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.