Over the years IAC has seen a number of trends come and go. Service models such as ICF’s and Sheltered Workshops, once viewed as positive alternatives to institutions, are rapidly being replaced with less restrictive options. Day services, once provided in school-like settings, are now conducted in the community where participants learn life skills in real world settings rather than artificially simulated ones.
However, while the concept of least restrictive permeates the newer service models, regulatory requirements and restraints imposed on service providers make their role ever more challenging. At IAC member agencies find not only an advocate for them but a source for information and guidance on compliance and fiscal issues. Through its Committee structure, IAC offers its members meaningful support, as well as the opportunity to learn from their peers. And now thanks to technology and video conferencing Associate members, who are located at distances that prohibit their attendance in person, can participate in meetings.
Although education and training sit at the core of IAC, its heart still lies in advocacy. In addition to utilizing its position with regulatory agencies and the legislature to advocate for its members, IAC assists its members to participate in the advocacy efforts through annual lobbying and other events. Now IAC is acting in concert with four other associations under the banner of COPA (Coalition of Provider Associations) to ensure a united message is heard in Albany and beyond.
As the service environment moves through its current transition to managed care, first with the initiation of the CCO (Care Coordination Organizations) in July 2018 and then eventually with the introduction of MCO (Managed Care Organizations), IAC members will continue to benefit from the network of relationships that IAC has established with governing agencies and the legislature. And IAC will ensure that the concepts inherent in Person Centered Planning are not lost along the way.