Hawaii Celebrates 30 Years of Self-Determination

Topics: Announcements, HCBS, State News,

Hawaii celebrates 30-years of self-determination by sharing a compilation of the Key Milestones for Hawaii Residents with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities enhancing and supporting self-determination. 

According to the article, “in the past, many with substantial intellectual and developmental disabilities were isolated from the community, and were admitted to Waimano Training School and Hospital (WTSH), which opened in 1921. WTSH served, as the State’s only large intermediate care facility for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

However, an amendment to the state law in 1995 mandated Waimano’s closure.  With the final closure of Waimano Training School and Hospital in June 1999, Hawaii became the ninth state to completely shut down its publicly operated institutions for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Currently, Hawaii is one of 15 states that no longer operates an institution for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The last state institution in the United States is projected to close within the next two decades.”

 “The mandate came with a stipulation: all programs and services shall be provided in the community and the Hawaii State Department of Health shall maximize its funds for community services by using state-matching funds to match federal Medicaid funds through the Medicaid 1915 (c) Home and Community-Based Services Waiver.  The statistics have been positive: Today, Hawaii ranks in the top quartile of states in supporting individuals in family homes. Currently, 99 percent of people served by the Department of Health’s Developmental Disabilities Division live in residences serving one to six people, and 61 percent in settings with one to three people.”

 “Hawaii has been one of the most progressive states in empowering individuals withintellectual and developmental disabilities. We have many good reasons to celebrate the strides we have made as a state over the past 30 years,” said Mary Brogan, Chief of the Department of Health’s Developmental Disabilities Division. “However, we still have much more we can do to remove stigma and ensure those with intellectual and developmental disabilities have full access to the services and supports they need to and be fully integrated into the community to enjoy, rich, full and self-determined lives.”