Brodie Brennan 0

Disability Rights-Hear our Voice

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A Petition from Self-Directed Participants, their families and advocates to Md. DDA Director Bernie Simons, Governor Larry Hogan and Andy Slavitt, Acting Administrator for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The Maryland Developmental Disabilities Administration’s proposed Amendment 2 to the HCBS Community Pathways Waiver will reduce person-centeredness, flexibility, family involvement and cost-effectiveness for current and future Self-Directed Services participants. Furthermore, in relation to SDS participants DDA has been unable to observe the spirit of CMS guidelines for transparency and stakeholder input. I request that DDA rewrite Amendment 2 so that all Self-Directed Services remain as they are now. I also request that DDA form a self-directed services workgroup which would include a majority of authentic SDS stakeholders-- participants, family members and advocates-- who could develop alternatives to DDA’s current proposal. Possible solutions include the following:

1 Reserving all changes to Self-Directed Services for the proposed Amendment 3-- after careful consideration from the SDS workgroup and input from SDS participants and families.

2. Returning the Self-Directed Services model to its own separate Waiver which would be rewritten by the workgroup and reviewed by SDS participants and families.

Although SDS participants represent a minority of DDA participants, they have led the way for people with developmental disabilities, demonstrating that purposeful activities and community integration are achievable goals -- even for people with severe disabilities. Overlaying a web of regulations designed to fix the flaws in traditional programs on a thriving SDS program is nonsensical—and inherently wrong. DDA’s move to improve the lives of people with developmental disabilities is praiseworthy. However, in its surge to transform traditional services, DDA must ensure that the outstanding programs of self-directing individuals do not wind up as acceptable collateral damage. To read some of the stories of the participants and how their lives have changed please visit

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