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Testimony of the Self-Advocacy Associaition of New York State, Inc.

Envisioning the Future Listening Session
Administration on Developmental Disabilities
October 18, 2010, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

What we want to talk about is something our board refers to as
“me to we”.  We think it is a really important idea in this time of fiscal crisis in our states and country. 

What we mean by “me to we” and what we hope, is that everyone will come to the tables of discussions about budgets, system change and sustainability with a willingness to put their own personal interests and priorities to the side and focus on ideas, proposals and thoughts that may be the best for all people with developmental disabilities in the long run.  We are hopeful that a real sense of fairness and a real People First point of view will be in everyone’s minds.

We know that changing perspective is a hard to do but we think it is an important and necessary step towards finding solutions to the challenges that systems of supports for people with developmental disabilities face.  Our answer to the question, can we as field of people concerned with supporting people with developmental disabilities work together to get through these challenges is:  Yes We Can!

We are beginning to have conversations with the key people and organizations in our state including: self-advocates, family members, administrators, legislators, provider organizations, direct support professionals and members of state unions encouraging all to work together to change the way we think about our system and to make sure we all share a people first perspective when we talk about how we fund services. 

We encourage ADD to consider organizing some national conversations about “me to we” that encourage everyone involved with our systems to work together to make sure that all people who need supports have what they need to live a full life in their community.

Finally we believe that opportunities for individualized, self-directed supports must be greatly expanded in all our states.  SANYS created a movie with our state agency, the Office of People with Developmental Disabilities, called We Have Choices, which shows people living the lives they want in the communities of their choice.  Commissioner Lewis, I would like to leave a few copies for you.

Thank you!

Clint Perrin
Self-Advocacy Association of New York State, Inc.
500 Balltown, Rd., Schenectady, NY 12304
518-382-1454
email contact: seholmes@earthlink.net


 
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