In 2016, Senator Kathy Campbell approached Disability Rights Nebraska with an opportunity to develop the initial language for an Olmstead Plan bill. Senior Staff Attorney Dianne DeLair and Disability Rights Nebraska’s Public Policy Team cooperated with Senator Campbell’s office to produce the final version of LB 1033.The bill became law on April 18, 2016. The law requires the Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services to “develop a comprehensive, effective working plan for placing qualified persons with disabilities in the most integrated community-based service settings…” Additionally, LB 1033 created a stakeholder advisory committee to assist in the Olmstead plan’s development.
NEBRASKA OLMSTEAD PLAN UPDATES
On December 15, 2018, Bo Botelho, Interim Chief Executive Officer of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, provided the Nebraska Legislature and Governor with a report on progress toward the completion of a comprehensive Olmstead strategic plan.
“It is the ethical and legal responsibility of all levels of government, throughout Nebraska, to develop and commit to an Olmstead Plan.”
- Bo Botelho, Interim CEO of Nebraska DHHS
The report includes Olmstead background information, progress to date, and the current state of the development of the Nebraska Olmstead Plan. Additionally, the strategic plan outlines recommendations for further direction, including the need for cooperation from all levels of the Nebraska State government, input and commitment from all parties essential to the plan's development and implementation, and jurisdiction to create oversight and accountability. For more information on progress toward the development of Nebraska's Olmstead Plan, please view the report.
In August, the Planning Council on Developmental Disabilities announced it provided funding to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services to retain the necessary consultants from the Technical Assistance Collaborative (TAC) to assist in developing Nebraska’s Olmstead Plan. The TAC team members are highly qualified and have experience in services and housing across disabilities. This project plan has three phases:
PHASE ONE: TAC will perform a system scan and analysis to develop a general baseline of the services, housing and other factors that support the ability of people with disabilities to live in integrated community-based settings.
PHASE TWO: TAC will meet onsite with the state team, the Advisory Committee, and conducting key stakeholder interviews.
PHASE THREE: TAC will draft and finalize the Olmstead Plan.
Consultants from TAC began their work with an on-site visit to Nebraska on August 15-17, 2018. In addition to meeting with the Olmstead Stakeholder Advisory Committee, the TAC held several listening sessions with community stakeholders. A second on-site visit was completed by TAC September 25-27, 2018. Listening sessions were held in Omaha and Grand Island, in addition to numerous other meetings with stakeholders. The TAC consultants conducted additional stakeholder interviews, meeting with HHS divisions and other groups in October of 2018.
According to the statute, the final plan must be submitted to the legislature by December 15, 2018. This deadline is likely to be missed and DHHS will submit a letter to the legislature outlining what has been completed thus far with a date of March 31, 2019 for completion of the Plan. If you were unable to attend a listening session and want to provide information to the TAC consultants, or have questions, please contact them at email@example.com.