Provider Best & Shared Practices

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Best & Shared Practices - Provider

Submission date: 6/14/2016
Submitted by: Mark Williams
Provider name: Goodwill Industries of SW Florida
APD Area: N/A

Practice: ​Comprehensive intake form that includes useful and required information about indviduals entering their program.

Benefit: ​Individuals receiving services by ensuring the provider has pertinent information allowing them to better serve the individual.

How?: Providers could adopt the form for collecting this useful and required information.

Note: Forms can be good tools to gather information however there should be ongoing efforts to update information and to review and update as people and their preferences are subject to change.

Submission date: 5/19/16
Submitted by: Berta Santos
Provider name: Nilo's Home Services
APD Area: 11/Southern

Practice: ​​Residential Habilitation Provider is using AbleLinc Technologies' Living Safely and Everyday Skills cognitively accessible learning videos on both the iPad and Apple TV to provide visual and auditory training during their house meetings and individually with their residents with staff facilitation. These are short easy to understand learning videos designed for individuals with Autism but very applicable for use with many of the residents.

Who Benefits? ​​All the individuals who reside in this provider's Group Home benefit from these videos including when shown at house meetings. These prompt discussion about how to do things and act in specific situations, also allowing input from all individuals who view them.

How?These learning videos can be used as this provider is using them, for individual instruction for those who want to learn how to do a particular task, ie use the microwave, ​and for group activities, to educate individuals in a multitude of tasks and activities.

Submission date: 5/19/16
Submitted by: Berta Santos
Provider name: Nilo's Home Services
APD Area: 11/Southern

Practice: ​This provider has developed a variety of simple communication systems using laminated picture boards, this Reviewer observed individuals willingly use these to identify choice, educate about abuse and rights training, and to communicate medical needs, ie pain. Provider has also purchased an iPad and downloaded communication programs/applications for the use of 2 of the residents at their Group Home

Who Benefits? ​​Individuals with limited expressive communication skills all can benefit from these types of easily produced and individualized communication boards/systems. The iPad with the communication applications was a vaforite of the 2 invidiuals in the home targeted and particularly useful as it not only has pictures of items but also names the item selected encouraging verbal communication as well as visual

How?There are many individuals with limited expressive communication skills that are currently not getting to explore any simple communication systems to facilitate their interaction with others or their environment. Tablets are now much more affordable in price and communicacation applications are available and some are free. Any type of simple communication system could be a great emnhancement to the quality of life for some individuals and worth a the exploration and a sincere try.

Submission date: 5/19/16
Submitted by: Berta Santos
Provider name: American Home & Community Services
APD Area: 11/Southern

Practice: This Supported Living Provider enrolls the individuals she supports in the Excess Food Farms Across Florida program http://www.miamidade.gov/district13/advisories/2015-11-09-farm-share-food-distribution.asp. The website posts dates and locations when individuals can come and get free fresh produce from local farms. Provider facilitates setting up transportation to and from the locations on these dates.

Who Benefits? ​The individuals benefit from the free and fresh local produce.

How?Any individual on a fixed and limited food budget would benefit and this could also be a project for daily living skills training to go get the produce, and to then cook a healthy dish/meal.

Submission date: 5/19/16
Submitted by: Charlene Johnson-Henry
Provider name: James Farmer
APD Area: 7

Practice: ​Personal Supports provider uses a form to identify additional potential concerns in rendering the service. The document covers areas that include but are not limited to the individual's ability to get in/out of various vehicles, adaptive equipment needs, and behavioral/emotional concerns that may affect community access.

Who Benefits? ​The provider and the individual benefits from this practice. The provider is given valuable information that will assist in rendering the service, as the areas covered may help with avoiding potential obstacles. Additionally, the provider will have the opportunity to provide a more tailored service. The individual will get the benefit of receiving a more person-centered service from the provider, making for a more dignified and pleasant interaction, whether at home or in the community.

How? ​​By taking the time to reflect on the person and their service needs, others could formulate their own additional considerations. This would provide an opportunity to really mold the service to the person who is receiving it.

Submission date: 4/1/16
Submitted by: Gwen Williams
Provider name: Tammie Larkins
APD Area: 3/Northeast

Practice: ​The provider shared access to a web page titiled "Visitgainesville.com". The website list events, activities and volunteer opportunities scheduled for the upcoming months in the Gainesville community and is updated frequently. The provider uses this as a starting poing in determining what events and community activities individuals are interested in. The provider prints out the information in advance and talks about the calendar with individuals served. The website is a comprehensive and very useful listing for community resources.

Who Benefits? Anyone interestd in activities in Alachua County/Gainesville will find this site useful. Individuals served and staff have access to current information about event and activities in Gainesville.

How? ​Other providers in the Gainesville/Alachua County area could benifit from this uselful website.

Submission date: 4/1/16
Submitted by: Gwen Williams
Provider name: Tammie Larkins
APD Area: 3/Northeast

Practice: When individuals meet goals, the provider prepares a simple but professional looking certificate indicating the goal accomplished and the date. The certificate is similar to the certificates used by providers to show completion of training.

Who Benefits? Individuals I interviewed were proud of their certificates. It was clear what goals were accomplished for the individual. Some individuals posted these in their rooms, promping other individuals to try to acheive their own certificates. Staff were aware of what goals were met.

How? Other provider could create similar certificates for the individuals they serve.

Submission date: 10-2-15
Submitted by: Kathryn Smith
Provider name: Nell's Care and Support Services
APD Area: 1

Practice:​ This template can be used by providers, family members, or indivdiuals receiving services for gathering health and safety information.

Who Benefits? How? Providers and the people they serve benefit from a conprehensive template to easily document information on a person's health and overall well being.

How could others apply this in practice? Others may use this template to ensure they are gathering and documenting pertinnet information on health and safety.

Submission date: 10-2-15
Submitted by: Berta Santos
Provider name: Emily C Moises Adult Day Training Center
APD Area: Southern, 11

Practice:​ ​Emily C Moises Adult Day Training (ADT)Center, under the direction of Nieves Moises, partnered with the local Arts Council to create painting classes and paintings expositions where individuals/artists are able to sell their work.  The artists are paid directly.  The ADT has also created an embroidery circle after an individual expressed a strong interest in learning how  to embroider.  The works were sold online and individuals received whatever they charged for their work..  This year artists in a painting class are working on a group project to develop a "Rights Wall" with separate individual paintings which will visually  depict  all of the individual rights  on the "Bill of Rights" and  topics about rights issues .  The paintings and "the Rights Wall"  will be used to educate the Individuals at the Center and be included in weekly activities, holidays and functions.

Who Benefits? How? Individuals who attend the Center, as well as individuals who visit the center will benefit.  The visual depiction in bright colors and large size will make it easier to see and understand for all who view the wall and will make learning about rights meaningful. 

How could others apply this in practice? ​​Any Provider can benefit from making learning interactive and fun. It can open minds to other creative ways to educate and encourage understanding about rights.

Submission date: 10-2-15
Submitted by: Bernadette Mitchell
Provider name: Null
APD Area: Northwest

Practice:​ ​Composing progress notes has been an issue for this provider. During previous reviews, he often stated he had completed tasks but he had not documented them. In his review this year, progress notes had improved significantly. His secret? He uses Dragon Dictation (free) on his smartphone, sends to his e-mail, opens it, corrects any errors and prints for the consumer file. This has enabled him to document his services more accurately, to enhance time management and efficiency, and to greatly reduce frustration.

