What is a Developmental Disability (DD)?
According to the Developmental Disabilities Act (Pub. L. 106-402), the term developmental disability means a severe, chronic disability that is attributable to a mental or physical impairment or a combination of those impairments; occurs before the individual reaches age 22, is likely to continue indefinitely; results in substantial functional limitations in three or more of the following areas of major life activity:
(ii.) receptive and expressive language,
(vi.) capacity for independent living, and
(vii.) economic self-sufficiency;
and reflects the individual’s need for a combination and sequence of special, interdisciplinary, or generic services, individualized supports, or other forms of assistance that are of lifelong or extended duration and are individually planned and coordinated. Before the age of ten, an infant or child with developmental delays may be considered to have an intellectual or developmental disability if his or her disabilities are likely to meet the above criteria without intervention.
What does AHRC stand for?
AHRC Nassau, the Nassau Chapter of The Arc New York (formerly NYSARC, INC), was originally an acronym for the “Association for the Help of Retarded Children.” After many years of advocacy across the nation and internationally by people served and their families, the term “mental retardation” is no longer used. In its place the terms intellectual and other developmental disabilities is the common language which is now reflected in state and federal law.
In 2005, our name was officially changed to “AHRC Nassau” and we continue to using the “AHRC Nassau” as we have been known for 70 years. However, please note that AHRC is not an acronym, these letters no longer stand for the words that the letters once represented.
What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, most recently released as the DSM-5 in 2013, is used by many organizations, individuals and government to diagnosis psychiatric disorders such as autism.
The DSM-5 redefined autism. Its predecessor, the DSM-IV-TR, included five Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDDs): Autistic Disorder, Asperger’s Disorder, Rett’s Disorder, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder and Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS).
In the DSM-5, Autistic Disorder, Asperger’s Disorder and PDD-NOS are replaced by the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Additionally, the DSM-5 also reduces social-related elements of autism into social communication impairment and repetitive/restricted behaviors, though the labels of Asperger’s and PDD-NOS are still in common use.
Autism specifically is defined by federal education law as “a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction…that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. Other characteristics associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences.” People with autism vary widely in their intelligence and abilities, as well as in the behaviors they exhibit.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism affects an estimated 1 in 59 children in the United States today. Autism Spectrum Disorder is four times more commonly diagnosed in boys than girls. Research shows that early intervention leads to positive outcomes later in life for people with autism.
People with disabilities are people, first and foremost.
Person-centered Language seeks to focus on the person first and the disability last. For example, a person is not autistic, they have autism. Describe what a person has, rather than what he/she IS. It recognizes the individuality of each person and that each person is deserving of respect.
When referencing the people we support, it is important to use respectful language that reflects all of the positive changes in perceptions that have been made over the years.
Using the wrong words and descriptors can reinforce outdated language and stereotypes. We encourage everyone to understand and embrace Person-centered Language.
Members of the media have a special role to play when referencing our organization and the people we serve. Phrases such as “the disabled” or “mentally retarded” or “special needs person” are not just politically incorrect, they’re discourteous to the people being referenced.
By using Person-centered Language, we are encouraging respect through accurate, nonjudgmental descriptions.
A Few Examples:
|Children/adults with disabilities||Handicapped, disabled, special needs|
|He has a cognitive disability||He’s mentally retarded|
|Accessible parking, hotel room, etc.||Handicapped parking, hotel room, etc.|
Courtesy of Kathie Snow “People First Language”. Please view Snow’s article for additional examples and a more detailed discussion.
What services are right for us and how do we get started?
We are dedicated to assisting people with developmental disabilities, which includes Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) in obtaining the services and supports that will help them gain independence and fulfill their personal goals. We will provide you with information about available options and walk you through the process of obtaining services that fit your individual needs.
Let Us Be Your Guide.
Connect with us at (516) 644-4800 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Where is AHRC located? How can I get there?
AHRC has multiple locations throughout Nassau County. You may visit our Directions Page to see these facilities. Our main campus is located at 189 Wheatley Road, Brookville, NY 11545.
AHRC Nassau has been designated a COMPASS agency by the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities. Of the more than 750 provider agencies in New York State, only four (4) are currently designated as a COMPASS agency.
The COMPASS designation is achieved by empowering people supported in all aspects of their lives, allowing for self determination. In addition, the agency must demonstrate the ability to consistently provide quality supports and services that exceed minimal regulatory requirements. As a result being a COMPASS agency, AHRC Nassau has the responsibility of performing robust self-survey processes which are annually validated by OPWDD.
