Saturday, September 25, 2010

Opinon: People with Disabilities Best Served at Home and In the Community

Interesting opinion piece responding to coverage in The Salt Lake Tribune by Adina Zahradnikova, executive director of the Disability Law Center; Claire Mantonya, executive director of the Utah Developmental Disabilities Council.

We share the concern for the health, safety and quality of life of all Utahns with disabilities expressed by parents in The Tribune’s Sept. 5 article "Future of State Home for Disabled Worries Parents." We also agree that " … a broad conversation is urgently needed about the future of those most seriously disabled and the future of the USDC [Utah State Developmental Center] ... "
However, we think a discussion this critical must encompass the entire service system, not just the institutional side. Instead, we need to focus on getting individuals with disabilities and their families the right supports at the right time and in the right place.
Unfortunately, the position highlighted by the article represents a short-term solution at best. Large institutions were established in the 1800s when no other options were available.

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