Guest column in The Record of Bergen County, N.J., by Lowell Arye, executive director of the Alliance for the Betterment of Citizens with Disabilities in Hamilton.
The urging of some to halt plans to close Vineland Developmental Center would move New Jersey in the opposite direction of 30 years of public policy toward community living for people with developmental disabilities.
In his budget, Governor Christie boldly announced the closure of a state developmental center over the next two years. New Jersey has not closed a developmental center since 1998, when it shut down North Princeton. It is far behind the national trend of deinstitutionalization.