Senate Chair Stephen Brewer and the Ways/Means Committee released a very positive 2015 budget for services on May 14. The Budget supports “Blueprint for Success” which will increase community access for individuals with disabilities and bring our state’s services closer to the Olmstead decision and ADA. The Senate also increased residential rates significantly reflecting Chapter 257. Please see the budget chart for the Senate here.
Today, the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities, the National Disability Rights Network, and the Association of University Centers on Disabilities announced a new resource for advocates to follow implementation of the HCBS final rule. The rule set forth new requirements for several Medicaid authorities under which states may provide home and community-based long term services and supports. The website will have both state and federal resources to help track what states are doing to comply with the rule and educate advocates about the important provisions.
Around the age of five Shaun was diagnosed as autistic with impulse control disorder. Instead of looking at our families’ situation as strange, I was struck by all the wonderful things that made him special rather than different – from his great memory that had a knack for recording every last minute detail of an event to his love for any movie that had music in it. Being musically inclined myself it seemed like a huge bonus that I got to re-experience Walt Disney classics years after it was way too uncool to do so. Of course I was able to under the guise of watching them with my younger brother. I guess now is as good a time as ever to admit I continue to use that same excuse, twenty years later. In fact – not a car ride or a visit goes by now where I don’t plug my iPhone into the car radio and YouTube search “sesame street telephone rock”, “jungle book – that’s what friends are for”, or “Little Mermaid – part of their world,” and join Shaun in a chorus of the classics. Shaun is a smart young man with an incredible boyish charm to him. His has a rich innocence and is willing to let anyone with interest into his world without question or judgment.