Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Some Welcome Closure of Kansas Institution

Wow, The Topeka-Capital Journal has struck a nerve with today's story about the possible closing of the Kansas Neurological Institute. Check out some of the comments. In New York State, most folks welcomed the movement back in the 1970s that allowed people with developmental disabilities to leave institutions and reside in community-based residences. While I the community for these individuals? Perhaps Gov. Parkinson should and the lawmakers should pay a visit to NYS and see how this works.understand that some of these folks, if KNI closes, will move back with their families, isn't this ultimately going to lead to a fuller, more integrated life in

TOPEKA, KS. -- Russell Hall and his wife, Eva, are saving the state of Kansas money — about $100,000 a year.
Hall removed his 30-year-old daughter, Tabatha, from Topeka's Kansas Neurological Institute in 1991, and he and his wife have been caring for her in their home with the help of funds from a Home and Community-Based Services waiver for those with developmental disabilities.
The annual cost for housing and services at KNI is $148,526, while the average annual cost for a person on a HCBS waiver and living in the community is $35,663, according to the Disability Rights Center of Kansas.
"We're saving taxpayers money, but we're not getting that money," Hall said.
Where those savings are being directed has become a point of contention as Gov. Mark Parkinson and lawmakers consider closing KNI and sending its residents into the community to live.
Critics of the closure of KNI have expressed concern over moving people with profound disabilities into community-based housing programs. However, advocates say living in the community instead of in an institution increases opportunities and improves the quality of care for individuals.

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