Oklahoma Disabilities Waiting List Moving Forward, Still Almost A Decade Behind

Jan 14, 2014

The Oklahoma Department of Human Services Developmental Disabilities Services Waiting List has been years in the making. The list serves individuals with developmental or intellectual disabilities and his or her family.

Credit Oklahoma Dept. of Human Services

Oklahoma’s waiting list is not an entitlement under Medicaid, even though services are provided with Medicaid funding, but many of the services are received via OKDHS. In that manner, Division Director JoAnne Goin said services are entitlements similar to nursing home services.

The service is a Medicaid waiver, which provides services generally in the family home. DDS’ waiting list is known as the equivalent of a Willy Wonka’s golden ticket for a reason. Items the waiver covers include anything from respite services to therapy service to attaching a wheelchair lift to the family van.

“We provide assistive technology like wheelchairs or modifications to bathrooms - any number of services that will help the person we serve continue to live in the family home and continue to include the individual we serve in all aspects of community living,” Goin said.

The list is a chronological statewide list of people who wish to be considered for services DDS provides. Services are provided from three years of age through the end of an individual’s life.

“The people on our waiting list could be a young family who just had a young child with a thought the child might have an intellectual disability; they may put that child on the waiting list,” Goin said. “Or it could be someone, maybe an adult living with elderly parents in the family home, and the family really would like services from the state of Oklahoma at the point of time they’re no longer able to provide services for their son or daughter.”


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