Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Campaign Puts Face on Maryland Budget Cuts
FREDERICK, MD. -- Colleen is 27. She has been on the Developmental Disabilities Administration's waiting list for services for 13 years.
She wants to be more independent, but will not let her mother teach her the necessary skills. She needs a skills trainer to help her with such tasks as laundry, cooking and cleaning. Her family fears Colleen will never get a trainer and will end up like so many of her peers -- in crisis when her mother dies.
Curran is on the waiting list for transitioning youth services, a DDA program that makes it possible for young adults to be employed in the community after they exit public school. With DDA budget cuts, Curran's family worries that he will not get a job and will lose many of the skills he learned in school.
These stories and others -- along with photographs of the individuals -- are being mailed to elected officials, in hopes of bringing attention to the price of cutting programs for the disabled.
On Aug. 26, Gov. Martin O'Malley announced sweeping budget cuts -- including a $24 million bite in the DDA budget.