DD Service System Task Farce

So far I have learned that the task farce is not interested in facts – they refuse to look at real data or question the same recycled and inaccurate data which has been used over and over again for years – the very same data which has escalated the care crisis for our citizens with developmental disabilities.  Below are some of my observations:

  • There is no concern for escalating costs for programs which are new and untested which will serve less than 6 clients a year.
  • There is no awareness that the cost for high support needs clients in the community is much higher than the cost for a similar person in the Residential Habilitation Center (RHC).  Yes, we all know that there are many which very high support needs who live successfully in the community – but their costs are also high.  Lance Morehouse, Outreach and Advocacy Coordinator for King County Parent Coalition stated during one Task Farce meeting that his son lived at home for 17 years with the help of 19 hours a day of licensed nursing care without blinking an eye with regards to stating how he cares about all those without any services.   Am I missing something here?  How can one proudly state that they used that many service dollars (certainly much more than the daily cost for a client in the RHC) and then complain that the clients in the RHC (who gladly share services) are taking more than their fair share – doesn’t make sense to me.
  • There is no awareness that sharing services saves money
  • There is no awareness that people have a choice as to what the least restrictive environment for them is
  • There is no adherence to Olmstead with regards to choice, least restrictive environment or cost to the state.
  • It is not a concern that there is a huge lack of oversight in community residential settings
  • Even though our state has space and capability to provide services on the RHC campuses for those in community settings, the fact that it may take some” work to figure out an accounting system” seems daunting – yet on the other hand DDD has worked on building a program from the ground up with many unseen problems with a seemingly  limitless budget to service just a handful of clients.  This program will be experimental.  Is this a less costly and less labor intensive project than figuring out an accounting system?
  • Senator Adam Kline pushed his bill through the legislature based on inaccurate data and prematurely closed off services to our youth – yet he states he cares?   How can that be?


I realize that those in the driving seat will do whatever they want with little regard for facts or human lives at stake.  I find these actions negligent and inhumane.  Do they even care about the harm they are doing?

In order to change the name from DD Task Farce to DD Task Force, this group will have to look at accurate data.  I wonder if that will happen?

As many of you know we are in the midst of our DD Service System Task Force (or should I say Farce?)

5 comments on “DD Service System Task Farce

  1. Victor says:

    Two things come to mind here.
    First the continuce use of Task Farce is annoying when trying to seriously read such information. The headline tells it, let’s move on.

    The second is my long-standing disappointment at the non-participation of the Disabled community as a whole during the National Council on Disability (NCD) meetings held in Seattle in July, 2008. The only reason The Director of Voc Rehab attended was a meeting scheduled in the next room. She had no knowledge of the NCD meeting until she walked in and I asked if she was addressing us.

    I’ve seen some great participation at Olympia Rallies and some of you wonderful people attend campaign rallies for your elected officials. Never let down. We must continue to happer at both sides of the aisle to get it through their heads there’s nothing about us without us.


  2. Jennie says:

    It’s true that the information used is presented in a way to support the agenda of RHC closures. Of course it will cost more to support certain individuals in the community and they will not have the same access to medical and dental care provided in an RHC. They will also likely be far more isolated because of the staffing deficits and an incredibly high staff turnover and corresponding risk of of harm. . But they will be in the “community”. So what if there is a a creepy guy changing and showering a non-verbal, intellectually disabled female all alone – it’s “community”. The challenges will be minimized or hidden in order to win the battle. You can scream about the lack of transparency but you will not be able to change the course. Remember the advocates believe whatever DSHS tells them. If DDD pays the salaries of all those advocates they will embrace the party line. Senator Kline bought into the spin and he doesn’t want to be bothered with the facts. He’s proud that he blocked the only entitlement to care that a non Medicaid eligible child has. Mildly disabled pedophiles get better care (and priority) than most severely disabled individuals. I’m not an RHC supporter I just detest the manipulation of facts by bureaucrats who rarely, if ever, have direct contact with those they serve.


  3. Thank you for your comments – as strange as it may sound, I’m not an advocate for the RHC either – I’m an advocate for people with developmental disabilities to have the choices they deserve and to have a chance to have meaningful opportunities and to live in the least restrictive environment for them.

    Due to the fact that there has been so much misinformation regarding the RHC being passed as facts, in order to talk about those and to try to get people to understand and to question, one then becomes labeled as an “RHC advocate” when in fact I, and most that I know, advocate for a care system that is person centered.

    I just finished listening to the recording from the October 9 Task Force and there were some very interesting comments which I hope the Task Force heard. Sue Elliott from The Arc of Washington spoke to the Voluntary Placement Program. I wholeheartedly agree that this needs to be re-instated.

    I knew a family years ago who used this program – the boy lived 1 week with his mom and the next week with the “Foster Parent” who happened to be across the street. At the time (my son was probably only 6-7 at the time) I didn’t understand why anyone would do that. Then, the time came when we needed to look for out of home placement.

    The Voluntary Placement program was what we wanted but it was not available. Even though it was not available, it was “offered” and I had to sign a paper that I was informed about it (this part made no sense to me either but it was part of the policy at the time I guess). If this program had been available when our son needed to move to the RHC, we would have gladly tried this first – particularly since DDD refused to allow him to be admitted to the RHC that was 10 minutes from our home but would only allow him to be sent to Yakima or Bremerton – both of which would have caused a hardship (and did) for our family but our son needed a safe place to live so we chose Bremerton.

    This issue of sending people to the furthest RHC from their home has got to stop. I believe this is a practice which is used by DDD so families will not choose the RHC but continue to live in crisis because it’s too hard to send your child to a place far away where you cannot be involved. I don’t know but that’s my impression.

    Luckily, due to our family’s hardship with the travel back and forth to Bremerton (our son’s medical care was and still is here in Seattle so that added even more burden – for one appointment we would have to take 3 days off work) and the fact that DDD is supposed to keep people in their community, we were able to have him transferred to Fircrest (10 minutes from our home) prior to the closing of FHMC.


    • Victor says:

      You’re correct, the practice of sending a child to the hinterlands MUST stop.
      Personal family finances are only a part of the question when placing a child somewhere other than the home.We often talk about family ties and bonds, building relationships and maintaining the familiar. We can’t follow that dictum if we’re sending people away to RHC.
      We’re maintaining families, not shipping prisoners to Walla Walla.


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