Progress is being made on transformation at Quadco Rehabilitation Center (QRC) according to Executive Director Bruce Abell. Speaking to the QRC board members at their regular monthly meeting on Tuesday (April 28), Mr. Abell said that talks are being held with area companies that could add four more community-based work sites for the individuals they serve.
The sites would be in addition to the community-based enclave where people from QRC have been working at Altenloh, Brinck & Co. of Bryan, known for their SPAX and TRUFAST fastener products.
Mr. Abell continued a review that the board members have been holding each month of recent actions that are affecting services for people with disabilities.
He referenced the state budget process and pointed out that while the governor presented a budget to the state legislature, the Ohio House members passed their own version that changed some of the items.
According to the Pipeline publication e-mailed from the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD), changes made by the House to DODD items in the budget included revisions to changes affecting the Intermediate Care Facility Program, the removal of the provision transitioning independent providers to a new supervisory model, and the establishment of a Developmental Center Closure Commission.
The publication also noted there was clarification around changes to Adult Day Services.
On that subject it said, “New language specifies that it is the General Assembly’s intent to ensure individuals who are receiving Adult Day services, including sheltered workshops, must be fully informed of any new home and community-based options, and will be able to continue receiving services in a variety of settings.”
Mr. Abell pointed out that members of the Ohio Senate have said that they intend to produce their own version of the budget, so QRC board members will need to watch to see what provisions are to be put into place when a final version is reached.
He also mentioned a story he saw recently about how the Lucas County Board of DD, like the other county boards in the state, is facing proposed changes by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to move people from settings they term to be isolating by 2019.
Mr. Abell said that the Lucas County Board superintendent and board members felt they simply needed more time to modify their sheltered workshops, schools, day programs and other programs to make an effective transition.
He also said that the board felt that the new rules don’t allow for the individuals and family members to make a choice of what they feel is the best setting for an individual.
Mr. Abell told the board members that he knows there are changes coming to QRC, and they will continue working on a plan to transform the organization.
Still, while he sees changes coming to QRC and the way people will be served, he says he intends not to introduce them too fast, if possible. He says he wants to make sure there is time for people to understand them and adapt to them.
Two people received jobs this past month as part of QRC’s employment service. Sharon von Seggern, manager of QRC’s Northwest Employment Services, said they are working with 16 people who have been referred to the service for job development and other employment services. She said two people in the last month have found a job with the assistance of the service.
She also noted that they will soon be starting the summer youth work experience program in conjunction with Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities. The program helps young people explore their career choices, learn lessons to help them be successful on a job and get on-the-job work experience during the summer months.
In the lone action item, the board members approved a new policy pertaining to access of QRC buildings. The policy requires visitors to sign in at QRC facilities and to request the use of a meeting room at least 24 hours in advance.
Mr. Abell said the center has had a sign in book at several sites for years, but no policy for it. The policy to use rooms asks people call ahead to avoid conflicts of more than one meeting scheduled at a time for a room and to allow for an understanding of who is on the property. For the safety and security of the people being served and the guests, the board felt the policy was warranted.