(Long Island, NY) Assemblyman Michael Montesano (R,C,I-Glen Head) recently joined his colleagues in passing legislation that would ensure the changes made to the service delivery model of the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) are done through an open and accessible process.The bill would establish a transformation panel to inform and engage stakeholders by requiring OPWDD to post on its website a final implementation plan by December 31, 2016, as well as any updates, amendments or modifications to the announced plan. Additionally, the bill would require the commissioner of OPWDD to notify the chairs of the Senate and Assembly Committees on Mental Health of any progress or changes made to the plan.“When the care and services for people with developmental disabilities are in jeopardy, it is critical we do all we can to protect them,” said Montesano. “With changes being made to the service delivery model of OPWDD, it is important for stakeholders to be informed every step of the way to ensure the best quality care is provided. I have staunchly supported the preservation of the programs and facilities that thousands of New Yorkers depend on for caretaking and advancement of valuable life skills.”Under the federal ruling of the Olmstead Act, New York State is required to provide services for individuals with disabilities in the most integrated setting that is appropriate to meet their needs. Over the past few years many advocates, consumers and their families and providers have expressed concern with the future of the developmental disability services. There has been little transparency from the state regarding major changes within OPWDD and stakeholders have questioned whether or not services provide community-based care for the unique needs of many within the population.