“The HCBS Settings Rule is an important step towards ensuring that people with disabilities can participate fully in their communities, achieve greater independence, and engage in social, recreational and employment opportunities that are meaningful to them. However, the integration and inclusion envisioned by the Rule cannot be fully realized without the hard work, dedication, and leadership of DSPs.
As a DSP, you have an important role to play in your states’ implementation of the Rule.
You have direct experience with the successes and challenges of supporting people in individualized, integrated community services. You can evaluate existing practices and service settings. You can recommend needed program changes. You can guide states’ systemic efforts to improve HCBS service models. You should share stories about ways you have found that help people experience community. When you see something that doesn’t work, share your insight into how it might be improved. Don’t underestimate the knowledge that you bring to the table.
You can help the people you support to put individual support plans in place. You can lead efforts to implement more individualized, person-centered services. You can help people receiving supports to direct their own plans. You can do this by helping the people you support share what is important to them. Then you can support the person to achieve their desired goals. Without DSPs, many dreams won’t be realized.
Your familiarity with the local community enables you to connect people to both formal and natural supports. You help increase people’s access to community programs and activities. You can also create opportunities for more individualized community involvement. You can serve as a bridge to meaningful community engagement.
You have personal knowledge of the people you support. You have day-to-day involvement in their lives. This provides opportunity for promoting greater autonomy, choice, and control over everything from activities of daily living, to choosing services or providers, to the development of independent living skills. You can make sure that people receiving services know that the HCBS Settings Rule gives them rights to further these goals. This includes their right to choose their own schedule, have visitors when they want, and choose with whom (if anyone) they want to live.”
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