Friday, February 27, 2009

They didn't listen after all...

Well apparently termination of service letters will be going out to families, but no one seems to be able to say when. The letters will supposedly say that they have 10 days of services left. Providers are worried that the DDD won't tell us when the letters go out, so I've been asking my families to let me know if or when they get one.
I've also learned that there was a lawsuit filed on behalf of all of the individuals, providers, and families affected by these cuts. I have it as a non-text PDF, but can't find it online anywhere that I could link to. Its pretty harsh, but its all true.
" explained here, the Legislature simply ordered severe cuts in essential services for severely disabled and vulnerable children and adults with developmental disabilities in violation of the Arizona Constitution and both federal and state statutes. This enactment was hurried, ill-considered, effectively shut out the public from the process, and provided the executive branch with no guidance, specifics, or designation of legislative priorities. In its rush, the Legislature mandated massive cuts in essential services with no concept of what would happen to epeople with severed siabilities, their families and care providers; and to the provider community, including whether provider services would remain available and accessible to consumers whose services were not intended to be cut. The way that DES-DDD proposes to implement the cuts will be disastrous to the health and safety of thousands of persons with developmental disabilities, and to the businesses that serve them...."
Where that leaves us, we don't know. Right now I think the plan is still to continue on until termination letters start arriving. When that might be, we have no idea. Overall, I think most of us are still in limbo/shock. Really, what we're being told is changing almost every day. Its hard to believe the DES could actually be cutting all of these services. Most estimates I've seen are that over 3000 families of kids ages 0-3 are going to lose all of their services (various combinations of EI, physical, occupational, and speech therapy). Besides the kids, that means most to all of those therapists and providers will have to take on new caseloads, if they can. I suppose there's still an outside chance that they'll decide to use stimulus money to keep the program funded (how's that for irony?), or that something else will happen.

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