The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) is preparing to expand access to community living waivers and services for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD). Over the next two years, DODD intends to provide 700 Individual Options waiver slots for residents of intermediate care facilities (ICFs) with eight or more beds and for people with I/DD who applied for admission to an ICF but would prefer to remain in the community. For state fiscal years 2019 through 2022, DODD will support and expand programs for integrated, affordable housing, and integrated employment and day services. Additionally, DODD will request $250,000 to fund new transformation grants for provider organizations delivering integrated day and employment services.
The new waiver slots and services were proposed in a settlement to a lawsuit, Ball v. DeWine, filed in March 2016 on behalf of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families, as well as The Ability Center of Greater Toledo. Before the case went to trial, the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) and the attorneys for the plaintiffs proposed a settlement. On October 18, 2019, a federal judge granted preliminary approval to the settlement. A fairness hearing is scheduled for December 17, 2019.
The settlement agreement will do the following:
- Expand options counseling and pre-admission counseling programs. These programs provide people with information about community-based waivers and the opportunity to discuss their options to receive services in the community. DODD will extend these programs to people who live in eight-bed ICFs.
- Maintain peer-to-peer and family-to-family programs and exploratory community visits for people who have not yet made a decision. DODD will continue to fund programs that connect people who are considering community living with families and individuals who are already living and working in community settings. DODD will continue to provide opportunities to visit community programs and see what types of service options exist in a person’s preferred geographic area.
- Expand access to state-funded Individual Options waivers for people who choose a waiver. DODD will provide a total of 700 new waiver slots over the first two years of the agreement, with 350 during fiscal year 2020 and another 350 for fiscal year 2021. The first priority will be ICF residents who seek an exit waiver to live in the community, and people who are eligible for ICF placement but want a diversion waiver to continue living in the community. For the next two years, DODD will request additional funds based on an assessment of the future needs.
- Support and expand programs for integrated, affordable housing, and integrated employment and day services. For state fiscal years 2019 and 2020, DODD will provide $24 million in capital housing assistance, primarily for people with I/DD receiving exit, diversion, or conversion waivers. In state fiscal years 2021 and 2022, DODD will project the continuing need for capital assistance and request budgetary approval, for no less than $12 million dollars. DODD also intends to request $250,000 to fund new integrated day and employment services.
- Continue follow-along visits for people after they have left ICFs. Under this program, DODD Community Resource Coordinators visit people who have moved to the community to assist in resolving any service problems they may have. These visits occur at 60, 180, and 365 days after transition from an ICF of eight or more beds.
The Ball v. DeWine class includes all Medicaid-eligible adults with I/DD who on, or after March 31, 2016, were qualified for home- and community-based services, and who are interested in receiving community-based services. Approximately 6,000 people with I/DD were qualified for home- and community-based services, and after receiving options counseling affirmatively request community-based services.
A link to the full text of “Settlement Agreement Draft In Ball v. DeWine, Exhibit A” may be found in the OPEN MINDS Circle Library at www.openminds.com/market-intelligence/resources/101819settlementballvdewineexhiba.htm.
A link to the full text of “Settlement Agreement Draft In Ball v. DeWine, Class Notice” may be found in the OPEN MINDS Circle Library at www.openminds.com/market-intelligence/resources/101819settlementballvdewineclassnotice.htm.
OPEN MINDS reported on the initial filing in “Ohio Disability Wait List For HCBS May Violate Americans With Disabilities Act,” which published on September 25, 2016. The article is available at https://www.openminds.com/market-intelligence/news/doj-statement-interest-ohio-disability-wait-list-lawsuit-says-wait-lists-hcbs-may-violate-ada/.
OPEN MINDS last reported on the lawsuit in “Judge Grants Class Action Status To Ohio I/DD Segregation Lawsuit,” which published on April 29, 2018. The article is available at https://www.openminds.com/market-intelligence/news/judge-grants-class-action-status-to-ohio-i-dd-segregation-lawsuit/.
11/11 editors note: The article was corrected per information from Ohio DODD.
For more information, contact:
- Jeremiah Wagner, Legislative Director, Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, 30 East Broad Street, Floor 12, Columbus, Ohio 43215; 614-728-5311; Email: Jeremiah.Wagner@dodd.ohio.gov; Website: https://dodd.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/dodd/
- Cathy Costanzo, Executive Director, The Center for Public Representation, 22 Green Street, Northampton, Massachusetts 01060; 413-586-6024; Email: email@example.com; Website: https://centerforpublicrep.org/
- Mallory Tarr, Community Relations Specialist, Ability Center of Greater Toledo, 5605 Monroe Street, Sylvania, Ohio 43560; 419-885-5733; ext. 277; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: https://www.abilitycenter.org/
- Disability Rights Ohio, 200 Civic Center Drive, Suite 300, Columbus, Ohio 43215; 800-282-9181; Website: https://disabilityrightsohio.org/