Person-centered practices are support- and service-planning practices that are not driven by professional opinion or limited service options. Instead, planning looks at services and supports in the context of what it takes for a person to have the life he or she wants. The person, along with his or her support team, identifies effective support and services that will help the person live, learn, work and participate in preferred communities on his or her own terms.
We use person-centered practices because they increase people’s quality of life and help them to create or maintain a life they enjoy in the community. Person-centered practices are flexible and adaptable and encourage informed choice and creativity.
Miguel has shown little interest in participating in group activities and often becomes frustrated. His support team used person-centered planning to identify what is important to him. The support team talked with Miguel about how he seems happiest sitting by the front door to watch people coming and going from his home. Staff began having Miguel help with tours to create a meaningful activity related to this preference. Over the past year, Miguel has enjoyed becoming a greeter and assisting with tours of his home.
The people we support do not all eat lunch at the same time. Elka picks when and with whom she wants to eat, allowing her to socialize with different friends throughout the week. George, on the other hand, likes to eat early and without distractions or others in the room. Liza prefers eating later or sometimes not at all, so she is offered food or snacks throughout the day. Christian requires assistance with his meals and likes having a choice in who will assist him, which varies daily. We also work with people to schedule appointments and other service plan tasks around their personal schedules and preferences.
As Kacey was moving into a new home, she was assessed to need physical therapy, which is a service option provided at her home. Even though receiving physical therapy at home was an option, Kacey chose to continue seeing the physical therapist she had been seeing before she moved. Kacey’s provider assists her with transportation to get to her weekly physical therapy appointments.
Darius is very interested in U.S. presidential history and can name all presidents and the years they served. President George H.W. Bush passed away on Nov. 30, 2018, and Darius expressed interest in attending his funeral. Darius and his staff determined that it was not feasible to attend the funeral in person and explored other options. Darius was able to attend the funeral virtually and watch on an iPad. Darius and his team are exploring ways to engage in other meaningful activities that support his interest in U.S. presidential history.
Theo started an exercise routine years ago, using home exercise equipment. After a couple of years of this routine, he expressed an interest in joining a fitness center. We helped Theo to gather gym information, tour local fitness clubs and find out fees associated with each. With that information, Theo made the decision to join the YMCA. He now has his own membership, and we help him with transportation and support to work out at least once per week. Since Theo joined the YMCA, four other people have also purchased memberships. We provide or arrange transportation for them weekly.
Providers can think in a more person-centered manner by recognizing the whole person, communicating the belief that everyone has gifts to share and maintaining a focus on the person.
Finding a balance between what is important to someone (e.g., what makes them happy) and what is important for someone (e.g., what keeps them safe) is the core concept of person-centered thinking.
All people we support complete interest tracker surveys to help staff to create meaningful schedules that allow for choice and individual pursuits. We also use a reflection form to gather input on people’s experiences at specific destinations when they go out. The forms highlight what they liked or disliked about a destination and what accessibility challenges they might have experienced. These tracking forms assist staff greatly when working with people who are unable to communicate choice. We collect information from people, staff and community references to help us to offer a wide variety of activities at various community locations.
We use an assessment process to identify community needs and preferences to include in people’s service plans. For example, during the assessment process, a person said they have anxiety when participating in large group shopping trips and prefer going on shopping trips alone or in small groups. To support this person’s needs, we plan weekly small group or individual shopping trips for people so they can access their community resources.
A person we serve expressed an interest in photography, so we created opportunities for him to take pictures at home and during community activities. This interest eventually grew into a passion. He now goes out on photo shoots to connect with his local community. We also noticed that other people we support started having an increased interest in the arts, which led us to partner with two nonprofits to open a space for art creation and exhibition that is fully accessible and open to artists from all walks of life. This has been an amazing venue for community integration – it has resulted in many collaborative projects and exhibits between people and established artists in the community.
