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.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016


God Bless Maralyn Chase and Frank Chopp and all the other legislators who understand the need for and continue to vote for RHC survival. My non-verbal, sister, intellectual age-18 months, with severe spastic quadraplegia, major motor seizures and bi-polar disease thrives because her RHC home is still open. PT, OT, ST, nursing, medical, dental, dietary and well-managed, specially trained  attendants cooperate to provide care according to her individual, interdisciplinary team plan.  I am part of the team. Without the centralized services available on her RHC campus, her needs could not be met as she needs them to be. They are too intensive and complex.

Don't trust the cost comparisons cited by Susannah Frame. She is perpetuating myth, not quoting "science". When comparisons are made between RHCs and community-at-large costs, they are apples-to-oranges, inaccurate because: 1. No way to aggregate all the piece-meal therapies and services in the community-at-large has been devised. 2. DSHS only tracks the costs that accrue to it's budget. 3. Costs are included on the RHC side of the ledger that don't apply to the residents being compared, and in some cases, even to the RHCs: eg: utility costs for unrelated, campus property tenants who pay no rent but benefit from free utilities from the facility. 4. People who are promised services in the community-at-large if they agree to be moved from an RHC don't always get the services they had or were promised; this, of course, lowers their costs.

Before her RHC admission, my sister was terribly abused in her community-at-large home. Oversight that is  designed to PREVENT abuse is still needed in the community-at-large. Federal standards and audits to enforce them make the RHCs the safer option for people as vulnerable as my sister is. 
RHCs aren't appropriate for everyone. For some, they definitely are too restrictive. But for those who need them, their full service, therapeutic, residential communities meet their needs in ways that are impossible in the widespread, piece-meal services available in homes provided by businesses which, also, are tax supported,