Sunday, December 25, 2011

Wyoming Bill Seeks to Address Wait Time for Services

CASPER, Wyoming -- Like most 27-year-olds, Melissa Dixon doesn’t want to live with her parents.
She was born with fetal alcohol syndrome, a condition that affects her motor skills and ability to understand certain things. But she craves independence and often gets frustrated that she’s still at home.
“It makes her feel like she’s still a little kid,” said D.J. Dixon, her adoptive mother. “And she’d prefer to be around people who have more in common with her.”
Her parents applied to Wyoming’s Home and Community Based Waiver Program, which provides services for people with disabilities. For someone like Melissa, the waiver could pay for an assistant who helps her with social skills and job training.
Melissa has been stuck on the waiting list for a year and a half. She’s not alone. There are more than 450 people waiting for adult, child or brain-injury waivers, state figures show. The time between application and assistance for adults routinely exceeds two years.

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