Families, adults with intellectual disabilities and autism, organizations that provide services, and disability advocates are witnessing the collapse of
Members of the
For the first time in my decades of family advocacy I am fielding distraught calls from families of people with intellectual disabilities who, after desperately waiting for years on the
Some of the most distressing calls come from elderly parents who are facing aging and medical issues and caring for adult children decades after most children leave the family home. They wake up each day hoping that today will not be their last and praying that a provider organization will offer the long-term services for their sons or daughters so they can die at peace.
Over the last 40 years, I have witnessed the
The creation of community supports and services was a godsend for families like mine and so many others allowing our adult children to go to school, be employed, volunteer, worship and enjoy living in our communities alongside people who do not have disabilities.
However, the ID/A system's DSP crisis has now evolved into an implosion due to the outdated funding formula and woefully inadequate payment rates. Provider organizations can no longer provide services with 23% staff vacancy and 38% turnover rates. It is also just plain wrong that highly trained, dedicated DSPs must rely on food banks, sign their children up for the
It is also unconscionable that the state pays its own state center DSPs 30% more than DSPs who work in community programs and have more responsibilities than the state center DSPs.
If ever there was a time that requires