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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 9, 2010

CONTACT
Jeanne Atkinson, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-8287

Over 800 People On Developmental Disabilities Wait List Get Services

Note: Sound bites on this topic are available at: http://www.dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/audio.aspx

Lincoln – The $10.5 million in state funding appropriated by the Legislature in 2009 is benefitting 833 people with developmental disabilities who had been waiting for services.

“We started by offering service options to those who’d been waiting the longest, and now we’re working our way up the wait list,” said Jodi Fenner, director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities in the Department of Health and Human Services. “We’re seeing people opt for less expensive, more self-directed services. This lets us stretch those dollars and make additional offers to other people on the wait list.”

Here is information on the three rounds of services offered to individuals:

  • 163 people on the wait list back to May 2004 accepted services offered to them in June 2009;
  • 433 people on the wait list back to December 2006 accepted services offered to them in August 2009; and
  • 237 people on the wait list back to December 2007 accepted services offered to them in March 2010.

“Our Service Coordinators and providers stepped up and worked hard to give people appropriate service options to choose from,” said Tricia Mason, director of the Division’s Community Based Services Section. “We’ll be offering another round of services this fall.”

Mason said that 567 of the 833 individuals are receiving services right now, and the rest are actively working with their Service Coordinators to find the most appropriate services for them.

Approximately 660 people on the wait list who have been offered services since June 2009 declined them at the time offered, were no longer interested in the service they had originally requested, or didn’t respond to the request.

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