by Kellie McCain of the DD Council
Kentucky’s Commission on Services and Supports for Individuals with Intellectual and Other Developmental Disabilities (also known as HB 144 Commission) advises the Governor and General Assembly about the service system that impacts the lives of people with disabilities. A sub-committee of the HB 144 commission was established to address issues impacting employment for persons with developmental disabilities. Comprised of members representing state agencies, service providers, advocacy agencies, lawmakers and people with developmental disabilities, the committee has set out to identify what must occur to create an efficient employment system that is supportive of people with developmental disabilities obtaining meaningful employment in the Commonwealth.
The sub-committee has met several times since fall of 2018. An overarching goal was developed to shape and influence policies that impact employment for persons with developmental disabilities. The sub-committee recognized people with developmental disabilities contribute socially, civically and economically to the Commonwealth. The sub-committee is committed to ensuring this message is conveyed to the business community.
In order to influence policies, the sub-committee is focusing on the development of a comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote an Employment First agenda throughout the Commonwealth. The MOU must be established across all state agencies involved in employment and economic development. The sub-committee further identified that restructuring employment services through the Department of Medicaid 1915c waivers must occur. Recommendations are being developed to submit to the Department of Medicaid.
The final issue the sub-committee is addressing is the vital service of transportation for people to have access to in order to work. Committee members are engaging with Transportation planning processes to assure needs of the DD community are being addressed. The sub-committee chair is Kellie McCain, Director of the Commonwealth Council on Developmental Disabilities, and co-chair is Kathy Sheppard-Jones, Director of the Human Development Institute at the University of Kentucky. The next meeting of the Employment sub-committee is scheduled for April 23, 2019.