Friday, March 19, 2010

Because a new post is sorely needed

I apologize to the few but loyal readers that not much has come to mind to write about here. There's big news about Lanterman Developmental Center, of course, a topic on which I don't feel qualified to opine about.

But, in the post below, Godwin's Law seems to have reproven itself and the phrase "dead white male philosophers" has also appeared and I feel ready to propose my own Doug's First Law of Internet Discourse: To wit, no subject is so arcane that common platitudes won't dominate the discussion once the topic has been exhausted.

So, lacking anything else to mind, I'll open the thread to you all with three questions:
First, if anyone out there has interacted with the Delatorre audit, I'd be interested in hearing about the tone and rigor of the inquiry. Can anyone tell how well-informed the study has been or whether it appears vindictive or exploratory?

Second, if self-determination/directed-services is no longer an available option for streamlining and improving the system, what would you all suggest as a conceptual frame for intentional systemic reform?

Third, an anonymous guest suggested something I absolutely agree with (and have agreed with in previous posts,) that more funding won't fix a broken system. Anonymous suggests Stanley's answer to the question, but I am curious for two sentence answers: Do you all think the system is primarily underfunded or primarily broken?

Some etiquette: Let's start by answering one of the three questions (as opposed to two, all or none) per comment, begin by identifying which question you are answering and, if at all possible, consider the poor blogger who feels compelled to read all the comments and try to begin with two- or three-sentence replies.

I'll try to come up with a new post before anyone begins comparing department directors to war criminals.

27 comments:

paul said...

"I'll try to come up with a new post before anyone begins comparing department directors to war criminals."

C'Mon!! How is Mike Godwin going to keep his fame alive!!

“Do you all think the system is primarily underfunded or primarily broken?”

I am not qualified to answer such a question and I think that there are likely few that are qualified.

So - may I change the question?

WAGER:
GREEN [system is primarily underfunded] OVR

RED [primarily broken?”]

I place my bet on RED, and I would bet some pretty good money at even odds. 5 will get me 1 are the more fair odds in my book.

CAVAET: my definitino of "broken" probably includes a rather unrealistc view of human nature. If the rule is "boys will be boys" then the system is WONDERFUL and we need to pay our "boys" 5 times as much for doing GOD's work..

[END]
[BEGIN DIGRESSION]

“The most maddening advocates to me are the ones that want to fix the system after funding has been made sufficient. I hear that as a clarion call for continued decay.”
–doug-

Doug
I do not think that we can presume that those that advocate fixing the system ONLY after funding has been made sufficient are “advocates” as we like to bandy the term.

Even a broken system produces fruit for some and those some are, more likely than not, “advocates” of the status quo.

Stanley,

Why has “The department shall take all necessary actions to support
regional centers to…”

turned into:
“The department shall take all necessary actions …”?

While the former does not include thumbscrews the latter might.

A law that authorizes me to “take all necessary actions to support
my son”
does not also place blame upon me when my son gets a speeding ticket”

Sure – I could punish my son after the fact, but 4434(b) is not the law that would authorize me to do so..

Do you disagre? If I ask this question am I "sucking up" to DDS?

Doug said...

Paul, I put my chips on red, too, and that's allowing for human frailty, avarice, stupidity, miscommunication, vanity, sloth and gluttony.

I think that the way we bandy about the term "advocate," a hog scratching at a bedsore qualifies.

paul said...

“what would you all suggest as a conceptual frame for intentional systemic reform?”

Personally - I would need to see fertile ground before planting any seeds. No need for a “conceptual frame” for a ship in the dessert eh..

I think there are way(s) to make our environment more fertile to reform, but it is a long conversation. In addition those idea(s) would get robust opposition from our “advocates”

Length and futility combined becomes more of a conceptual framework for a waste of time rather than reform.

stanley said...

[doug say] Some etiquette [...]:

[paul say] If I ask this question am I "sucking up" to DDS?

Didn't know how to answer paul’s sucking up questions within rules of etiquette...so anyone interested in paul/stanley endless bs can goto “who will reward the far-seeing” topic...questions/response seem more appropriate there.

stanley seigler

Doug said...