Informed choice is decision-making based on accurate and complete information. Informed choice happens through ongoing person-centered conversations and activities. A person making an informed choice understands the options – as well as the risks and benefits – in any given decision. With informed choice, community resources and supports are valued and explored.
The HCBS rule supports people’s rights to make informed choices and determine what is important to them and for them. Providers can ensure people have informed choice by:
Nina is ready to move into a new home, so she shares her housing preferences with her case manager. Nina and her case manager gather a list of possible homes that meet Nina’s needs based on her assessment and preferences. They schedule a time to visit Nina’s top three choices so Nina can meet the providers, see the homes and make an informed decision.
Many people benefit from engaging in community education sessions or activities put on by the greater community. One person in our adult day program was interested in learning more about Parkinson’s disease. Instead of inviting a community speaker to come to our center, we arranged for the person to attend a community Parkinson’s support group once per week. He was able to meet other community members who share his experience with Parkinson’s and discuss his concerns with others who understand what he is going through.
There are many techniques that can be used to help providers better learn about people’s preferences and needs. Some suggestions for making those opportunities more productive include:
Staff can have these structured conversations to learn more about people’s needs and preferences during their intake meeting, following up at future annual, semi-annual or support team meetings, during day-to-day interactions, and at regular one-on-one meetings.
Providers may also use a tool such as Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope (PATH), which is an eight-step process to identify a person’s dreams and then work backward to lay out steps to reach that goal. Through annual or semi-annual meetings, people and the staff supporting them can discuss what they would like to accomplish in the next year and beyond. After each meeting, a staff member can share the person’s dreams and passions with the people who work closely with him or her.
As they are moving in, people and their interdisciplinary care team members complete a formal interest and activities assessment. This assessment asks questions about their history and preferences in community activities, traveling, special events, active games and group activities. It also asks more open-ended questions about hobbies or other interests the person finds particularly valuable or motivating. Then we review the assessment at regular intervals and talk about any areas where people’s interests and preferences have changed over time. We can use this information about new preferences to plan upcoming activities.
We record a snapshot of individual preferences, interests and needs on a person’s One Page Profile. This one-page summary is shared with key team members who work with the person. We use it as a reference point in one-to-one biweekly conversations and individualized planning between support staff and the person. The questionnaire focuses on identifying people’s preferences for their employment schedule, frequency of community engagement and what specific actions of support occurred over the past six months to help them explore any interests identified in the previous evaluation. We then review the information with the person and the support staff and adjust strategies as needed to increase success.
We complete a “Satisfaction Inventory” (or other similar survey tool) annually with all people we support. In this survey, people list their favorite and least-favorite activities, suggest activities we are not already providing, let us know their preference for in-house or community-based activities and indicate if they want to work or not. We use these preferences to design activities and events throughout the year. Staff are also encouraged to explore people’s preferences informally during day-to-day interactions and adjust planned activities accordingly.
Moira was sitting outside enjoying a nice afternoon, and asked one of our support staff members walking past if she could camp in the yard. Moira did not have a tent, but the staff member asked around our team and found one to borrow. Moira and the staff member planned the campout together to accommodate for some medical issues, and they were able to make the impromptu camping trip happen for her. Moira later found a used tent online that she liked and purchased, and our team is now working with her to find other opportunities for her to camp that support this interest and promote community inclusion. One potential option is an upcoming event at a nearby state park.
After asking for consent from the person, we explore the activities and community engagements a person likes and dislikes taking part in with their guardian, family members or friends. In one such case, we discovered that a person loved to go fishing. So, for the past few years, we have hired a local angler to take the person and others fishing in a pontoon boat a couple of times each year.
At least monthly, people gather in groups to express any community and activity interests for the following month. Staff bring community calendars to this meeting so people can get ideas about the activities that are going on in the community.
