Current Updates

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March 23, 2020

Dear OSBI Members and Families,

It is with a heavy heart that I write to you today to communicate a “service delivery change” for all OSBI members. Effective, 3/24/2020, OSBI will no longer be providing Transportation services related to DTA (Day Program) and Employment services. The service codes for your adult’s authorization from DDD to OSBI are “TRA” and “TRE”. Over the past weekend, we considered whether we could continue to provide transportation on a 1 driver per 1 member ratio in each van. We concluded today that the close physical proximity of the driver and member, coupled with the necessity of cleaning every surface of the van before and after each transportation, simply provides too great of a health risk. We realize this is an inconvenience for our families and for our drivers, who still choose to work for One Step Beyond and need this employment to support their livelihood.

We do however feel we can provide fun programming while maintaining the physical distancing directed by the CDC at our Scottsdale, Glendale, and Surprise campuses, and will remain open if you are able to provide transportation to and from campus. We are maintaining a schedule of professional deep disinfecting cleaning at all 3 campuses as well as periodic cleaning throughout the day by program staff. As we have advised throughout the past 3 weeks, attending our programs is a personal choice for you and your son or daughter to make.

For those of you who are continuing to utilize OSBI on-campus programs and services, you will be receiving a call from an OSBI representative notifying you of this change. If you are not currently attending on-campus programs and services, you will be receiving either a call from an OSBI representative or a letter informing you of this change, in addition to this message. 

PLEASE know we take the COVID-19 virus seriously. It continues to have a significant effect on the services we provide to our members and on our staff who deliver these services. As each day passes, we are hopeful that the COVID-19 crisis lessens and OSBI can return to normal operations to continue to provide such amazing services and programs to your adult, without disruption.

Now more than ever, we appreciate your trust in and support of One Step Beyond and will continue to keep you informed as new information is available. For additional resources please visit: www.azdhs.gov.

Thanks,

Mike Homco
Executive Director – Arizona

March 22, 2020

Dear OSBI Families,

We want to provide you with current informative communications as they become available.
Please check out the new message which has been shared by one of our partners, The Arizona Alliance of Nonprofits.

Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits
2-1-1 Arizona - A Program of Crisis Response Network

Governor Ducey Announces Launch of 2-1-1 COVID-19 Hotline

The Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits has been in close contact with our friends at 2-1-1 over the last couple of weeks to understand what they needed to help get the 2-1-1 system up and running.  We were happy to hear last week that the Governor’s office was working to get the 2-1-1 system up in response to the COVID-19 health emergency and that legislation was not going to be needed for this effort.
On Sunday, Governor Ducey announced that 2-1-1 was available 7 days a week to answer questions about COVID-19.

As we understand this announcement, the funding provided allows the 2-1-1 system to be up and running for a year.  They will be focusing on the COVID-19 response with live individuals available to answer calls in these first few weeks, but they are working to train additional staff to begin to handle other inquiries. As 2-1-1 gets back up and running to answer all questions, we will keep you posted.

As you know, the Alliance’s support for additional funding was based on there being no exclusions for any nonprofits.  As we understand it, the funding provided through DES will have to follow current state law that no state funding may be used for abortion referrals.  CRN continues to work with other funding sources to ensure that the full continuum of referrals can continue to be made.  

The Alliance thanks the Crisis Response Network and Governor Ducey for getting this important resource back up and running. We look forward to working with the Executive and 2-1-1 to find permanent funding for the 2-1-1 system going forward.  

View the Full Press Release

March 22, 2020

Dear OSBI Members and Families,

I wanted to reach out to you today to ensure you have the most up to date information, as OSBI does, from DES/DDD. Each day, OSBI will continue to commit to providing programs and services to our members who need them until we are directed to close by the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD). While we continue to provide these programs and services, we are committed to continuing to following all established governmental protocols to ensure the safety and well-being of your adults who attend OSBI programs.

While some of you may be able to provide care for your adult in your home and not require OSBI DTA services, there are still many who cannot. Our mission is to continue to provide the programs and services that your adult may need without disruption. Please know that OSBI understands that not all of our families are choosing to take advantage of OSBI on-campus programs and services and that this is a personal choice of you and your adult.

