Blind Alligiance

I’m not writing this to be negative – I’m writing this to inform people of the planned failure of services that our state and others are utilizing in denying services to our citizens with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

 There are several ways in which our state and others are managing this and unfortunately this is being done by some of the very agencies which state their mission is to support this population and people will believe what they hear.  Another unfortunate issue is that some of these groups monopolize many of the social media groups (http://groups.google.com/group/dd-coalition) and therefore silence anyone who may question some of the tactics or information which is disseminated through these groups.

The “research” that is done by the Department of Social and Health Services and the Division of Developmental Disabilities and written in reports  – particularly the report entitled “Assessment Findings for Persons with Developmental Disabilities Served in Residential Habilitation Centers and Community Settings” written by Barbara Lucenko, PhD, http://www.dshs.wa.gov/pdf/ms/rda/research/5/36.pdf is one example of the lack of integrity and accountability in reporting issues.  

 The data was researched in three distinct residential settings: “Residential Habilitation Centers (RHCs)”, “Community Residential” and “other Community Based” and there were statistically significant differences found between all 3 areas in support needs of the residents.  Ms. Lucenko chose to collapse these three categories into two:  “RHC and Community Residential” and “Other Community”.  This decision to manipulate the data invalidated the conclusions she drew yet no one would know unless they read the report or questioned the findings.  When I questioned her findings I was ignored or called “abusive” for questioning.  How can we base policies on actions and decisions such as this? 

If this report was submitted to any academic journal for review it would be ripped apart due to the poor conclusions that are not based on the facts that were documented in the data collection.  Why then, does our state government accept this report blindly?  Is it because the false “Key Findings” were written to support the planned attrition of services to our most vulnerable citizens?  I am not attacking the author here – I’m only informing you of the situation.  As I wrote, I have attempted several times to contact the author through various methods and also DSHS Administrators.  They have chosen to ignore the questions.  Would a person in academic or scientific research choose to ignore questions about their findings?  I think they would choose to answer the questions to verify and prove they were correct in their analysis.  Why then, do we allow our state researchers to make poor conclusions and ignore scrutiny?

I have discovered that reports are handed out by DSHS and DDD with “facts and figures” are accepted by agencies without questioning where they came from or what they represent.  With this blind allegiance to an agency many are being hurt.  With this blind allegiance to the inaccurate and/or incomplete data and information, policies are being made.  

 
Please, take off the blinders and ask questions!

One comment on “Blind Alligiance

  1. Part Two of Blind Allegiance –

    Is this Democracy?

    May 18, 2011 – Senator Hatfield called for an emergency suspension Rule 45 with regards to notification of Public Testimony of Bills (by Rule 45 there is to be 5 days notice of a public hearing) – with this emergency suspension, there was only a 20 minute notification before a critical bill was brought forward for public testimony (SSB 5459). Not only was SSB 5459 brought forth with 20 minutes notice for public hearing but a substitute bill 2SSB 5459 was brought forward – totally missing any public testimony on SSB 5459.

    In addition to policies being made with inaccurate data, the procedures for these policies have been wholly undemocratic in nature. This is evidenced by calling a public hearing on a very critical issue only 20 minutes prior to the start of the hearing. (Senate Ways and Means Committee – Public Hearing, May 18, 2011). The committee was not even briefed on the Substitute Bill 5459 until public hearing was ready to commence. Senator Adam Kline testified and handed out information which he stated showed that the support needs of the community residents were the same as those in the RHC. This data that he handed out was inaccurate yet no one questioned it. What I found interesting in listening to this public hearing (TVW http://www.tvw.org/index.php?option=com_tvwplayer&eventID=2011050118A) Senator Kline states there is “no trust me here” that’s about the only truth that I heard him speak that day.

    SSB5459 was a bill which will destoy much of the safety net that we have with residential care for our most vulnerable citizens. Senator Adam Kline sponsored this bill and stated that the work for this bill had come from the “outgrowth of a workgroup – members of unions, community and the Governor’s office.” I’d like to ask where was the input from friends, guardians and family members, staff and caregivers of the very people that this bill would affect – the residents of the Residential Habilitation Centers? They were not invited or were not informed of this workgroup yet the decisions that were made greatly affect their lives. Is this the fair, just and democratic approach?

    I have heard many Disability Advocates and Self-Advocates talk about “Nothing About Us Without Us” yet that statement seems to be forgotten when they are talking about those who cannot speak for themselves. Their motto apparently doesn’t apply when the pecking order is in effect

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