The “unserved” – King County Legislative Forum

The Arc of King County and King County Developmental Disabilities Council hosted the recent Developmental Disabilities Legislative Forum.  The theme of the evening was “The Unserved.”    Yes, this is a huge issue but an even larger issue was the blatant discrimination against our most vulnerable citizens by The Arc of King County and Lance Morehouse, Outreach Coordinator and Advocacy Coordinator King County Parent Coalition, The Arc of King County.

Morehouse refused to allow two groups to speak at the forum stating there were time limits and a change of focus of the forum.  Make no mistake about this – these groups do serve the” unserved” and that is part of their focus but they were denied a chance to speak due to their advocacy for a continuum of care.  The Arc is opposed to any congregate care and therefore discriminates against those for whom this care is the LEAST RESTRICTIVE,  safest and cost effective care for those who chose this type of care.

The Arc of King County receives thousands of county and state public dollars every year for outreach and advocacy, parent training, parent to parent, and many other services.  The Arc uses some of these public funds to discriminate against our most vulnerable, censor information from advocates for a full continuum of care and block information which may be life-saving to some people with DD or their families.

It is time to question these practices which are paid for with public funds.

Below is a link to the letter which I wrote to members of the King County Council and legislators from King County.  I do hope that this issue will be taken seriously and these decision makers become aware of the publicly funded discrimination against our most vulnerable and their advocates.

Letter regarding King County and State dollars to The Arc of King County

Letter from Friends of Fircrest to Legislators regarding their exclusion from the DD King County Forum

Letter from Shoreline Community Lifelong Learning PTSA President regarding denial to inform legislators of this new community group

King County Developmental Disabilities and public funds to The Arc of King County

19 hours a day

Lance Morehouse, Outreach and Advocacy Coordinator from The Arc of King County Parent Coalition for Developmental Disabilities, stated the following on September 25, 2012  as a member of the Developmental Disabilities Service System Task Force in Washington State. 

 

Lance (From The Arc of King County):”The comment about people who are more complicated or more profound being served by the RHC, I’d just like to ask Don really quick,  I think the data that I’ve seen has shown that the majority of the people ,Lance, Jr. had 19 hours a day of nursing care in our home and he lived in, it wasn’t an RHC but a children s  home in Spokane for the first year and a  half after he passed away and my experience was he almost passed away before we were able to bring him home but he lived another 17 years in our home with the nursing care, but isn’t there data that shows some of the people with the most intensive health care needs are living at home with their families?

Don (From DSHS):  “That is accurate.”

 

My questions and comments are:

1.  No one has said that those with significant disabilities and high support needs cannot live in a community residential setting.  

2.  Did anyone hear what Lance said?  His son had 19 hours of licensed nursing care in their home for 17 years.  Has anyone wondered what our state paid for that care?  

3.  Lance is quick to point out that the care in the RHC is expensive and that there are many in the community with no services.  

4.  How can one talk about the personalized care in an individual’s home and stating that we need to have more people utilize this expensive care (when those same people are content to share services in the RHC at a lesser cost to our state) and then go on to talk about all those with no services and that the people in the RHC are taking more than “their fair share”  

5.  Are not these issues logically opposite?  

6.  What happened to the concept of sharing services for the better good of all?  This is exactly what those who choose to live in congregate care are doing.  They are saving money and resources by sharing with others.  Why is this so wrong?