I haven't spoken in a while about my spouse's brother, who has autism. This from a listserv I subscribe to sounded interesting. Family members, friends, and others, have the chance to "give testimony", they do have to give a name and email address.
I don't know anything about this agency, but it was intriguing. Apparently the original deadline to participate in this was March 1 but it is now extended to March 4. Here is the message: Note, the person with a developmental disability can be any age, child or adult.
In the case of our family member, he is middle aged, and there are a number of concerns. I don't want to get personal, but I am thinking of posting something. Don't know if it will go down a cyber-black hole or not, and I'm a bit leery of giving my email address, but perhaps it is worth a try.
Dear Families, Self Advocates and Provider Networks:
Please take a few minutes and read this note and follow through on offering comments to ADD.
It is crucial that the Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD) hear from family members and people with disabilities about accomplishments and successes that have been possible because of the help, supports and education people have had access to. (The U.S. Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD) has a mission to improve and increase services to and assure that individuals with developmental disabilities have opportunities to make their own choices, contribute to society, have supports to live independently, and are free of abuse, neglect, financial and sexual exploitation and violations of their legal and human rights.)
We, the families and people who depend on this assistance, need to ensure that cuts to education, services (including Medicaid funded services) and employment supports do not put people back into institutions. As parents of children with disabilities, we learned from or heard about parents who helped pave the way for us and for our children. They had few choices and made sacrifices to make life better for people with developmental disabilities and to help other parents. Their perseverance included truly fighting for educational services we consider an entitlement. Their determination included striving for a place to live other than an understaffed institution ward and activities to enrich a person's day so they do not sit idle. These are things we consider an expectation. We need to be the ones to help pave the way for the future.
The potential for children and adults with disabilities losing services, supports and education that have helped make people successful is real.
The Administration on Developmental Disabilities invites you to share your vision of the future. Because of an overwhelming response, online comments are being accepted through Friday, March 4. Please take a few minutes and add your thoughts. Follow this link and provide testimony about community inclusion, participation, education, capital, employment, self-determination, person centered choices, self-advocacy, etc.
This is the link for submitting your testimony/story/comments: