Areas of Emphasis

Areas of Emphasis

The DD Council’s Areas of Emphasis are as follows:

  • Enhanced residential placements within communities by avoiding the placement of individuals with Developmental Disabilities into institutions.
  • Advocated for policy change to allow shared rental assistance with Housing Choice Vouchers which allowed people to live with whomever they choose.
  • Worked with the City and County transportation coordinators statewide to provide user friendly bus stops to allow individuals with disabilities an easier time accessing and utilizing generic transportation services to go to work.
  • Promoted collaboration with other agencies to provide civic engagement training for parents and individuals with developmental disabilities.
  • Educated Legislators, City and County Council members, and Mayors about transportation needs of individuals with disabilities.
  • Created public awareness campaign to promote Developmental Disabilities and Disability Employment Awareness month.
  • Educated business and community members about what Developmental Disabilities are.
  • Encouraged networking to assist individuals with Developmental Disabilities to join their organizations to develop unpaid supports.
  • Promoted awareness of Developmental Disabilities related issues and concerns with legislators during the 2017 Day at the Capitol Event. Participants were briefed from the Council. There were 449 Self-Advocates from 29 organizations and 31 volunteers from 10 organizations who came together to will celebrate the abilities of individuals with Developmental Disabilities.
  • Encouraged Self-advocates to support their legislators with initiatives that were important to their communities such as volunteer day and adopting a park.
  • Combined resources with other state and private agencies to disseminate information through their social media and newsletters to reach under-served individuals.
  • Collaborated with public and private agencies to work together to transition students with disabilities from DOE into jobs and earning competitive wages such as the Summer Work Youth Employment program. Collaborated between the Department of Human Services and Department of Labor and Industrial Relations to place 223 youth with disabilities were placed into competitive employment.
  • Assisted 12 self-advocates with finding employment.
  • Supported the Project SEARCH initiative.
  • Created a one-page fact sheet related to wrap around services between the Department of Health, DHS Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, and Department of Education to promote transition planning starting at the age of 14. This grew into tri-agency meetings with 100 professionals from the mentioned agencies, and resulted in breaking down the silos and collaborating among each other. Other states are now considering using it as a model.
  • Assisted 10 self-advocates with opening their own ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) bank accounts that allowed them to work and save for their future[s] without concern for losing benefits.
  • Implemented universal screening tools Statewide to enhance early intervention services and provide early detection and treatment to prevent long term disabilities.
  • Collaborated with the Assistive Technology Resource Center to provide technology devices to toddlers and families to promote communication skills.
  • The Hawaii Self Advocacy Advisory Council (HI SAAC) has grown to 200 members statewide in four years.
  • HI SAAC received 501-C-3 status.
  • Established monthly meetings, leadership development, and train-the-trainer events.
  • Moved self-advocates out of paid supported day health facilities and created self-support groups.