The following are excerpts from public comments by Jill Escher, President of the Autism Society San Francisco Bay Area, to the California HCBS advisory group on 10/27/15:
"In spite of the staggering numbers of young ASD [Autism Spectrum Disorder] adults with significant and complex support needs, California has failed to develop any plan for expanding housing to serve them. And, though ludicrous and ruinous, some disability advocates are vying for a narrow reading of HCBS, essentially attempting to sharply limit choice and erect high barriers to new disability-friendly developments, even for the most severely disabled who cannot thrive in generic apartment environments, and indeed would be vulnerable to the abuse, neglect, and isolation."
..."Consistent with common sense, civil rights laws, and fair housing laws, the menu of options available to the severely autistic must be at least as broad as those available to the non-disabled, and should include congregate settings (agricultural projects, farms, disability-friendly group environments, and so-called "gated communities" included) and amenity-rich developments designed to meet the unique needs of our disabled individuals."
"... 'heightened scrutiny' should be employed solely to ensure that any residential choice (even and especially a disability-centered choice) is in fact the result of a choice on the part of the consumer and/or his/her conservators, and not the result of coercion or restraint on the part of government or governmental agency."
Read the complete statement on the SFAutism Blog.
Autism Society San Francisco Bay Area
PO Box 249, San Mateo, CA 94401