Who Benefits? How? ​​Provider benefits through more efficient use of time, increased accuracy in documentation of services provided and showing all his work.  His clients benefit through greater accuracy in files. 

How could others apply this in practice? ​​Any provider could apply this practice as long as phones and emails have security features to protect PHI and PII.

Submission date: 6-23-15
Submitted by: Kathryn Smith
Provider name:The ARC of Walton County, Inc.
APD Area: NWFL, 1

Practice:​ ARC Walton County developed a theatre group named, No Limits. No Limits directs, writes, and performs theatre productions in  Okaloosa and Walton County.  No Limits has performers with and without disabilities and is completely inclusive. No Limits offers membership to all community members.

Their recent production  at Fort Walton Beach Civic Center, “We were soldiers too – voices from the home front” featured stories about life and love from surviving spouses of retired military heroes  residing at Air Force Enlisted Village communities in Okaloosa County.   This fundraiser event benefited both the ARC Walton County and the Air Force Enlisted Village.

Who Benefits? How? ​​The entire community benefits from the integration. 

How could others apply this in practice? ​​Performing arts can be used to enhance entertainment and education for all members of any community.

Submission date: 6-22-15
Submitted by: Denna Egelston
Provider name: Health and Behavioral Dimensions
APD Area: 10

Practice: This provider has implemented a new process for their monthly house meetings.  The residents have elected officers for the their meetings which include a President, a Vice President, a Treasurer and a Secretary.   The provider and residents both report  satisfaction with the process and the outcomes. They look forward to the next election.

Who Benefits? How? ​The residents have increased their ownership, independence and empowerment.  They are very excited about the process and are extremely proud of their accomplishments.  For example, when they chose to attend an event the treasurer researched the cost of the tickets, transportation, food,  etc and then brought  it back to the group for discussion. This provided her with the opportunity to use previous skills and learn new ones.  Everyone is involved but each person has a responsibility which increases their self esteem.  This process increases their self-worth,  their involvement in the success of the outcomes and their decision and choice making skills.

How could others apply this in practice? ​Anyone could apply this practice to their settings.

Submission date: 5-20-15
Submitted by: Jose Navarro
Provider name: PBS, Inc Community Residential Home
APD Area: 10

Practice: This is a Group Home provider located in Broward County that understood that most of the individuals residing in their homes wanted to have keys to enter their homes but they were concerned about safety and losing their keys or ending in the wrong hands. The provider purchased key lock boxes for each home through Amazon and each individual gets trained on how to use the box with a private code and trained on how to open the front door with supervision. The locks are modern ones similar to those used by Realtors.

Who Benefits? How? ​The individuals residing in their homes by accessing and entering their homes.

How could others apply this in practice? ​Following on their initiative and modeling after them. This is all about the individuals receiving services.

Submission date: 3-24-15
Submitted by: Robyn Tourlakis
Provider name: n/a
APD Area: NW1

Practice: A Quality Council member, Patty Houghland, shared a current practice of a provider organization she visited regarding community inclusion. Patty described how the provider organization had started selling fruits and vegetables at their home location, but realized they could reach more people and be more part of the community they live in if they went to a community venue such as a local Farmer’s Market. The group of residents started selling their fruits and vegetables at a community Farmer’s Market.

Who Benefits? How? Everyone benefits from the utilization of this practice. Instead of a segregated fruit and vegetable stand on their own property, it is an integrated fruit and vegetable stand utilizing the same community resources as their local community residents. This practice relates to person-centered practices important to all people and links people to community life in their own geographic community.

How could others apply this in practice? Others could use this practice by looking at events and happenings in their local community and seeing how they can be a part of those events instead of hosting separate events for those with disabilities.

Submission date: 7-30-13
Submitted by: Noeline Coore-Brown
Provider name: Jewish Residential and Family Services
APD Area: n/a

Practice:  JRFS has established and provides the following services to their clientele:  Life Planning; Psychiatry; Support Groups; LCSW’s provide group and individual counseling; and there’s a Medical Director who attends weekly consultations.  The Life Planning services offers education, advocacy, individual consultation and emotional support to families who care for an adult relatives with disabilities. 

Who Benefits? How? The people that benefit from these services are the people served by Jewish Residential and Family Services, and their local community.

How could others apply this in practice? This provider Agency is the first known provider who offers all of these types of services in-house.  Typically, people would need to go to several locations to get these services. 

Submission date: 3-6-13
Submitted by: Gwen Williams
Provider name: Grandville Group Home
APD Area: 3

Practice
In the provider van, the provider keeps an up to date copy of demographics (medications, allergies, physical and emotional health concerns, medical conditions) along with a picture of each individual zipped securely in a pouch in the glove box with the vehicle registration and insurance. Staff is trained to safeguard this sensitive information.

Individuals at the home don’t communicate with words. In the event of an auto accident, this information would be accessible for emergency personnel to provider effective treatment.

Who Benefits? How?
There have been several auto accidents in area 3 – some resulting in fatalities – in the last year. Emergency workers can use the pictures and demographics to identify individuals who don’t speak and provide effective emergency treatment.

How could others apply this in practice?
Other providers who follow HIPPA precautions and who transport individuals could use similar procedures.

Submission date: 1-29-13
Submitted by: Gwen Williams
Provider name: Special Friends
APD Area: 3

Practice
At least weekly the provider has a “pop quiz” with the individual receiving services to make sure they remember what their goal is. (Can you tell me what your goal is/do you remember your goal…) The answer is documented on the service log under a”pop quiz” category.

Who Benefits? How?
Most people are familiar with the “pop quiz” concept. This is a simple and quick way to ensure the person and the providers remember the goal.

How could others apply this in practice?
Other providers could follow the same procedure and put a “pop quiz – what’s your goal” line on the service log.
The pop quiz idea could be used for other purposes depending on the individuals need – such as – who do you call if you need help, where do you keep your wallet, what day do you go to work…. The question could change as needed.

Submission date: 11-19-12
Submitted by: Mark Williams
Provider name: All About Behaviors
APD Area: 13

Practice
This provider uses the attached form to prompt employees to document how they address goals, choice and community preferences. They plan to modify it to address service log requirements and use it for that purpose as well.

Who benefits? How?
The provider benefits by increasing the likelihood that employees will document these required elements. The participants benefit because the employees are more likely to address goals and offer choices and attend to preferences because the form prompts them to do so.

How could others apply this in practice?
Instead of reinventing the wheel, other providers could use it to accomplish the same end.

Choices & Goals Report Form [doc]

Submission date: 11-26-09
Submitted by: Steve Baylis
Provider name: Shared (HARC in Area 23, MARC in Area 11, Lawless and Moore in Area 23)
APD Area: 

Practice
Providers, WSC, and Individuals/Families have increasingly utilized Hospice resources for people who wish to remain in their homes toward the end of their lives. Additional social work, nursing, CNA, grief counseling, and personal care services can be provided in the person’s home whether the situation is supported living, group home, individual, or family home. This empowers an individual to resist being sent to a nursing home or rehab center against her/his will.

