future1“The future is not a result of choices among alternative paths offered by the present, but a place that is created – created first in the mind and will, created next in activity.  The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating”

– Futurist John Schaar

Dear Colleagues:

I would like to take this opportunity to update you on our Futures Planning process. ODP’s internal and external stakeholders began work early in 2013 to envision a long-range development plan for our service system. Person-centered long-range goals were established and these goals then guided the development of eight near-term objectives and high-level action plans.

Plans to move forward with selected action items were approved by Secretary Mackereth in April 2014. Soon after, on May 29, 2014, ODP’s internal and external stakeholders met again as an Extended Team to discuss and plan the following next steps:

  • Implementation Team members will gather information on projects and best practices that are taking place right now in Pennsylvania related to each of the eight Futures Planning objectives.


  • ODP will work with the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disability Services (NASDDDS) to compile information on projects and best practices that are taking place in other states related to each of the eight Futures Planning objectives.


  • During the fall of 2014, ODP will collect input from stakeholders throughout the state related to implementation of each objective  through a combination of surveys and face-to-face forums.


  • In addition to this three-pronged approach to gathering further information to guide decision-making, activities already in progress for three objectives—Using a Person-Centered Needs Assessment and Budget Process, Creating Supports for Changing Needs in Times of Crisis and Transition, and Promoting Employment First—will continue.

When these research activities have been completed, ODP will draft recommendations for next steps that will take place in 2015. These recommendations will be shared with the Extended Team for their additional input. Final recommendations will then be offered to Secretary Mackereth for review and approval.

I encourage you to continue to participate in our Futures Planning process by offering your valuable input into this research phase. To assist you, you will find long-range goals, objectives, and summaries of the work of each Implementation Team posted to this web site along with a contact person for each Team. If you have information about projects or best practices taking place in Pennsylvania, please forward this input to the contact person for the related objective.

Also, look for information about the survey process and face-to-face forums ODP will be conducting as it is distributed and posted to this web site. We plan to provide plenty of notice so you can arrange to attend. In the meantime, please feel free to send me an email with any constructive thoughts or questions you may have about Futures Planning.

Thank you for your interest, participation and support as we continue to work together to build Today’s Vision…Tomorrow’s Reality.


Stephen H. Suroviec
Deputy Secretary
Office of Developmental Programs


Click here to view the Summary of Objectives and High-Level Action Plans for the eight Futures Planning Objectives selected in 2013 and the Detailed Action Plan Summaries developed in 2014.


Futures Planning Key Documents Reference Documents
ODP Mission & Vision Everyday Lives – Making it Happen
Today’s Vision – Tomorrow’s Reality – Visual Keeping the Promise
Guiding Principles SAU1 Mission and Vision 
Draft Long Range Goals – After Public Comment  Autism Task Force Report 
Draft Goals and Objectives April 17, 2013
Draft Objectives May 10, 2013
Draft Objectives May 17, 2013
Draft Objectives Revised May 31, 2013
Draft Futures Planning Objectives Revised 11-21-13
Futures Planning Implementation Proposal 12-17-13
SELN PA Findings and Observations Report
SELN PA Findings and Observations Report Appendix
Futures Planning Update May 29, 2014
ODP Futures Planning Public Forum Resources
ODP Futures Planning Public Forum Recording (9/18/14)