The Arc of Virginia along with many self-advocates and family members attended a public hearing about the state budget this week before the General Assembly in order to protest budget cuts to I/DD services. Several speakers relayed stories of having to wait a decade or more for services because their family members don’t qualify. Others raised the importance of increasing DSP wages to support community living. Prior to the hearing, the chapter produced a 2017 Budget Hearing Guide that included a toolkit for advocates on how best to provide feedback on the budget, specific waitlist numbers, and letter-writing tips, among other resources.
Executive Director Steven Kroll was recently quoted in an article in Politico entitled: “Developmentally Disabled New Yorkers Face Residential Crunch.” The article highlights the severe shortage of community- based residential placements in New York State and the crisis facing aging caregivers of individuals with I/DD who are unable to help transition their children with I/DD to appropriate placements before they die.
The Arc of Tennessee helped to secure the passage of SB2003/HB2014, the “Aging Caregiver Bill.” This bill allows individuals with I/DD on the waiting list for Home and Community Based Services to be enrolled into waiver services when their primary caregiver reaches the age of 75. Prior to this bill, the individual was not eligible for waiver services until the caregiver reached the age of 80.