Inclusion - Participation - Relationships

For more than 30 years, Monadnock Developmental Services has specialized in providing individuals with developmental and related disabilities the means to live as independently as possible in their own community.

The mission of MDS is to work toward inclusion, participation and mutual relationships for all people who are at risk of isolation from community.

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Advocacy Action needed to support important national effort to reauthorize the Combating Autism Act (CAA)

From:   NH Council on Autism Spectrum Disorders
Date:    December 21, 2010

In the recent past, NH has directly benefited from CAA funds, which have enhanced the state's Leadership Education in Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders (LEND) program.  Moreover, as a state that has not yet received any federal funds for the implementation of its state improvement plan for services and supports to individuals with ASD, NH stands to benefit by a renewed round of grant-making. Surveillance (tracking how many children are diagnosed) and the coordination of research made possible by the CAA is also crucially important.

Details and additional information on this initiative are currently available at www.autismvotes.org.

Please take a minute to let our Senators and Representatives know that you support reauthorization.

Thank you,
Kirsten Murphy
Director, NH Council on ASD

 

From the Concord Monitor:

Editorial: Disability List Mustn't Return (Mar 29, 2010)

My Turn: Begging the Legislature for Help - I can't care for my daughter by myself
(Mar 28, 2010)

Waiting List Funds Preserved (Mar 26, 2010)

This week the NH House and Senate took action to kill two pieces of legislation that would have brought back the DD and ABD waiting lists.

House Bill 1664, making appropriations reductions in the operating budget for fiscal year 2011 and relative to state revenues and expenditures, would have cut state and federal funding for individuals scheduled to come off both waiting lists in FY 2011. HB 1664 was tabled (essentially killed) on Wednesday, March 24th by a vote of 212 to 151. You can view the roll call on the General Court website.

At 10:30 p.m. on that same Wednesday, Senate Bill 519, relative to spending reductions for the Department of Health and Human Services, which would have deleted the protections of SB 138 from RSA 171-A (waitlist funding), was killed on a roll call of 24-0. Sen. Sgambati (D-Tilton) called the bill “unacceptable” on the Senate floor.

Next item to watch is the Governor’s Budget Plan. In the very near future Governor Lynch is expected to introduce a package of revenue enhancements and state spending cuts to deal with what he considers to be a $140 million deficit for the remainder of the biennium. Lynch has been meeting with State Agency Commissioners throughout the week to identify savings and revenue options.

 

The Assault on Waiting List Funds Continues (Mar 23, 2010)

Families made a powerful showing of support at the hearing on SB 519 last week in Concord, with more than 200 people showing up to oppose the bill that called for spending reductions for the DHHS. As a result the Senate Finance Committee voted unanimously to recommend that SB 519 be killed.

However the assault on waitlist funds continues in the House, with HB 1664 slated to eliminate funding for individuals with developmental disabilities and acquired brain injuries for FY 2011, beginning on July 1, 2101. More than 200 people who need services will have to go on a waiting list if HB 1664 goes through.

HB 1664 is scheduled for a full House vote on Wednesday, March 24. The House convenes at 9:30 a.m. that morning. Your help is needed.

What can Advocates and Families do?

1.   Contact your representatives in the House and ask them to oppose HB 1664, and specifically any cuts to waitlist funding.  Use the opportunity to educate House members about the importance of developmental services and the impact on families of being placed on a waiting list. Most House members weren’t there for the SB 519 hearing so they didn’t hear the powerful testimony from families and individuals.  Click here to find out who your representatives are.

2.  Contact the Governor’s office, and express your views relative to any efforts in the House or Senate to balance the budget on the backs of people with developmental disabilities or acquired brain injuries and their families. Urge the Governor to oppose and veto any bill that would cause the re-institution of waiting lists, by explaining how the waitlist harm families and communities.  Contact the Governor's Office.

Critical issues:

*   Impact of HB 1664 on individuals and families if they again have to wait months or years for services –  lost skills, family stress, loss of employment by family caretakers, missed opportunities for individuals with disabilities to become more independent, and more.