Paul, I agree with that comment. It was what this blog was dedicated to and, I hope, still is.

Stanley, I'm trying not to but you keep pulling me back in.

Anonymous said...

Answering Q3. I do not think the system is primarily broken or primarily underfunded. I think some programs are broken and some programs are underfunded. if i were king, I would spend more of some things, like real jobs, than others, like day programs that have few outcomes. I would have to be king in order to make my desires happen because otherwise the Lanterman Act and entitlement would get in the way.

stanley said...

[doug say] Delatorre audit, I'd be interested in hearing about the tone and rigor of the inquiry. Can anyone tell how well-informed the study has been or whether it appears vindictive or exploratory?

Dela has not interacted with this member of the peanut gallery...Anyone know where there is any results info...google didn't work for me...perhaps/maybe there is no rigor-tone...

well maybe rigor mortis and tone deaf...perhaps Dela on same “take all action necessary” page as DDS.

stanley seigler

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Delatorre audit
http://democrats.assembly.ca.gov/members/a50/pdf/AD50JLACAuditReport.pdf

AUDIT SCOPE AND OBJECTIVES

The audit by the Bureau of State Audits will provide independently developed and verified information related to DDS and a sample of regional centers and would include, be not be limited to, the following:

1. Review and evaluate the laws, rules, and regulations significant to the audit objectives.

2. Examine DDS's oversight responsibilities for its regional centers and determine the extent to which DDS performs oversight at the regional centers selected for review.

3. Select a sample of paid invoices for the past two fiscal years at each regional center and determine if the activities for payment were reasonable and/or allowable under the law.

REQUIRED DATE OF COMPLETION
Assemblymember De La Torre did not specify a completion date for this audit.

paul said...

Anon,

Great Answer!

“I do not think the system is primarily broken or primarily underfunded.”

I think that our inability to solve many of our problems stems, in no small part, from our dichotomous culture.

KING! - “because otherwise the Lanterman Act and entitlement would get in the way.”

While this may be true today, and I would argue that it is, I do not think it needed to be so.

As you have stated, “The 'system' is amorphous by definition”. And – was intended to be so in order to create the flexibility needed to establish individualized entitlements and serve individual needs. The Lanterman Act places the responsibility and authority of fashioning the boundaries of the “entitlements” in the hands of the Regional Center.

One California court of appeal has stated that in regards to placement decisions the Regional Centers decision will be effective unless it can be clearly demonstrated to be erroneous. The same likely holds true for less weighty service decisions.

Of course, not all decisions of the Regional Centers are challenged and not all challenged decisions are defended by the Regional Centers. The end result, the policy that ultimately becomes public, depends upon the collective choices regional centers over time.

If the regional centers refuse to broker services that are clearly entitlements, or refuse to defend the denial of services that are clearly NOT entitlements under the Lanterman act then the “reality” that exists will deviate from the reality intended by the legislature. The frequency of such events decide how quickly and how far we deviate from what was intended.

Often, the “entitlement [that] get(s) in the way” is one of the Regional Center(s) own making.

The 10,000 question is whether the Regional Centrs have deviated from Laterman beyond reason.

stanley said...

[anon say] Answering Q3. ... I would have to be king in order to make my desires happen because otherwise the Lanterman Act and entitlement would get in the way.

Ohoh red cape and this BS-er not color blind...but will resist repeating opines and say see “who will reward the far seeing” post re who's in the way of what.

[anon say]I would spend more of some things, like real jobs, than others, like day programs that have few outcomes.

how does anon define real jobs for a low functioning, non verbal, autistic/downs person and a person with severe CP...

and how would anon fund these real job...perhaps person w/ real job would be charged a fee for having the job...oror perhaps the person can pull self up by non existing boot straps...and eat cake

Does it matter if severely disabled is happy...or just that they have real jobs...how many real jobs are there for these people...

a king not needed to get Lanterman and entitlements out of the way...DDS, RCs, legs dismantle Lanterman trailer bill by trailer bill...are the anon kings cheering the fulfilling of their desires...dilly, dilly...

if the point is programs should be funded based on positive outcomes...agree...but this is a lot more far=seeing than real jobs...back to real jobs...

anon/anyone have a WAG (or DDS/RC data) as to just how many low functioning children/adults have or could have real jobs (the unbroken) v. how many are in no outcome day programs (the broken).

if Lanterman out of the way: 1) who determines needs; 2)who finds programs; 3) how are programs funded...the king gonna handle maybe?

i see very few real jobs for the severely disabled...i must be looking in all the wrong places...ie, see very limited unbroken programs...very few happy campers/workers.

stanley seigler

ps. comment on what paul say re great ans to follow.

paul said...