People and staff hold “Monday Morning Meetings” on a weekly basis to discuss activities. They talk about last week’s activities, what they enjoyed, what they didn’t, what the schedule is for the week ahead and opportunities in the community that might be available in the evenings or on weekends. During this meeting, the presider always asks, “Can you think of anything you would like to do this week or in the weeks ahead?”
People we support have created a “Get to Know Me” Hall of Fame. This is a hallway where people post pictures, share their interests, provide updates on activities they have engaged in and share ideas (Note: This was created by people themselves, but we ensure full confidentiality as directed and desired by each person and get appropriate releases if a person wishes to share information).
When a person has limited or no verbal communication, staff use numerous methods to ensure people have a choice. Our computers have touch screens and software for assisting with communication. We also use iPads, picture schedules, Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) and a large interactive touch-screen board to help people to communicate their choices. Staff encourage people to use their communication devices to share their ideas about what they would like to do in the greater community.
See the below resources for more information about person-centered practices.
People have the right to person-centered service planning, conflict-free case management and settings that have characteristics that are home and community-based. More specifically, through setting supports, people have the right to:
Provider-owned and -controlled residential settings must meet additional standards. People in these settings also have the right to:
People are always welcome to have guests in their home. Guests may eat with a person free of charge and stay overnight. For example, one person’s minor son spent many overnights with his parent at her home. They often went to the movie theater together when he stayed. We supplied the movie tickets and transportation on such outings in the community.
Tonya’s friend Belle likes to stop by to visit when she is in the area. Tonya’s home allows visitors at any time. If Belle visits after a certain time and the doors to Tonya’s home are locked, Belle must use the doorbell and sign in and out on the visitor log by the front door. If Belle comes to visit and other people are sleeping, we expect Belle to be quiet and respectful of all people who live in the home.
Michelle has many friends all over the world with whom she likes to keep in contact via text, email and social media. Michelle uses her cell phone or computer to communicate daily with her friends and family without having to have staff present.
Nicolai has a seizure disorder that requires frequent checks. Nicolai’s person-centered plan clearly instructs staff to knock on his door before entering to allow privacy, except during sleep times. The plan maximizes Nicolai’s right to privacy while supporting his health need for uninterrupted sleep.
People have the right to know their rights and to have their rights explained to them in a way they understand. Explaining people’s rights in a variety of ways will help to promote understanding. Here are some strategies for talking with people about their rights:
We explain the terms of our lease/agreement in a format that people can easily understand. For example, we met with Sonam and her case manager to review the terms of her lease/agreement, including her rights and responsibilities, before Sonam moved in so she could make an informed decision about where she wanted to live. To make sure that Sonam understood the terms of the lease/agreement, we gave one or more examples for each part of the lease/agreement, then paused to discuss Sonam’s questions. To talk about Sonam’s right to decorate her room, we explained how other people decorated their rooms and provided some additional decorating options. Then, we talked about what types of decorations Sonam might be interested in. We followed this pattern for each major component of the lease/agreement to be sure Sonam fully understood her rights and had ample opportunity to ask questions.
We have a group meeting once per year to give people an opportunity to review and discuss our program handbook, which explains the intention of the program and people’s rights. People who have been with us longer and have attended many of these meetings know the handbook quite well and enjoy taking the lead in describing parts of the handbook to the group, with staff members there to support and fill in or correct details as needed. This creates a fun and engaged energy and gets newer people excited to learn about their rights. Two of the rights outlined and explained are people’s right to participate in developing their own care plan and the right to plan their activities.
The role of direct care staff in supporting people to express their rights is to ensure that they know and understand their rights. This can be done through formal teaching, such as individually organized training sessions (e.g., role playing, small group activities) and through teachable moments, such as witnessing and learning from another person who is expressing his or her rights.
Program staff promote the right, as well as the expectation, of “freedom of association” for people. For example, program staff encourage people to invite their friends, family and team members to visit, then encourage people to provide tours of the various jobs and activities at their home when they have visitors.
