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Family Voices are More Important Than Ever

The I/DD system in Kansas was built on a foundation of advocacy led by mothers and fathers of Kansans with disabilities. Those ardent and vocal advocates envisioned a world in which their sons and daughters could live independently in their community of choice. And they did so at a time when the most widely accepted form of "treatment" for persons with I/DD was behind the locked doors of institutions. 

In the decades since those pioneers first spoke up, the I/DD system has grown to provide supports applicable across the lifespan of persons with I/DD. All services are provided within the community with the overarching goals of independence, inclusion, integration and productivity. A true civil rights revolution.

However, the Kansas I/DD system is now challenged in ways not foreseen when those advocates began their work. The funding that once enabled I/DD providers to expand to serve more persons was allowed to go largely stagnant for nearly 20 years. The result? A provider network that has become increasingly brittle in its ability to expand to meet even the needs of existing persons already served. Also, a waiting list that has been allowed to grow to more than 4,000 adults and children, many of whom have waited close to a decade for services. 

Family voices are needed, now more than ever, in educating and informing policy makers and elected officials about the importance of I/DD services. Families should make 2020 the year for a new influx of family-led advocacy. Families can once again lead the way in securing a better tomorrow for Kansans with I/DD.

Welcome Matt Fletcher!

Johnson County Developmental Supports shared this story with us as Matt left the team at JCDS and joined our team here at InterHab!

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