Who Benefits? How?
Persons served, Provider, Family/Loved ones, WSC, APD
Persons served benefit by influencing direction over their own healthcare during the end of life while continuing to receive support coordination services. Persons served also benefit from having important people in their lives surrounding them at a difficult time when social support is crucial. Providers benefit by having additional support outside the DD Medicaid Waiver funding stream and access to grief counseling as needed or desired. Loved ones and housemates benefit by having access to grief counseling and the respect of participating in real life situations. WSC benefits by continuing to provide support coordination services to the individual during a crucial time in the person’s life. APD benefits by sharing the funding with other entities including Medicare and private insurance.

Submission date: 9-18-09
Submitted by: Noeline Coore
Provider name: Lisa Cicetti, Psy. D. LMHC, Inc.
APD Area: 9

Practice
The Agency collaborates with various employers within the community (i.e. Vitas Hospice, FAU--Barnes & Nobles, Home Goods, TJ MAXX, Petsmart, Pest Control, Walgreens, and Lowe's) to set up job training sites at each location in order to train people on the skills needed for positions within the Company. People who are involved on the job training sites are paid.

Who Benefits? How?
Both the communities and the people served, benefit from this collaboration. People are being provided with paid on the job training. In addition, people are interacting with people in the local communities and visa versa.

Submission date: 9-18-09
Submitted by: Noeline Coore
Provider name: L.V. Walters Group Home
APD Area: 10

Practice
Each year, the provider focuses on a particular theme to address throughout the year (i.e. Environment, Education, Service delivery, Community Inclusion, Family Involvement, etc.). The theme for 2008' was Family Involvement and the Agency focused on family visits, family interactions, family oriented activities, staff assisting family and friends in any way to ensure more frequent visits for everyone, etc. This dedication is not only for people and their families, but also includes staff and their families, as well. In addition, the provider has worked with people on the Special Olympics Ski Team since 2005', to prepare for the Ski Competitions in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. They have practices several days per week at local beaches, parks, and at the residences. Families and the local community will attend practice at the beaches and parks, to cheer on the group. Practice occurs from November to January of each year. The team raises money for the trip throughout the year by doing car washes, bake sales, parties, etc. They also take donations. The Ski Team is known as Cool Runnings, after the film which inspired them to become involved with this Winter sport, since they reside in South Florida. This past year they came home with all gold medals with the exception of one silver medal.

Who Benefits? How?
Everyone benefits from both activities occurring within this Agency (i.e. People, families, the community, provider and staff, etc.). These activities benefit everyone by bringing communities together and promoting inter-connectedness.

Submission date: 9-15-09
Submitted by: Charlene Henry
Provider name: Home at Last
APD Area: 12

Practice
The provider has a system to track claims submitted and paid/unpaid. The agency has a spreadsheet with detailed information about service authorization amounts, as well as limits and claims submitted. Once the remittance vouchers come in, the provider enters that information into the spreadsheet, which allows the agency to see what has been paid and unpaid.

Who Benefits? How?
The Agency. The spreadsheet is maintained in the front of the provider’s billing back up (invoices, remittance vouchers) which allows agency staff to view claims billed/paid or unpaid, by individual, without going back through volumes of documentation to find a particular claim.

Submission date: 9-15-09
Submitted by: Trudy Acevedo
Provider name: Communicare, Inc.
APD Area:  23

Practice
The staff of Communicare, Inc. wanted to be able to present options to people receiving services of activities that are for the general population and to learn of people’s preferences related to integration. In order to address this, they created a form that they call: Community Activities Directory. This form is broken down into three columns. The first column is for identifying an area of interest: dancing, tennis, etc. The second column addresses details/information about resources for the general population related to this interest (i.e HYA –Handicapped Youth Activities). The third column addresses details/resources for special needs population related to this interest (Shepards Bar and Grill). In the second and third column details such as the name of the place, address, phone number, days of operation and cost are included. The staff and individuals make a practice of researching this information by looking through newspapers, by picking up flyers while out in the community at places such as the local library, researching and obtaining information on various activities through the use of the Internet, etc. Any literature, brochures, pictures or additional information pertaining to the area of interest is then attached to the form. The form along with any attachments are maintained in a binder with each page having a page protector on it. The binder is maintained in the home for easy access by the people who live in the home. At any time, individuals and staff can add information about any new area of interest or add additional information to an existing area of interest. This tool is used by staff to present options for integration and to have discussions with people to learn what their preferences are. The staff intend on exposing people to the different activities both in an integrated and a segregated setting so that the person can make an informed choice as to what their preference is for integration. During government meetings, new activities added will be presented to the individuals who live in the home. This tool will also be used to determine what people’s preferences are for community activities and to support them to learn of possible valued roles that are available within their community.

Who Benefits? How?
Individuals benefit in many ways by this best practice. They are educated and exposed to options of integrated and segregated activities based on their preferences so that they can make an informed choice as to what their preferences are. They are also learning where to locate information about what is available and what activities are occurring within their community. Through education, exposure and experience people are presented with options to pursue valued social roles within their communities based on their preferences.

Support Plan Checklist [doc]

Submission date: 9-9-09
Submitted by: Kathy Harkleroad
Provider name: A & E Caregivers, LLC.
APD Area:  1

Practice
The provider has color pictures and brief statements explaining the various Rights and Safety concepts depicted. A & E then prints out the picture and text, attaches it to an index card. These cards are then attached together by punching a hole in them and stringing them together for easy access & flip. They give one of these to each staff member so they can review rights and safety whenever it seems appropriate and/or to take advantage of wait times during doctor’s appointments or other times.

Who Benefits? How?
It is a great way to discuss rights with concrete examples that are referenced with pictures.

Submission date: 9-9-09
Submitted by: Kathy Harkleroad
Provider name: Resources for Human Development
APD Area:  1

Practice
The provider found a web site that allows a person to create a personalized medication card. They used the site (www.drugdigest.org) under the interactive tool heading to create medication cards for individuals and gave one to individuals to keep with them for use when necessary.

Who Benefits? How?
It is a great way to assist individuals in managing their own health care, and advocating for their personal health needs, and gaining independence.

Submission date: 9-9-09
Submitted by: Kathy Harkleroad
Provider name: ERL Support Services
APD Area:  1

Practice
This provider offered individuals the opportunity to become certified in CPR. The agency staff were in need of CPR certification/recertification so they asked the individuals if any of them would be interested in this as well. Several were and attended this class alongside the agency staff.

Who Benefits? How?
This assists persons in learning how to save a life and also supports the teamwork aspect of service delivery. Staff also have the opportunity to learn more about the persons they serve because they have opportunity to see them as peers learning with them.

Submission date: 9-9-09
Submitted by: Kathy Harkleroad
Provider name: ERL Support Services
APD Area:  1

Practice
Provider found a community center in Pensacola that offers services to mature adults age 40 years and older instead of just seniors who are much older.

Who Benefits? How?
This Fricker Community Center offers an alternative to Adult Day Training programs that meets persons need for a meaningful day activity that is integrated and allows them to socialize with persons close to their own age in their community. It also helps persons conserve APD funds or services that are not available in the community.

