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We Have Choices

SANYS Comments on OMRDD's June 09, 507 Plan

1. Introductory comments--President David Liscomb
How can we support more employment?-- Presented by Shameka Andrews
3. What steps can we take to make the system more person centered? -- Presented By David Liscomb
4. What is working? -- Presented by Marilyn Stata
5. Final Written Statement--From Me to We! Yes We Can! -- Presented by SANYS Executive Committee
6. Individualized Supports Think Tank 2009 Recommendations--June 09

OMRDD Comprehensive Plan Forums—June, 2009
Introductory Comments and
some responses to Question One from the
Self-Advocacy Association of New York State (SANYS)

Comments by SANYS President, David Liscomb

Good Afternoon Commissioner Ritter!  Thank you for scheduling these forums and for giving us all a chance to speak up about the future of supports for people with developmental disabilities.

My name is David Liscomb. I am president of the Self-Advocacy Association of New York State. My message today is an introduction to comments on the Comprehensive Plan from the Self-Advocacy Association of New York State. Some members of SANYS’ Executive Committee will also speak at these forums and present some brief thoughts on your suggested themes. SANYS will also provide a detailed written statement.

We understand that our country and our state are in the middle of a very challenging economic situation that could last for some time.  We understand what it takes to face challenges; that is what we do every day as individuals with disabilities and that is what we do as an organization.  We believe we are most successful when we focus on how we can work together as self-advocates and as partners with other groups. We believe our lives are better when we think about more than own interests and needs when we develop advocacy positions and strategies. 

We live in our communities, we live in New York, we live in the USA, and we all have an obligation to step-up and contribute to the solution to the challenges we face.

We believe this is what every citizen of our country and of New York needs to do. We need to step up our ‘we’ thinking and look at how we can all contribute to and help create the way through these challenges.

We have titled our September conference—From Me to We: Yes we can.  We challenge everyone to develop this point of view.

In response to the first question regarding the most important needs, we offer the following points—there will be more detail in written statements.

Safety—people must be safe in every place they live, work or spend their days.

Staff—direct support professional staff are a key to how we live our lives.  We need caring, dedicated, well-trained staff that are paid a fair wage.

Individualized supports are an important part of the solution.
Increase choice through individualized supports, which we believe are cost effective and very important part of the solution to the fiscal challenges.  Individualized supports are also what many people are asking for.

We need to spend every dollar and make every decision with a People First mindset.

Fairness: As a system we need to be fair and open in all decisions we make.

People with developmental disabilities have a lot to offer and we can contribute through our voices, leadership, our presence and our skills.  We need the opportunity to contribute.


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