Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Lessons from 2006

Here are some things I learned or had (re)confirmed this year.

1. DDS is so angry at my writing about self-direction that they dropped CADDIS during my vacation to make me look stupid.
2. People with a taste for real change aren't always who you think.
3. System funding is as much an emotional issue for people as it is a practical one, but chocolates and flowers would be cheaper and more helpful.
4. "Efficiency" is a word people love to say and hate to hear.
5. "Accountability" is another.
6. Connecting people is the heart of every important reform.
7. The job of helping people with disabilities to live more fully is still worth doing.
8. The job of changing our system so it helps people with disabilities live more fully is most glorious because it is so unlikely.
9. Some people think living in solitary idleness in your own home is so much better than living with friends in a segregated setting that no one would ever choose the latter even if it came with a large stipend and DSL.
10. Saving the current system and funding it better is an errand for a superior and more committed fool.


Anonymous said...

Bravo Doug! It's truly refreshing to run into someone more interested in the cause than playing pattycakes.
Here in Oregon system reform is about musical chairs with the same players who brought us to a place of stagnation and polarization. New ideas and honesty are so threatening to these folks that they spend most of their time running, hiding, and ignoring, in between getting together at conventions to brag about what they did 7 years ago. How about for #11... If it looks, sounds, and smells like a fundsucker, it is a fundsucker. Peace.
CaPTain dANDy
DAWG Oregon
Disability Activists Work Group

Doug said...

Thank you, CaPTain!

I'm a DAWG, myself.

Doug said...

Oh, and #11 is a fine addition.

SquareGirl said...

Wow Doug, you've learned quite a bit of lessons in 2006. Let's hope we can find a way to do something with those lessons you learned.

Doug said...

Squaregirl, do you think they could make a bomb?

dawgoregon said...

As an outsider to the California thing, I hope I'm not sticking my nose too far into this blog as to make anyone uncomfortable. My guess is that the solutions to a broken system are universal... so here's what makes sense to me.

1.) Independent Oversite. By this I mean people watching and having the juice to put the breaks on when things are appearing not to be in the best interest of folks with developmental disabilities. This shouldn't be done by any governmental entity, but by advocates beholding only to "the People". Once career goals,pay checks,and funding sources enter the picture oversite falls prey to other agendas.

2.)Transparency. I've noticed this is also a concern on this blog. I know that in Oregon some unethical monkey business took place in the Legislature with the "advocates" a few years back that led to over 28 million bucks which should have been used in DD services to wind up in other budget areas. If this hadn't happened secretly people in this state would have been up in arms.

3.) Diversity Training. Yup... I say this because folks only hear what they want to hear. There is in fact room for all voices at any table. It's time to demand that the closed/cloistered cliques of decision makers currently running the show let in some fresh ideas whether they like it or not.

That's where I think it needs to start Squaregirl

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Doug, your lessons learned was entertaining, iconoclastic, ambroisian, ironic, and dawgish. what is a dawg, anyhow?

Doug said...

Dawg, somethings are easy to see everywhere, the lack of transparency being an example.

Thanks, Anonymous. A DAWG is a Disability Activists Work Group, apparently. A Dawg is a University of Georgia student. A dawg is an aging smart-aleck.

Anonymous said...


Haven't read you for awhile. I'm still suffering from the retaliation of the regional center in my area. The director continues to engage in activities for the sole purpose of furthering a political goal, damned be the clients and careproviders.

I am pushing everyone to get off their collective asses and start writing letters. We NEED to change this system. I several Southern California regional centers, things are out of control. I think we need an expansive letter writing campaign that encourages the new government to put in place a REAL oversight agency over the regional centers, or better yet, get rid of them.

I keep being told that they don't have proof of the corruption, but when you provide the proof, it continues to not be enough.

Here is one thing people can do. I recently discovered that there are a few Behavior Consultants who are totally engaging in fraudulent activities. Here is the scenario. As you know, Level 4 homes have required hours of support to the clients. For example, for Levels 4G, H and I, the requirement is 2.5 hours per month per client. For a 4 bed home, this is 10 hours per month. Well, these consultants are billing the careproviders and their homes the full 10 hours, but their assistants only visit for 1 hour each month to collect data. How do I know? I am a Behavior Consultant and some of my careproviders fired their consultant to hire me and then told me why.

The problem is, these same consultants when asked about this practice turn around and report the home to the regional center. In one case, regional center showed up the next day for an audit after the careprovider confronted the consultant.

This is not only unethical, it is illegal. Group sessions are fine, but you can only charge for the time in the home. You cannot put down 2 hours per client and then charge for each when you were in the home for only 2 hours.

The Board of Psychology will investigate complaints. Careproviders can download a complaint form from their website and then ask that their name be kept confidential. They do need to provide copies of the bills to show that the consultant charged the max hours.

Just one more way we can try to keep this system somewhat ethical. Gee, what a concept.


Doug said...

Parca, sorry to hear. Keep your chin up.