Submission date: 9-9-09
Submitted by: Kathy Harkleroad
Provider name: RHD in Walton County
APD Area:  1

Practice
Provider solicits persons’ preferences regarding volunteering to prepare and serve a dinner for cancer survivors as part of the American Cancer Society Relay for Li8fe celebration. Persons who choose to participate in this community event were transported by natural or paid supports to the event where they worked together to prepare, serve and clean up after socializing with their communi8ty members who were appreciative of the efforts to recognize their challenges of overcoming cancer.

Who Benefits? How?
This assists persons in learning how to help others and serve their community while learning about teamwork and gaining the satisfaction of taking care of others who are in need. They were able to see friends and learn new skills because they were also responsible for decorations and planning the meal. Staff also had the opportunity to learn more about the persons they serve because they were peers contributing to their community together.

Submission date: 9-4-09
Submitted by: Jose Navarro
Provider name: Leaning Place Group Home
APD Area:  11

Practice
The provider celebrated a wedding for two individuals at the group home. The provider organized the event over several months and networked with other entities to ensure that the individuals would have the most memorable experience of their lives. The provider stated that approximately sixty people attended the ceremony including people from APD, Support Coordinators, family members and friends. The provider indicated that the ceremony and after party took place at the group home. The wedding was also conducted by a Public Notary and then recorded at the Local Civil Court. The provider stated that they are now planning with the individuals a honeymoon to Cancun, Mexico.

Who Benefits? How?
Individuals benefit by celebrating their marriage. By making the individuals dream come true, helping through the process and by supporting them with natural supports.

Submission date:9-1-09
Submitted by:Chris Kulaga
Provider name:PARC
APD Area: 23

Practice
This adult day training provider implemented an opportunity for individuals to use “curriculum boxes” during ‘down time’ at the ADT. There are several boxes throughout the facility. These boxes contain activities that include worksheets and games related to money skills and cooking skills. The boxes also contain maps and information from around the world, worksheets to learning how to apply for a passport for a trip outside the country and many other interesting skills. The organization has also partnered with Suntrust bank to create a model ‘bank’ in their library where individuals learn how to open a savings/checking account.

Who Benefits? How?
All persons benefit. Individuals benefit by having interesting and productive information to learn from. Provider and staff benefit by assisting individuals to build on their interests and abilities which will lead to individuals having a sense of greater independence.

Submission date: 3/11/09
Submitted by: Trudy Acevedo
Provider name: Gina Riggs of Challenging Ideas
APD Area: 23, 13

Practice
When Ms. Riggs provides training to her staff, she requests from her staff to complete a brief summary on an In-service/Training form of what they learned from the training. This is a great way to find out what staff has learned from the training provided and it helps staff retain information learned. The In-service/Training form also has the training topic, location of training, instructor, hours spent on training and a space for a signature. This form is maintained in the employee file to track training provided to staff.

Who Benefits? How?
Individuals receiving services benefit as staff knowledge of training benefits the quality of service that the individuals are receiving. The provider benefits by having a good tracking system of training provided and what the staff learned from that training to determine if they understood or if further training may be necessary.

Inservice Training Form [tif]

Submission date: 3/11/09
Submitted by: Trudy Acevedo
Provider name: Gina Riggs of Challenging Ideas
APD Area: 23, 13

Practice
Ms. Riggs made arrangements for an Individual receiving services to conduct a training for her staff. The topic of the training was called “The Domino effect.” The Individual talked to staff about what it means to him as well as other people in his life when staff are late or do not show up for a scheduled appointment. The individual shared with staff that he begins to pace the house, he will call his mother frequently during the time he is wondering if staff will show up, he will check his calendar many times to see that he had the correct date and time, etc.

Who Benefits? How?
The person receiving services had the opportunity to experience the valued role of being a trainer. The staff benefitted by receiving education on respect and what it means to that person as well as how important it is to treat each person with respect.

Submission date: 3/5/09
Submitted by: Charlene Henry
Provider name: Futures for Special Needs
APD Area: 12

Practice
The provider uses monthly documentation that includes three areas. 1) progress on goals, 2) problem areas and 3) emerging skills/achievements

Who Benefits? How?
The Provider and the Individuals. Staff is better able to track what’s happening with the person’s goal(s). As skills increase or a new skill is discovered, the staff can use this to motivate the person to continue in a positive direction. Problem areas can be discussed for resolution if they are pin-pointed month by month. When problem areas are resolved they can be celebrated as achievements.

Submission date: 12-3-08
Submitted by: Trudy Acevedo
Provider name: PARC
APD Area: 23

Practice 
PARC has developed an excel spreadsheet to address each and every Projected Service Outcome (PSO’s) for all the services that they provide that require Projected Service Outcome. Staff have all been trained on the purpose of the PSO’s and how to utilize the excel spreadsheet to document that the Projected Service Outcomes have been reviewed for each person that they work with. The administrative staff developed a tracking sheet with all the individuals served and their support plan end date. This tracking is used to send tickler reminders to staff that the Projected Service Outcome is due for the person that they work with. PSO’s are reviewed on a quarterly basis. The staff has access to this information via computer. When staff pull the Projected Service Outcome excel spreadsheet up for their caseload, it reflects a color coded system that highlights the people whose outcomes need to be reviewed within that month. After reviewing the outcomes with the person, the staff then enters the results in the computer. Administrative staff then analyzes this data to see if there is any dissatisfaction, goals not being met, etc. Any outcomes not met are then addressed to the satisfaction of the person. Annually, this information is readily available to put into an aggregate form for further review to determine if any changes need to be made within the organization to ensure outcomes are being met for those receiving services.

Who Benefits? The Individual
How? The individuals receiving services benefit as PARC has an efficient system to determine whether results are being achieved for people as well as to determine if results are not being achieved so that any outcomes that are not met are addressed in a timely manner and to the satisfaction of the person.

Submission date: 11-26-08
Submitted by: Trudy Acevedo
Provider name: Peak Providers
APD Area: 23

Practice
The provider wanted to create a simple way for staff to have grab and go emergency information for each person they serve. The provider created what appears to be a typical business card on the front side of the card. The front of the card has the provider’s contact information and on the back side of the card there is space for the following information: Person’s Name, Address and Phone number, Emergency contact and phone number, Doctor’s name and phone number, Current medications and Characteristics. The card is completed for each person and one copy is given to staff and a copy is given to the person to keep with them while out in the community in the event of an emergency. In addition, the staff provides education on the importance of carrying this information and the importance of not giving out too much information to prevent identity theft. Staff and the person can keep the card in their wallets or pocketbooks.

Who Benefits? The Individual
How? The person benefits as they are learning how to maintain important information on them while out in the community so that they are prepared in the event the police or the EMT’s are called for help. The person also benefits from staff having this information readily available to ensure no delays in getting the proper care and to ensure accurate information is given in the event of an emergency.

Submission date: 11-22-08
Submitted by: Robin Tourlakis
Provider name: Kathy Pregent
APD Area: 23

Practice
The provider created magnets with the abuse hotline number on it for individual’s refrigerators.

Who Benefits? The Individual
How? Individuals benefit as they are able to access the number as needed. Since it is a magnet, it is less likely to be lost like a paper version, and individuals were aware of where to locate the number. Additionally, having a magnet on a refrigerator is in the flow of natural décor within a home.

