 in 2015 changes, Advocacy, Executive Director, OSSA's Vision for Oregon | 0 comments

Dear Personal Agents, Brokerage office staff, Lead Personal Agents, Operations Managers, Fiscal Managers, accounting staff, Provider Coordinators, Resource Managers, and every other Brokerage staff member, At the start of February 2015, you hired me to serve as your Executive Director. Did you know that? The Oregon Support Services Association represents the 13 Brokerages around the state of Oregon. OSSA’s board of directors is comprised of the 13 Executive Directors of each Brokerage. But OSSA is so much more than that—our membership...

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Oregon I/DD Advocates Testify to Senate Committee on eXPRS State Payment System Implementation Concerns

Posted by on Feb 11, 2015 in 2013 Changes, 2014 changes, eXPRS, Provider Payment | 0 comments

On Tuesday, Oregon Support Services Association’s Executive Director Katie Rose testified to a Senate committee regarding the state’s roll out and implementation of its payment system, eXPRS. Additional testimony was provided by Margaret Theisen (CEO of the state’s largest brokerage Full Access), Chris Burnett (Executive Director of Oregon Rehabilitation Association,) Gary Zenzen and Chris Schwartz (from provider organization Partnerships in Community Living,) Lilia Teninty (Director of Oregon’s Intellectual and...

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Brokerage Association Announces Leadership Changes in 2015

Posted by on Jan 12, 2015 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

In the spirit of the new year, the Oregon Support Services Association announces two changes in leadership.  Larry Deal, Executive Director of Independence Northwest brokerage, has assumed the role of OSSA President. He follows in the footsteps of Margaret Theisen, whose tenure spanned the birth of the brokerage association and four incredible years of unprecedented growth and change.   We are deeply indebted and grateful to Margaret for her influential and principled leadership. Margaret passed the torch to Larry after the...

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eXPRS Trainings for Personal Support Workers Scheduled in Portland Metro and Mid-Valley Areas

Posted by on Dec 17, 2014 in Uncategorized | 6 comments

In January 2015, the Oregon Department of Human Services is putting on a series of trainings on their electronic billing system eXPRS. The trainings are specifically geared toward Personal Support Workers. You may attend a training at any of the sites below, whether you serve individuals at the particular brokerage or county. Be sure to RSVP by emailing ODDS.training@state.or.us. Please note: RSVP-ing in the comments section below does not guarantee you a space at one of the trainings. Please email ODDS.training@state.or.us to reserve your...

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