The Connecticut General Assembly supported the work of Families First by unanimously passing SB 246 in 2017, which Governor Malloy signed into law – Public Act No. 17-61. This legislation requires DDS to do a complete and annual census of the DDS clients who are on the residential waiting list. Legislators will now have accurate information when making budget decisions. Families First thanks the DDS commissioner for meeting with members of our leadership throughout the planning phase.
Residential Waiting List Census Outcome
Today we take a look back at an eloquent opinion piece written in 2013 by Families First member Joe Duffy. Successful advocacy in 2014 helped secure a residential placement for Katie and approximately one hundred others on the residential waiting list. DDS has a new commissioner since this piece was written, but there remains no plan for families and no prioritization for the I/DD population in the state. Too many families live with the realities written about here:
For too many years the CT budget has been balanced on the backs of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). The Department of Developmental Services (DDS) has suffered a total of fifty million dollars in cuts since 2012. There are over 2,000 individuals on the DDS residential waiting list and 100 individuals on the new day services waiting list. Individuals currently receiving services from the DDS will likely see the erosion of those services due to the governor’s five percent rescission authority. It is time for the CT General Assembly to prioritize this population. Please join your fellow DDS families in this family advocacy effort and share the information through your SEPTAs, Special Olympics’ teams, etc. There are approximately 20,000 DDS families. Together we must be the voice for those with I/DD.