ADEC, Inc. has been supporting families in our communities for nearly 68 years by providing services and advocating for families and individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. At ADEC, we believe that all individuals deserve to live a life full of informed choice and possibility and we strive to create opportunities for their voices to be heard. As a part of ADEC’s strategic initiatives – Family Forum Series – on Friday, January 17th, ADEC opened the Gaining Grounds Conference Center to the community to participate in a webinar, offered by the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA), Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services (DDRS), , This webinar introduced Hoosiers to the broader transformational change to Indiana’s Medicaid Waiver funding and programs for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The webinar introduced families and providers of services to the Indiana’s Waiver Redesign Initial Concept Paper.

This journey started in September 2018 with the purpose and focus on laying a new foundation to build a support services structure that is a launchpad to a full life as each individual defines it. In April 2019, a waiver redesign project kickoff led by DDRS, with principles of the LifeCourse Framework, and the team of project experts contracted from Human Services Research Institute (HSRI) –began its multi-year process to modernize and improve the services and supports for individuals living with IDD. The Indiana’s Waiver Redesign Initial Concept Paper is the first outcome of the project. This concept paper offers stakeholders an opportunity to weigh in.

By offering Indiana’s Waiver Redesign Initial Concept Paper to the public, DDRS is giving the community an opportunity to provide input on core issues that impact them and/or their loved ones who live with intellectual and developmental disabilities. To witness the Gaining Grounds Conference Center room packed with stakeholders, who listened intently and provided questions to the presenters, gave testament to our community’s unwavering commitment to protect the rights of all, especially those living with an IDD.

Deb Shively, a mother whose son is a client here at ADEC, shared why she believed it was important for her to attend the webinar.

“When I see there’s a movement–where I can have an input on that improvement–I want to take part. There will be a time when I am not here and you step back, ‘If I was gone tomorrow, how is ‘Alex’s life going to be?… The more communication the better and the more education the better. I want to be informed so that I can make an educated choice and have an educated input.”

Donna Belusar, ADEC’s CEO/President, agrees with Ms. Shively and believes that having these events are crucial in ensuring that stakeholders feel empowered when choosing the services that best suit their needs.

“Over the next several months, families and individuals will have an extraordinary opportunity to provide feedback directly to our state officials in making transformational changes to the system of supports for people with IDD and their families. There will be multiple opportunities for them to give feedback, share ideas, and help DDRS form the resulting plan for redesign. ADEC will be alongside all the way in championing their voices for changes which would best help Hoosiers achieve their good life.”

ADEC has a history of helping families navigate the complex maze of government services and local resources — even if they do not use that waiver to receive services from ADEC. Carrying on the tradition of advocacy and arming the public with critical information is who we are, so be sure to stay tuned for more opportunities to get involved.