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Office of Intellectual and

Development Disabilities (OIDD)

BH/ID Administrator: Jonna DiStefano
ID Deputy Administrator: Susan Proulx



Office of Intellectual and Development Disabilities (OIDD)

The cornerstone of all of the work performed by the Delaware County Office of Intellectual and Development Disabilities is Everyday Lives. People with intellectual disabilities deserve to live a life filled with choice, meaning and purpose, and to live their lives in the community supported by their families, friends, and neighbors. This is not an entitlement program and paid services are arranged based upon need and as funding is available.


Regional Collaboratives

Supporting Families throughout the Lifespan - An Initiative of Pennsylvania's Office of Developmental Programs


Why are we focusing on families, and why now?

The family is the core unit in our society, serving as a source of support for all its members. For people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), the role of family is unique, and often central in the support and care provided across the lifespan. Family members play key roles in identifying and securing opportunities for their family members to participate within their communities in meaningful ways and in ensuring access to self-determined, everyday lives. Yet, the vital role of the family is not fully recognized and supported in disability policy and practice. Today, there are more than 4.7 million American citizens with I/DD. Three quarters of these people live in their communities without any formal disability services.


A framework for change

The disability movement over the decades has made progress toward overcoming discrimination, segregation, low expectations and social stigma. As societal perceptions about people with disabilities continue to change, the systems, policies and practices to support them must transform. The catalyst for this transformational change is leadership and a collective commitment to the belief that all people and their families should be able to live, love, work, play and pursue their dreams and aspirations in their communities.

Within that collective commitment and leadership, there must be a willingness to be challenged. We must listen with intention to the voices of different experiences of disability and perspectives of diversity, and learn from people so that we can be sure the strategies we pursue accomplish better lives. We must remember every day the "why" behind our work, feel directly connected to the "why", and respond to apprehension and frustration with respect and compassion.

Another key to transformational change is achieved through innovation. At every level, the state disability system must drive forward innovative services, such as family specific strategies and person-directed services.

Another strategy for this transformational change is facilitating collaboration that includes a focus on community-based resources and partnerships. We must encourage our community partners to understand that people with disabilities are community citizens, and to recognize the important role of the community in supporting families so they can best support, nurture, love, and facilitate opportunities for the achievement of everyday lives for their family members.


What is a Community of Practice?

A community of practice is a learning environment for an intensive exploration into current societal and governmental practices, trends and barriers. The key to a community of practice is understanding that the sum of the community knowledge is greater than the sum of individual knowledge.


The National Community of Practice: Supporting Families throughout the Lifespan

Frequently referred to as a "paradigm shift", there is a movement and synergy across the country of supporting families of people with disabilities differently. The overarching goal of the National Community of Practice is to support and strengthen families in ways that strengthen their capacity to best support, nurture, love and facilitate the achievement of self-determination, interdependence, productivity, integration, and inclusion in all facets of community life for their family members. The LifeCourse Framework serves as a platform or roadmap that brings together families and all who touch their lives in supporting that vision of an everyday life for all.


Pennsylvania's Approach to Joining the Community of Practice

Pennsylvania has been accepted as one of the twelve states to join the National Community of Practice beginning July 1, 2016. Pennsylvania's strategy is to encourage and support planning and collaboration at the local and regional level, thus embracing the broad and rich diversity that defines Pennsylvania's character: diversity in geography, demographics, cultures and ethnicity, history and traditions, and local identity. With counties leading the initiative, the expectation is that all stakeholders in the "Regional Collaboratives" will collectively discover and implement strategies, practices and policies that truly support and strengthen families. Local leadership, commitment, development, broad representation, and ownership of each Regional Collaborative will be essential as the foundations of change within their communities.

A major element of Pennsylvania's statewide strategy is the launch of the PA Family Network. With 20 family members hired and trained as Family Advisors, the PA Family Network, supported by ODP, will be leading workshop sessions across the state where families can learn to use the LifeCourse tools and develop strong visions for everyday lives for their family members, as well as learn how the service systems they encounter throughout the lifespan can support that vision.


Additional information and resources from the National Community of Practice can be found at www.supportstofamilies.org and www.lifecoursetools.com.

For more information on Delaware County's initiative, please contact Susan Proulx at proulxs@delcohsa.org or Eileen MacDonald at emacdonald@thearcofdelco.org.


Administrative Entity (AE)

OID ensures that the health, safety, and rights of all people with intellectual disabilities that are registered in Delaware County are protected. OID also monitors all service providers and Supports Coordination Organizations serving residents of Delaware County to ensure that they follow Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) guidelines.


AE functions include:

  • Intake and eligibility determination
  • Provider relations (including Supports Coordination Services)
  • Service authorization
  • Systems Coordination
  • Quality Management
  • Incident Management
  • Coordination of fair hearings and appeals
  • Coordination of funding sources

Administrative Entity (AE)


Support Coordination Organization (SCO)

Support Coordination Organization provides case management services that connect families to natural community resources and paid supports, if needed, that promote independence for people with intellectual disabilities and provide access to supports in the community, home, and workplace. The SCO also helps identify needs of people registered/families and monitor the quality and effectiveness of current services. The SCO works with people, families, and their advocates using the LifeCourse Tools whenever possible to identify the supports needed to help the person live their best life possible.


SCO Functions include:

  • Individual Support Plan – The Supports Coordinator, in conjunction with the person's team, will develop an Individual Support Plan detailing all supports and services needed by the person with an intellectual disability.
  • Locate – Supports Coordinators locate natural supports and paid services, as necessary, to help the person live a full life in the community.
  • Coordinate – Supports Coordinators coordinate supports and services designed to ensure that the person's individual goals are met.
  • Monitor – The Supports Coordinators monitor people receiving their supports and services and ensure that these supports are being applied correctly and appropriately. SCO management conducts quarterly meetings with providers to discuss specific people serviced, new referrals, and any concerns or changes that need to be made.

Eligible Paid Supports may include:

  • Employment Services
  • Community Participation Supports
  • In-Home and Community Supports
  • LifeSharing and other Residential Options
  • Adult Educational Opportunities
  • Supports directly managed by the individual/family (Participant-Driven Supports)
  • Transportation
  • Respite Supports

Types of Funding may include:

  • PFDS Waiver
  • Consolidated
  • Community Living Waiver
  • Family Support Services

Supports Coordination Organization (SCO)