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Definitions for Continuum of Care Matrix for Alaskans with Developmental Disabilities

I. Information and Referral is a service whereby individuals and families can learn about the generic and specialized types of services and supports available in Alaska. Assistance in acquiring and completing eligibility paperwork can be provided, and referrals can be made to agencies offering the types of services an individual or family is seeking. This service is provided by a variety of agencies, including Infant Learning and Early Intervention Programs, school districts, Head Start, Public Health Centers, the Department of Health & Social Services, and various non-profit agencies that provide services to individuals and families.

II. Direct Services described below are available to eligible individuals depending on availability of funding.

Case Management/Care Coordination assists persons in gaining access to needed medical, social, educational and other services regardless of the funding source for the services to which access is gained. Case management links persons with complex personal circumstances to appropriate services and insures coordination of those services. This service may include referral services, routine monitoring and support, and/or review and revision of the habilitation plan.

Respite provides relief to caregivers from the everyday stress of caring for an individual who experiences a disability. Respite care can be provided in a variety of settings. Providers are trained in first aid, CPR, behavior and physical management, and information specific to the recipient’s needs. Respite care cannot be used for regular childcare or adult day care except for short-term emergency situations.

Specialized Medical Equipment and Supplies are devices, controls or appliances that enable an individual to increase their ability to perform activities of daily living, or to perceive, control or communicate with the environment in which the individual lives. They are also supplies and equipment necessary for the proper functioning of the above medical equipment.

Environmental Modifications are physical adaptations to an individual’s home, which are necessary to ensure the health, welfare and safety of the recipient.

Day Habilitation services assist with acquisition, retention or improvement in self-help, socialization and adaptive skills, and may include pre-vocational training or subsistence activities. These services take place in a nonresidential setting, separate from the home in which the individual lives.

Supported Employment services are provided at a work site in which individuals without disabilities are employed. They include the adaptations, supervision and training needed by individual unlikely to obtain competitive employment at or above the minimum wage. Supported employment is for individuals who need intensive, ongoing support, supervision and training to perform in a work setting. Supported employment may include subsistence activities.

Vocational Rehabilitation services include job counseling, referral, on-the-job training, tests and tools to evaluate an individual’s talents, short-term job try-out, job search and placement services, interpreter, reading and tutoring services. In some cases additional services may be covered.

Transportation services enable an individual and necessary escort to gain access to home and community-based waiver services or other community services and resources. Transportation may be provided as part of a coordinated transportation system, with public buses, accessible, door-to-door vans and/or taxi service. In smaller communities this service may be provided through social service agencies.

Educational Services are provided to eligible children birth to 3 through the Infant Learning Program, from 3-5 through the school districts and/or Head Start and from 5-22 through the school districts.

Infant Learning Program services include developmental screening, evaluation, and information about the child’s strengths and needs, home visits to help the family or caregivers guide their children in learning new skills, physical, occupation or speech therapy, specialized equipment and resources, and assistance in getting other specialized services and care.

Preschool Special Education services are provided to children ages three through five in order to meet their individual needs identified either through the Infant Learning Program or designed by an interdisciplinary team working through an Alaskan school district. These services are developmentally appropriate and include needed physical, occupational and/or speech therapy, and needed adaptive equipment. Services are designed to prepare children for an inclusive kindergarten placement.

Special Educationand Related Services encompass the provision of a free and appropriate education to children aged 3-21 who experience a disability and require specialized instruction in the least restrictive environment. Certified special educators and aides provide a range of services including adaptive physical education, individualized help with all school subjects and classes. Public schools are charged with transitioning students to adult life beginning at age 16.The overall goal of special education is to prepare students for independent living and employment.

Chore Services include regular cleaning and heavy household chores within an individual’s residence, snow shoveling to provide safe access and egress, and other services necessary to maintain a clean, sanitary and safe environment in the individual’s residence.

Intensive Active Treatment are time-limited specific treatments or therapies to address a family problem or a personal, social, behavioral, mental, or substance abuse disorder in order to maintain or improve effective functioning of an individual. These are designed and provided by a professional or paraprofessional working under a professional.

Crisis Response isoffered as short-term assistance to people with developmental disabilities and their families. The purpose is to stabilize circumstances in order to keep the family unit intact, prevent an out-of-home placement, or to maximize an individual’s ability to function independently in a difficult situation by providing immediate but limited relief. Examples include ground and/or air transportation and lodging, emergency car repairs needed to maintain employment, and emergency utility expenses if there is an immediate health and safety issue.

Medical services include screening, assessment, diagnosis, and treatment. Specialist and sub-specialist care is available in a limited number of larger communities.

Dental services include preventive and restorative care.

Pharmaceutical services provide access to prescribed medications, nutritional supplements, and durable medical supplies and equipment.

Recreational services are frequently offered by parks and recreation programs. Therapeutic and inclusive recreation and the loan of adaptive recreational equipment are also available.

Legal advocacy services for people with disabilities are available. The state’s protection and advocacy program provides training in self-advocacy, disability rights, and special education, assists individuals and family members in advocating for their rights, provides legal representation when problems cannot be resolved by other means, and investigates complaints of abuse, neglect and denial of rights. Private attorneys may also provide representation for a fee.

III. Residential Services

In-home Support services are designed to help individuals overcome or cope with functional limitations.

Shared Care is an arrangement whereby an individual spends more than 50% of the time in the home of an unpaid primary caregiver, and the remainder of the time in an assisted living home.

Family Habilitation services are provided to individuals who live more than 50% of the time in an assisted living home or foster home, receiving care from a paid caregiver who is not a member of the individual’s family. This residential arrangement does not require the natural family to give up custody or parental rights. Families and the individual may help choose the Family Habilitation home.

Group Homes are provided to individuals 18 years of age or older who live in an assisted living home. Habilitation plans frequently include goals designed to develop relationships and skills that lead toward increased independence.

Supported Living services are provided to individuals 18 years of age or older in the recipient’s private residence by a caregiver who does not reside in that residence. Habilitation plans identify the various levels of training and supervision needed by adults moving into or living in settings that maximize their independence.