Hometown Care, Centered on You

Issue #56

March 2014

Community Connection

Message from the Board

Greetings! Daylight Savings is fast approaching, which means Spring is just around the corner! As we enter a new season and the first quarter of the year is rapidly coming to a close, iCircle is excited for what is to come this Spring.

iCircle continues to work on development of a DISCO plan that will be able to offer managed care services to people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in a 22-county region.   With a recent update from OPWDD (see more below) of voluntary enrollment into managed care this fall, iCircle anticipates the final application for entities intending to be a DISCO will be released soon. When this occurs, we will continue to be transparent and communicate requirements for services and the progress we are making.

In addition, we remain focused on our application that is under review with the NYS Department of Health to offer a managed long-term care plan. We hope to provide an update on the final stages toward licensure and approval soon.  

Thank you for continuing to stay engaged and connected to iCircle Services through this time of transformation.

Update from OPWDD:

The Office of Persons with Developmental Disabilities issued a new 2014 update that provides information on Home and Community Based Services and updates on the Transformation Agreement and negotiations with CMS. Highlights include:

  • CMS released its final rulemaking related to Home and Community Based (HCBS) Services and Person-Centered Planning which will become effective March 13, 2014. Learn more here.
  • OPWDD will submit the HCBS Waiver renewal application in April 2014.
  • The application will include updates to the managed care applications (1915 b and 1915 c) that allow OPWDD to be authorized to enroll individuals into managed care organizations in October 2014.

New services included in the renewal application include:

Pathway to Employment – a new person-centered, comprehensive career planning and support service to provide assistance to people in obtaining, maintaining, and advance in competitive employment or self-employment.

Systemic Therapeutic Assessment, Respite, and Treatment (START) – an evidence-informed model for crisis prevention and intervention services. START is a linkage model that will promote a system of care in the provision of community services, natural supports, and mental health treatment to people with Intellectual and developmental disabilities and mental health issues (IDD/MH).

Community Transitional Services – are individually designed services that will assist a waiver participants to transition from a certified residence to living in the community.

Progress Made on Transformation Agreement Deliverables

In a recent update from the Office of Persons with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), they stated they continue to meet all of the benchmarks outlined in the Transformation Agreement with CMS. The most recent January 1, 2014 Quarterly Report addresses the accomplishment and most recent status of these goals as follows:

  • Closure of Taconic and Finger Lakes Developmental Centers and transition of individuals into home and community-based settings.
  • Progress has been made to increase the availability of supportive housing options and the number of housing units available to persons being transitioned from ICFs and meeting HCBS standards.
  • Increase in number of new beneficiaries’ self-direction by 654 individuals, which met the goal of 425 by October 1, 2013.
  • Education of 1,500 additional stakeholders about self-direction during the quarter.
  • OPWDD has submitted the final Employment Plan and Policy on Self-Direction.

The Health System Transformation for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD’s Transformation Agreement with CMS includes a series of shared goals that will improve opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the areas of employment, integrated living, and self-direction of services. Learn more here

Pathway to Employment


You can learn more about this new service to help increase competitive employment opportunities for people with development and intellectual disabilities by clicking here.

Service Spotlight: Senior Day Habilitation

Lifespan’s Senior Day Habilitation Program prides itself on offering Intellectually and/or Developmentally Disabled adults ages 45 years and older throughout Monroe County a “retirement” opportunity. Having converted to a Medicaid Group Day Habilitation Program in October of 2008, Lifespan is now a non-medical Day Habilitation Program with the capacity to serve up to 30 individuals. With three full-time Day Habilitation Specialists and one part-time Senior Companion, Lifespan’s program offers a variety of opportunities including; volunteering, cooking, physical recreation, arts and crafts.

People who attend Lifespan’s Day Program spend time in community in a variety of ways. Opportunities to learn and explore in the community have included outings to local attractions such as, The Rochester Museum and Science Center, The Hansen Nature Center, Seneca Park Zoo, Mendon Ponds Park, Rochester’s Annual Lilac Festival, and the George Eastman House to name a few. In addition to community recreation and integration, people have the opportunity to engage in regularly scheduled sessions of Music Therapy contracted with Hochstein School of Music, as well as, Pet Therapy offered by Lollypop Farm.

At the center of the planning are the people who attend the program and they take great pride in being a part of the planning process of the curriculum and daily activities schedule.   Lifespan Day Habilitation Specialists host a monthly planning session to allow participants the opportunity to contribute their thoughts and ideas on daily activities. This process truly embraces person centered programming and allows for a more self-directed environment.

An individual wishing to retire from a vocational setting and are preparing to take on the second half of life to age in place with their peers is a typical referral for Lifespan’s Day Habilitation program. Often at times family members of people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities whom have never received services in a certified setting have contact Lifespan looking for guidance and assistance. They want to offer their loved one an opportunity to integrate into the community, learn and acquire new skills, as well as, increase their independence in a welcoming home like setting, like Lifespan.

Lifespan’s Day Habilitation Program operates from 9:00 am – 2:30 pm, Monday –Friday. Transportation to and from the program is provided by Medical Motors Services.  For further information or to arrange a tour please contact Program Coordinator, Heather Zeiner at (585) 244-8400 x 132 or email at hzeiner@lifespan-roch.org.

Celebrating Disabilities Awareness Month!

Conquering Your Dream!

To help commemorate Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, we wanted to share a story we came across about what it means to be a true ‘Champion’.

Jimmy Jenson took eight hours to complete the New York City Marathon and when he did, he become the first person with Down Syndrome to ever complete the renowned 26.2 mile race!   Read his story of determination, perseverance, and how he conquered his dream by clicking here!

The Advocacy Center Helps Educate and Spread Awareness

We are More Alike than Different is the message the Advocacy Center is using to help promote understanding and awareness of people with disabilities during the month of March.   We encourage you to visit their website by clicking here  to learn about a variety resources, workshops and events to help educate the community.

Social Media Making an Impact to End the R-Word

The Huffington Post and the Special Olympics are working in conjunction to Spread the Word to End the Word. On March 4, they posted an article entitled “What Really Happens When You Use the R-Word”, that has been flooding social media sites. iCircle applauds the efforts to not only the author, the Huffington Post, and the Special Olympics, but to everyone who shares this on their social media sites.   Social media is a popular way we all communicate with our friends, family, and/or colleagues; take this opportunity to spread some awareness and education.

You can read the article by clicking here!

You can take the pledge here! Then tweet about it using text provided "I pledge #Respect thru my words & actions. Will you? Pledge now to create communities of inclusion for people with ID http://r-word.org. " And don’t forget to share on Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media sites too!


Thank you for your Support!

iCircle Services

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Mission: It is the goal of iCircle Services to be a service portal where individuals and their families can self-direct, advocate, and secure the supports and services that best fit their needs. We are guided by individual choice, inclusion, diversity, cultural competence, respect, community, learning and empowerment for those we serve.

Vision: iCircle Services will establish a comprehensive, sustainable, trusted, and compassionate system of supports and services that will help empower families and individuals with developmental disabilities to promote their happiness, independence and inclusion as productive members of our community.

Contact Us:
Phone: 1-844-iCircle (424-7253)
Email: info@icirclecny.org
Website: www.icirclecny.org

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