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, April 12, 2016


Response by  Sharon Juza to S. Frame invitation
for viewer comment story.

The story that you ran about "Institutions" contained so much false information I found it very disturbing and upsetting. First of all their are NO institutions  in our state; they are residential habilitation centers. No matter how many people have stated that fact and tried to educate the reporters at King 5 everyone still insist on referring to our RHC's as Institutions. Why is that? I find it very offensive and hurtful.

Yakima Valley is my Son's home. Why do some people want to take away his home? My Son has a multitude of disabilities and can not care for himself at all. He needs 24/7 care. Everything from personal hygiene, feeding himself and medical care which is on site whenever it is needed. They also have dental facilities.

If he so much as gets a scratch on his hand I am notified immediately. This does not happen in a community living situation. He has his own bedroom a living area that includes a bathroom that is equipped with all the necessary equipment for bathing. He is not locked away like some people choose to believe nor are there any locked, chain link fences anywhere. The only fence they have is a 4 ft tall fence around their backyard, that you can see over, for their safety. He is free to go in and out to the backyard whenever he chooses. Weather permitting of course.

 He and all the other residents are taken out a lot to various places in the community. Going to the Fair is just one of many things he does.  The staff is very dedicated and most have been their for several years. They treat all the residents with care and love. They have a low turnover rate unlike other place's such as privately run group homes.

I kept an open mind and wanted to look at some community living homes. When I contacted DSHS and asked for the address of some homes they would not give me any and told me I had to go with a Social worker. There's a big red flag. They make an app. and take you to the ones they want you to see. That gives them plenty of time to alert the staff so they can do whatever they need to in order to impress you. I went there on a nice sunny day and all the residents were sitting in front of the TV.
I looked at 5 different homes and none of them were safe. A very dangerous kitchen, coffee pots and various other items on the counter tops. And open  access to  the laundry room. No safe backyards.

Don't we all want what is best for our children?  Especially to be safe and happy? That is what RHC's provide for those that need it.

 Sharon Juza