What is your mission statement/philosophy?
The CA mission is to empower the individuals we serve to meet their fullest
potential of independent living, while maintaining a safe and home-like living
atmosphere. CA was founded on the philosophy that the consumer comes first,
the employee second and the company third.
Why did CA decide to serve persons
with developmental disabilities?
owner, had worked at several MHMR centers in East Texas
prior to starting CA and had always loved working in
this environment. When the opportunity arose for private
individuals to start their own ICF-MR programs, Laura
was inspired by her co-workers to get involved. Laura
was raised with a cousin with a developmental disability
(DD), and as her team came together to build CA, it became
apparent that each one of CA employees had a passion
to assist individuals with DD due to family involvement
or just the passion of caring.
How long has CA been serving persons
with mental retardation or developmental disabilities?
Community Access has been certified and licensed since 1991 as an ICF/MR provider
and has also been certified as an HCS provider since 1993. In 2000, we received
the Irwin Siegel Commitment to Quality Award, given annually to a Texas private
provider who demonstrates outstanding commitment to quality improvement and
advocacy on behalf of persons with developmental disabilities.
How many persons does CA serve
and how long have you been in business?
CA serves over 225 individuals in their service area, through the ICF-MR programs
or the Home and Community Services (HCS) program. At this time, CA is open
for new enrollments and does not have a cap of the individuals they will serve.
Our philosophy is to serve those who need and want assistance and we will not
turn anyone away. CA has been in business for 16 years. We opened in 1991,
in Whitehouse, Texas.
Does CA have a reference
Yes, we do. You may view
What type of experience do your
employees have in special needs?
CA has a wide range of experienced employees. We have child development specialist,
individuals with special training in behavior intervention, social workers,
individuals with psychology degrees, contract individuals with autism specialization,
a PhD psychologist, and vocational specialist.
CA is committed to continued education.
We provide in-house training in all areas of special needs
while also empowering our employees to attend state and
national meetings in the area of developmental disabilities.
CA employees can always be seen attending the state Medicaid
meetings, PPAT seminars, the Texas Mental Retardation Association
annual conference, the National QMRP conference, American
Association of Mental Retardation conference, the Southwest
Society of Service Coordinators, and many others, as they
Tell me about the level of training
and credentialing of your employees.
CA employs all levels of workers. Our direct service workers are required to
have a high school diploma or equivalent, a valid driver' license and pass
a 90 day probation period. We believe in promoting employees up the ladder
as openings permit, as we believe experience may be the best teacher. With
that philosophy 80% of our Administrative personnel have been with CA for 10
years or longer. 75% of those individuals have a bachelor's degree in a human
service field. Several individuals have advanced degrees. We employee certified
med-aides, LVN's, and use contract RN services. We have a full time accountant
who oversees all consumer trust fund activity that we are representative payee.
Describe ways in which you involve
families, guardians, and individuals in the development
of individual's program.
Individual program plans are developed utilizing the team approach. The team
will consist of family, professional individuals, individual being served,
and others as requested or deemed necessary. Everyone's opinion is important.
Those that know the individual the best have insight into the needs and strengths
of the person we serve. CA is a Medicaid funded program and will need to meet
their requirements when developing the program plan. As long as those standards
are met, family's wishes will always be put on the front line. If the team
disagrees with the family, it must have valid reasons, such as the health and
safety of the individual and those the individual lives with. Family is always
asked to assist in the development of the plan and monitoring the progress
of the plan.
Does your agency have experienced
and professional employees who train new employees?
CA is proud of our training program. We have a module/test system for new employees,
plus on the job orientation by the team leader, house manager or QMRP. No employee
is left alone on the job until they master the task they are expected to do.
What procedures will employees
implement in a crisis?
CA has several Certified SAMA trainers. SAMA is a behavioral intervention program.
CA provides training to all its employees in this behavior technique to help
prevent a crisis or how to intervene without injury to the individual if behavioral
acting out does happen.
How does CA develop plans for
persons with behavior problems?
Individuals are involved in the development of behavior support plans as much
as possible. When an individual exhibits inappropriate behavior, data is collected
and analyzed to determine what appears to be causing the inappropriate behavior
and what can be done to modify the behavior. In the ICF/MR program, QMRP's
have been trained to develop and monitor behavior support plans. In the HCS
program behavior support plans are developed and monitored by a licensed psychologist
with input from staff.
What are your policies regarding
visitors, and privacy?
Individuals living in our group homes have the right to have visitors and meet
with them in private. Accommodations are made to provide privacy with the rights
of other consumers in mind.
What type of fun activities will
be available, and does my family member get to choose
their daily routine? Will a staff member be available
to support my family member to participate in community
activities (such as girl scouts, sports, Special Olympics)?
Individuals living in CA group homes participate
in a variety of community activities including Special Olympics,
movies, dinner out, plays, musical events, local, county
and state fairs. Staff are always available to provide support
during community activities. While there are scheduled activities
throughout the day for individuals residing in group homes,
as many opportunities as possible are presented for individuals
to choose how to spend their time.
What type of transportation do
you provide and how many vehicles do you have? Does each
house have a car?
Each 6-bed ICF/MR has a van. Three and four bed
HCS homes share a van between each 2 houses. Activities are
planned to ensure that there is always transportation available.
How do you accommodate persons
who are non-ambulatory?
CA has wheelchair accessible vans in each regional location to provide transportation
to individuals who utilize wheelchairs.
Do you have employees who speak
other languages? Is there an interpreter available?
CA has employees who understand and use Spanish and Sign Language. Interpreters
can be provided as needed. Skills are taught to employees when there is specific
How do you accommodate persons
who are nonverbal?
CA employees are taught to anticipate needs for individuals who are non-verbal
and unable to communicate their wants and needs. When an individual uses gestures
and/or sign language as their primary means of communication, staff are taught
specific gestures and signs used by the individual.
What provision will CA make for
my family member to attend the church of their choice?
When an individual indicates a choice of church that is different from others
in their home, accommodations will be made by either providing transportation
through staff or volunteer assistance.
What is your employee to individual
Our employee to individual ratio is very high. Overall, we have more employees
than consumers, due to all the state regulations that are require behind the
scene work. Currently we employee 350 and serve 226 residents. Another 50 individuals
are on contract for Foster Care and other direct service needs. In our homes
we usually have a 1.5 staff to 4 resident ratio. At low need times during the
day you may see fewer employees, at high need times, such as eating, bathing,
and dressing you may see more.
What are your back up procedures
when there is an emergency?
Each region has an administrator on call. We use a pager system. One pager
is designated an emergency pager and is passed on to the on-call person each
week. One of the following individuals can always be reached in case of an
emergency, CEO, Vice President of Programs or Regional Operations Manager.
Are employees available to support
my family member to participate in activities in the
Yes, clients participate in outside activities at their interest and staff
accompany. Clients attend church, Special Olympics, ARC dances and activities.
Among our homes they have barbeques and get-togethers as well as attend community
How and where will my family member
be cared for when he or she is ill?
We use Dr. Wiseman, our family physician that most of our clients use for medical
needs. He will refer to a specialist when recommended and/or he feels it is
needed. Some of clients use a family physician of their choice. In the event
that an individual needs to be hospitalized, we use Trinity Mother Frances
Hospital where we have an agreement with an on-staff medical doctor who is
a hospitalist. We cal lahead and let him know we are bringing in our consumer,
and they are then prepared. The hospitalist will also communicate with Dr.
Wiseman regarding the outcome of the hospital stay/visit.
Do you have medical employees
on site or on call for medical or dental issues? Are
medical employees willing to practice/rehearse with my
family member what to expect when going to the doctor,
hospital or dentist?
We have LVNs on staff and assigned to particular homes/consumers. The LVNs
rotate on-call for after hours and weekend medical concerns. Nurses are notified
and make recommendations to schedule appointments with physicians or to send
consumers to the ER. Our nurses will work to inform a consumer what to expect
for a medical visit or procedure.
What choices will my family member
have concerning day programming, vocational training,
supported employment, etc?
We contract with Andrews Diversified Industries
(ADI), Andrews Day Training Program (ADT), Community Workforce
of Texas (CWFT) and Goodwill-Opportunities of Tyler (OIT)
for day programming. Each contract offers a different work
or day training program. An individual visiting during a
pre-placement will visit each site to make a determination
of where they would like to attend and is also based on their
skill level. Through Community Workforce of Texas we have
a contract with the Department of Rehabilitation Services
(DARS) to assist individuals in finding a job in the community
for those individuals who are interested.
Describe how employees train individuals
in daily living skills?
Individuals are assessed during their first 30 days of admission to determine
what their strengths and weaknesses are. Following the assessments, the Interdisciplinary
Team (IDT) meets to review the recommendations and determines what areas to
work on with the individual. Goals and objectives are written based on the
IDT decision. Staff are trained by the supervisor, House Manager, Team Leader
and/or QMRP on how to train and work with the consumer. All employees also
attend New Employee Orientation and an in-house orientation during their first
6o days of employment. The direct care staff then works with the consumer on
those training goals for daily living skills as well as work with them informally
each day through showing them how to cook, take care of their home and develop
Will the home serving my family
member be located in close proximity to school/day program/place
Our homes are in a centrally located area inside city limits. Our clients are
transported to and from job sites, day programs and daily activities. Individuals
in school utilize the public school bus system.
Do you lease or own your residential
homes? Do you have short-term leases?
All our homes are owned by Community Access, Inc.
What screenings do you require
when employees are hired (drug screen, criminal background
Criminal background checks are completed. Misconduct registries checks, which
help monitor for employees who may have abused an individual, are completed
and employee must show a current Texas drivers license.