Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

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March 12, 2014

SORC parent group seeking information — By most accounts, transitions have reached a steady flow for both state resource centers.

However, that’s not to say that everyone is satisfied with the plan to move clients into community settings. Southern Oklahoma Resource Center PGA (Parent Guardian Association) President Ken Talley is one of them.

Though there are plenty of success stories, as clients have moved into different arrangements across the state.

A lack of information and communication from the Developmental Disability Services Division of DHS is one of the biggest problems Talley sees.

“There are two different kinds of parents and guardians involved.’ Talley said, “One is parents and guardians who moved their loved ones out of the center. The other is parents and guardians who still have loved one there,”

“There are two factors why clients are still here. One is there is not enough facilities available. Second, some need more information, because the commission that put the plan into play went out of business.”

Parents and guardians will have a chance to address concerns at an upcoming meeting at SORC. The new director of DDSD, JoAnne Goin, will be there to answer questions those interested might have.

Discussions will include an elaboration of a January meeting by the advisory panel. Also discussion for those who had not seen as smooth a transition, as they wanted, Talley added.

Talley added that they don’t believe having a telephone number to express concerns is enough effort toward solving the problems. He said many parents want to know when the problems they experience will be resolved.

One of the biggest concerns is the proposed closure date for SORC, a little over a month away.

Talley knows they won’t just close things down with clients still there. With NORCE being closer to having all their clients moved out, Talley wonders why their closing date is in 2015.

“They need to know that it’s not a drop dead date,” said Talley. “Parents and guardians need to hear that directly from DDSD.”

Talley made it clear that even as numbers continue to go down, the PGA is needed. He says they want to remain a communicator for the parents.

“You still have the same type of clients,” said Talley. “One thing we hope is that these clients are followed and there is a record of what happens to them. That would help us stay in contact with each other.”

The meeting will be held starting at 1:10 p.m., Sunday, March 16 at the Damron Center on the SORC campus.

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