Submission date: 11-5-08
Submitted by: Mario Arreaga
Provider name: Victorian Manor
APD Area: 10

Practice 
The provider has a solid best practice in the area of rights. The provider has a staff member whose sole focus is education of individuals in topics such as rights, safety and community options. The provider discusses rights and self-advocacy in this forum. Consumers also use house meetings to vote on all activities that they want to be involved in. All consumers at the homes who are eligible to vote were registered to do so and were very excited about the prospect.

Who Benefits?
How? Individuals benefit because they are not only being educated about rights but they are also getting exposure and experience in this area. They are getting exposure by discussion and direct access to advocacy groups, and then direct experience in exercising rights by being involved in the voting process at home and in the community, on issues that impact them.

Submission date: 10-31-08
Submitted by: Noeline Coore
Provider name: Treasure Coast Employment
APD Area: 9

Practice
A person, along with the support of their Supported Living Coach within this organization, has posted ads for roommates on Florida Atlantic University campus in Boca Raton and has found college students to share their apartment. In addition, this Supported Living Coach has worked very diligently to find family members of this person, whom they had not seen in several years, and was successful in their research and outpouring in the community, to find this person’s mother, siblings and extended family members. This provider Agency has an individual who has started their own Car Detailing business. They also have employees who are volunteering their time to continue working with people, despite the budget cuts. In addition, the provider Agency has two people who have acquired their driver’s licenses and now have their own vehicles.

Who Benefits? The Individual
How? The people and staff within this organization, benefits from the ideas and systems being used to achieve outcomes.

Submission date: 10-8-08
Submitted by: Wanda Nitiss
Provider name: Agape Coordinating & Consulting
APD Area: 11

Practice
This provider has created an Ongoing Client Assessment Form to monitor/evaluate the effectiveness and satisfaction of individual’s support and services. The tool looks at each outcome and breaks it down into relevant areas with each one broken down into specific areas to consider. The process for gathering information is different based on each individual’s information’s situation. WSCs are encouraged to add or update information whenever they speak with individuals, family members or providers. Tool is kept in a special “pending folder” for information to be looked throughout the year.

Who Benefits? The Individual
How? Individuals, WSCs and providers benefit as information is reviewed on ongoing bases to be address on Support Plan meeting for needs and concerns. WSC uses this tool as a “memory tool” to better know the consumers they serve and to ascertain that all important areas are covered.

Submission date: 10-1-08
Submitted by: Charlene Henry
Provider name: Kristina Wall
APD Area: 12

Practice 
Originally, the provider was working with the person and their support circle to have benefits transferred. After several tries over a period of several months, with no positive results, the provider heard about assistance that could be accessed through a higher level within our governmental system. The provider made contact with and received assistance from a congressional resource to get healthcare and social security benefits transferred from Orange County to Volusia County.

Who Benefits? The Individual
How? Healthcare and social security benefits were transferred to the county in which the person now resides. The individual can now resume regular healthcare appointments and use social security benefits in a timely manner.

Submission date: 10-1-08
Submitted by: Charlene Henry
Provider name: Kristina Wall
APD Area: 12

Practice
The provider used their Quality Enhancement Plan to document examples of Education, Exposure and Experience (EEE) related to each element not scored as “achieving” on their annual consultation throughout the year. The provider reviewed the progress notes for services provided and pulled out examples of where the provider actively engaged people served related to elements such as health/safety, rights and choices, through the course of the year.

Who Benefits? The Provider
How? The provider is able to establish and prove consistency in providing EEE in order to enhance service delivery. This practice also assists the provider in evaluating services provided, as part of its quality management system.

Submission date: 9-12-08
Submitted by: Trudy Acevedo
Provider name: Lin Brown of Afire
APD Area: 23

Practice 
Ms. Brown of Afire makes a practice of educating individuals who utilize the organizations transportation services of their right to file a grievance related to their transportation services. As a practice, the vans used for transporting have a sign posted with the phone number to call if anyone has a complaint about their transportation services.

Who Benefits?
How? The individual benefits as they are being educated on their right to file a complaint and their right to be transported safely. The individual also benefits by being empowered to take action if they feel their services are not the best they can be.

Submission date: 7-22-08
Submitted by: Trudy Acevedo
Provider name: Sue Dilenge of Lifetides
APD Area: 23

Practice 
Ms. Dilenge has created a “Communication with family and others involved in your care” form. The intent of this form is to sit down with the individual in which you render services to and talk to them about their preferences related to confidentiality. This form specifies the person and their relationship to the client and specific instructions and limitations the individual has relayed to the provider for sharing of information with their circle of supports. Individuals have expressed that they don’t want their health information or financial information shared with a particular person or details of what information they would like shared. The details of the person’s preferences are tracked on this form and the form is placed in the individuals file. The individual is informed of their right to update or make changes to this form at any time. It is the practice of Ms. Dilenge to review this form with each person at least annually and as deemed necessary.

Who Benefits?
How? The individual benefits as this system captures the persons preferences related to confidentiality as well as provides an opportunity to teach the individual about their right to confidentiality. Staff benefit as there is a clear system that lets them know who they can and can not release information to and what information can be released.

Submission date: 7-21-08
Submitted by: Robyn Tourlakis
Provider name: Making Your Choice Inc
APD Area: 23

Practice
The provider has created a database that links the individual, WSC, and provider. The site has security protocols to ensure HIPAA compliance. Employees enter the service logs directly. The provider ensures a back up system in a secure environment. WSC’s can access the database to obtain implementation plans, monthly summaries, annual summaries, and to view service logs. Additionally, the WSC can share the individual support plan. The individual has access and also utilization of an electronic signature that is password protected by the individual.

Who Benefits?
How? Individuals and families benefit as they are able to view their own service logs and other billing documentation for accuracy WSC benefit as they are able to access the documentation easily. The provider benefits from the ability to track service logs as well as the reduction of overhead costs

Submission date: 7-9-08
Submitted by: Jose Navarro
Provider name: CK Group Home, Inc.
APD Area: 11

Practice 
Individuals are conducting fire drills in their home and assuming a role that was previously a staff responsibility. The Local Fire Department trained the group home director, staff and individuals on evacuation procedures, locating exits, using fire extinguishers and helping one another in case of emergency including the rolling technique. Individuals learned how to evacuate their group home and follow the safety procedures taught by the Local Fire Department. One of the individuals considers it cool that he gets to document the procedure, time and duration of the evacuation. According to the group home director, the staff and group home manager supervise the process but the individuals are empowered to take a leadership role for their safety. Individuals are eager to continue practicing these drills as they rotate every month. Individuals are continuously learning how to secure their safety in case of a fire.

Who Benefits?
How? Individuals are continuously learning how to react to secure their safety in case of a fire.

Submission date: 7-2-08
Submitted by: Marion Olivier-Ruelas
Provider name: Melody Smith, My Personal Choices
APD Area:

Practice 
Once a year during a house meeting, the provider invites a representative of the Advocacy Center to attend. During this meeting, the “house rules” are reviewed and developed with the individuals. The Advocacy Center ensures individuals’ rights are upheld.

Who Benefits?
How? Individuals have an outside entity ensuring their rights are not being violated and become aware of this community resource. The provider benefits by making the connection with and utilizing this community resource on behalf of the individuals served.

