Just Stop It

This “self-advocacy Coalition” which penned a letter to Governor Inslee and the Ruckelshaus Legislative Taskforce needs to realize that we are all in this together. It’s not either/or and to continue with that attitude is inhumane by refusing to acknowledge the fact that people need a full continuum of supports at various stages and times of their lives. The continued denial of one type of support because it may not be what you would choose, does not mean that it’s not the appropriate support for someone else.

From the William D. Ruckelshaus Center

The legislature, DSHS, unions, providers, advocates and families have debated for decades the merits and challenges of quality of care, access to services and costs of delivery between models.

In 2018, DSHS and the legislature  asked the Ruckelshaus Center to provide process design and neutral facilitation to help parties reach consensus-based solutions around the mix of service venues and other potential uses of facilities. The “Ruckelshaus Workgroup’s” 2018 recommendations led to legislative appropriations of over $172 million in early 2019 – and in the fall of 2019, the workgroup reached consensus around a long-term vision and legislative recommendations to re-design the way that I/DD supports and services are delivered in the State of Washington.

The “self-advocacy Coalition” may not like everything that was recommended by the Ruckelshaus Taskforce and I would gather that many others do not like everything about it either. The Taskforce was challenged by not only a crisis situation which has been getting worse each year but also with trying to reach a compromise.

By definition, a compromise means to come to an agreement by mutual concession – basically that no one gets everything they want. A compromise enables projects to move forward and then actually providing some of the needed supports that we all know need to improve and increase. Without a compromise nothing will happen because groups will continue to battle each other rather than work for the good of the whole.

So, Stop it, accept the recommendations and move forward. No one is forcing anyone to use the supports but there are many who need and choose these supports and it is our duty as a State to provide.

Members of the “self-advocacy Coalition”

Allies in Advocacy
Arc of Washington
Disability Rights Washington
People First of Washington
Self-Advocates in Leadership (SAIL)
Washington State Developmental Disability Council
Washington State Developmental Disability Ombuds