"Often, the “entitlement [that] get(s) in the way” is one of the Regional Center(s) own making."

I will add that at times the "Act" that Regional Centers alleges differs greatly from the Lanterman Act.

We need not look far to find a Regional Center stating that the regs say we MUST, when the regs. say not such thing, and we CANT, when the regs are silent.

And of course there are the regional centers that impose eligibility standards that are contrary to Lanterman.

Doug said...

Fair critique, Anonymous. May the crown rest lightly on your shaggy head.

Boy howdy, Stan. No completion day looks bad on any legislative project and worse yet on an audit.

Paul, I think the top question is whether the RCs, having complied with Lanterman, are providing cost-effective assistance. I'm still more interested (as I reckon you are) in how the system can be improved more than whether regional centers need flogging.

Stanley, we aren't worried that you might be color blind, we're worried you'll charge the cape.

Paul "I will add that at times the 'Act' that Regional Centers alleges differs greatly from the Lanterman Act." is true of more than just regional centers. I actually think it might be true of everyone and every act. The key is to design a system in law that might work even with selective reading of the text. Nobody, I don't think, knows the laws they follow or write comprehensively.

stanley said...

[stanley say] Assemblymember De La Torre did not specify a completion date for this audit.

must have been blinded by the red cape...the completion date is july 2010 http://www.bsa.ca.gov/bsa/aip
\

stanley seigler

paul said...

“Nobody, I don't think, knows the laws they follow or write comprehensively.”

I would call this an axiom with Stanley being perhaps the only exception. After all – while few actually pen, MANY amend, and the collective process makes it difficult to assess the “intent” of the collective in many areas of public policy.

While you may give Moby Dick 5 stars because you like White Whales I may give it five stars because Ahab reminds me of our only exception. What I mean is that even the unanimous consent (5 stars) of 80 people (up to over 400) does not mean everyone consents as to the particulars of any given bill, Act, or statute.

To further the point exponentially - laws are interpreted and executed by a large body of people, most of which go well beyond what would be called the EXECUTIVE branch of government. Regional centers, while not officially part of government, have most of the burden to interpret and execute the mandates of Lanterman. That is why it is a matter of degree, and, “the 10,000 question is whether the Regional Centers have deviated from [their interpretation and execution of Laterman] beyond reason.

Doug said...

Nice recovery, Stanley. I hope the picadors consider it.

Paul, that's a surprisingly effective metaphor with Moby Dick and I think that's just how it works. I can just about recite the parts of the law dealing with due process, the ID team and the VAC, because those are the regulations I need to persuade regional centers with. I also am pretty well versed in the requirements that, were I not to comply, might create costly consequences. The rest of what's in Title XVII I know very little about. I'm guessing Stan can recite the IPP rules and, obviously, the authorities by which DDS can and should make RCs act saintly. The service coordinators probably know well the regulations that either limit or facilitate how they do their jobs according to their personal vision of it and very few others.

So that's how the law actually works, different agents following different parts according to different motives.

Doug said...

No takers on my April Fool post, I see.

stanley said...

[doug say] aren't worried that you might be color blind, we're worried you'll charge the cape.

Not to worry...even tho I charge...I know the futility of cape charging...the cape is made of too many rationalizations and selective readings...and doublespeak is its official language.

