Monday, December 5, 2011

Series: New Jersey Failing the Disabled

Too frequently, they are New Jersey's forgotten residents: Adults living with severe, chronic mental or physical impairments such as autism, cerebral palsy, epilepsy and spina bifida. They are the developmentally disabled among us, our brothers and sisters, our sons and daughters.
Roughly 2,500 of these 40,000 adults statewide reside in one of seven state-run, expensive-to-operate developmental centers. Some 27,000 live at home, where often they are cared for by aging parents with health problems of their own. Approximately 12,000 more live in group homes or independent apartments run by non-profit agencies specializing in care for the disabled.
Meanwhile, nearly 8,000 disabled adults are on a long waiting list for services ranging from training to a place in a community-based group home, which reformers see as among the best and most cost-efficient ways of providing adequate care.
And yet, as "Crucial Care at a Crossroads," Staff Writer Harvy Lipman's three-day series for The Record, indicates, by and large the state is falling down on the job of caring for its developmentally disabled adults.

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