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DHS news release


April 26, 2005


Contacts: Marylee Fay, DHS Seniors and People with Disabilities, (503) 945-9787
Trish Neiworth, DHS Office of Public Affairs, (503) 945-5922


Conference Brings State Developmental Disabilities Services Directors to Oregon; Focus on Changing Systems to Encourage Personal Choice and Control

 (Portland, OR) -- Oregon will host state policy directors of developmental disabilities services from all over the U.S. this week for an annual conference focusing on how states are changing their systems to encourage personal choice and control for impacted clients.


The conference, "Changing Systems to Personal Choice and Control," is sponsored by the National Association for State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDS) and is scheduled April 27 - 29 at the City Center Marriott in Portland, OR.


Developmental disabilities services directors from all over the country are expected to attend.


The opening session kicks off at 8:45 a.m. - 10:30 a.m., Thursday, April 28 with keynote speakers including:


--Gerry Morrissey, president, NASDDDS Board of Directors, and commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Mental Retardation


--James Toews, former president, NASDDDS Board of Directors, and assistant director for Seniors and People with Disabilities, Oregon Department of Human Services


--Bob Gettings, executive director, NASDDDS


--Charlene Dean, Oregon self-advocate and a member of Self-Advocates As Leaders (SAAL)


--Vicki King, Washington self-advocate who says she lived isolated and unhappy in a Washington state institution for 19 years. She now lives in a house with roommates, works as a department aid for the City of Vancouver, pays taxes and votes, volunteers for political campaigns, has friends, and recently got engaged. King will share her views on what it means to be an active part of the community.


--Donald Stevens, Washington self-advocate who overcame a number of challenges to get the job he wanted. He will speak about the importance of work.


Approximately 15,000 people with developmental disabilities are served through the Department of Human Services statewide. Oregon is considered a national leader in working toward developing community-based options, rather than institutions, for populations served through Seniors and People with Disabilities, according to Toews, and was one of the first states to receive a Medicaid waiver to help accomplish this.