During a monthly resident council meeting, Amira talked about limited access to the fitness center, expressing concerns that every time she would like to use the treadmill, the fitness center is locked. Other people noted that they have experienced the same thing. The resident council said they would like to have their own keys to the fitness center instead of relying on staff to provide access at their convenience. People brought this concern to staff, who are now working on getting key fob access for the fitness center so that everyone can enjoy it when they choose.
See the below resources for more information on rights.
Many people need more opportunities to be active community members who are included alongside their neighbors. Integration is important because it means that a person with disabilities has opportunities to be an included member of his or her community like someone who doesn’t have disabilities.
HCBS settings must:
Engaging in the community may range from finding competitive employment to participating in activities in the community. Other examples include obtaining community services and going to places where other community members spend time, such as businesses, restaurants, the library or the gym. People could also take a class or tour, go to a place of worship, attend a sporting event, go to a concert or play, see a movie, spend time shopping, get involved in a club or a hobby, visit a county fair or the beach or go to a party or dance.
People we support sign up for activities they want to do, including shopping trips, movies, music, walks, the zoo, nature centers and community events. Staff typically provide transportation, if needed, and support, if requested.
To plan activities, our activities director regularly meets with people in groups and individually to hear about what community activities they would like to do. We try to encourage people to participate in activities outside their home – like going to the local movie theater. We purchase movie passes for people who cannot afford them and make sure the passes are readily available. We also provide transportation. In addition, we schedule at least one group shopping trip each week to a city at least 30 miles away. Staff go on the shopping trip to assist people as needed. We post in our lobby a monthly calendar of activities and keep it continuously updated. We also put the monthly calendar in various places around the building and have extras for people to take with them. Additionally, we post the calendar on our website and Facebook and keep it updated with any changes. We have the daily schedule written on a large chalkboard in the lobby.
Staff members work with people to plan community activities throughout each month depending on what people want to do. People are encouraged to express their interests and explore community activities that they may enjoy, either by themselves or as a group.
Fawzia enjoys playing volleyball as one of her preferred activities. Fawzia does not require constant supervision. Her support plan documents that Fawzia is able to walk independently to a nearby community center to join in an open volleyball session. During the session, she has an opportunity to play and interact with other community members.
A wide variety of activities, events and places exist for people to spend time in the community, including:
We have an activities director who works with people to learn about their interests and then coordinates community activities. She distributes a monthly activity schedule, which outlines a variety of activities in the community offered several times a week. People can then sign up for activities ahead of time or join last minute if there are still openings available. We either provide or coordinate transportation, or people can use public or supported transportation options.
Every year, people take a trip to the county fair. We help people invite their family members or natural supports to join our group, which also includes several staff members. We provide transportation to the fair and make sure everyone knows when and where they will be picked up. We help people pursue their own interests and activities at the fair by ensuring that people or small groups are paired with natural supports or staff, as needed.
Cai played guitar in a band for 25 years before the car accident that caused his brain injury. He missed meeting his friends every Friday at the local pub for live music. Cai, his provider and his case manager came to an agreement that includes a safety plan that supports Cai to see his friends at the pub on Friday nights. Cai’s person-centered plan includes text messaging the provider at scheduled intervals to say he is fine or to request support, returning to his home by an agreed upon time and planning transportation options to and from the pub.
Providers have many options to partner with other groups to expand community engagement opportunities for the people they are serving. For example, employment services organizations can help older adults to stay active in the community or help people to find work that matches their skills and interests. Such organizations can also help people to strengthen their relationships with their colleagues outside of work tasks. This can be accomplished by ensuring people are engaged in “social” activities at work such as breaks, lunches or potlucks and involved in after-work gatherings such as barbecues or happy hours.
Looking beyond work, clubs or groups – both formal and informal – can provide opportunities for people to gather regularly, take part in meetings and engage in social activities such as group parties or coffee gatherings. Providers can help identify formal groups, such as a Rotary Club, by looking up different community service organizations, checking lists of groups posted at city hall or the chamber of commerce, or asking staff members about organizations their family and friends have joined. Most groups will welcome new people. Informal groups such as quilting clubs, walking clubs and card clubs can be located by checking in community centers and houses of worship or by asking others.
