Saturday, April 16, 2016

We Need to do this, Folks!

All of you know that Laura Nuss is about to leave and the future leadership of DDS is unclear.  What you may not realize is that the DDS budget for the 2017 fiscal year is as lean as can be this year.  The mayor’s focus on education, homelessness, housing and safety has the resources pointed elsewhere, in an overall city budget that’s already tight.  

I had hoped to have available for you the Power Point used to present the DDS budget at a session on April 13, but with the closure of DC offices for Emancipation Day it doesn’t look like it’s yet been posted to the DDS website. But you don’t need a lot of details in order to make the case for this budget.  Please, override your (legitimate) concerns about specific aspects of services, and send even brief testimony to the Health and Human Services committee, which will be considering the budget in a hearing on Monday.  You’ll have until Wednesday to submit testimony.  Send it to Malcolm Cameron at mcameron@DCCOUNCIL.US.  Also let your council member know that this is important to you!  Find your member at and send an email!  They need to hear our voices!

You know that I have long advocated to expand DDA services to people with developmental disabilities who do not also have an intellectual disability.  Well, the DDA budget is so tight that we’re close to needing a wait list just to serve those with ID who qualify under current criteria for the Medicaid waiver.  And without its budget request, RSA will be cannibalizing services for adults it serves in order to meet federal requirements for transition services to students.

Your voice must be heard.  Folks in the council are used to hearing from me – they need to know there are others out there.  Do it.  I mean it.  Do it before Wednesday.

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