March 2019

Arkay is seeking to expand its reach and its services. We are reviewing the feasibility in having a location in Monroe County for Supported Employment, Skill Building, & Respite Care. Further, we have been panelized by DWMHA for new services such as Supports Coordination, Transportation, Community Living Supports, & Respite Care. One of the services being phased in currently is Respite Care.  

Soon, Arkay is looking to set up 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. This need has existed for decades, and Arkay is looking at ways to address that need. Yet, it is more than simply providing housing, these independent living communities will provide much needed supports & social interactions as well. Currently, this project is in the feasibility stage, and the site for this community has been established.

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. The goal of the HCBS Final Rule is to make sure that the services individuals receive, give people the opportunity for independence in making life decisions, to fully participate in community life, and to ensure that individuals’ rights are respected. This requires statewide compliance by March 17, 2019.

Arkay will need to continue to emphasize community integration with supported employment and skill building 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 consumers.

Best Regards,

Kevin McGuckin

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