DHS / DDS Waiting List Meeting
Thursday, June 8, 2017
Working Application Date February 2006
Represented in attendance:
20 – Parent or Family Member
10 – Self-Advocate (person with a disability)
4 – DHS/DDS
2 – OHCA (Health Care Authority)
6 – State Legislators (3-teleconferenced in)
Representing those on the Waiting List – 22
First Time Attendees – 20
Locations represented – Guthrie, Norman, Oklahoma City, Edmond, Ada, Kingfisher, Tulsa, Moore, Mustang, Midwest City, Owasso,
Community agencies, programs or organizations represented: Center for Learning and Leadership/OK UCEDD, Oklahoma Disability Law Center, Oklahoma Family Network, Sooner SUCCESS. Oklahoma Developmental Disability Council, TARC, Oklahoma Community Providers Association
Budget update given by Mark Jones. Mr. Jones reports that DHS’ appropriation was less the needed $27.6 million needed to be level to operate at the same level as the previous year. DHS is still looking at ways to balance their budget. They are required to submit a balanced budget at the end of this month.
- He was asked if DHS is talking to families to navigate the challenges that a reduction could have on the families. Mr. Jones reported that they have a good idea of the impact and they do not plan to have any one population more impacted than another.
- He was also asked specifically which programs were being targeted. Which Mr. Jones responded that he is not at liberty to discuss that at this time.
- Another question was if DHS is looking at state funded programs, and Mr. Jones responded that DHS is looking at ALL programs.
DDS is still waiting to learn if their budget will be cut and if so how much. They have not worked any applications and only those moving into state custody through child-welfare is going onto the waivers.
Partners in Policymaking – Erin Taylor Partners in Policymaking Coordinator Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council
Learn more about Partners in Policymaking Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council
Family Questions & Comments
- One more gave a very moving explanation of her two children’s needs. Both of her children have disabilities and her youngest has a very complex medical condition. She said he has had numerous brain surgeries considering he is still so young. She wanted to share about TEFRA and the need for this program to continue. TEFRA (Tax Equity for Fiscal Responsibility Act) https://www.okhca.org/individuals.aspx?id=172 is a way for children with very significant medical conditions or disabilities to access SoonerCare (Medicaid) when their parent’s income is too high to qualify. She said “If we didn’t have access to SoonerCare through TEFRA we would be bankrupt”
- Another mom spoke about the need for SoonerCare to cover ABA. He child accesses SoonerCare through TEFRA but SoonerCare does not allow for ABA therapy. She said her family is paying out of pocket and will in time run out of money.
I asked Rep. Osborn if she would say a few words to those attending:
Rep. Osborn, talked about the frustration with the past session at the State Capitol She said it shouldn’t be about party but about Oklahomans. She committed to continue to stand up for families who have loved ones with developmental disabilities.
Rep. Osborn continued by saying as the appropriation chair, she had very few legislators come to her and ask for more money for DHS except Rep. Ownbey. She said this to point out that legislators are not hearing from families, but they are hearing from business in their districts. The last comment she said was very powerful to me “When you make cuts you’re not cutting big evil government, you are cutting people.” She added “If you’re prolife, you’re prolife from birth to death.”
Thursday, September 7, 2017
Sequoyah Building Room C-47
2400 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Oklahoma City, OK