As the number of people waiting for developmental disabilities services has reached an all-time high, the Oklahoma Department of Human Services is considering abandoning the first-come, first-served approach to the developmental disabilities services waiting list.
Instead, it would prioritize the list according to need, meaning families who have waited for help for years could be moved back in line while others are shifted to the front.
But how that system would work, and whether it would be fair and effective, is unclear. DHS officials said the change will take years to implement. The agency has made relatively little progress during the past two years.
In the meantime, the waiting list for government-paid services for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities continues to grow, hitting a record 7,560 this year.
Personnel changes at DHS and the agency’s attention to other matters, however, have delayed changing the first-come, first-served approach, a DHS official said.