Submission date: 5-14-08
Submitted by: Noeline Coore
Provider name: Community Options for the Developmentally Disabled
APD Area: 9

Practice
Happy Mail Club--a pen pal program with soldiers stationed in Iraq, which started three years ago. Individuals correspond with deployed soldiers overseas via letters, cards, care packages, etc.

Who Benefits?
How? Individuals in the Pen Pal program, as well as soldiers serving in the US Armed Forces benefit from the contact. Relationships are forged, developed and maintained throughout the years.

Submission date: 5-14-08
Submitted by: Noeline Coore
Provider name: ARC of Palm Beach County
APD Area: 9

Practice 
The ARC of Palm Beach County has been the lead Agency for the Supported, Competitive, and Integrated Employment Training (SCIETT) Project funded through the University of South Florida and the Florida Developmental Disability Council. This project has brought extensive training by national experts to the community and is attended by employment staff. There are network meetings as part of the SCIETT project including teams throughout the state and local meetings attended by provider agencies.

Who Benefits?
How? This project is in its second year and the leadership teams are working towards improving employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities.

Submission date: 3-6-08
Submitted by: Robin Tourlakis & Linda Tupper
Provider name: Excelsior Care/Northwest Care Centre Inc
APD Area:

Practice
During the tour and observation of the group home the provider showed the consultant and Nurse the medication cart. It was a refurbished dresser and it fit in with the home décor.

Who Benefits?
How? All the individuals benefit from this practice as it enhances the home environment atmosphere over a medical environment. When guests visit, they would not be looking at a medication cart since the furniture fits in with the home, enhancing areas of dignity and privacy for individuals.

Submission date: 3-3-08
Submitted by: Trudy Acevedo
Provider name: Red Apple
APD Area: Suncoast Region (23)

Practice 
The provider affords individuals the opportunity to participate in educational classes within the Adult Day Training program that teaches the skills necessary to apply for a paid position in the community. The people attending this class learn how to complete an application, how to dress for an interview and role play interviewing skills. After receiving training in this area an “Interview Day” is set up at the Day Program. On this day, the people dress as if they are going to apply for a job. Upon arrival at the day program they fill out an application and proceed through an interview process with the day program staff. The person is then evaluated on their strengths with completing the application, their appearance and interviewing skills as if they were applying for a paid position in the community. The provider utilizes real applications obtained from the community for practice. The areas needing improvement continue to be addressed as part of the training class. For those who want to pursue this further, referrals are made so that the person can receive the services to support their desire to pursue employment out in the community.

Who Benefits?
How? The person receiving services benefits because they have the opportunity to experience what it would be like to go through the steps of applying and interviewing for a job and enhancing their skills.

Submission date: 3-3-08
Submitted by: Linda Bodo
Provider name: Center for Independence
APD Area: Suncoast Region (23)

Practice 
Provider affords opportunities for all within their group homes to receive their own mail within the home. Provider has individual mailboxes in the home for each resident. One person gets the mail and then delivers it to each box. The boxes were designed with creativity by each person with their picture on it. They also deliver mail for the group home in its own box.

Who Benefits?
How? The person receiving services benefits because it gives them a sense of independence with checking their own mail, privacy, and a sense of home as we all check our mail in this fashion.

Submission date: 3-3-08
Submitted by: Trudy Acevedo
Provider name: Center for Independence
APD Area: Suncoast Region (23)

Practice 
Provider affords opportunities for all individuals who choose to have a key to their group home to attend key safety training classes at the Adult Day Training program. The classes provide education on all aspects of the responsibility of having a key to your home and the importance of safety as it pertains to having a key to your home.

Who Benefits?
How? The person receiving services benefits because it supports the individual to exercise their right to have a key to their home and educates the individual on the responsibilities that come along with this right.

Submission date: 3-3-08
Submitted by: Trudy Acevedo
Provider name: Center for Independence
APD Area: Suncoast Region (23)

Practice
The provider tapped into one individual’s interest in learning to do crafts. The woman was educated about various crafts (scrapbooking, beading, etc.) through the ADT program. From there, they supported her to be exposed to new craft ideas through craft classes in the community where she was able to enhance her skills. She was also afforded the opportunity to volunteer at a nursing home where she could put her skills to work. As a result she is now exploring the possibility of experiencing a paid position utilizing her skills (she is in the process of applying to become an activities coordinator in a nursing home).

Who Benefits?
How? The person receiving services benefits because she has been able to receive education, exposure and experience in order to make an informed decision about a paid position she wants to pursue that matches her interests.

Submission date: 2-14-08
Submitted by: Christie Gentry, QIC
Provider name: Lorna Thomas GH
APD Area:

Practice
I had the opportunity to interview a young man at a Group Home more than 3 years ago. The young man was quite shy, legally blind, and spent most of the interview sitting in the corner playing with his recorder and listening to his music. He participated very little despite my attempts to get him involved in the interview.

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to interview the same young man at the group home. I could not believe the transformation in this young man. He sat with us during the entire interview and answered practically all of the questions on his own. He was very friendly, polite, and hospitable during the interview. He always had a passion for music and Mrs. Thomas explored with him if he would like to learn to play an instrument. He wanted to learn to play the guitar and Mrs. Thomas searched and found a wonderful music instructor. Last week I was at a WSC meeting and he and his music instructor performed some selections for us where he played his guitar and sang. I understand that this is not his first public performance.

Who Benefits?
How? All persons benefit when the provider attempts to assist the person to build on their strengths, interests, and abilities. This particular young man is obviously more self-confident and social. He had developed new dreams of performing for a living and also one day having his own place which in our prior interview he did not identify any such dreams.

Submission date: 5-11-07
Submitted by: Barbara Hawkins
Provider name: Visions ADT
APD Area: 14

Practice
The provider has assisted individuals to develop their own personal phonebooks. Individuals were assisted to make a page with their picture, phone number, and interests. They could then choose who they wanted to give their information to. Once information was exchanged, each person was assisted to put their phone books together for their own use.

Who Benefits? Individuals
How? Individuals benefit as they have been assisted to reach out and request information about friends at their ADT.  This may then carryover so that their friendships are not dependent on them attending the same ADT; they have a resource to reach out and make contact so their lives are not so compartmentalized.

Submission date: 4-27-07
Submitted by: Trudy Acevedo, QIC
Provider name: Kitty Adams of Creative Care, Inc.
APD Area: 23

Practice
Kitty Adams has assisted two individuals with making a photo album recipe book using labels from the ingredients necessary to make the recipe.  The photo album has various recipes of the individual's choosing (such as chop suey). Since both individuals have difficulty with reading, the provider came up with a creative way to help them know what ingredients are needed for each recipe.  The recipes in this book are ones that do not require specific measuring, and are casserole recipes or one dish recipes. The provider assists the individual with taking the labels (stewed tomatoes label, macaroni label, ground beef label, etc.) off of all the ingredients needed to make the recipe.  In the example of the chop suey recipe which requires an onion, she pressed the skin of the onion just like you would press a flower in a photo album.  The various labels and onion skin were placed on the photo album page under the plastic film that would normally cover your pictures in the album.   On the top of the plastic film, each label had a piece of Velcro.  A second label or pressed onion was then laminated with a Velcro piece on the back.  The individual was able to match the labels and the onion to its corresponding place in the album.  This has helped the individuals to take the top labels and go to the store to independently purchase all of the ingredients they need for this particular recipe and when the come home they are able to match the pictures back up with the ones in the album (the ones placed under the film) so that the ingredients for each recipe do not get mixed up. 

