iCircle Services - Supporting Individual Choice and Empowerment
October 2013

Community Connection

Issue #37

Message from the Board

Over the weekend, iCircle attended the 2nd Annual Strides for Independence Disability Awareness Walk hosted by AIM Independent Living Center in Corning, NY. We had the chance to talk with some family members and a few of the other vendors about the changes to the service system that are happening in New York State and the role that DISCOs will play, as well as, what iCircle is and how we plan to serve communities across a 22 county region.

This week, we are happy to share with you the results from our focus groups (below). This information will help guide iCircle as we continue to develop our methods and best practices. As always, please feel free to reach out to us with any questions you have, or stories you would like to share. Email us at info@icirclecny.org and we will get right back to you.

Focus Group Feedback

Nine focus groups were held for individuals and families across our 22 county region. iCircle met with 60 families and individuals to get their feedback on a specific set of questions. From these discussions, there were similar responses that frequently emerged from each of the questions, with commonalities across regions, both urban and rural. We would like to share with you some of the most frequent responses that were heard for each of the questions that was asked:

1. What words or phrases come to mind when you think about services and supports?

  • Systems are inaccessible, frustrating
  • Uneven distribution; “Squeaky wheel get the grease”
  • Navigating the system is difficult; Doors get slammed; Told you don’t have the “right” paperwork
  • Waitlist - Make it through one just to be put on another
  • Insufficient respite for caregivers
  • Lack of choices

2. What does the ideal service look like?

  • Safeguards; Dignity of risk
  • Single point of entry; One place to find all resources
  • Respect
  • Quick turn around time for services and approvals; Ability to move through the system quicker; Streamlined
  • Consistency
  • Big book of resources
  • Making a connection with family member(s)
  • Services in their own neighborhood

3. The following is important to me when choosing services and supports:

  • Quality, Choice, Respect, Safe
  • Warm, caring people
  • Person-centered, single point of entry
  • Consistency, Dependability
  • Availability based on daily routines, not when hours are available
  • Serve the neighborhood

4. I have experienced the following barriers when trying to learn about, or access, services:

  • Transportation
  • Attitude - Can’t do that, it doesn’t work that way
  • MSCs don’t have the information to provide to families about ALL the services available and how to access
  • Salaries do not attract high quality workforce
  • Lack of available options
  • Lack of compassion from professionals
  • Language - Need for bilingual communication
  • Lack of mental health services

5. Where have you observed or experienced waste?

  • Changes that require meetings, paperwork and/or travel to fix a problem
  • Regulations - Spend so much time to make sure everything is recorded to pass an audit instead of being with family member(s)
  • MSCs that don't have the knowledge of all service options
  • Systems are so complicated they are wasteful
  • ISP meetings
  • Fingerprinting - Should occur only once

During discussions with families it was very clear how important parent networking and parent support groups were in assisting families with locating where services are and how to access them.

iCircle would like to thank all of the individuals and families who participated in the focus groups for taking the time to meet with us and share their ideas and experiences.

Provider Spotlight: Humanitarian Organization for Multicultural Experiences, Inc. (H.O.M.E.)

Established: 1991; Incorporated in 1992

Mission: H.O.M.E. Inc. helps people with developmental disabilities and their families find the services and entitlements they need to lead full lives and function as active participants in their communities.

President & CEO: Shirley Goddard

Developmental Disability Services: Family Care, Community Habilitation, Medicaid Service Coordination, Day Habilitation, Family Support, and Blended Services

Number of Employees: 65

Number of Individuals Served: 200+

Coverage Area: Onondaga county

Ages Served: All ages

Thank you for your Support!

iCircle Services

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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: 1-855-775-3778
Email: info@icirclecny.org
Website: www.icirclecny.org

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