There is no way that in a few paragraphs I can capture our experience since March. But we owe a debt of gratitude to those front-line staff who stayed at their jobs to support persons with disabilities.
You faced down fear of COVID-19. You spent countless hours outside your homes while you assisted our friends and our family members to make it through the crisis. You did this in group settings and some of you went to individuals’ apartments or family homes.
You “picked up the pieces” in this crisis. Now, six (6) months on, we owe you and families who also weathered this crisis, with and without assistance, our best. We live in uncertainty. We know that is not enough for our constituents, families, and you.
What worked during this crisis is clear:
- Agencies got ahead of the virus by sharing good practices and buying PPE
- DDS funded expanded resources for families through family/autism support centers
- State leaders funded COVID-19 resources for group settings, approved retainer support for day settings to avoid losing capacity for the future, and provided testing resources and guidance to build upon agency efforts
- Some accommodations were made for individuals losing school and day services living with families.
But to go the distance, we need to engage families and you in advocating for longer-term planning that addresses the needs we face as a community.
We have to help you go the distance. But we need to advocate together for:
- Coordinated strategy to ensure day options
- Addressing the lack of day or school options for some or many (due to distance requirements, due to fear of virus, etc.)
- Funding plans that adequately addresses support services, day/employment supports
- Building a bridge to the future with innovative services that are person-centered, and technology
Join us Monday, August 10 at for Leo Live at noon to hear about our recent focus group results and to dialogue about the advocacy that is needed for our community
We must stand together more than ever!