[doug say] Nobody, I don't think, knows the laws they follow or write comprehensively.

agree and if anyone looking for proof: look no further than this blog...eg, selective reading of "take all action necessary to support" (to do what 4434b say)...selective reading yields they dont have authority or funds.

looking for mo proof...selective reading also yields what paul say: "We need not look far to find a Regional Center stating that the regs say we MUST, when the regs say no such thing, and we CANT, when the regs are silent" ...butbutt;

tho hope not as springy...have to ask:

“just how long we're going to go on sacrificing some of our most vulnerable children [and adults] on the dubious altar of bureaucratic convenience” (latimes)

...bureaucratic convenience supported by admin-ers/excusers' selective readings, legal nits and semantics...difficult for many to admit Moby was a white whale...probably just a very light shade of gray...maybe not even a whale...

"Moby Dick" is melville's symbolic fairy tale, as the Lantrerman Act is Frank's tale signifying nothing to the admin-ers/excusers.

stanley seigler

paul said...

If, and when, we need a nudge:

What are all the potential solutions?

“Potential” does not mean good solutions nor does it mean only those not solutions that I prefer/like.

So – We should save “absorb the regional into DDS” for Doug to post, and and “Put paul in charge” for Andy/Stanley to post.

When taking into account politics and/or fiscal and/or any other barriers, what is the probability that any given reform effort will succeed, and what reality most influence the chances of success.

Lastly – if all our solutions fall into the “slim to no” chance of implementation or success then what is the proper posture for the consumer, regional center, provide, and Joe/Jane tax payer for existing in the perpetual status quo?

stanley said...

[paul say] Lastly – if all our solutions fall into the “slim to no” chance of implementation or success then what is the proper posture for the consumer, regional center, provide, and Joe/Jane tax payer for existing in the perpetual status quo?

A softball Q, what is proper posture: Proper or not...the consumer will continue to suffer abuse/murder...live in broken homes...RC, provider, J/J taxpayer will continue to excuse administrators (eg, DDS)...ie,

“bureaucratic convenience” will continue to be supported by admin-ers/excusers' selective readings, legal nits and semantics...e,ie,io, same old same old...now to prove godwins law.

If the abuse/murder of special needs citizens were condensed into 6 years...the 6 yr holocaust inhumanity would pale by compassion...a tsunami would seem like a day at the fair.

stanley seigler

Doug said...

Stanley, brother and friend, "selective reading of 'take all action necessary to support'" is not fair. We read that sentence in its entirety and then add "to the degree possible."

Paul, I disagree with your comment as well, to the degree that the likelihood of success is pretty pathway dependent. The chance that a smart reform suggested in the comments of this blog and costing a billion dollars to the state is pretty low. The chance that a dumb reform will succeed if the governor thinks of it and commissions a task force led by his (or her) spouse, which receives statewide acclaim and the Stanley Seal of Approval, that's higher.

Bring on the flood.

stanley said...

[doug say] Stanley, brother and friend, "selective reading of 'take all action necessary to support'" is not fair. We read that sentence in its entirety and then add "to the degree possible."

Doug, brother and friend and orders of magnitude above most..."to the degree possible." IS selective reading...

Exchange from a yahoo group may help understand my feelings (and that of some/many parents)...a little disjointed...but hope you get the point...

stanley seigler

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Yahoo group exchange

Re: Support Aggressive Olmstead Enforcement by Feds

On Apr 7, 2010, at 2:18 PM, issjr35@... wrote:

SUPPORT aggressive enforcement of all existing laws...eg, IDEA, Lanterman...eg;4434b say: The department [DDS] shall take ALL necessary actions to support regional centers to successfully achieve compliance with this section and provide high quality services and supports to consumers and their families. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DDRIGHTS/message/4664

when will DDS take all necessary action...

[xxxx say] DDS will take action when CA parents/caregivers will stop being "nice" and start to demand.

On Apr 7, 2010, at 3:03 PM, YYYYYY wrote:

I am guessing that DDS will not do this. Why ??

Because California parents /caregivers were told for decades, that if they were "nice" they'd get somewhere.

4434b say: The department [DDS] shall take ALL necessary actions to support regional centers to successfully achieve compliance with this section and provide high quality services and supports to consumers and their families.Many times in the past their hands were tied in terms of their ability to publicly comment when their very jobs may be threatened.

Their hands are not tied in terms of their ability to publicly comment amendments on Lanterman i.e : ARCA/DDS recommending and obtaining co pay, reduction of services ( Camp/respite ) limitations re : eligibility etc ...