With that being said, on Saturday, 3/21/2020, DDD provided more information related to many different programs, supports, and services. DDD provided answers to some, but not all, questions that OSBI and our sister agencies have been asking direction for. I have included several of those questions and answers that we asked DDD below. OSBI is including more information for you and your adult in response to these answers from DDD so you can better make an informed decision about your adults’ programs and services.

At the end of this letter, I have provided the DDD websites that contain additional information for OSBI Families and its Providers.

  • Question: Does DDD have guidelines on how providers should handle DTA participants who present with symptoms of colds or respiratory infections such as coughing, runny nose, etc?

Answer: Providers (OSBI and agencies alike) should follow ADHS guidance about potential exposure. Members and staff who are visibly sick should be sent home and should immediately isolate and contact their healthcare professional.

OSBI requests that if your adult is sick and/or presenting symptoms of illness, they should stay home. If members of OSBI come to Day Program and display visible symptoms of illness, OSBI will contact you to pick up your adult. OSBI will also work with you to ensure their safety, well-being, and provide transportation services outside of the normal drop off time (after 4 pm) if needed. OSBI is also taking precautions for its employees and will continue to follow guidelines and protocols set forth by governmental agencies.

  • Question: Can DDD members temporarily increase their home-based service hours as other services are being suspended or canceled and schools are closed?

Answer: The Support Coordinator can assist with a reassessment of a member’s needs at any time.

OSBI understands that many of our members/families have decided to keep their adult at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. With this being said, if your adult or family requires additional supports or requires an increase in hours authorized per week/month for home-based services such as Respite, Habilitation, and/or Attendant Care, please contact your DDD Support Coordinator for assistance. You MUST contact us if is the agency authorized in providing the service(s) so we can work in unison with you, your adult and DDD.

OSBI’s HCBS Team will also be reaching out to those affected by the current pandemic to determine if we can be of assistance in the following:

  1. Needing assistance in reaching out to your adult’s DDD Support Coordinator to request information on how to make a change in supports and/or requesting more hours for a specific service or support for your adult.
  2. Needing assistance with finding a provider to provide additional supports to your adult.
    1. If you require a provider for services like Respite, Habilitation and/or Attendant Care, please consider using OSBI staff who’s typical work hours have been affected by the current pandemic.
      1. OSBI staff care for and know your adult if they attend our on-campus programs. OSBI will have staff who will be ready and willing to provide services like Respite, Habilitation, and/or Attendant Care on a 1:1 basis should you choose this option. Again, we must work in unison with you, your adult and DDD in order to provide these services.
  • Question: Can HAH (Habilitation) goals be done virtually/by phone for certain members? Currently, Habilitation is not a service that can be delivered via telehealth. If a member needs additional services or supports, can DDD respond quickly by approving additional services or supports? What if an individual cannot go to their day program, will DDD authorize attendant care or respite services they do not already have in their ISP so the member can receive services in the home?

Answer: The Support Coordinator can assist with a reassessment of a member’s needs at any time.

OSBI suggests that if you have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, we will work with you and your adult in contacting your DDD Support Coordinator should you require additional services and supports. If your adult receives these services and/or supports from OSBI, then we MUST be involved in the notification and communication of potential changes.

  • Question: What is the process for notifying DDD of changes to service delivery or service location?

Answer: Please refer to the vendor announcement sent on March 12, 2020. 

DDD has provided direction on how and what agencies need to do, and the “vendor announcement” provides guidance to OSBI, and sister agencies alike. If a member requires a change in their delivery of services or the delivery of services at a location. This includes changes in how they receive services (in-person or at a licensed facility).

   *      Question: What is the expected turnaround time for DDD staff to approve a request for a change in service delivery for a specific member or a change in service location when the request is sent to the DDDQMUdocs@azdes.govemail as directed in DDD’s March 12, 2020, vendor announcement?

Answer: We apologize for the delay’s providers have experienced in receiving responses. You can expect to receive a response within 24-hours.