Providers can also find ways to help people engage in the community by partnering with organizations that need volunteers. Volunteering can be an opportunity for people to contribute and meet other members of the community.
Being a city block away from the high school gymnasium helps people access high school sporting events that they are interested in. We have an arrangement with the high school to allow people to receive a free access voucher to all sporting events.
We facilitate opportunities for people to create, display and sell artwork in the larger community. Last year, two people participated in an art exhibit at the local community center and received an award for their work. This award caught the attention of the local media: A reporter visited to interview them about their artwork and they were featured in a short article in the local newspaper.
We have ongoing opportunities available, particularly around volunteerism. People can choose what types of volunteer opportunities they would like to participate in based on their skills and interests. We currently have partnerships with 10 organizations that provide community volunteer opportunities: two senior living centers, a thrift store, a food shelf, an animal shelter, a home-to-home assistance program, a new home building program, a food drive, a hospital and a transitional housing program for individuals in recovery.
One person we support loves interacting with children. Living across the street from an elementary school has provided an opportunity to schedule weekly volunteer shifts in the school library to assist children in checking out books.
We have opportunities for people to partner with professional artists at the community center on a weekly basis. All are welcome to participate, but they have the choice.
We have a monthly group meeting where people can brainstorm with staff to create community projects. At a recent meeting, one person mentioned that it was suicide prevention week, which sparked broader interest. After some discussion, the group decided to start a community-based campaign of positive messages designed to encourage and inspire. The City Council approved the project. People we support led the effort and drew positive messages in chalk on the sidewalks downtown for the community to see. They interacted with community members to explain what we were doing and spoke with local business owners to spread the word. We teamed up with a suicide prevention program in the county, and the director had signs made for us. Our artwork and messages were on display for community members during a local community festival.
Developing meaningful relationships with community members is important for people to be happier, make friends and maintain their health and well-being. Providers can help people to grow meaningful friendships and relationships by identifying welcoming people and places in the community, networking to discover connections to them and then finding opportunities for people to work, volunteer or spend their time with others in the community. Some strategies include:
Our city has a program in which professional visual artists and performing artists spend three weeks each year at a school teaching children about visual arts and theater. We have formed a partnership with this program in which people who have strong interests in the arts can assist the professional artists in teaching the children.
We created an ongoing partnership with a senior center through which people we support go to visit with other community members biweekly. We worked with the senior center to identify shared interests among people participating. That allows everyone to spend quality time with a partner who was paired with them based on shared interests in activities that range from sports to music.
We learned through a community bulletin that a community garden was being developed close by, so interested people participated in the community garden kick-off meeting. After getting some initial information and signing up to be gardeners, people went to farmers markets, garden stores and hardware stores to purchase items needed for the garden. Now, people go to the garden twice a week to plant and maintain the garden alongside other community members. People also enjoy staying after the work is done once a week for a barbecue lunch with other community members.
People we support engage in numerous volunteer activities each week, including newspaper delivery on Wednesdays and food delivery to older adults on the first and third Fridays of each month. These opportunities are available to everyone. The food delivery activity is highly interactive because people take time to visit with the older adults to whom they deliver meals. Some very special connections and ongoing friendships have been made this way.
Several people we support have joined a coffee club at a local café, where they meet twice a month to converse, build friendships and foster ongoing relationships with other community members.
A friendly relationship with our local fire department grew from the dedication of Verne, one of the people we support. After hearing news reports about several dangerous fires in the area, Verne brought up the idea of making beef stew for the fire department and got several other people excited about the idea. With the help of a staff member, the group sent an invitation to the fire department and made the beef stew. On the day planned, more than a dozen firefighters visited, enjoyed the stew, posed for photos, shared stories and named Verne an honorary firefighter. This one event has led to an ongoing relationship between the fire department and everyone we support. We decided to invite the department to the beef stew event annually. This also led to new community opportunities for people: The firefighters recently asked for help judging the department’s annual chili cook-off at the fire station. A large group of people attended, sampling five varieties of chili and voting for their favorite.
