The Intellectual Disability division at Erie County Care Management (ECCM) strives to help individuals with an intellectual disability achieve a more meaningful and productive life. ECCM works closely with state and local government agencies as well as direct service providers as the “center of the system”.
Following the “Everyday Lives” approach, our supports coordinators will help individuals navigate their way through a system designed to meet their needs in a community setting, often in their own homes. Supports coordinators will work with individuals and families to identify desired life goals and work to find service providers to achieve these outcomes.
Services beyond supports coordination are usually paid through one of two Pennsylvania waivers for individuals with intellectual disabilities: the Consolidated Waiver or the Personal/Family Directed Supports Waiver. The availability of these two waivers is limited and capacity is set by the Pennsylvania Office of Developmental Programs. ECCM is charged with managing the available slots to maximize the overall number of people who can be served.
Each individual's needs are addressed and those needs are then prioritized, taking into consideration various factors about current service openings, allowing us to find the best fit for existing vacancies.
As per ODP Guidelines:
Eligibility for intellectual disability services requires a diagnosis of an intellectual disability based on the results of objective standardized testing. An intellectual disability is a permanent condition that affects a person's ability to learn and function in daily life that occurs in the developmental period. A diagnosis of an intellectual disability requires that both a person's general intelligence and ability to function in daily life are significantly below average. These two conditions may be present at birth or occur in the developmental period defined as prior to the person's 22nd birthday.
As the "center of the system", ECCM's intake department will initially meet with all individuals seeking intellectual disability services to begin the process of deciphering and navigating these guidelines and bettering their lives. Referrals can come from a number of sources, including the individual or their family. At the point of initial contact, our staff will explain the process, collect demographic data, and may request other documentation such as birth certificates and social security cards.
After the initial meeting, follow up activities include review and documentation of the individual’s educational, medical, social and psychiatric histories as well as a general review of the individual’s current supports and service needs. The intellectual disability intake staff will then follow up with a determination of eligibility and a right to appeal if the individual is deemed ineligible.
An intellectual disability involves substantial impairment to an individual's level of intellectual functioning (cognitive abilities such as learning, reasoning, and problem-solving) and/or adaptive behavior (ability to be socially, physically, and practically self-sufficient in society). An IQ (Intelligence Quotient) test score of below 75 is typically a strong indicator of intellectual disability. The onset is before age 18.
Through a County Mental Health/Intellectual Disabilities office (such as Erie County Care Management). Our team will gather information pertaining to the individual's educational, medical, social, and psychiatric histories and current supports needs. If approved, he or she will then be assigned to an intellectual disabilities supports coordinator, who will help direct the individual to the appropriate resources to lead his or her healthiest and most productive life.
An Individual Support Plan is a person-centered document that establishes a strategical framework for an individual's care. Upon intake, the intellectual disabilities support coordinator will build a comprehensive profile of the individual, following the Individual Support Plan blueprint, to tailor care to the individual's unique and specific needs.
Of course. People living with intellectual disabilities attend classes, volunteer in the community, and sometimes even hold part-time jobs. Your intellectual supports coordinator will work to find and maximize opportunities for your loved one based on the findings revealed in the Individual Support Plan and progress made through our various mental health programs.