Among those of us who care deeply for and about people with developmental disabilities, I hope to hear emerge a new voice, ours, rising together for the benefit of all, harmonizing with reason, respect and hope, and transcending divisions, giving birth to a new era of creative cooperation.

Toward this potential, DD EXCHANGE is for conversation, civil sounding off, sharing of stories, experience, information, resources, and inspiration, giving and receiving support, and creative problem solving.

Finding Your Way Around

TO SEE OTHER'S INPUT: below each post on the right, click "links to this post;" or in the left side column, under "Labels," click the discussion link that interests you.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010


Thank you , everyone, for your letters to legislators, your stories that illustrate the value of RHCs! Be encouraged that they have paid off to the extent that the 3 RHC attack bills appear to be dead.

HOWEVER, please keep up your letters, calls and stories to legislators in order to prevent resurrection, next week, when the supplemental budgets are unveiled. If you haven't contacted your district's legislators, recently, now is the time to be sure they are up to speed!

You can find out who your legislator's are at: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/Default.aspx. Phone number: To find the phone number, click the legislator's name. Email. Find an on-line email form where you can paste in your message by clicking on "email".

You are powerful!


On Feb 10, 2010, at 8:16 AM, marsha sutton wrote:

Letter to Ways and Means committee February 10, 2010
We ask you to not support SSB6780 which fails to address our concerns regarding SB6780.

In 2009 my husband and myself spoke before the House and Senate giving details of our daughter Rachel’s abuse in the private and community care facilities which went on for several years until she was finally successfully placed in an RHC where she has been a resident for the past 26 years. Rachel lives as full a life as possible for a profoundly disabled adult with a severe debilitating seizure disorder. Rachel also has problems communicating except to the staff that knows her well. She has many friends and enjoys going out into the community when able to function where she is an integral part of her community.

Washington State has a shamefully high abuse rate of disabled persons which is on the rise in many private and community run facilities with well documented cases. Sadly many of these cases go unreported or prosecuted. There has not been nearly enough done to protect the vulnerable from abuse. Our State says that it aims to fix the problems that expose our growing population of vulnerable adults to this abuse and neglect. But tell us how this can be accomplished without considerable amounts of time and expense. So we question the motives of anyone who would place our most vulnerable profoundly retarded into a progressively unsafe environment.

We are appalled to think that some of our own State Legislators continue to justify savings to the state budget by placing our most vulnerable and profoundly disabled into the private sector when the facts state there are no savings to the State Budget with such a disastrous move. Lawsuits from death and abuse of the disabled caused by such a move would not be in the best interest of the State of Washington. Those who would benefit the most would be the for-profit private operated care facilities.

Mild and moderately disabled have had some success when placed in the community, however, the most severely retarded with more complicated medical and behavioral needs do not. The profoundly disabled resident of RHCs deserve the safety net of isolated high quality living/care facilities and the medical services they offer.

It is time our State makes a firm commitment to our most profoundly disabled by stopping the trend to remove their choice to live in a safe environment free of abuse and neglect.

"Abuse issues, are rated the number one priority by women with disabilities according to the American Delphi survey conducted by Berkley Planning Associates."

Mr. & Mrs. Steve Sutton

Added information not in this letter:
Disabled women, like children, are very susceptible to abuse. Statistics show that disabled women are abused almost twice as much as non-disabled women, That is astounding!
The paragraph below was taken from "Disabled Women Rank Abuse Number One Issue" created by Kayjay.
'Abuse issues, are rated the number one priority by women with disabilities according to the American Delphi survey conducted by Berkley Planning Associated in their survey. This indicates that the disabled women, themselves, recognize abuse (those that are able to do so), especially caretaker abuse, as a high priority issue that gets little attention from most service providers and policy makers. They share with their non-disabled counterparts the fact that their intimate partners may physically, emotionally or verbally abuse them. However, they are subject to abuses that non-disabled women don't have to worry about such as the denial of medication, withholding attendant services, or denying access to assistive devices.'
Mr. & Mrs. Steve Sutton