See the below resources for more information about community integration practices.
Waiver transportation providers including taxis, van services and volunteer drivers offer options for people to access their communities and lead fulfilling and productive lives. Resources for transportation services can be found at MnHelp.info. Further information about key agencies and organizations that provide waiver transportation in Minnesota can be found in Appendix A: Agency and organization overview on pages 94-96 of this Legislative Report (PDF).
In areas where public transportation is scarce, providers may also work with their local waiver transportation agency or county government to explore potential grant funding or regional partnerships that might be created. Searching out area volunteer driver programs or creating a new one by engaging family, friends and staff is an option for providers seeking to expand transportation opportunities. Depending on the situation, providers might also take other approaches, such as partnering with nearby agencies to rideshare, creating a bicycle-sharing program or asking community members to carpool to community events or activities.
Transportation to community events and activities can be limited in a rural area. Some providers have purchased their own accessible vehicles. Some providers have used grant funding or volunteer drivers. And some have rented vehicles to increase options for community participation. Where available, providers also use public transportation and bus routes to access community events, as well as agency vehicles, Uber and Lyft.
People we support live only blocks from a volunteer-based transportation service. Our appointment scheduling staff helps people to arrange rides through this service for community activities and events.
Using natural supports, Travis enjoys playing disc golf at a local course and has made several friends while playing rounds in the summer. Travis uses a wayfinding app on his phone to navigate and an adapted bicycle to play at local courses. The bicycle is adapted to include special handbrakes, a cargo area to carry multiple discs and a way to securely hold a GPS-enabled device to safely use the wayfinding app. Travis has made friends through his disc golf hobby. When they play at courses farther from home, Travis’ friends coordinate transportation together.
It is important to use person-centered practices to identify how to clearly communicate the transportation options available to people. Those options should be explained:
Providers have a variety of ways to offer support for using transportation options customized to a person’s needs and preferences, understanding that both might change with time. In day-to-day situations, providers may support people in using transportation options by:
To ensure that people can access the community, our staff works directly with people to learn, build confidence in and access public bus routes. Staff also facilitates communication between people and the bus company to reduce barriers and establish any special accommodations, when needed.
Each person has options for transportation. We have a vanand there is public transportation in town for people to use to access the community. Many people also choose to walk downtown because they are only a short distance from parks, shopping and the library. Many people choose to use public transportation for their ride to work. Sometimes people use our van when they need to arrive home sooner or when they are connecting to another event that is time sensitive.
Providers can support people’s transportation needs by discussing options with their lead agency, such as grants, bus passes or local rideshare programs. Other options include advocating with local transportation services for preferable routes, seeking placement of bus stops or shelters closer to home and advocating for safer pedestrian navigation, walkability and alternative transportation options (e.g., bike paths) in their communities. Organizations could also choose to partner with other providers to advocate together for those changes or other policy priorities.
See the below resources for more information about transportation.
Federal rules require HCBS providers to support people’s full access to the community, including opportunities to pursue jobs and work in competitive, integrated settings.
To meet this requirement, providers must work with people and their support teams using person-centered thinking to make sure that people’s needs, desires and choice to work are evaluated. People must also be able to make choices through an informed process that includes real community experience to inform their decisions.
Residential and adult day service providers are required to support people in their choice to work; no barriers can be put in the way of people who choose to work. Such providers must offer flexible scheduling and activities that complement people’s employment schedules.
Some suggestions for providers include:
If a person decides not to pursue competitive employment, providers should:
Providers must, on an ongoing basis, offer the person opportunities to try new experiences. Providers’ policies should reflect that they are frequently checking with people about the chance to explore employment.
