TO: The DMR Community
FROM: Elin M. Howe, Commissioner
DATE: September 2 , 2008
RE: Update 158

DMR's Fiscal Year 2009 Final Budget

The Fiscal Year 2009 Final Budget for the Department of Mental Retardation is $1,281,886,079. This represents a $35 million (or 2.8%) increase over the Department's 2008 budget. Of this total, $22.7 million was added to the Community Residential Account (5920-2000) which includes funding for Turning 22 and provider staff salary reserve annualization. The Autism account (5920-3010) was increased by $2.97 million; the Family Support account (5920-3000) was increased by $1.05 million; and the remaining $6.3 million increase covered provider staff salary reserve annualization in the other accounts, collective bargaining increases and other administrative cost increases such as leases, fuel, workers compensation, and IT chargebacks. The Fiscal Year 2009 Final Budget also included an increase to the DOE/DMR program from $8 million to $10 million the DOE/DMR program, and $23 million was also appropriated for a provider salary reserve under the Executive Office of Administration and Finance appropriations.

Below is a breakdown of DMR's Fiscal Year 2009 Final Budget by line item.

Account Account Title FY09 GAA
59111003DMR Administration & Operations$ 73,863,906
59112000Transportation$ 14,137,324
59202000Community Residential$ 569,561,352
59202006Residential Rate Increases$ 2,000,000
59202010State-Operated Programs$ 137,437,683
59202020Boulet$ 87,971,902
59202025Day & Work Programs$ 129,159,457
59203000Respite & Family Support$ 56,094,228
59203010Autism Division$ 6,264,413
59205000Turning 22 Services$ 7,700,000
59301000Facilities$ 187,545,814
59480012DOE$ 10,000,000
59821000Templeton Farm Retained Rev$ 150,000
Total $ 1,281,886,079

DMR Name Change

With the passage of the Fiscal Year 2009 Final Budget, a provision was enacted that changes the name of the Department of Mental Retardation to the Department of Developmental Services. This change was achieved as a result of the collective, collaborative, and persistent efforts of self advocates, advocacy organizations, and allies within state government and the Legislature. The change in name will take effect as of June 30, 2009.

EOHHS Public Budget Hearings

The Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) conducted two public hearings to discuss the Fiscal Year 2009 budget. Citizens had the opportunity to testify or submit testimony about the EOHHS agency budgets, including the DMR budget. The first hearing was held on Wednesday, August 27 th, 1 pm to 5 pm at the Reggie Lewis Center, 1350 Tremont Street, Roxbury, MA. The second hearing was held on Thursday, August 28 th, 10 am to 2 pm at the Basketball Hall of Fame, 1000 West Columbus Avenue, Springfield, MA.

Regional Citizens Advisory Board Meetings

This Fall, the DMR Regional Citizens Advisory Boards will host meetings with their Area Board members to discuss the Medicaid Home and Community Based Waiver programs currently under development at the Department of Mental Retardation. Janet George, Assistant Commissioner for Policy Planning and Program Development will be the featured speaker.

The Central West meeting is scheduled for Thursday, September 25 th, 6 pm, at the Central West Regional Office, 171 State Street , Palmer, MA. CAB members interested in attending should RSVP to Linde Skowronek at (413) 284-1500, ext. 5002.

The Northeast meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 1st, 5:30 pm, at the Burlington Public Library, 22 Sears Street , Burlington , MA . CAB members interested in attending should RSVP to Kathy Pearson at (978) 774-5000 ext. 416.

The Southeast meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 29 th. Time and location will be announced shortly.

The Metro meeting is being planned. Date, time and location will be announced shortly.

2008 Urban Youth Collaborative Program

This year, the Urban Youth Collaborative Program (UYCP) marked its 17 th year of providing employment opportunities for 260 young adults at the DMR Developmental Centers and state-operated programs and programs operated by our non-profit partners. These interns were engaged in a wide range of activities, such as, providing direct support in residential and day programs, assisting in work programs, and assisting in the production of goods and services. The program culminated in the annual State House event that was held on August 7 th where 20 interns shared their summer experiences with the 300 celebrants. At the ceremony, DMR Commissioner Elin Howe presented Dr. Maxine L. Rawlins with the Paulette Anjorin Community Service Award, Laura Manley with the Stephen E. Collins Leadership award, and Erica Amidio with the Current Service Award. Congratulations to the interns and honorees.

DMR's FY 2009 Family Support Plan

As required by Chapter 171 of the Acts of 2002, "An Act providing Support to Individuals with Disabilities and Their Families," DMR has completed its annual plan for family support for this fiscal year. This Plan is developed with input and consultation from family members and individuals with disabilities, and provides information about how the department intends to provide supports and services to families and individuals. Members of DMR's Statewide Family Support Council play an important role in providing consultation and guidance in the development of this plan and in identifying areas of priority for the department to address. The FY 2009 Plan is posted on the DMR website,

Recent DMR Appointments

In March 2008, Kenneth J. Smith joined DMR as the Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Field Operations. Ken was previously employed by the MassHealth Office of Long Term Care where he worked on the Rolland Settlement Agreement with DMR and other stakeholders in his position as the Assistant Director of Institutional Services. He also has had prior experience working in a variety of administrative positions in the nursing home industry.