They [DDS] are in essence told that they cannot bite the hand that feeds them by their administrators. When it comes to implementation of Lanterman, we can certainly kiss their you know what.

DDS administrator is appointed by the governor, right?

And will be terminated on November 2010.

I [yyyy] think it will be up to the receipients of services and their families or interested othersand those not getting the pay checks from the stateto protest and ban together to enforce Olmstead, Lantermann etc...

Suggestion: Get all disability rights groups in California to sign onto this (once we see the details.Does anyone have a list of all disability advocacy groups in this state?

I [xxxx] understand your a member of ACAO*. Wouldn't be a bad idea to get them to sign onto this.

paul said...

"Paul, I disagree with your comment [...] to the degree that the likelihood of success is pretty pathway dependent.

Doug,

"pathway" is just one component and potential barrier. I don’t argue it is anything less, more, or ‘pretty’ anything. But I might…

If you want to build your dream home your chances of success depend on more than dreams.

Your asser that smart reform costing billions is pretty low AND

dumb reform that has a approval from the Governor, a task force led by his/her spouse, and Stanley as a much higher chance of success.

Does the change in the chance of success depend upon the reform being “dumb”/"smart" or because it is sanctioned by the Governor, a task force led by his/her spouse, and Stanley?

If it is dependent upon it simply being ‘dumb’/'smart' then why mention the Governor, his wife/husband, and Stanley?

“The chance that a [dumb/smart/ingenious/knuckle-headed/insert any adjective you want here] reform will succeed if the governor thinks of it and commissions a task force led by his (or her) spouse, which receives statewide acclaim and the Stanley Seal of Approval, that's higher.”

I think that you have provided a pretty persuasive argument that “the degree that the likelihood of success is pretty pathway dependent.

?

Doug said...

That was kind of my point, Paul, and an important lesson for people who would be useful advocates rather than just noisy ones. Pure ego, but I think there are some excellent suggestions in the posts and comments on this blog which would, reasonably well implemented, provide real benefits for both Californians with developmental disabilities and taxpayers. I also think while those suggestions are in the posts and comments of this blog, they are unlikely to do anyone much good.

paul said...

“...’to the degree possible.’ IS selective reading...”

Perhaps, but Doug is right if he means that no single line of statute can, or is, read in a vacuum. Nor is the execution of any law executed in a vacuum.

DDS can “support” Regional centers in brokering quality services, but they CANNOT themselves broker services, or use thumbscrews to force a Regional Centers to broker those services “their way”. I too think that your reliance upon 4434(b) is misplaced.

But - if everyone but you has missed this 1 line panacea then I we have MUCH bigger problems!!!

stanley said...

[paul say] But - if everyone but you has missed this 1 line panacea then I we have MUCH bigger problems!!!

What are some of the bigger problems yall have missed...

Every one but stanley, a former MA DDS director and Three organizations concerned with the rights of persons with developmental disabilities see ref 1 and 2...also see stanley say (4/7/10 10:12 PM) to this blog for comments from autismca yahoo group...alsoalso:

much in 2001 SDR cudda/shudda been handled administratively (take all action, etc) by DDS without need for a committee recommendation and certainly shudda been implemented after committee recommendations and DDS agreeing w/ the recommendations...staney was not involved in the recommendation...so guess you can add SDR committee to the every one but.

[paul say] Nor is the execution of any law executed in a vacuum.

take all action necessary IS NEITHER EXECUTED outside a vacuum...

some/many...most/all...bills could be handled with DDS admin directives...latest eg:

AB2702. This bill would require a regional center to ENSURE, at the time of the development, scheduled review, or modification of an IFSP or IPP, that the plan is made pursuant to the relevant statute. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DDRIGHTS/message/5748

DDS should/could ENSURE. the bill is just make work, redundant, bureaucratic, bs.

You make this about stanley just as you did when you used legal nits and semantics to excuse the murder of marky at Lanterman DC...

bet the farm those resp for the murder are still working in the system...just as those with special needs will still be abused and murdered for decades to come because (in no small part) of selective readings of the pauls of this world...

stanley seigler

Ref 1 http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DDRIGHTS/message/3908

Well, I [MA DDS director] do think the CA DDS director has the authority to implement, including many of the aspects of the 2001 Service Delivery Reform (SDR) report. I opened the report thinking, *Geez, what good is a report that is seven years old,* and then I found it very visionary.

