Advocacy

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 workers into their homes expected different things from those providers: willingness to take direction directly from the individual as...

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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 Trust:  Keep the promise of community housing opportunities for people with IDD and restore the Fairview Trust. Employment: Continue...

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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 responsibilities, which is already cutting into the bottom line: time spent with Brokerage customers.  Any reduction in funding is going to...

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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 Governor Kate Brown. Senator Gelser also presented awards to this year’s DD Champion recipients, Jim Wrigley of Disability...

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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 clarity of that identity. Now is the time to work to reclaim that pioneering spirit at the heart of our state.  Make no mistake,...

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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 includes each and every person employed by a Brokerage to do the work of Support Services for individuals with intellectual and...

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