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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How many people currently live at the Life Skills & Transition Center?

A. The Life Skills & Transition Center population has ranged from 146 to 117 people since 2000. Further efforts are constantly being made to transition more people to community-based settings. The state-operated residential, vocational, clinical, and healthcare services of the Center are available to North Dakota citizens who have developmental disabilities only if they are referred by staff at one of the eight regional Human Service Centers. When appropriate alternatives are available in a person's preferred community, community supports are offered. Plans include reducing the population of the ICF/MR adult service to under 100 people in the near future, while Home and Community Based Services are anticipated to further reduce the ICF/MR adult numbers.

Q. What kinds of clinical needs do the people residing at the Life Skills & Transition Center have?

A. People admitted to the Life Skills & Transition Center have developmental disabilities as well as medical and mental health issues. Mental health diagnoses include the full diagnostic range from personality and conduct disorders to phobias, anxiety disorders, various mood disorders, and psychotic conditions. Medical issues include scoliosis, hiatal hernia, subperiostial hemorrhage, osteoporosis, epilepsy, neurofibromatosis, tuberous sclerosis, severe hydrocephaly and hydranencephaly, Turner's syndrome, phenylketoneuria, cerebellar, atrophy, Rett syndrome, Feuerstein-Mims syndrome, autism, spina bifida, and Down's syndrome.

Q. How can people access services at the Life Skills & Transition Center?

A. Staffs at the eight Regional Human Service Centers in North Dakota handle referrals for admission to the Life Skills & Transition Center. The Department of Human Services strives to provide services in the least restrictive and appropriate setting and works to link individuals with disabilities to community-based services, programs, and supports prior to considering institutional options. People at risk of losing their community presence are eligible for assistance from the Life Skills & Transition Center to preserve their residential options in their preferred community (CARES).

Q. How many people are admitted to the Life Skills & Transition Center each year?

A. Depending upon the year and the needs, between 12 and 24 people are admitted and a similar number are discharged from the Life Skills & Transition Center on an annual basis. A few people use the Center's Healthcare Support services for medical recuperation following surgeries or to make adaptive equipment adjustments. Most are admitted when no other providers are available to meet their unique needs or admitted briefly for evaluations or stabilization. These individuals are discharged when appropriate services and supports can be arranged to help them achieve stable lifestyles and exercise further choices in other settings.

In recognition of the United States Supreme Court's decision in Olmstead vs. L.C., the North Dakota Department of Human Services and the Life Skills & Transition Center have developed and use a Residential Decision Profile. The tool bases the continued stay at the Life Skills & Transition Center on the decision of the individual (and surrogate legal decision-maker where applicable). Staff members at the Life Skills & Transition Center, and the regional human service centers who are responsible for the individual's services. People residing at the Center do so under a voluntary status in all but a few circumstances, which include annual judicial reviews of any guardian's decision.


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