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Programs Offer Support for Disability Services

Missouri was recently named a top state in the U.S. for developmental disability services.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) United Cerebral Palsy has named Missouri as a top 10 state that promotes Missourians with disabilities to live independently. The state attributes part of its success to Partnership for Hope, a program that serves and supports people with developmental disabilities.

"This helps them remain in the community and be productive in the society," stated Jeff Cotton, unit manager for the Northwest Missouri Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center.

Cotton says the program not only promotes independence, it also helps move away from an institutional setting.

"With this program, it helps a lot of people that are at risk for being institutionalized to stay out in the community and be productive and have a good life," added Cotton.

Partnership for Hope also saves the state tax dollars by keeping families together. The cap for the program is $12,000 but only $8,500 is used which means more people can be helped.

"People are not bouncing up against the cap which is what everybody anticipated. $12,000 doesn't sound like a lot when people who are in residential services could be over $10,000," Eernie Simons, director of Missouri Developmental Disabilities.

There's a long wait period for those wanting to the get home and community based services. Since the program came to the show-me state in 2010, there's a shorter wait time which means people are helped faster.

"These folks are sitting on waiting lists for years and years at a time before we get funding available so it's sped that process up significantly," added Cotton.

Those who enroll in the program must meet certain standards and have on-going monitoring. Governor Jay Nixon recently expanded funding for the program to continue to help those with disabilities.

Currently, Partnership for Hope helps nearly 3,000 Missourians with developmental disabilities. 

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