More recently in July, Deborah Johnson was appointed the DMR as the Worcester Area Director in the Central/West Region. Prior to joining DMR, Deborah had worked for 13 years at Work, Community & Independence, a non-profit provider agency in Waltham where she was the Division Head for Employment and Day Supports.

News from the DMR Northeast Region

Northeast Region's Area Office Children's Forums - June 2008

During the month of June, the North Shore, Central Middlesex, and Metro North Area Offices each held evening forums for families of children eligible for DMR family supports. DMR area and regional managers and children's service coordinators and family support providers were present at each event. Panel discussions and materials at resource tables provided the families with information on a range of community supports. Each area event was well attended and received good feedback from families.The Metro North and North Shore forums were planned by Regional Family Support Director Amy Nazaire with assistance from the area offices. The Central Middlesex forum was planned by the area office children's team under the leadership of Kevin McDonough, Assistant Area Director.

Supporting Choice Conference - May 2008

A day-long conference on supporting choice and self determination was held on May 21, 2008 at Hogan Regional Center, Recreation Building complex. Staff, family members, general community members, and people with developmental disabilities, totaling 103, attended this conference. Presenters included self advocates, family members, and service providers. The Merrimack Valley Area Office staff did most of the organizing with logistical support from the regional Office of Staff Development/Training.

Employment: It's Everyone's Job Conference - May 2008

The North Shore Area Office and the Northeast Region, in conjunction with the Institute for Community Inclusion, sponsored a day-long conference attended by 21 9 people. The conference focused on improving employment opportunities for individuals served by DMR. Dale Dileo, a nationally known expert on community inclusion and employment talked about quality employment services and outcomes in terms of business benefits for employers and improved quality lives for people with disabilities. He discussed best practices, the importance of integrated approaches, and the role of agencies, schools and employers in enhancing community employment opportunities for people with disabilities. This regional conference helped promote information about employment opportunities for people with developmental disabilities and extended the work of the Regional Quality Council's North Shore Area Office's Employment Pilot Project.

Northeast Region's 2008 Individual Recognition Celebration - June 2008

On June 12, 2008, the DMR Northeast Region held its annual Individual Recognition Reception at the Danversport Yacht Club. Families, friends and staff joined in the celebration where 31 individuals were recognized for their personal achievements. Achievements honored included the embodiment of the ideals of self-determination in one's life as well as contributions to one's community and society. The well-attended evening was co-hosted by Regional Director Mandy Chalmers and Commissioner Elin Howe.

Northeast Residential Services Celebrate NRS Evening - June 2008

On June 25 th, Northeast Residential Services (NRS) held their Third Annual Celebrate NRS Event at the Danversport Yacht Club. Over 300 people attended including NRS residents, staff, families as well as Area and Regional Office staff. This year's theme was "At Home in the Community." NRS Director Jane Ryder welcomed all to the event and introduced Jack Yates who has been working with NRS for over two years on the community connection initiative. The following awards were presented: The Community Service Award to the Kathy Adam/Harwood Trust; the Nancy Lovetere Diversity Award to Stephen Kasirye and the Community Membership Award to Dan Woods. In addition, Personal Achievement Awards were given to 8 NRS residents for the significant gains they have made in achieving their goals and realizing their dreams.

News from the Southeast Region

3 Year Training Grant Awarded to Southeast Region

The Southeast DMR Region in conjunction with Bristol Community College was awarded a $500,000, three-year grant from the Commonwealth Corporation to strengthen the health and human service workforce in Southeastern Massachusetts . The project, "Professional Advancement in the Health and Human Services Sector" (PATHHS), will address the training needs of both new and existing staff from our Southeastern Residential Services state-operated homes, as well as several of our provider partners. The grant funds will be used to support the Human Services Academy targeting high school age students for human service careers, support CNA, LPN and RN training in the area, offer a Learning Community for underemployed individuals to obtain academic preparatory skills, and offer a career path towards either the DMR Direct Support Certificate program or advanced educational degrees. Jackie Winslow, Director of SRS, as well as Ed Hill from People, Incorporated and Paul Correia from Lifestream, Inc. have been major participants in the development of this grant proposal submitted by the college.

DMR Diversity Conference

The DMR 3 rd Annual Diversity Conference, "Partnership in the Workplace" will be held on Friday, November 14 th, at the Holiday Inn in Boxborough. Dr. Barbara J. Love, Professor of Social Justice Education, UMass-Amherst, is the keynote speaker. In acknowledging the workplace partnership with providers, this year's conference is expanded to include provider staff and managers. Afternoon workshops will focus on understanding Latino cultures, enhancing family and direct care worker relationships, deaf and hard of hearing culture, and religion and diversity. Attendance is limited to 200 participants. Interested individuals should contact for registration materials.

Save the Date - M.A.S.S. 11th Annual Conference

Massachusetts Advocates Strong will be hosting its 11 th Annual Conference on Saturday, November 15, 200 at the Crowne Plaza in Worcester. Contact M.A.S.S. at 1-866-426-2253 or email, if you are interested in presenting at this event and if you wish to nominate a self advocate for the Nancy Maynard Leadership Award or nominate a supporter for the Gunnar Dybwad Supporter Award.

Updated Web Resource for Persons with Vision Loss or Impairment

Please explore the new and improved site,, with more linked resources and information regarding healthy vision, vision impairment, legal blindness and deaf-blindness.

This information is provided by the Department of Developmental Services.