Who Benefits? The individuals receiving services benefit.
How? Because, the practice promotes practical learning and independence.

Submission date: 3-28-07
Submitted by: Marion Olivier-Ruelas
Provider name: N/A
APD Area: N/A

Practice
The provider has developed a “non-consent for release of information” form which identifies who and what information the person does not want shared with anyone.

The provider reviews this information and the regular consent- to- release information form with the person quarterly to determine if there are more people or other information the person does not want shared with anyone.

Who Benefits? Individuals
How? The individual benefits from this practice because it helps to ensure that privacy is defined by the person and that their preferences for privacy are being upheld by the provider.

Submission date: 3-11-07
Submitted by: Christine Stevenson, QIC
Provider name: The ARC of Putnam County
APD Area: 3

Practice
With the technical support of the organization’s academic instructor, individuals developed “Dance To The Stars,” a booklet designed by people with various disabilities to educate the public on the fact that they are people first, and they have preferences.

Booklet Preface
“This book was written by The Arc of Putnam County Employability Skills Summer Training Class.  These authors are young adults with various disabilities.  These young adults interviewed other young adults with disabilities.  The disabilities of these young adults include Impaired Vision, Impaired Hearing, Cerebral Palsy, Spinal Bifida, Down Syndrome, and Autism.

What happens when a group of young adults with disabilities decide to write a book on their own?  My heart begins to open.  The feelings flow, the pages begin to fill pictures and form in my mind.  This instructor has become the student feeling humble and blessed to be allowed into this “Normal Circle”, where wheelchairs, blindness, autism, C.P., and Spinal Bifida are the majority and that which is considered “Normal” becomes the minority. -Cindy Burgoyne, EST Instructor.”

Excerpt
“We asked Jeff if he liked for a person to sit or stand when they are talking to him.  Jeff requests that you please try to sit or get at eye level with him.  Jeff says his neck will hurt if he has to look up to the person talking to him.  Jeff says it makes him feel small when people stand over him.

Jeff also feels left out when someone asks staff or others things concerning him that he could answer himself.

Jeff is visually impaired but not hearing impaired.  You do not need to talk louder when you converse with him...Lots of people tend to do that. “Please identify yourself to me as I may not know who I am talking to.  Before you come up behind me and begin pushing me in my wheelchair PLEASE let me know who you are and where we are going.”  Jeff shares that it is very scary when the world starts spinning around you and you do not know who is pushing you or where you are going.”

Who Benefits? Staff, new staff, the public, and the people who developed the booklet all benefit.
How? Because, it is one thing when ‘professionals’ are the teachers, but infinitely more meaningful when the information and inspiration comes from the person.

Submission date: 1-29-07
Submitted by: Charmaine Pillay
Provider name: N/A
APD Area: 14

Practice
The provider meeting held in Area 14 on Friday 1/25/07 was an incredible experience. A collaborative effort by providers, the steering committee, the AQL and APD culminated in a very moving awards ceremony honoring direct support workers. People who don’t often have contact with other providers or APD were publicly recognized for their efforts. The entire event not only went a long way in staff recognition and retention, but also fostered an atmosphere of togetherness. Providers generously donated funds for gift certificates and a photographer was on hand to capture the moment. Many kudos to the staff who were recognized, and all who made the event possible.

Who Benefits? All
How? Individuals benefit by having such dedicated staff work with them. Staff benefit by receiving public acknowledgement of their efforts. Provider organizations benefit by recognizing quality staff and thereby increasing staff retention. APD benefits by supporting great staff which could lead to an increase in individual’s outcomes and an increase in public trust.

Submission date: 11-26-06
Submitted by: Denese Anderson
Provider name: Magnolia Oaks
APD Area: 4

Practice
Magnolia Oaks group home makes it a standard practice to be sure the group home operates and has the appearance of a private home rather than a business. Employees do not wear scrubs, business files and records are disguised in a homelike setting. All office equipment is kept in an out of the way room. All employee notices, bulletins, schedules and business aspects are virtually unnoticeable. All employees are repeatedly trained to understand they are entering someone’s home each time they come to work, and that they should treat it and the people residing there with respect and dignity.

Who Benefits? All
How? All individuals living in this home benefit by the respect and dignity with which they are treated. They are living in a home not a business venue.

Submission date: 11-26-06
Submitted by: Denese Anderson
Provider name: Henderson Haven
APD Area: 4
Practice
  1. Provider has established a free of charge lending library of donated communication devices for individuals to use.
  2. Provider assists individuals and families to pair up to mentor and support one another naturally.
  3. Provider participates in numerous community events to promote community awareness.
  4. Provider has created online training on various topics for staff development.
  5. Provider created a multimedia presentation for public, families and individuals to promote choice for individuals with disabilities.
  6. Provider participates in IEP (Individual Education Plan), advocacy and parent/ school team building.
  7. Provider collects donations of computers and computer parts and restores/ refurbishes them, then donates them to individuals with developmental disabilities that need them, at no charge; this service is provided to individuals they offer services to and individuals receiving services from other providers.
  8. The provider assists all individuals they serve to develop social capital in many creative ways, and most importantly in a manner that is directed by the individual.

Who Benefits? All
How?

  • The individuals receiving services benefit from all above mentioned best practices. Promoting independence, social capital and dignity.
  • The community benefits by the replacement of misunderstanding with understanding, knowledge and acceptance.
  • Other providers benefit by having a resource they can tap into with this provider and their vast knowledge.
  • The local schools benefit from an outside assistance to promote continuity and collaboration in IEP meetings
Submission date: 11-1-06
Submitted by: Denese Anderson
Provider name: St. Augustine Group Homes/Adams Acres
APD Area: 4

Practice
A Behavior Analyst creates an easy to follow and easy to understand “Cheat Sheet” for direct care staff members to utilize when they are with individuals.

This helps all staff to follow through with what is designated on behavioral plans. These “Cheat Sheets” are laminated and kept where Direct Care staff can access and utilize them.

Who Benefits? All
How?

  • The individual with consistency in trainings
  • The direct care staff with easy to understand and follow directions
  • The Behavior Analyst with plans that are being used and followed
Submission date: 9-22-06
Submitted by: Krista McCraken & Sharon Searcy, QICs
Provider name: ARC Gateway, Pensacola
APD Area: 1
Practice
The provider has developed a workbook to be reviewed with each individual covering the 25 Personal Outcomes, Rights, Abuse, Grievance Procedure and Due Process.
  • My Personal Outcomes – They have taken information from CQL, identifying each outcome and questions the staff should ask to gather information about that outcome.  At the end of each outcome they have a section that asks what they can do to provide support in this area. They have some standard suggestions, but also leave space for the individuals and staff to write ideas.
  • My Rights – They have used person centered language as well as some descriptive clip art to discuss each of the rights.
  • Abuse is Wrong – they have used a mixture of person centered and process language as well as descriptive clip art to discuss abuse, neglect and exploitation.
  • Grievance Procedure – A one page step by step method to follow using person centered language.
  • My Rights to Due Process – A mixture of person centered and process language as well as descriptive clip art to discuss the Due Process steps.