In 2018, CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership recognized AHRC Nassau with Person-Centered Excellence Accreditation With Distinction, its highest designation. CQL promotes excellence in person-centered services and supports that lead to an increased quality of life for people receiving supports and services. There are less than 30 organizations world-wide who have achieved this accreditation which is reflective of our unparalleled commitment to the people supported by our services, our staff, families and the community in which we all live.
AHRC Nassau and partnering organization Citizens Options Unlimited, are the only two agencies in New York State to achieve both COMPASS designation and CQL’s Person-Centered Excellence Accreditation With Distinction.
New York State has announced that it is transitioning to managed care beginning in January of 2021. NYS OPWDD is currently working with stakeholders to identify the standards that will define health, quality of life, personal/ positive outcomes for people receiving services and how these outcomes will be measured. OPWDD and stakeholders are in the process of identifying positive outcome measures to improve quality of life, informed choice, self-direction and advocacy and/or community inclusion.
AHRC Nassau, holding both the COMPASS designation and CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership Person-Centered Excellence Accreditation With Distinction, is ready to meet the challenges of a transforming system that will continue its commitment to excellence in providing quality supports and services which are person-centered and create personal value for the people receiving our services.
This is information provided below was gathered from the Office of People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) website.
- What is Health Home Care Management?
Health Home Care Management is a way to coordinate care that combines developmental disability services and supports with health and wellness services, to provide more options, greater flexibility and better outcomes. Health Home Care Management is provided by Care Coordination Organizations (CCOs).
- What is a CCO?
CCOs are organizations formed by developmental disability service providers. These organizations are staffed by Care Managers with training and experience in the field of developmental disabilities. These organizations began their services on July 1, 2018.
- What is a Care Manager?
A Care Manager is a person who works with you to create your Life Plan. Your Care Manager supports the coordination of services across systems, including the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), the Department of Health and the Office of Mental Health, providing you one place to plan all your service needs.
- What is a Life Plan?
The Life Plan reflects your life goals and changing needs. Your Care Manager will work with you to create a plan based on your wants and needs. Your Life Plan will include coordination of your developmental disability related supports and your other services, like medical, dental and mental health. It is reviewed routinely and updated as needed.
- Am I required to participate in Health Home Care Management?
If you do not want to receive the more comprehensive care management that will be provided with Health Home Care Management, you can consider the option of Basic Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Plan Support. Basic HCBS Plan Support will also be provided by the CCO, but it is a very minimal coordination option, and will not include coordination of health care or mental health services. With Basic HCBS Plan Support, your contact with the person coordinating your services will be limited.
- Will I be able to choose my own services and providers?
Yes, you will choose your services and providers. Within the CCO, a team of professionals, including your Care Manager, will work together with you to coordinate your developmental disability and/or long-term care services, as well as other types of services, based on your wants and needs. You will be able to choose a CCO provider in your region and your service providers.
- How do I enroll with a CCO to receive Care Management?
Your OPWDD Front Door contact will provide you with information about CCOs available in your area. The CCO you choose will assist you with enrollment. You will also need to choose between Health Home Care Management and Basic HCBS Plan Support.
- Can I change my mind once I choose a CCO?
If you are not happy with the Care Management being provided by the CCO you choose, you can choose another Care Manager in that CCO and/or change the level of service you receive. You may also choose a different CCO within your region.
- What will happen if the CCO decides to change my services or give me fewer services?
The CCO does not authorize services and therefore will not be able to take away or lessen your services, including self-directed services. You, in partnership with your care team, will identify the supports and services you receive based on your wants and needs. OPWDD Regional Offices will continue to authorize supports and services.
- Is Health Home Care Management a form of Managed Care? No, Health Home Care Management should not be confused with Managed Care. Managed Care is expected to be implemented in New York State beginning on January 1, 2021.
- What is managed care?
Managed care is a payment system in which a Managed Care Organization (MCO) receives money that will be paid to a group or network of providers to plan and deliver all of a person’s medical, behavioral and developmental disabilities services and supports.
- How is this different?
Currently, AHRC Nassau receives payment for the services it delivers from the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) for the “units” or hours of service provided to a person. This is called “fee-for-service” payment system.When manage care is fully implemented by New York State beginning in January 2021, Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) will contract with NYS to manage cost, utilization and quality of services through a network of provider agencies to meet the needs of people (members) who have selected that particular managed care organization.AHRC Nassau is a member of Partners Health Plan, a non-profit Managed Care Organization with expertise in providing quality services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.Further, New York State (NYS) is planning to implement a system of “value-based payment” through the MCOs to reward/incentivize providers to deliver high quality supports and to explore new ways for providing better services. AHRC Nassau, is uniquely positioned to meet the challenges of a transforming system that will continue its commitment to excellence in providing quality supports and services which are person-centered and create personal value for the people receiving our services.