In January 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released final rules regarding the settings of Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS). These rules require HCBS settings to provide opportunities for participants to engage in community life, have access to the community, control their personal resources, and seek employment and work in competitive settings. The HCBS settings rules give states up to five years to develop a transition plan describing how they will come into compliance, seek public input on the plan, and submit it to CMS for approval.
The HCBS settings rules will be a major focus at this year’s conference. Sessions will enable attendees to identify possible issues with how states plan to comply with the settings rule, advocate for better compliance, share experiences and observations of state rule implementation, and work with federal representatives who can provide clarity and utilize input to inform implementation. Learn more about sessions on HCBS.
Another major focus at this year’s conference is the promise of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) to advance national progress on competitive integrated employment for people with disabilities. The Act provides clear definitions of important terms, designates Discovery and Customized Employment as fundable services, mandates inter-agency collaboration, and calls for a focus on transition age youth and substantial limits to sheltered work. Attendees will have the opportunity to attend many sessions on integrated employment, learn about advocacy efforts and changes occurring in states across the country, and learn skills they can implement. Learn more about sessions on WIOA here.