What Is a Microboard?

A microboard, also called an SDSC (self-directed support corporation), is simply a provider corporation which is licensed under the rules of the state. Canada has been able to avoid this by saying that the microboard structure itself provides more safety and accountability than traditional licensing. But in the U.S., Medicaid requires licensing.

Microboards usually are set up as nonprofit corporations with a Board of Directors and originate from the person-center planning philosophy. There is no need to apply for the difficult, expensive 501(c)3 Federal nonprofit status; the state nonprofit corporate structure is fine for a microboard. In order to get Federal nonprofit status, you must show that you serve the community, not just one person. And a microboard is not going to receive donations; it is a system for organizing efforts from the community and also for receiving and spending money for the support of only one person.

This might sound inefficient to some people accustomed to supporting people in groups. However, individualizing services brings impressive results. Volunteers are more willing to work for one person than for two; conflicts of interest are avoided; and individuals have a better chance to lead their own microboard towards the kind of life they wish to have.

Imagine if your doctor, to save time and money, offered to see patients in groups of two. I don't think any of us would go for that. We want our doctor to think of our needs alone in the exam room.

David and Faye Wetherow designed the first microboard in Vancouver Canada. You can read about it at Community Works

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