NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — A state department wants to hear from people with disabilities and those who care for them.

The North Dakota Department of Health and Human Services Developmental Disabilities section wants to hear from individuals with disabilities at two public meetings in January.

The purpose is to hear about person-centered services and balancing dignity, choice, and risk.

“What we’re trying to accomplish with that is making sure that when people are building, when we’re doing our planning for a person we serve, that we’re focusing on a person’s wants, not what you think should be done,” said Tina Bay, the developmental disabilities section director.

North Dakotans can join the virtual meeting online or by phone.

“You really are engaging and asking that client and their family members what they want to get out of if we’re planning for goals if we are looking at what they wanna do for their day, that type of thing. So it’s really just trying to get back to letting people make their decisions,” Bay said.

Bay says it’s essential to get input at these meetings.

It will be used to draft materials explaining “dignity of risk” and to direct service planning discussions and decisions.

“There are times when, when you’re in that team process, the client’s voice doesn’t get heard. And so that’s why we want to hear from the people that are using our services. And we want to be able to minimize risk for people, but we also want to be able to balance the choice that they want to make,” said Bay.

The two virtual listening opportunities will be on January 11. The first will be from 1 to 2:30 p.m. and the second from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Registration is not required.

For details on joining the meeting, view the Community Input Meeting: Person-Centered Practice Goals meeting notice on the HHS website.