Hopefully, you have already seen last week’s San Francisco Chronicle story that brought much-needed attention to the shrinking and closing of programs that people with I/DD rely on in the Bay Area. The article did a fantastic job of bringing the economic realities that we, as advocates, take for granted to the general readership who may have little to no prior knowledge of the system that people with I/DD depend on for their day to day existence.
The article highlights:
- Funding is not keeping up with the rising costs of doing business
- Service providers cannot pay competitive wages which has led to high turnover and job vacancies
- The population of people who need services is growing while programs that provide services are closing due to lack of funding
- The advocacy work that is being done this year to ensure an 8% rate increase.
Mainstream media has long overlooked the stories and realities faced by people with disabilities and the people who care for us. Therefore, many people are understandably uninformed, and in turn, do not show up to support the efforts of the disability community. The writing and sharing of articles like this play a crucial role in our efforts to ensure that California’s lawmakers live up to the promise made to Californians with I/DD by the Lanterman Act.