Tuesday, November 17, 2015


Recently, a local woman told us that her child finally got on the Medicaid waiver for adults with developmental disabilities. They waited ten, long years. Ten years of caring for her child with no supports and services in place. They had to sell their farm. She and her husband can only take part-time jobs so they can care for their child. Even on the waiver, they receive only five hours of respite care per week. Ten, long years of waiting and selling their means of livelihood. 

And from what the Wyoming Department of Health Director told the Interim Joint Labor, Health and Social Services Committee in August, all individuals are being put on the Supports Waiver; even if they qualify for the Comprehensive Waiver. This has made it possible to get individuals off the waiting list at a greater pace. The committee seemed pleased. 

And when they were asked to introduce legislation to clean up current legislation, they were asked to strike language regarding the DD contingency fund because it has been de-funded and really no longer exists. No one batted an eye or asked what happened to the money. 

When individuals with developmental disabilities are denied the supports and services they require to have a quality life, it is simply unconscionable and unacceptable. Those of us who pay attention to news reports involving developmentally disabled individuals know that parents are overwhelmed and frustrated; and some have taken extreme measures. 

It is past time to stop the insanity! Those of us in the developmentally disabled community, from the highest functioning to the most profoundly disabled, must raise our voices in unison and demand that our state's fix their broken systems and provide timely, client-centered supports and services. It is past time to raise our unified voice at such a decibel as to drown out those so-called advocates whose demands are detrimental to the quality of life and safety of the developmentally disabled. There is no excuse for policies based on ignorance. Nor should we accept excuses for shortcomings in funding programs for the developmentally disabled. 


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