Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Emotion High Over NJ Plan to Close Disability Home

VINELAND, N.J. — Karen Lee Colletti has severe autism, speaks only a few words and needs a diaper. When she was 27 and her parents felt they couldn't care for her at home any longer, they moved her to the Vineland Developmental Center, which cares for women with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

That was 29 years ago. Now, her 80-year-old father, Vito Colletti, fears the state's plans to close the center by 2013 will happen, pushing his daughter out of a place that he thought she could live for the rest of her life. It's discomforting for a man who's come to rely on the care she gets at the state institution. After a hard time difficult adjustment from a move last month from one part of Vineland's campus to another, he fears a longer move to one of the state's remaining institutions would "drive her bananas."

He's joined the fight of the 1,300 developmental center employees who could lose their jobs — and officials around the southern New Jersey community of Vineland — in trying to persuade the state to leave the center open.

1 comment:

  1. As legal guardian of a disabled family of 3 who are DDD clients, I am having problems with DDD supervisors, case managers, the support coordinator of values into action. I have reached out to the governor, lieutenant governor and human service commission and it seems I can't get to the right person. I need help in getting the above mentioned to do their job according to the contract signed through Dungarvin, a family support group. I have exhausted all possible contacts and am reaching out for any assistance you can provide in getting this matter resolved. I can be reached at 848 250-0550. Thank you William Langford