Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signs order for panel on developmental disabilities
BY MIKE AVERILL World Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 06, 2013
3/06/13 at 3:49 AM
Gov. Mary Fallin signed an executive order Tuesday authorizing the creation of a new Blue Ribbon Panel for Developmental Disabilities, an action seen as encouraging by those who work with clients with disabilities.
The new panel will develop a comprehensive plan to:
The panel will also act in an advisory capacity to the governor on all issues related to providing community services for individuals with developmental disabilities.
- Support individuals with developmental disabilities and their families;
- Address the state's growing waiting list of thousands of individuals hoping to receive services from the state's Developmental Disabilities Service Division;
- Research and analyze best practices for the comprehensive delivery of high quality services.
"There are nearly 60,000 men, women and children with developmental disabilities in Oklahoma," Fallin said. "This panel will help the state reduce that waiting list while improving the quality of the services it offers."
Judi Myers, CEO of the Gatesway Foundation, said she's encouraged that Fallin recognizes the need to address issues facing Oklahoma's service system for people with developmental disabilities.
"This has been a great need for some time as more than 7,000 individuals and families have been on waiting lists, some for more than eight years," Myers said. "We applaud the governor's efforts and hope the outcomes of this panel will include reducing or eliminating the waiting list for services so individuals and families can get the help they desperately need and for a more equitable and improved service system."
Karie M. Jordan, president and CEO of the Bridges Foundation, agreed.
"Our hope is the Blue Ribbon Panel will expedite the process for the growing number of individuals needing our service," Jordan said. "By receiving services provided by agencies like the Bridges Foundation, individuals with developmental disabilities will gain greater opportunities for self-sufficiency and independence."
Original Print Headline: Gov. Fallin orders disabilities panel
Mike Averill 918-581-8489