April 2019

Arkay is seeking to expand its reach and its services. Arkay has been panelized by DWMHA for new services such as Supports Coordination, Transportation, Community Living Supports, & Respite Care. We are currently phasing in Respite Care. Respite means a break. Respite services offer short term, hourly or overnight relief for families taking care of a person with a developmental disability. These services give family members the opportunity to go out for an evening, take a vacation, take care of other needs, or simply take a break. Families of children and adults with developmental disabilities who are currently living with their parent(s) or guardian in Wayne County are eligible. Please call Arkay and ask for intake.

Currently, Arkay is involved in a feasibility study for independent integrated living apartments that could allow for families (i.e. aging parents) to live there as well. We are seeking to address a long-standing issue of what happens when a consumer’s parents, guardians, and caregivers are no longer able to take care of their loved ones. More to come…

At the Federal level, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published a new set of rules for the delivery of Home and Community Based Services through Medicaid waiver programs. Through these new rules, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services aim to improve the experience of individuals in these programs by enhancing access to the community, promoting the delivery of services in more integrated settings, and expanding the use of person-centered planning. These rules will ensure individuals who have disabilities have the same access to the community as individuals who do not have disabilities. It allows individuals the opportunity to make decisions about the services they receive and who provide their services.

For Oakland County, Arkay has applied for a vocational program with the theme of “Employment First”. Employment First, means that employment in the general workforce should be the first and preferred option for individuals with disabilities receiving assistance from publicly funded systems. Simply put, Employment First means real jobs, real wages. Employment in the general workforce means regular jobs like everyone else in society: in typical work settings, working side-by-side with people without disabilities, earning regular wages and benefits and being part of the economic mainstream of our society
Arkay will need to continue to emphasize community integration with our services. Full participation in community life: All individuals are supported to take part in their community and have the same access as other individuals in the community. This requires full participation in community life. Our goal is now to focus on integrated and unsubsidized employment for our customers.

Best Regards,

Kevin McGuckin