Who Benefits? Individuals
How? Currently the provider is using it with individuals who receive Residential Habilitation (RH) and Supported Living (SL) services.  They plan on expanding to all of the other services over the next year. This is an excellent way for the staff to get to know more about the individuals and learn what is really important to them, as well as to find ways to address things that individuals want to change. This is also beneficial for the individuals to be able to receive education about the topics in easy to understand language.  Individuals are able to share information with the provider that they might not discuss if not asked.

Submission date: 7/26/06
Submitted by: Marion Olivier-Ruelas
Provider name: Resources for Human Development
APD Area: 2

Practice
In order to ensure that staff are truly understanding the training being given, the Director of the agency developed a post questionnaire for staff to complete.  It helped the director identify whether any staff person may have missed or misinterpreted the message of the training so that additional training could occur.  The two questions were: 1) This training will help me perform my job better because….2) The most important thing that I learned during this training is….

Who Benefits? Staff
How? Ensuring that they understand the training they received in order to either improve or maintain quality supports and services.

Who Benefits? Agency Provider
How
? Helps them ensure staff understand the content of the training.

Who Benefits? Persons receiving services
How? The training staff receive will assist them in providing quality supports and services.

Submission date: 7/24/06
Submitted by: Charmaine Pillay
Provider name: N/A
APD Area: 14

Practice
Providers in Area 14 formed a stakeholders group in response to the need for training in a variety of areas. They also identified the need for a provider network, more provider meetings, ongoing communication with the Area staff and mentoring. The group included providers, individuals receiving services, APD staff and Delmarva staff. The goal of receiving additional training has been initiated and provider meetings are held every 3 months, with providers taking the lead on facilitation and delivering training and education on a number of topics. Several provider networks have arisen as a result of the stakeholders efforts. Recently, a member of the group, became a liaison between the Area Steering Committee and the stakeholders group, in order to continue positive communication between the provider community, Area staff and the local steering committee.

Who Benefits? Providers
How? Providers benefit from the additional training and the opportunity to discuss and brainstorm any problem areas during provider meetings. Individuals benefit from the ongoing networking and focus on the attainment of outcomes. APD benefits from providers decreased reliance on the Area for all of their training needs. All benefit from the ongoing communication and focus on continuous improvement.

Submission date: 3/29/06 
Submitted by: Christine Stevenson, QIC
Provider name: Sumter County ARC
APD Area:

Practice
In an effort to promote self-reliance, Sumter County ARC initiated a new practice for their monthly fire drills in group homes as well as Adult Day Training. Rather than pulling the alarm and directing individuals out of the building, they place a “block exit” (model of a fire) in a different location for each drill with the expectation that residents or participants will pull the alarm. The change in procedure was announced during a routine visit from the local fire chief.

Who Benefits? Group Home residents & Adult Day Training (ADT) Participants
How
? Group Home residents & Adult Day Training (ADT) participants become self-reliant rather than looking to staff to direct their every move.

The question, “What would happen if staff were incapacitated?” is addressed and resolved.

Submission date: 3/22/06 
Submitted by: Noeline Coore, QIC
Provider name: Kimberly  K, SLC
APD Area:

Practice
A SLC provider works with individuals, by tapping into their particular interests, and enhancing these interests.  For example, for individuals who are interested in Painting, Art work and Poetry, the provider encourages the individuals to tap into their artistic abilities.  She travels with them to various Art Shows throughout their local communities, where they’re able to present their work and put it up for sale—from paintings, to books of poetry (which the provider works with the individuals on), etc.  Some individuals have sold some of their Art work and books of poems.  The provider has also assisted people to  develop websites, in order for them to showcase their work for potential customers.  In addition, other individuals had expressed wanting to make some extra money.  The provider assisted them to purchase gumball machines and placed them in the local APD offices, where they’re able to get some business.  This has proven to be very successful and the individuals are THRILLED!  The provider recently returned from a Mexican Cruise vacation, with a select group of individuals, who had expressed wanting to go on vacation overseas. 

Who Benefits? Individuals
How? The individuals have all expressed how excited they are to be able to express themselves through different forms of personal interests.  In addition, the vacation in Mexico enabled the individuals to experience different  customs, and culture through education, exposure and experience.

Submission date: 1/10/06
Submitted by: Christine Stevenson
Provider name: The Center for Independence
APD Area: 23

Practice
People receiving services from this organization personally hand out paychecks to staff. The organization initiated the idea after attending a training by CQL (The Council on Quality and Leadership).

Additionally, a group home manager with this organization took the lead from one of the residents and renamed “House Rules” as “House Agreements”. When evolving from management developed house rules to “rules” developed by the residents themselves, the manager heard one resident say, “I agree” after a rule was suggested by a resident. She listened, and she agreed.

Who Benefits? All
How?
Regarding the paychecks, the staff benefits from the reminder that although they are hired by the organization, they work for the people. The people receiving services benefit from the empowerment derived from the action. The organization as a whole benefits from an action that is symbolically very powerful, while not consuming any extra resources. Regarding the “House Agreements”, the resident benefited when his remark was heard and valued. All residents benefited by no longer being subjected to “rules” in their own home. They learned about compromise, consensus and self-governing. Other staff benefit from the realization that they too can seize upon opportunities to innovate and contribute

Submission date: 4/13/05
Submitted by: Christine Stevenson
Provider name: Supported Living Coach
APD Area:

Practice
A provider developed creative strategies to teach money management skills on the basis that most often what individuals really want is to make their own purchases and control their own money although a support plan goal may read, “Learn money management skills” or “Learn to make change” or “Learn to count coins”… Instead, individuals obtain a pre-paid debit card. Then the training focus can be on safekeeping the card, learning their four-digit code, confidentiality, learning how to use different types of keypads, and retaining receipts. The provider developed a system to assist individuals in managing their accounts; two strips of colored paper that fit into slots in poster-board sandwiched together. At the beginning of the month, the slots are full signifying the days left in the month (red) and the money left in the card (green). As the individual uses the card, he saves receipts, and his coach adjusts the colored strips to give him a visual of how much money remains for the remainder of the month.

Another provider, unable to locate a user-friendly bank, identified with the individual her favorite stores and assisted her in purchasing refillable pre-paid gift cards at those stores.  As a result, the individual was able to make her purchases at her favorite store just like anyone else, which is all she really ever wanted.

Who Benefits? Individuals
How? Individuals achieve what is really most important to them. By getting to the bottom of what individuals really want, providers avoid years, sometimes decades, of ‘coin counting’ activities.

Submission date: 4/4/05 
Submitted by: Christine Stevenson
Provider name: Goodwill-Suncoast
APD Area: 13

Practice
This provider involves the individuals in the development of their monthly summaries. At the end of each month, a staff member meets with the individual and asks a series of questions:
What is one new thing you learned this month?
What is one new thing you experienced this month?
What worked for you this month?
What did not work for you this month?
And, a fifth question about progress on their specific personal goals.
Then, the provider adds the summary of their data collection for the month.

Who Benefits? Individuals and the provider.
How? The individuals have a greater sense of partnership. They come to expect to be learning something new, to expect to have new experiences, and, that it matters if strategies are to their liking. They develop ownership of their goals, and their implementation plan, and their learning.

The provider benefits from the frequent feedback.

 

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