Oklahoma governor forms special panel on developmental disabilities

The blue-ribbon panel would, among other things, act in an advisory capacity to the governor on all issues related to providing community services for people with developmental disabilities.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Published: March 6, 2013
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The needs of Oklahoma's developmentally disabled will get the attention of a panel formed Tuesday by the governor.

Gov. Mary Fallin signed an executive order Tuesday authorizing the formation of a blue-ribbon panel for developmental disabilities.

The panel is assigned with developing a comprehensive plan to support people with developmental disabilities and their families. It is also to address the state's growing waiting list of thousands of people hoping to receive services from the developmental disabilities service division of the state Department of Human Services, according to the governor's order.

The group also is to research and analyze best practices for the comprehensive delivery of high quality services. Further, the panel is to act in an advisory capacity to the governor on all issues related to providing community services for individuals with developmental disabilities.

“There are nearly 60,000 men, women and children with developmental disabilities in Oklahoma,” Fallin said. “While the state is providing high-quality services to many of these individuals, we are still experiencing a waiting list of over 7,000 people. This panel will help the state reduce that waiting list while improving the quality of the services it offers.”

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