The Arc of Washington Blog

I’ve been reviewing issues that have transpired this past legislative session and now with the new forecast of more budget cuts on the horizon, it is critical to examine what decisions we have made and the ramifications of those decisions prior to making the next step.  The issues that arose with regards to SSB 5459 will again come up.  It is time to look at the facts of the situation – not listen to the rhetoric that is based on misinformation.  The link to The Arc of Washington Blog is a good example of how inaccurate information that is spread as fact can devastate not only people and thier lives but a whole system.

I have attempted to post a comment to that blog  – I’m not sure if if will be approved even though it is stated that they encourage comments.  Time will tell.  Below is the comment that I have attempted to post to The Arc of Washington Blog.

Submitted to “Remarks from The Arc” August 10, 2011


I am still stunned by the passage of this bill which in reality will cause harm to many, will actually increase the overall cost of care (throughout the DSHS budget) and was led by many who were misguided with false information. 


This statement from the article written by Diana Stadden, “In addition to this, over 13,600 people with developmental disabilities live at home with their families or in their local communities and have the same level of need as those in the RHCs, yet receive no services at all.” is just one example of misinformation that was perpetuated throughout the legislative sessions.  The facts are very different.


According to the most recent assessment RDA Report 5.36which is reported in the publication “Assessment Findings for Persons with Developmental Disabilities Served in Residential Habilitation Centers and Community Settings” the data reflects a very different picture than the one Diana Staddon paints.


The residents’ whose home is in the ICF/DD have significantly higher needs in ALL assessed areas which are looked at in the Supports Intensity Scale than residents in both “community residential” and “other community based” homes.  These assessments measure support needs in the following areas:  home living activities, community living activities, lifelong learning activities, employment activities, health and safety activities, social activities, medical support needs and behavior support needs. 


This same report also looks at the acuity needs and utilizes the DDD Acuity Scale which looks at the following areas for client acuity:  ADL (Activities of Daily Living),  Interpersonal Support, Medical Acuity, Behavior Acuity,  Mobility Acuity, Protective Supervision and Seizure Activity.


Again, it is documented that the residents whose home is in the ICF/DD have significantly higher acuities in ALL areas (Seizure activity is excluded from this due to few numbers) than residents in “community residential” and “other community homes.”


With regards to the issue to the claim that there are over 13,600 people with no services at all – where is the documentation to support that?  The latest report to the legislature entitled “DDD Assessment” ( JLARC Final Report 013109 DDD assessment)  dated January 31, 2009 states there are 41,018 clients in the DDD service.  Of this number, there are 1307 clients on the “no paid service.”  There are a variety of reasons for this “no paid service” – none of the reasons have to do with the fact that there are residents who have a home in an ICF/DD.


Another issue that many in DDD do not realize or communicate is that there are a high percentage of DD clients who receive services from other programs within DSHS.  The overall DSHS budget from 2009 indicates that for the DDD clients, DDD accounts for about 80% of their care and the other DSHS services (Medical, Economic, Children’s, Mental Health, Alcohol and Substance Abuse, Juvenile Rehab, Vocational Rehab) account for the other 20% of care.  Many of those on the “no-paid service” within DDD do receive services from another DSHS program. 


Again, it is important to know the facts when one is arguing a position.  In this case, the facts were not presented and decisions were based on false assumptions and misinformation. 


This decision is an historic event – not for the reasons that The Arc of Washington believes but for the reason that it will cause the demise of successful, cost-effective, safe and quality care models and increase the overall cost of care.  Fewer will be able to receive services due to the increased cost.


I’m very sorry to see our legislators and community members bamboozled by the rhetoric that promoted this bill.  The only people who benefit are the vendors.

2 comments on “The Arc of Washington Blog

  1. I continue to read your posts under the Democrats, which I think are intrusive, not to the point of party politics.

    My comment on your post here is that you continue to make a point that DD participants receive other DSHS services, as if that disqualified the ARC’s statement. I don’t see why it is relevant if they receive medical, mental health or substance abuse services–just as anyone else who qualifies financially. What is the point you are making with this? It doesn’t bear on the need or availability of DD services. It just lessens your credibility.

    Sarajane Siegfriedt
    King County Dems Legislative Action Chair


  2. Thank you for your comment, Sarajane. I’m glad that you are reading the posts.

    1. I’m sorry that you find the issues intrusive to the King County Democratic Party. I believe that these issues are of critical importance and need to be examined. Since many of the policies are written in the legislative branch of government and the budget and programs are ruled by the legislature, I don’t see how you can say the topics are not to the point of party politics. I would love to hear your explanation of that and what you do consider appropriate topics for party politics.

    2. The fact that DD clients recieve other DSHS services is very relevant. When DDD and/or The Arc states that DD clients receive no services many are not aware that these clients do, in fact, receive services, just not from the DDD budget. Therefore, DDD is not aware of the services that these clients may receive from the other services, such as food stamps, SSI, or medical care.

    3. I’m looking at the big picture. When you look at the whole DSHS budget, Taking services away from one service then increases the need in another service. When there is a SILO effect, as there is in the DSHS Department, one service has no idea how their programs interact with the programs in the other services. This is the issue that I am trying to address – we need to look at the system as a whole and that’s why it’s important to know that the clients who are “no paid” in DDD are paid in another service.


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