Staff works with people to develop career opportunities. For example, staff members who bring their children to a local day care are working with the owner to establish a helper position. The staff and day care owner are setting up standards for having a job there, including passing a background check, so that people can work at the day care weekly.
Another way that we listen to people’s preferences is through our “Worker Representative Meetings.” These quarterly forums allow people to get together with staff and upper management to have their voices heard about such topics as employment opportunities, career exploration and development, volunteering and community integration in general. Notably, our business development manager is invited to each of these meetings, and he uses the information gathered there to drive the opportunities he seeks for career and employment exploration. Even though a person might not express a strong interest in employment, the opportunities that the business development manager makes available can widen the scope of the types of employment a person thought was available to him or her. It might help people to find interests they did not know they had.
We have a biweekly drop-in gathering during which people who are interested in employment can work together to apply for jobs on the computer or get help from two staff people who facilitate the sessions. This also is a time when people who have jobs can get help assessing and managing their benefits, either by working with our staff or getting a referral to a benefits specialist through Disability Hub MN.
Transportation is available for several people who work, bringing them to specific activities and helping to accommodate their schedules of choice.
Arnold has a part-time job. Arnold discusses his work schedule with his provider who schedules services and supports in a way that complement his schedule, including packing a lunch and medication that Arnold takes twice a day. Arnold does not get home until 7 p.m. from his part-time job. The provider makes sure that he receives support to make his dinner upon his return from work.
Justin was not sure whether he would like to work in the community because he had previously only participated in center-based work. His employment provider coordinated opportunities for Justin to visit some community job sites and businesses that were of interest to him. That way, he had some real-life experiences on which he based his decision.
Providers may help people make informed choices about whether or not to pursue employment by:
If people decide they want to work, they may make informed choices about their next steps by examining their strengths and interests to help identify potential jobs, researching work opportunities and networking to get assistance and learn about job prospects. People may also get help exploring work from family, case managers and providers.
If people decide not to seek employment, providers should routinely review with them their right to work. This practice of periodically returning to the topic allows providers to keep up with changes in people’s needs or preferences.
A staff member works with each person to review an employment interests and goals form that asks specific questions about preferences for person-centered employment. Each person revisits this form with a staff person regularly. We have also begun to customize the forms in specific ways for different types of work. For example, several people have started making and selling art or working as performing artists. In this case, we added an additional page to the form to explore specifics about selling art: Artists are asked about their interests and how their art can best be sold in the community.
There are many benefits for people who work in their communities, including:
Six people we support have worked for several years at a routine paid job cleaning bathrooms and mopping floors at a neighborhood bar. They have developed natural relationships with the staff at the bar, who are polite and engaging. The bartender serves them free soda or juice after they are done cleaning, and they sit and visit at the end of their shift.
With careful planning, people who need benefits may choose to work while remaining on a public health coverage program and maintaining their disability assistance. Many myths about work costing people their benefits are false.
The Disability Benefits 101 website is a resource that provides information to help people understand the impact of work on their benefits, including:
People can understand how work will affect their benefits by contacting their financial worker or connecting with:
A staff member helps Anastasia to explore her skills and interests to help her identify potential job opportunities in the community. Then, they research the wages and benefits for those opportunities and conduct a benefit analysis to see how her wages would affect her public benefits. Through this process, she can make an informed decision about employment.
On July 1, 2018, Minnesota added three employment services to its HCBS waivers: employment exploration services, employment development services and employment support services. These services are available with the Developmental Disabilities (DD), Community Alternative Care (CAC), Community Access for Disability Inclusion (CADI) and Brain Injury (BI) waivers. The three employment services have unique purposes:
No. DHS designed the employment services to help providers to better support competitive, integrated employment. They are about adding options, not taking them away. Center-based services and subminimum wages will remain an option. Work crews will, however, have a maximum staffing ratio of 1:6.