Weigh in on new federal rule

Minnesotans with disabilities, their family members and caregivers are urged to weigh in on a new federal rule for home and community-based services. This is an opportunity to provide feedback about choice, community integration and employment.

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) is hosting several meetings around the state to seek comments from people receiving services through the Brain Injury, Community Alternative Care, Community Access for Disability Inclusion and Developmental Disability waivers.

“We want to hear about individuals’ experiences in receiving services in their  homes and elsewhere in the community,” said DHS Commissioner Emily Piper. “We want to learn what it means to
people with disabilities to be part of a community, to have meaningful relationships and to have the freedom to make choices.”

The federal government is allowing states until March 17, 2019, to come into full  compliance with the rule. All states, including Minnesota, submitted a transition plan to the federal government and are working to refine and agree to steps in the plan. The current version of Minnesota’s transition plan, as well as other information, can be found on the DHS website.

The Home and Community-Based Services Rule states that people receiving publicly paid long-term services and supports should be treated with respect; have the opportunity to be involved in the community, including living and working in integrated settings and coming and going where and when they want; and have enough information to make choices about their services and decisions about how, when and where they get those services.

The meetings are also a chance to offer feedback on standards for the new Home and Community-Based Services Rule. Anyone wanting to learn what the new rule means is also urged to attend. Meetings are planned into August.

To help DHS in planning, anyone planning to attend a meeting or meetings can email HCBS.Settings@state.mn.us or call the DHS Disability Services Division Response Center at 651-431-
4300. Attendees should provide their names and the time, date and place of the meeting they’d like to attend. Anyone needing a reasonable accommodation can also use the email address or phone number to make such a request.

Anyone also wanting to read the state plans and other documentation of the federal rule transition process may go here.  Meetings kick off 10 a.m. to noon Friday, July 15 at Brooklyn Park Library, 8500 W. Broadway Ave., Brooklyn Park. Two meetings will be held Tuesday, July 19 at Minneapolis Central Library, 300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis. Meetings are 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. in the library’s Mark E. Johnson Conference Room N-202 Brainerd area residents can go to the Brainerd Library, 416 S. 5th St., Brainerd, on Monday, July 25. Meetings are 2:30-4:30 p.m. and 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the library conference room.

The Roseville Branch of Ramsey County Library hosts two meetings 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Thursday, July 28. The library is at 2180 Hamline Ave. N., Roseville. Go to the Community Room on the west side of the building.

The final Twin Cities area meeting is 10 a.m. to noon Monday, August 1 at the Ethel Barry Room, Southdale Library, 7001 York Ave. S., Edina. Remaining meetings are in Greater Minnesota. Bemidji area residents can attend one of two meetings Monday, August 8 at the Bemidji Library, 509 America Ave. N.W., Bemidji. Meetings are 2-3 p.m. and 5-7 p.m.

Duluth Library, Gold Room, 520 W. Superior St., Duluth, hosts one meeting 3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. Friday, August 12. Moorhead Library, 118 5th St, S., Moorhead, hosts two meetings Monday, August 15. Meetings are 2-4 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. The final meeting is at the Rochester Public Utilities Building, Conference Room, 4000 E. River Road N.E., Rochester. That meeting is 2-4 p.m. Wednesday, August 17.

-Minnesota DHS provided information for this article.