Rhetoric and Hearsay are not Facts

One often hears the same “facts” over and over and then wonder why things do not improve or change.  The reason is because they are not the facts – only hearsay, wishful thinking and rhetoric.

People do not want the facts – as Senator Adam Kline states “when one is uncomfortable with the facts, one ignores them.”  This is often the case with Senator Kline when facts are provided to him.  Senator Kline is not the only one who ignores facts – there are other advocates who state they see no benefit in looking at the facts – the facts that do not agree with their wishful thinking.

Maybe the only way to get the facts to the public and the legislature is to encourage our Senators and Representatives to request Washington State Institute of Public Policy (WSIPP)  to research the issues.  The Institute’s mission is to carry out practical, non-partisan research—at legislative direction—on issues of importance to Washington State.

I have contacted WSIPP regarding the report


with new information and issues concerning our citizens with developmental disabilities.  The lead author of that report wrote ”

“You raise some very interesting points, particularly regarding cost-shifting and other impacts of services for individuals with developmental disabilities on the individuals’ families and communities. If we were to receive another research assignment in this area, we would use your suggestions to shape our work plan.”

The first thing I would ask is that WSIPP look at the report

Assessment Findings for Persons with Developmental Disabilities Served
in Residential Habilitation Centers
and Community Settings

which is regularly referred to regarding issues of support needs and acuity of people with DD.

That data clearly indicated that those in the RHC had significantly higher support needs overall than those who lived in the other two community settings.  Yet, the data did not support the hypothesis which DDD desired and therefore, the author chose to combine the two populations which were to be compared into one population.  The final conclusions and key findings only referred to two types of residences: 1. ) RHC and community residential settings and 2.) other community-based settings.  This manipulation of results greatly affected the interpretation of some excellent data and has been used inappropriately.

This chart has the actual data and the 3 populations depicted.  It is clear from this graph and also the report “An extremely large percentage of clients living in RHCs have high acuity levels (and therefore elevated or urgent need) for protective supervision (95.3 percent) and interpersonal support (86.3 percent), and almost three fourths have high acuity levels for activities of daily living (73.6 percent).” These are the areas which are the highest predictors of out-of-home placement needs.

interpersonal and protective supervisoin chart

“Clients in RHCs and community residential programs were more likely than those in other community-based settings to be categorized as “high acuity” based on their DDD acuity scale scores in terms of activities of daily living, interpersonal support and protective supervision needs. RHC clients were also more likely to have high acuity scores on medical, mobility and behavioral measures than those supported in the community”

real data for RDA

“Support needs are higher in most general life tasks, such as daily and community living activities, for DDD clients served in RHCs and community residential settings than for those supported in other community-based settings.” (italics by this author which indicate the combination of two populations which were to be compared)

manipulated data

One last graph to indicate the inaccurate information on costs – looking at this it makes sense why we have continued crisis and lack of care and services.

cost discrepancy

It’s time to take the big step and face those “uncomfortable” facts.  These are the facts that will help change things around and improve services.  It’s time for people to be informed!

For bibliography and references see the Legislative page of this blog

One comment on “Rhetoric and Hearsay are not Facts

  1. Jeanie Barrett says:

    Cheryl, You have incredible research and writing skills that surpass any of us! Thank you for the work you do. Jeanie


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