The past few weeks have brought us all challenges never before imaginable, but we have also witnessed the amazing strength of character, spirit and dedication of the many LCBDD and Provider direct-service, professional, support, and management staff who have have worked together valiantly, selflessly, and with remarkable innovation, enhance the education and assure the health and well-being of individuals served by the LCBDD.
Late Friday (5-8-2020), the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) issued Guidance regarding the re-opening of Adult Day Support (ADS) programs. The Guidance includes restrictions on group size (no more than 10 people in a group, including staff and individuals receiving services), as well as restrictions on physical environment for each group of 10, as noted below:
*Must have separate entrance/exit
*Must have separate bathroom facilities
*Staggered times to use entrances/exits and/or bathrooms are not permitted
*Must have unique staff assigned to each group (no sharing of staff) in each space
*Each group’s space must accommodate people being at least 6-ft apart
*Each group’s space must be completely segregated from other groups by solid walls
While we recognize that many individuals are eager to return to their ADS programs, the restrictions on group size and physical environment cannot be accommodated in most LCBDD programs, as they were previously structured. At this time, under these restrictions, the LCBDD will only be able to open the JCR Imagine Program and the Vocational Guidance Center (limiting VGC participants only to residents of ARC and JCDC) effective May 18, 2020.
Willoughby Branch and Broadening Abilities cannot be opened until (if and when) the restrictions on physical environment are changed by DODD.
Community Employment Services are not impacted by the restrictions on group size or physical environment, but are impacted by employers’ abilities to re-open their businesses, and in what format or business model they re-open.
Adult Day and Vocational programs operated by Private Providers are also subject to these same restrictions on group size and physical environments. However, many of these ADS programs can more readily accommodate these restrictions and are re-opening within the next weeks. Many of these Providers are also able to provide ADS options in smaller, community-based settings, approved by DODD as part of a new model representing a Start Toward Emerging Possibilities (STEP).
DODD has emphasized that “Ohio will need to reimagine how day, employment, and vocational services are provided,” as the future of larger, congregate programs is uncertain.
The return to any ADS service must be carefully planned by the individual receiving services and his/her Team. In the next days, QIDPs and Service and Support Administrators will be contacting each ARC, JCDC, and waiver enrollee and his/her guardian to discuss their desire and ability to return to an ADS service, as well as the ADS options available to meet the individual’s desires and needs.
Thank you for your patience, understanding, and support as we continue to navigate these unprecedented times.
Hoping you and your loved ones remain healthy and safe.
Elfie Roman ,