*   Increased costs for the State because individuals may have to turn to more expensive options of care – nursing homes, intermediate care facilities for those with developmental disabilities, which can cost between $150,000 to $250,000 per person annually, the NH State Hospital. Incarceration in prison is another potential outcome, and those with disabilities are particularly vulnerable to physical, sexual and emotional assault and abuse.

*   Even with increased funding for the waitlist, annual expenditure for services in NH is the lowest in New England.

It is critical that the Legislature to find the revenue to keep its promise to individuals and families in New Hampshire.

 

A Message from Linda Quintanilha, MDS Legislative Liaison and Family Council Member: The Waitlist Must End - People Can't Wait (Mar 19, 2010)

We just had a big win in Senate Finance yesterday, but it’s not over. We need to spread the word on a piece of legislation hitting the NH House floor Wednesday.  Please send to ALL of your friends in the Monadnock region, ask them to call or email their representatives and ask them to oppose HB 1664. Click here to find out who your representatives are.

HB 1664 will cut services to the individuals with disabilities, in particular it will reinstate the waitlist for services for kids as they age out of the school system.  It was strategically made public only two days ago and voted on quickly, before families could turn out to oppose it.

Imagine I am a single mom, and when my daughter with Autism turns 21, if we get no services, then I must either:

1.       Quit my job to care for her (which of course means the state would end up paying for her and for me)

2.       Go into massive debt to cover care costs, perhaps lose the house (which means I stop paying property taxes)

3.       Give up my daughter and allow the state to become her guardian, she would then be placed in a nursing home left to sit and stim every day all day (which would cost the state exponentially more than if I received the meager services that would be provided by the waitlist)

If HB 1664 becomes law, it is estimated that 218 families in NH will be faced with these choices, and that is only in the first year.

Individuals with disabilities and their families were promised an end to the waitlist less than a year ago. These are very difficult times in NH, but the Department of Health and Human Services must come up with other ways to cut back. The waitlist must end. People can’t wait.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Advocacy Update: NH House Takes First Vote on Waitlist Funding (Mar 17, 2010)

The NH House Finance Committee voted Wednesday morning, 24-0, to cut $6 million from the DD waitlist and $750,000 from the ABD waitlist. This is only the first of many steps needed before this is in any way finalized, but it's important that our voices be heard in coming weeks. For more information on these issues, read “Wait List for the Disabled May Return” from the 3/17/2010 Concord Monitor online edition. Also, please note a change in location to Room 305-307 for the Senate hearing on SB 519 on Thursday, 3/18 at 10:45.

An area agency representative explains: “This first step is only the beginning of a long process before this action becomes final. First, it must be voted on by the full House next Wednesday, March 24th, and it’s not at all certain it will pass. Next, if it does pass, it will go to the Senate Committee. If it passes there, the full Senate must then consider and vote on it. If there are differences in the House and Senate versions, the bill must then go to a Conference Committee, and then back to both houses to be voted on again. If it passes all those hurdles, it then goes to the Governor, for approval or veto.”

 

Waitlist Bill in Jeopardy, Hearing for SB519 Scheduled Thursday, March 18th (Mar 15, 2010)

The waitlist bill (SB138), mandating the end of the waitlist for services as our children age out of the school district, is in jeopardy. Area agencies, including MDS, are asking families to show a strong presence at the hearing for SB519 which calls for spending reductions for the Department of Health and Human Services. The hearing is scheduled for Thursday, March 18th at 10:45 a.m. in room 100 at the State House in Concord. Information on the bill is available at this link on the State legislative site.

Linda Quintanilha, MDS legislative liaison and Family Council member, explains: “The hearing has been strategically scheduled at a time that is inconvenient for families and is scheduled for only 15 minutes. The committee must hear all testimony but they are entitled to limit the testimony to a minute or two.” She continues, “We need your help. If you can help make calls, please let me know right away. If you can attend, I’ll be there and can walk you through the process.”

Linda also reports ABLE NH is planning an action around this hearing and is asking families meet in the State House lobby at 10:15am Thursday March 18th to organize.

Anyone willing to give testimony is asked to keep it to a minute or so. Tips for giving testimony are available on the Advocacy page of the MDS website or from Linda. Please contact Linda Quintanilha directly at 603-371-0532 (home), 603-588-3135 (office), or by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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