This clarifies direction for agencies who have made requests mentioned above to Question #4. OSBI and our sister agencies have experienced lengthy timeframes for return calls and responses to questions.

You will find the link to the DDD’s website of frequently asked questions (FAQ). Should you like more information, please contact OSBI at 623-215-2449 or DDD at (Toll-free) 1-844-770-9500 TTY/TDD: 711 / Fax: (602) 542-6870.

Department of Economic Security (DES) Resource Website:

https://des.az.gov/services/coronavirus

DDD Actions related to COVID-19:

https://des.az.gov/services/disabilities/developmental-disabilities/vendors-providers/actions_related_to_covid-19

DDD FAQ’s for Providers and Agencies: https://des.az.gov/sites/default/files/media/COVID19_FAQ_032120.pdf

PLEASE know we take the COVID-19 virus seriously. It has had a significant effect on the services we provide to our members and on our staff, who deliver these services. We appreciate your trust in and support of One Step Beyond and will continue to keep you informed as new information is available.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to One Step Beyond, Inc. at 623-215-2449.

Thanks,

Mike Homco
Executive Director – Arizona


March 17, 2020

Regarding the ongoing COVID-19 situation, we wanted to update you all with how OSBI is responding this week.  We take the safety and well-being of all involved with our organization seriously: program members, staff, volunteers, and the community at large. 

We have had significant callouts and absences the last two days, which makes sense under the circumstances. However, we also want to ensure everyone is aware that OSBI must remain open to provide services based on our contract with DDD until the State tells us otherwise. So, we are OPEN for program currently.  Should that change, another communication will be sent home to families and via our communication(s) channels immediately.

Based on callouts this week, please know we are utilizing every space available on campus to keep class sizes below recommended counts: no larger than 10 at any one time.  As we mentioned last week, community outings and group activities have been modified in accordance with recommendations by AZDHS and CDC. 

Beginning this week, we have added additional cleaning and sanitation services from our third-party commercial cleaning contractor, ServiceMaster.  They are adding an additional day of cleaning for each OSBI-AZ campus and are now using upgraded “High Touch Disinfecting Services” at each cleaning to raise heightened sanitation practices even further. This is in addition to OSBI’s in-house cleaning and wipe down procedures that already occur via campus staff.Paragraph

We will continue to adhere to the protocols below that include:

  • Ensure everyone is washing their hands effectively and as often as possible, including washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer stations if soap and water are not available. 
  • Ensure program members who are sick or showing any flu-type symptoms are kept at home for the duration of their illness or sent home early from program if symptoms occur or are present. Please contact OSBI and let us know members will be absent if this occurs.
  • Ensure staff who are sick or showing any flu-type symptoms are excused from work for the duration of their illness.
  • Encourage and employ good hygiene practices (coughing into sleeves, using tissues when sneezing, etc.). 
  • Discourage program members and staff from sharing food, beverages, and other commonly shared items. 
  • Provide easy access to hand sanitizer, tissues, and cleaning wipes to all staff and program members.
  • Routine environmental cleaning by staff on a daily (or more often) basis including:
    • Routinely cleaning frequently touched surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, light switches, tables, chairs) with the cleaners typically used.
    • Using all cleaning products according to the directions on the label.
    • Providing disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (e.g., keyboards, desks, remote controls) can be wiped down by program members and staff before each use.

We do apologize for any inconvenience this might cause you or your family. It is our goal not to create barriers to inclusion, but also to ensure our participants are safe and cared for. We will continue to update you all each time additional COVID-19 related news or guidance comes available.

In regards to this, should your adult experience severe symptoms according to CDC such as, fever, cough, or shortness of breath: and/or have tested positive for COVID-19, we NEED you to contact One Step Beyond immediately at (623) 215-2449 or Mike Homco by cell (623) 205-9245 so we can alert anyone who may have been exposed to your adult as well as DDD and AZDHS.  In addition to this, our leadership team continues to explore options that might be available through HCBS (respite, habilitation and attendant care) for those of you that have an interest, please reach out to our office for additional information.

