Questions and Answers

Real Choices System Change Grant

Hawaii REAL CHOICES Partnership Project:

Accessibility for Consumer Choice Entry Support System (ACCESS)

What is the Real Choices Hawaii grant?

The Hawaii State Department of Human Services (DHS) has received a federally funded $1.3 million grant to design and implement a new statewide Internet-based information system that will provide people easy access to look up and contact the resources for all the long term care and disability services in Hawaii.

This innovative new grant is a partnership among persons with disabilities and long-term illness, state and private agencies, and the Center on Disability Studies, University of Hawaii.

The Real Choices ACCESS project will provide choices about services, products, and resources for community-based living for people of all ages with disabilities and long-term care needs.

The major goals of the Real Choices ACCESS Project

Design and implement a web-based multi access information system that:

  1. Is user friendly
  2. Provides information about existing services statewide
  3. Matches consumer needs with existing services
  4. Addresses continuous quality assurance

Provide statewide training to consumers, family members and agencies about how to use the Web-based information system

Establish a consumer-driven committee with industry representation to continually review the project’s evaluation information and promote policies that will enable people to remain in their home or other community based living options.

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Who is in charge of this grant?

The grant was submitted as a partnership with the Department of Human Services (DHS) - State of Hawaii, Persons with Disabilities and Long-Term Illness, State Department Programs and Private Agencies, and Center on Disability Studies - University of Hawaii. Dr. Susan M. Chandler, Director, DHS is the Principal Investigator and Mark Obatake, Executive Director of Hawaii Centers for Independent Living is the Co-Investigator. The Center on Disability Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa is facilitating all aspects of the implementation of this grant.

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What will the Web-based system look like?

The information site will employ the latest computer networking and Web technologies in order to provide the following consumer-friendly features:

  1. Interactive self-assessment processes that will help people identify and access services, products and resources for which they are eligible.
  2. A myriad of information related to community-based living, including long-term care services offered by the state, the counties and private organizations, vendors of service and products, housing and transportation information, different financial resources, etc.
  3. Web site links to the agencies participating in the Real Choices ACCESS project.
  4. Quality assurance features allowing consumers to provide feedback about the system and services.

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How will we make sure it is user-friendly?

A statewide collaborative team process will be used to ensure a user-friendly system. A Governing Council will have directive authority over major aspects of the design and implement of the information system. Workgroups comprised of consumers, interested individuals and representatives from public and private organizations will work together to ensure the Web-based system addresses choice, access, and self-determination issues.

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What are the responsibilities of the Governing Council? Who is on the Governing Council?

Information on the Governing Council can be found at the Governing Council page.

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How will people on the neighbor islands be involved in the Real Choices ACCESS Project?

Individuals living on neighbor islands have much of the same opportunities for involvement as individuals living on Oahu. Since first launching the project in January 2002, we have held at least one Community Meeting in every county. These meetings provided important perspectives on the concerns, needs, and desires of individuals statewide.

The Governing Council has five members (15%) from the neighbor islands, and the committees they are involved with will drive the creation of the Web-based system and the additional support services, such as training and quality assurances.

Additional opportunities for participation are in the planning stages, and events will be posted on the Community Meetings page of this website as soon as they are finalized. We also welcome electronic feedback and can be reached at [email protected]. Please register with us if you would like to receive e-mail updates about upcoming events and meetings.

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What were the results of the Summit?

The Summit served as a kick-off to inform the general public about the project's vision for a useful Web-based information system that increases access to services for people with disabilities and long-term care needs. The Summit successfully brought consumers, service providers, and other interested individuals together to participate in creating the foundation for the Real Choices ACCESS Project website. To find out more about what the Summit Work Groups accomplished, please visit our Workgroup Notes page.

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How can people be involved in this project?

There are several key ways individuals can become involved with the project, short-term or long-term. One option is to participate in a Community Meeting to provide input into what is being developed, and help to drive the direction of the work. For those who can devote some time to this effort, we also are soliciting people to serve on work groups which will meet regularly (probably at least monthly) to discuss key issues and provide ongoing feedback to the staff developing the system.

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How will people be informed about the Web-based system?

We are making every attempt to spread the word about the ACCESS Project through service providers and community outreach. However, as we are still in the planning stages, we do not have a website that provides even a fraction of the information or services that we hope to make available in the future. The official unveiling of the website is planned for February 2003 at the PacRim Conference, a major event that brings together individuals from around the Pacific Rim that are committed to increasing awareness of the need for communities to fully accept and support persons with disabilities. This event will provide the project with considerable exposure and will play an important role in spreading the word about the website.

Another component of the project is to provide information and training on the use of the Web-based system to consumers and providers so that it becomes a regularly used resource. The Center on Disabilities Studies - University of Hawai`i will be responsible for the development and dissemination of the training materials.

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Where can I get Adobe Acrobat Reader?

Click here to download Adobe Acrobat Reader.

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Tuesday, July 23, 2024