OCO Program Assists Those with Developmental Disabilities

OSWEGO, NY – For those with intellectual and developmental disabilities gaining
access to services and supports can be challenging. Thanks to the Medicaid

Service Coordination administered through Oswego County Opportunities the
challenge is over.

Available through OCO, Medicaid Service Coordination is a Medicaid State Plan
service provided by the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities.

The Medicaid Service Coordination team at OCO offers assistance to persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities in gaining access to the services and supports they need.  Using a person centered planning approach; Medicaid Service Coordination promotes individual choice, individualized services and supports, and consumer satisfaction.

“The Medicaid Service Coordination team designs and an Individualized Service
Plan for each individual based on the input of the individual and their
family, friends and supports;  assists in accessing services such as residential
habilitation, respite, day habilitation, environmental modifications, employment
services and housing, and ensures that the individual and their family are
satisfied with services. Additionally the team provides advocacy for each
individual and works to safeguard personal rights and protect the health and
welfare of the individual,” said Athena Krause, Medicaid Service Coordination team
Oswego County Opportunities.

Eligibility requirements for Medicaid Service Coordination are as follows:

–  A documented diagnosis of a developmental or intellectual disability prior to the age of 22.

– Must demonstrate a need for ongoing and comprehensive service coordination.

– Must choose to receive Medicaid Service Coordination.

– Must not permanently live in an ICF, Developmental center, psychiatric hospital, small residential unit, nursing facility, hospital or other Medicaid funded institutional setting that provides service coordination.

– Must not be enrolled in another comprehensive Medicaid long term care service
coordination (e. g. Long Term Home Health Care.)

“The Medicaid Service Coordination team at OCO proudly serves and assists individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities with accessing services and resources in our area,” said Krause.

Throughout the month of March OCO’s Medicaid Service Coordination team is asking
community members to join in its Spread the Word to End the Word campaign.

A national campaign, Spread the Word to End the Word takes a stand against a word that has gained popularity over the years.

“The R-Word, “retard(ed)” has become entrenched in our dialogue,” said Krause.
“Although it is extremely offensive and dehumanizing to many, the “R-word” is
the word has found a place in common language and seems to be accepted by most,
despite the fact that its use, casual or otherwise, is hurtful to millions of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities along with those that love them.”

Krause added that the Spread the Word to End the Word campaign serves as a
starting point towards creating more accepting attitudes and communities for all

“Language affects attitudes and attitudes affect actions.  Pledge today to use respectful, people-first language at www.r-word.org.  Stop using the R-Word and begin using the new R-Word…RESPECT,” said Krause.

If you are an individual or know an individual in need of such assistance, contact OCO’s Medicaid Service Coordination team at (315)342-7532.

A private, non-profit agency, OCO touches the lives of more than 30,000 people
each year through more than 50 programs operating in more than  80 locations
throughout Oswego County.

The agency, which is a United Way of Greater Oswego County member, employs more than 600 people and has more than 1,200 highly valued volunteers.

For more information, visit OCO’s website at www.oco.org