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NCDHHS releases draft plan meant to help people with disabilities live in inclusive communities

Maria Fabrizio for NPR

The state health department has released a draft plan meant to help people with disabilities live in inclusive communities.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said the 2024-25 Olmstead Plan is intended to help state government and other agencies make decisions that will improve the lives of children and families, youth, adults and older adults with disabilities.

The priorities outline in the plan include an increase in the availability of home and community-based services; preventing segregation of people with disabilities; and addressing gaps in community-based services like employment, transportation and housing.

Officials say they will also focus on increasing opportunities for pre-employment transition services for those with disabilities and help those that have been imprisoned successfully reenter into inclusive communities

The plan is open for public comment through March 7.

To submit public comment regarding the draft Olmstead Plan, email the Technical Assistance Collaborative (TAC) at mailto:ncolmstead@tacinc.org

Annette is originally a Midwest gal, born and raised in Michigan, but with career stops in many surrounding states, the Pacific Northwest, and various parts of the southeast. An award-winning journalist and mother of four, Annette moved to eastern North Carolina in 2019 to be closer to family – in particular, her two young grandchildren. It’s possible that a -27 day with a -68 windchill in Minnesota may have also played a role in that decision. In her spare time, Annette does a lot of kiddo cuddling, reading, and producing the coolest Halloween costumes anyone has ever seen. She has also worked as a diversity and inclusion facilitator serving school districts and large corporations. It’s the people that make this beautiful area special, and she wants to share those stories that touch the hearts of others. If you have a story idea to share, please reach out by email to westona@cravencc.edu.