Hometown Care, Centered on You

Issue #65

May 2014

Community Connection

Message from the Board

Welcome to the 65th edition of the iCircle Community Connection! We are moving closer to a readiness review with the NYS DOH for the iCircle Care(MLTC) plan. iCircle and the NYS DOH have been working together weekly to ensure a successful development and review. We look forward to sharing the date and outcome soon with all of you. iCircle staff continues to travel the region and meet with providers to learn more about how to best serve our future membership.   Central New York has many similarities, but what we find more as we meet with people is a wide variation of both innovation and challenges in service delivery from county to county.   We are lucky to have a robust network of providers who are finding ways to meet the needs of people every day, often with limited resources. iCircle is grateful for the feedback and information we have learned. We utilize in the daily development and implementation of both the iCircle Care and Prime plans.   This is truly allowing iCirlce to deliver on our promise of being provider and member driven. When we are able, we look forward to sharing more detail about our plans, processes, and procedures. Until then, we appreciate all of you staying engaged with us weekly.   Please feel free to contact us at any time should you have any questions.  

Thank you for your support! 


OPWDD Welcomes Feedback on HCBS

A recent correspondence from the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) stated they have published on its website an opportunity for the public to comment on the upcoming renewal application of the Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) waiver.  The renewal will seek to extend the waiver for another five year period, beginning on October 1, 2014.  This HCBS application will include an HCBS Settings Transition Plan which lays out the steps that OPWDD will take to examine services and how they meet the new requirements for HCBS services that were established in federal regulations that became final on March 17, 2014.  These federal regulations require that all States create transition plans to evaluate compliance with the new federal rules.   OPWDD is working with the New York State Department of Health and other New York State agencies on the state’s overall transition plan.   This communication applies specifically to OPWDD’s 1915 c Comprehensive HCBS Waiver. Click here to for additional information.

Fitness Trainer Helps People with Disabilities

Recently CNN showcased Ned Norton , a fitness trainer for Olympians and Body Builders, who formed Warriors on Wheels to help people with developmental and physical disabilities reach their health and fitness goals.   For the past 25 years, Norton has dedicated himself to providing free and low-cost strength and conditioning training for hundreds of people living with a variety of disabilities. His clients' disabilities include spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and down syndrome.   Ned’s story is an inspiration to us all. iCircle encourages our network to focus on the health and wellness of the people we serve.  

Click here to learn more about this recent CNN Hero.

Program Spotlight: Self-Directed Community Hab

The Southern Tier Independence Center (STIC) has recently expanded their Community Habilitation program to include Self-Directed Community Habilitation (SDCH). The program serves Broome, Chenango and Tioga Counties.

This service is completely one-on-one and works with people with developmental disabilities of all ages, to learn new skills or enhance those they already have. The SDHC is designed to help individuals achieve satisfying and rewarding connections within their community. This service is meant to be flexible, person-centered and provided in the home and/or community where an individual wishes to gain skills.

What makes the SDCH different?

It is all about the self-direction! The individuals and/or their families get to choose who their staff will be. The purpose of the self-direction service model is to expand individual choice and control over the services and supports that people need to live in the community. Self-directed services are grounded in the principle of “person-centered planning,” which focuses on building a life plan around an individual’s preferences, strengths, and abilities. Families, friends and professionals are involved in both the planning and delivery of services, as desired by the individual.

When an individual chooses to self-direct his/her Community Habilitation (CH) services, it means:

  • The individual is choosing to exercise employer authority (to select and supervise staff and potentially recommend dismissal).
  • The individual and people he/she knows and trust can decide what he/she needs staff to do to help him/her and what hours the service is needed.
  • The individual determines what supports and activities happen and when (based on an approved allocation of hours by OPWDD).

Who can self-direct?

An adult who is capable of making informed choices and is willing to manage his/her self-directed service or who has selected a family member or other identified adult representative (also referred to as “manager of services”) (MOS) willing to assist in making choices and co-manage supports and services.  It is also available to individuals who may not be capable of making informed choices, but has a representative who is available and willing to make informed choices and co-manage services on his/her behalf.

A child/young adult with an identified adult representative who is a parent, a legal guardian, family member or other identified adult available and willing to make informed choices on behalf of the individual and co-manage the individual’s supports and services.


In order to be eligible to participate in Self-Directed Community Habilitation an individual must:

  1. Meet all of the general eligibility criteria for HCBS Waiver services
  2. Meet all of the eligibility requirements for Medicaid.
  3. Maintain OPWDD and Medicaid eligibility for the duration of time service is provided.
  4. Participate in information sessions geared to provide general information about the rights and responsibilities associated with the self-directed services model.
  5. Have the capacity and desire to self-direct or be willing and able to appoint a representative who can self-direct on behalf of or with him/her.

“Invividuals we support have embraced this new model with enthusiasm and excitement,” stated Maria Dibble, Executive Director of STIC. “We have barely been able to keep up with demand. We kicked off the program in November of last year, and we have approximately 100 people either receiving services or in the process of hiring, developing plans, etc.”

For more information contact STIC at 1.607.724.2111 or visit their website here.

Thank you for your Support!

iCircle Services

Mission: iCircle Services is a service portal where individuals with developmental disabilities 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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