Friday, February 20, 2015

New Jersey: Not Happy with HCBS Transition Plan

This is from a good autism blog, Inspectrum: Reports from the world of severe autism by Amy S. Lutz. Amy attended two public comment sessions on the state's HCBS Transition Plan at the New Jersey Department of Developmental Disabilities. She estimated that approximately 50 people spoke, but only two were in favor of the plan:

"These opponents were a diverse group, including individuals with developmental disabilities, parents, siblings, providers, and advocates. But certain themes emerged:
    •    "That perhaps the state had not acted in good faith by failing to notify present and potential waiver recipients of the proposed changes by letter or email blast; by scheduling the first of only two public comment sessions the day after the plan was released, before stakeholders really had a chance to wade through it (that session fortunately had to be rescheduled due to snow); by organizing far fewer opportunities for public comment than other states; and by overall neglecting to solicit the input of individuals with disabilities, their families, and the providers that serve them before crafting the regulations in the first place
    •    "That New Jersey’s plan to exclude congregate settings serving more than six people and to mandate that no more than 25% of the units in all apartment buildings and communities be occupied by waiver recipients unfairly precludes individuals with disabilities from choosing to live wherever and with whomever they please – a right freely enjoyed by those of us without disabilities
    •    "That the proposed requirement that day program recipients spend 75% of their time offsite in the community is expensive and impractical – particularly for those with severe medical and behavioral challenges
    •    "That countless individuals, finally thriving on campuses, farmsteads, or sheltered workshops, would be needlessly uprooted (“It took me 18 years to find the right program for my daughter,” one mom stated. “I’m 72 years old – I don’t have another 18 years.”

Read more here...

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