Home and Community-Based Services: Community Living includes Employment
In January of this year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released new rules regarding home and community-based services (HCBS). The new rules and new definition of community living represent a historic change in the Medicaid program and opportunity to improve the system of community supports in every state. Home and community-based services include non-residential services like supported employment. David Mank, Director of the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, wrote this guest post about the intersection of community living and employment.
CMS recently issued new rules defining home and community based services. The language in these regulations emphasize person centered planning and “creates a more outcome-oriented definition of home and community based settings, rather than one solely on, geography or physical characteristics”. CMS indicates its intent is to ensure that people have access to the benefits of community living and full opportunity to be integrated in their communities. CMS has also indicated this applies to all settings, including day program settings and will issue further guidance in the future.
The clear possibility is that this change will result in continued movement toward individualized jobs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. And, is entirely aligned with the “Six by 15 Campaign”. Increasingly, integration is being defined in terms of how people spend their time and what choices people are free to make rather than the location of a building, or the number of people that live there. Community living is about choices and freedom of movement in the typical spaces of community. Translating this to how people spend their day time, can only result in increased opportunities for community jobs for everyone that might want one.
Learn more at HCBSadvocacy.org.