I also did my homework and read aspects of the W&I codes, Ch 17 DDS regulations and the Lanterman Act. It has been my contention that DDS does not use the authority that it has:

The Department of Developmental Services is responsible under the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act for ensuring that persons with developmental disabilities receive the services and supports they need to lead more independent and productive lives and to make choices and decisions about their lives.

Ref 2: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DDRIGHTS/message/4702

Three organizations concerned with the rights of persons with developmental disabilities (Capitol People First, ARC of California, and California Alliance for Inclusive Communities) and 15 individuals with developmental disabilities (the Plaintiffs) have brought a lawsuit against the California Department of Developmental Disabilities (DDS), [...] Two organizations concerned with the rights of persons with developmental disabilities (California Association of State Hospital Parent Councils for the Retarded, and California Association for the Retarded) intervened in the case.

paul said...

“You make this about stanley…”

Mr. Siegler,

While I agree that others believe, as do I and probably Doug, that your one line of Lanterman has clout. I only state that I believe you stand alone in your belief in ‘how much’ clout it has, and how much authority/power it confers upon DDS.

IF you are correct in your interpretation, and the many others are wrong, then we have a bigger problem. That problem being ALL the obtuse people like myself, Doug, and many others.

It would be more appropriate to interpret my comments as being about me and Doug, and our collective stupidity.

Every moment I do not agree with you completely, 100%, and unequivocally, you reply that “[I] make [it] about Stanley”, or I that I excuse murder.

I simply do not understand how you find the justification

paul said...

Bad etiquette to discuss etiquette.

However, it is probably best to use the words of others. Then any disagreement can be with Wikipedia.

"Moreover, excessive crossposting is generally considered bad form because it multiplies traffic without adding any new content. In the extreme case, if all messages were crossposted to every group, then every group would look exactly the same. A crossposter can minimize this problem by specifying that all responses be directed to a single group."

stanley said...

[paul say] I only state that I believe you [stanley] stand alone in your belief in ‘how much’ clout it has, and how much authority/power it confers upon DDS...I simply do not understand how you find the justification

care less about standing alone...it's not about stanley...tho, paul evidently did not read previous post to this blog re stanley the only one....and;

I simply do not understand what more authority than a law saying take ALL ACTION NECESSARY TO SUPPORT (do what 4434b say) does an effective leader...vice a suck up bureaucrat...need.

[paul say] IF you are correct in your interpretation, [...] It would be more appropriate to interpret my comments as being about me...

could be. yall did excuse the murder of marky with legal nits and semantics...and are using the same tact to excuse Broken Homes.

Had DDS taken similar action (all necessary) to that taken to move agnews residents to the community there would be fewer Broken Homes...and

if DDS had taken this (all necessary) action in 1998 re unacceptable conditions reported by HCFA (CMS) and SF Chron...there would far fewer Broken Homes...

andand if the world's paul-etals had not excused DDS...”Oh the places we could have gone”, the places those w/ special needs could go...oh the lives of benign neglect/abuse that wudda/cudda been avoided.

those with special needs die waiting for DDS to take all necessary action

[paul say]Every moment I do not agree with you completely, 100%, and unequivocally, you reply that “[I] make [it] about Stanley”, or I that I excuse murder.

weel what do you call your comment: [paul say] I only state that I believe you stand alone in your belief...what difference does it make if stanley stands along...andand

[paul say] Bad etiquette to discuss etiquette....what does stanley’s bad etiquette have to do with DDS shall do what 4434b say...

but I swear on a stack of bibles and my mother’s grave...if it will keep paul on topic, vice debating nits, to never again say “you make it about stanley”...perhaps paul may want to swear to stay on topic vice, eg, pointing out stanley’s bad etiquette...or;

perhaps paul thinks stanley's etiquette is a major DDS systen problem and a reason DDS cant take all necessary action (what 4434b say).

stanley seigler