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Seattle Times letters to the editor

August 31, 2013 at 7:02 AM

Caring for the disabled in Washington

Time for realistic solutions

Close the residential habilitation centers (RHCs) is not as simple as you think. [“Editorial: Reset inequity for state’s most vulnerable,” Opinion, Aug. 25.]

The community needs to be improved and expanded. However, this should not be done at the risk of individuals leaving the RHCs or those awaiting services.

Too often, the quest to rebalance the service system — to shift institutional funding to community-based supports — neglects person-centered supports.

Has the Department of Social and Health Services implemented changes to correct the background-check irregularities discovered in the latest audit?

Do the cost comparisons parallel individuals with similar disabilities or only the number of individuals with high needs? Similarly high needs will cost the same, regardless of setting.

Availability of medical professional services matters. How many are trained to work with the developmentally disabled? Are they willing to accept Medicaid payments?

We need realistic solutions, not oversimplified notions that only serve to limit the range of choices, including institutional care, creative family- and community-based projects that provide specialized services and residential options to people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.

Terri Anderson, Woodinville

Comments | More in Economy, Health care, Seattle | Topics: community living, costs, developmental disabilities

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