Adults with autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, or other intellectual and developmental disabilities served by the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) will lose services if funding and policies don’t meet the requirements of the re-opening period and thereafter. The campaign #DontCutUsOut is to ensure that our safety net continues.
The article below was prepared just days before COVID-19 deeply changed the way we all are doing our work and living our lives. But one of the many things revealed by the pandemic is that our human service system’s workforce is in even deeper crisis than we thought and—despite many stories of strength and commitment—quite fragile, too. But another lesson underscored by the pandemic is that relationships and friendships may be the best vaccine against the isolation and loneliness. So always—and especially now—our workforce needs to devote attention, time and creativity to helping the people they support connect deeply with others in their communities.
On July 2, Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel released the formal order that day programs may open on July 6. Re-opening services is not simply a matter of unlocking the doors, turning on the lights, and buying some personal protective equipment (PPE).
By the time you read this update, over 22,000 emails or calls will have been made to Governor Baker, Speaker DeLeo, and Senate President Spilka about our safety net of supports for persons including DDS and MassHealth funded services. Our state’s leaders, legislators, and administration officials are facing scores of challenges and our combined voice can help them in the decision-making process.