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We Have Choices

SANYS Comments on OMRDD's June 09, 507 Plan

1. Introductory comments--President David Liscomb
2. 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
Response to 2: What is working?
Self-Advocacy Association of New York State (SANYS)

Comments by SANYS Board Member Marilyn Stata

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 Marilyn Stata; I am a Board Member of the Self-Advocacy Association of New York State.  I am going to share some of SANYS’ board and member’s points of view on Question 2: What is working?

What is working?

Self-Advocacy is working.  More people are speaking up for themselves and others.  We believe that when we speak up most people listen and that is how things begin to change.  Ask Clint Perrin once said, “Ask us what we want. We’re the experts”.

Individualized Supports are working.  It has been a slow process but more and more people are creating a life that works for them with supports that are designed around their needs and wishes.  This is what the Commissioner refers to as “balancing the portfolio”.  We call it increasing choices.  And it is working.  Many folks have great stories to tell of the new opportunities for where they live,  or work or hang out in their communities.

Employment is working.  We know that only about fifteen percent of people with developmental disabilities have jobs but for those who do, work is working.  We make money, pay taxes, get to know co-workers and learn new skills. That works for me.

Many traditional supports like group homes and day programs are working.  A lot of SANYS advocacy is around increasing individualized supports but that does mean that we don’t recognize that many people are satisfied with more of the traditional supports like IRAs. Group homes, and Day Habilitation programs.   This is especially true of programs and support services that listen to people and do their best to accommodate individualized needs, choice and self-direction.

These forums are working:  Thank you again for scheduling these forums and for listening to what all the speakers have to say.  This  an important way for you to learn about what we feel are our needs now and in the future. 

Thank you


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