DC RESIDENTS: COME TOMORROW! TESTIFY ON OCTOBER 21!
My Maryland readers will find it hard to believe that in DC, autistic adults who do not have a low IQ can’t qualify for long-term supports. Neither can anyone with any other developmental disability – unless they have an IQ score of 69 or below before the age of 18.
It’s true! And in all of DC, with our population of 700,000 residents, less than 2400 people receive long-term disability supports. The DC government wants to congratulate itself that we have no waitlist, but when you define eligibility so narrowly, you’re leaving plenty of folks with significant needs outside the front door. Not to mention that there are many unfilled waiver slots, even though people continue to apply for services and get turned away. This can’t go on.
Over the past year, advocates in DC have made a renewed effort to remedy this clear injustice, working with Ward 1 councilmember Brianne Nadeau, chair of the Committee on Human Services, to bring legislation forward for a vote in the DC council. In May, Nadeau and seven of her colleagues on the council introduced the Developmental Disability Reform Amendment Act of 2021 (B24-0268, (https://lims.dccouncil.us/Legislation/B24-0268), and on October 21 there will be a public hearing to consider the bill.
WE NEED ALL THE VOICES WE CAN GET AT THIS (VIRTUAL) HEARING! This is how you can sign up:
Complete the witness form at https://www.brianneknadeau.com/testify or call the Committee on Human Services at 202-724-8170, by close of business on Monday, October 18, 2021.
And this is how you can learn more and get help with your testimony: Attend this community meeting tomorrow, Wednesday, October 13, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.:
https://us06web.zoom.us/j/87383121935?pwd=VlREcEliZk9Xd215RTdpQkNLdXExdz09 (or Phone: 301-715-8592, Meeting ID: 873 8312 1935, Passcode: 165819).
Help will be available, on October 13 and all the way until October 21, to prepare your testimony if you need assistance. But Remember! Personal stories are strongest! What the DC council needs is to hear that there are many, many of us who want bill B24-0268 to be passed as it was introduced, not with changes that the mayor’s office may want in order to water it down or turn away those in need!
COME TOMORROW! TESTIFY OCTOBER 21! IT’S TIME FOR US TO WIN THIS ONE!