Resource Connections of
Oregon (RCO) is a non-profit known for its beneficial role in Oregon's
service delivery system as well as for the talents and skills of its
staff. We currently provide services to around 700 customers in Linn,
Marion and Yamhill Counties.
We are "people
first"...all of our differences are just what make each of us
There should be
"nothing about me, without me"...no one knows our wants and needs
better than ourselves.
The start of RCO can be
found in the movement toward self-determination for persons with
intellectual and developmental disabilities. While developing new
service systems to implement this concept, it became clear that the
creation of new types of organizations would be necessary. Thomas
Nerney and Donald Shumway, of the National Program Office on
Self-Determination, stress the importance of having organizations to
assist with employer and payroll functions (fiscal intermediaries) on
behalf of people with disabilities and their families.
The development of RCO is
a direct result of this need for fiscal intermediaries to help further
the concept of self-determination and the development of self-directed
supports on behalf of people with disabilities and their families.
RCO was established in
May 1998 as an offshoot of Oregon Technical Assistance Corporation
(currently Oregon Training and Consultation, or “OTAC”). This new
program was needed to meet the needs of individuals and their families
who were newly choosing to self-direct their supports. RCO provided
these fiscal intermediary supports for those pursuing a self-directed
During this time, around
5,000 Oregonians with intellectual and developmental disabilities were
on “waitlists” for funded services. As a result, in 2000, a lawsuit
was filed on behalf of a small group of individuals with intellectual
and developmental disabilities who were eligible for services but were
on the waitlist. This lawsuit stated that anyone eligible for Medicaid
funded services should not have to wait for them. Oregon chose to
settle out of court in what is known as the Staley Settlement.
The settlement required “universal access” - that Support Services be
available to all eligible Oregonians. The state created a new
Brokerage Service system to meet this new need.
This new system would be founded in self-determination; putting the
person receiving services in the “driver’s seat.” Within the design of
the system, customers get to say what they need and want; how much
they want; when they want it and who they want to provide the support.
We embrace the ideas that:
It was in 2001 that RCO
was awarded a state contract to become one of the first Support
Service Brokerages. This meant adding a case management function to
the existing fiscal intermediary service. RCO spun off from OTAC and,
on January 1, 2002, enrolled its first 99 customers. Over the next 10
years, RCO grew to where we now serve around 700 customers.
In September 2014, the
State of Oregon pulled the fiscal intermediary services “in-house”.
Currently, RCO focuses exclusively on case management
services for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities
who live in their own homes or with family or friends in Linn, Marion
and Yamhill Counties.
While no longer a fiscal intermediary, RCO staff
continue to actively assist customers and their families with
RCO currently consists of the following:
A Board of Directors (more than 50% are
self-advocates or family members)
1 Executive Director
1 Business Manager
4 Lead Personal Agents
19 Personal Agents
1 Staff Accountant
4.5 Office Team