I am dismayed by the lack of unity and foresight that our state’s Developmental Disabilities Council is exhibiting. I had thought that as a Federal-State Agency, they would be a the forefront of being an advocate for our citizens with developmental disabilities – in fact, it’s quit the opposite.
I had been warned by many of the council’s prejudice against anyone who advocated for a continuum of care. Being optimistic, though, I thought that I would be able to talk to people and get them to see the truth of what was really happening. I’m still optimistic but I have had a dose of their reality – meaning that the group is close minded and outright discriminates against our most vulnerable citizens who cannot speak for themselves.
I find this deplorable and irresponsible and I would urge this group to have a huge house-cleaning so that some new blood can help bring quality care and accessible, sustainable care to our citizens. This group will not be able to reach that goal if they do not change their way of thinking.
They state that they have been recruiting new members – maybe they recruit but they do not ask people to join – particularly people who may think differently. I have applied, was not interviewed but did receive a letter from Governor Gregoire thanking me for my application but I was not selected. My application must have been reviewed by the council though because this year, the vice chair (who I have never met or spoken with) wrote to me “Thank God you were not chosen to be on the council” along with some other choice comments and derogatory remarks. Remarks that I also find irresponsible of the vice-chair of the state council.
While in a DDC meeting, there was an announcement that Frances Haddon Morgan Center would be closed by the end of the year. One woman council member raised her arms and cheered – cheered at the demise of our loved ones – what type of advocacy is that?
Please, if you believe in advocacy which supports our citizens and looks to quality, sustainable and accessible care, consider writing to Ed Holen, Executive Director or other staff members of the Developmental Disabilities Council with your concerns. They need a dose of reality.
Please write to:
Developmental Disabilities Council
PO Box 48314
Olympia, WA 98504-8314
Ed Holen, Executive Director Ed.Holen@ddc.wa.gov
Jennifer Blazian, Contracts Manager Jennifer.Blazian@ddc.wa.gov
Sieng Bonham, Budget & Fiscal Director : Sieng.Bonham@ddc.wa.gov
Brian Dahl, Support Coordinator : Brian.Dahl@ddc.wa.gov
David Maltman, Policy and Community Partnerships Manager David.Maltman@ddc.wa.gov
Donna Patrick, Public Policy DirectorDonna.Patrick@ddc.wa.gov
Linda West, Membership Services Coordinator : Linda.West@ddc.wa.gov