To help ensure our organization remains financially sound during this difficult period, we would sincerely appreciate any n contributions or donations that you or others in your network can consider making. In-kind donations of cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, foaming soap, paper products, etc. at any of our campuses would be sincerely appreciated. You can also contribute monetarily by visiting www.osbi.org and clicking the ‘DONATE’ button. 

We thank you for your ongoing support and will continue to provide updates as they come available.

One Step Beyond, Inc. Executive Team

Mimi, Joe, Madison, Mike, & Jeff

March 13, 2020

Dear OSB Families and Participants, 

Regarding the ongoing COVID-19 situation, we wanted to update you all with how OSBI is responding this week. 

As always, OSBI takes the safety and wellbeing of all involved with our organization seriously: staff, participants, volunteers, and the community at large. We will continue to adhere to the protocols set by the AZDHS/DES-DDD that include:

  • Ensure everyone is washing their hands effectively and as often as possible, including washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer stations if soap and water are not available. 
  • Ensure staff that are sick or showing any flu-type symptoms are excused from work for the duration of their illness.
  • Ensure program-members that are sick or showing any flu-type symptoms are kept at home for the duration of their illness or sent home early from program if symptoms occur or are present. 
  • Encourage and employ good hygiene practices (coughing into sleeves, using tissues when sneezing, etc.). Please contact OSBI and let them know they will be absent.
  • Discourage program-members and staff from sharing food, beverages, and other commonly shared items. 
  • Provide easy access to hand sanitizer, tissues, and cleaning wipes to all staff and program-members.
  • Routine environmental cleaning by staff on a daily (or more often) basis including:
    • Routinely cleaning frequently touched surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, light switches, tables, chairs) with the cleaners typically used.
    • Using all cleaning products according to the directions on the label.
    • Providing disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (e.g., keyboards, desks, remote controls) can be wiped down by program-members and staff before each use.

In addition to these protocols, based on information provided by the Arizona Department of Health Services that encourages the postponement of all ‘nonessential’ community gatherings, we have modified our program schedule to provide more center-based activities to replace some of our routine community-based activities in an effort to minimize exposure risk. In the life skills program, these include bowling, community outings, and field trips. Recreation classes to Rio Vista and YMCA fitness facilities will continue as long as each respective facility remains open. Friday Fun Night and Social Saturday opportunities moving forward until this is resolved will be provided on OSBI campuses ONLY in order to provide a clean, safe and sanitary environment that we are able to control to the best of our abilities.

With these schedule changes, we hope to still provide fun and meaningful activities such as computer and exercise classes at the program, extra music classes throughout the week, along with activities that meet your participant needs here at OSBI. We won’t have to stay cooped up inside all day, however, our staff are also planning some nice park trips (weather permitted) throughout the week as well. Even though we are implementing these changes, we want the participants and their families to have a reasonable level of choice in the matter as well. If you have specific wishes for yourself or the adult we serve, please communicate those to us as soon as possible, and we will do our best to accommodate. 

We at OSBI love being able to prepare and serve daily meals to our staff and members. We have safety protocols already in place that utilize appropriate food safety including wearing gloves, hairnets, and washing hands often. However, with the recent health concerns and some of our foodservice supply stores being depleted, we will be offering a modified menu throughout the month of March. For the vocational programs, the Program Director has been in close contact with the contracted volunteer and paid employment job sites and are following all necessary protocols. If there are specific questions regarding your participant’s volunteer or paid employment job site, please contact the Vocational Program Director. 

We do apologize for any inconvenience this might cause you or your family. It is our goal to not create barriers to inclusion, but also to ensure our participants are safe and cared for. We will continue to update you all as the week’s progress and as we all learn more about the COVID-19 virus and how to prevent exposure. 

As an agency that runs very financially efficient, we would sincerely appreciate your consideration to contribute to help us remain open and providing the programs we are proud to for individuals who have intellectual disabilities. In-kind donations for cleaning supplies, hand sanitizers, foaming soap, etc. at any of our campuses would be sincerely appreciated, you can also contribute monetarily by visiting www.osbi.org, then click the donate button. 

We thank you for your ongoing support, 

(623) 215-2449