1. What are intellectual and developmental disabilities?

Intellectual and developmental disabilities are a variety of conditions that become apparent in childhood or prior to age 22 and cause mental or physical limitations. These conditions include autism, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, mental retardation, and other neurological impairments.

2. How do I access residential services for a family member or myself?

Contact The Arc Medicaid Service Intake Coordinator at 315.735.6477, who will conduct an intake to determine specific needs for service.  Tours of homes may be arranged if desired and a residential services application will be initiated.  The admissions process can be further explained at that time.  Admission is completely on a voluntary basis.

3. How does a person qualify for a supportive (less than 24 hour supervision) residential setting?

Individuals are assessed in the areas of Medical, Nutrition, Financial, Socialization and Community Skills. Each category is designed to determine if the individual has the ability to live independently with minimal daily oversight. The individuals can receive up to three hours of daily oversight and guidance. Some key areas for the Supportive Living program are ability to self medicate, independence with an emergency situation, good budgeting skills and independence with community orientation.

4. What can I do if I don’t agree with the agency plan (Individualized Service Plan “ISP”) for my family member or me?

The ISP is coordinated by the individual's Service Coordinator and is supervised by Director of Medicaid Service Coordination. The Residential Clinical Supervisor develops the Residential Habilitation Plan in conjunction with the individual and their families input.  There is always open communication between the people we support, their families and other service providers. Anytime the plan is not meeting the the person we support's needs, an amendment to the ISP can be generated and the plan can change.

5. Who pays for residential services?

Generally, the provider payment is covered by the person we support's benefits (i.e. social security, supplemental security income, veteran benefits, etc.).  If a person we support earns significant wages, a portion might be used to offset the decrease in the person’s benefits.  Private pay, in certain situations, is an option.  Other funding sources include Medicaid, state and local monies.

6. What responsibilities will I have?

Each person we support and or the family member or guardian will need to sign an admissions agreement upon admission. Living in a residence will require that I participate, to the best of my ability, in maintaining the cleanliness and neatness of my home.  I will also be responsible for not infringing on the rights of others.  House codes and chore responsibilities are usually established upon mutual agreement between the pe3rson we support with staff guidance.

7. Can I choose where my family member lives?

Arc residences are located throughout Oneida and Lewis Counties. Determinations of where a person may live depend on peer group, proximity to work or day program, availability (vacancy), and the individual's requirement for staff oversight. Families are involved and are encouraged to visit prospective IRAs. The decision is made in concert with the individual and the family.

8. Will my family member or I have to share a room?

The Arc's goal is to provide a single room for every individual. Shared rooms are often a personal choice on the part of the individuals. Each home is different in its layout and bedroom situation.

9. Who will care for my family member or me when ill?

The Arc has 24 hour AMAP certified staff in our IRA residences (except Supportives who have AMAP staff available a few hours a day). The staff can administer medications and are First Aid and CPR trained. We also have the oversight of Registered Nurses and LPN’s. An RN is assigned to each of the residences. The RN oversees the medical care for each individual and provides nursing treatments when needed. The RN’s are available by a phone system after business hours. We also have SUNY On Call Triage that residential staff can utilize if the RN is not available to answer any questions regarding the individuals medical care.

10. Can my family member come to my house for an overnight visit?

The ARC encourages family involvement and values the importance of family relationships.  We do, however, have guidelines set forth from OMRDD stating our individuals need to be in attendance at least 22 days per month in order to receive payment for that person.  These services are performed with our direct services staff and are our main funding source for our IRA program.

11. What types of recreational opportunities are available?

Individuals are free to participate in a wide variety of recreational activities.  Each residence develops plans to assist individuals in accessing community events such as movies, concerts, sporting events, picnics, swimming, theater shows, golfing, fairs, camps, etc.  Many individuals participate in bowling leagues, Special Olympics, and the Leisure Center.  There are associations that offer organized trips to places within the United States and internationally that some individuals take advantage of.  These trips can be expensive and to save enough money is a goal that many people participate in.  Just about anything is possible in the area of recreation.  If you have a strong interest in something we can try to make it happen.

12. Will my family member or I be able to work?

There are opportunities to work and earn money.  It depends on the person’s ability and desire to be employed.  Some individuals are employed at sheltered workshop settings.  Others work in the community with assistance from Employment Services.  Still others have obtained their own jobs in the community without assistance and are very successful.

13. Will my family member or I have spending money?

Each person receives a monthly personal allowance based on their benefits, OPWDD mandates, and the representative payee if other than The Arc. This money may be used for recreational expenses, “pocket money”, and items that the individual chooses to purchases. If a person works, they would also have earnings from their job. A plan is developed with each person to determine how much money they can handle and that amount is given to the person at an established frequency. Some individuals are very independent.