Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Opinion: N.Y. Families Speaking Up Now

It's hard to protest something that hasn't happened, but the families of people with developmental disabilities have learned that it is never too soon to speak up.
"Andrew wants his own home," says Leslie Hulbert, of Victor, Ontario County. Her 25-year-old son, who has autism, has been on a waiting list for four years for a spot in a residential adult home.
Leslie, like other parents of adult children with developmental disabilities, has been her son's advocate since he was a toddler and his condition was first diagnosed. She will be his advocate for the rest of her life — which is why she's advocating now for a home, a place where Andrew, who is learning the baker's trade, can live safely with 24/7 supervision and care.
Across the state, nearly 12,000 adults are waiting for placements in group homes, about 1,300 in the Finger Lakes region, with about 400, like Andrew Hulbert, seeking spots through Heritage Christian Services. There is a state moratorium on construction of new residential homes, and the state is developing new policies and procedures for housing disabled adults, including those who have been in state-run developmental centers.

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