Thursday, May 26, 2011

History is made: 2SSB 5459 passes the legislature, watch on TVW links

Yesterday, May 25, 2011, marked a historic event in our state with the passage of SB 5459! The five aging Residential Habilitation Centers in our state used to house 4,400 people with developmental disabilities, today those institutions house about 860 people. In addition to this, over 13,600 people with developmental disabilities live at home with their families or in their local communities and have the same level of need as those in the RHCs, yet receive no services at all. 19% of the budget for people with developmental disabilities is used for only 2% of the people who qualify services and receive them in the RHCs, the most expensive model we have.

Your advocacy helped legislators understand the need to consolidate the RHCs and begin using the savings from doing so for those who qualify for services, but receive nothing. Frances Haddon Morgan Center has been downsizing already, the remaining residents will be transitioned to a community setting (or to another RHC if they choose) and the facility will close by December 31, 2011. In addition, Yakima Valley will have no new admissions (except for respite care) and once it has only 16 residents left, it will close. Another very important piece of this legislation is that children under 21 will no longer be institutionalized!

Thank you for your advocacy efforts. Be assured that we will continue to monitor this issue to ensure that people are transitioned in a thoughtful and respectful manner and that their needs are met. We also will make sure that all savings from this consolidation will be used for people with developmental disabilities to get their needs met with services in the community.

TVW recorded the legislative testimony for and against the bill. Below are the links to the House and Senate floor action on 2SSB 5459:

House: 2SSB 5459 is the first bill heard in this segment of floor action so watch starting at the beginning.

Chamber: HOUSE 2011 1st Special Session
Bill No.: 2SSB 5459
Date: 5-25-2011

Yeas: 63 Nays: 33 Absent: 0 Excused: 2

Voting yea: Representatives Anderson, Armstrong, Asay, Bailey, Billig, Blake, Carlyle, Chandler, Clibborn, Cody, Condotta, Darneille, Dickerson, Dunshee, Eddy, Finn, Fitzgibbon, Green, Haigh, Haler, Hargrove, Harris, Hinkle, Hope, Hudgins, Hunter, Jinkins, Johnson, Kagi, Kelley, Kenney, Klippert, Kristiansen, Lytton, Maxwell, Miloscia, Moeller, Morris, Nealey, Orcutt, Orwall, Pearson, Pedersen, Pettigrew, Probst, Rivers, Roberts, Rodne, Ross, Santos, Seaquist, Smith, Springer, Sullivan, Takko, Taylor, Tharinger, Upthegrove, Van De Wege, Walsh, Warnick, Wylie, and Mr. Speaker

Voting nay: Representatives Ahern, Alexander, Angel, Appleton, Buys, Dahlquist, Dammeier, DeBolt, Fagan, Frockt, Goodman, Hasegawa, Hunt, Hurst, Kirby, Kretz, Ladenburg, Liias, McCoy, Moscoso, Ormsby, Overstreet, Parker, Reykdal, Rolfes, Ryu, Schmick, Sells, Shea, Short, Stanford, Wilcox, and Zeiger

Excused: Representatives Crouse and McCune

Senate: Slide the cursor on the blue line at the bottom of the video box until it is 1 hour and 9 minutes (01:09:00 on the left side clock) into the floor action.

Chamber: SENATE 2011 1st Special Session
Bill No.: 2SSB 5459
Date: 5-25-2011

Yeas: 32 Nays: 13 Absent: 0 Excused: 4

Voting yea: Senators Baumgartner, Brown, Delvin, Eide, Ericksen, Fain, Fraser, Hargrove, Harper, Hatfield, Haugen, Hewitt, Hill, Holmquist Newbry, Kastama, Keiser, King, Kline, Kohl-Welles, Litzow, McAuliffe, Murray, Parlette, Pflug, Prentice, Ranker, Regala, Stevens, Swecker, Tom, White, and Zarelli

Voting nay: Senators Baxter, Becker, Carrell, Chase, Conway, Honeyford, Kilmer, Morton, Pridemore, Roach, Rockefeller, Schoesler, and Sheldon

Excused: Senators Benton, Hobbs, Nelson, and Shin

Diana Stadden
Advocacy Partnership Project
The Arc of Washington State

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Virtual “Museum of disABILITY History”

Recently I ran across a web site for The Museum of disABILITY History. This online wing of the Museum of disABILITY History complements their freestanding "bricks and mortar" Museum. They also have traveling exhibits.

The Museum of disABILITY History is dedicated to advancing the understanding, acceptance and independence of people with disabilities. The Museum's exhibits, collections, archives and educational programs create awareness and a platform for dialogue and discovery. It opened in October 2010 and is located in Buffalo, New York.

This virtual museum is packed with historical information, photographs and old documents that provide an in-depth look at how people with disabilities were perceived and treated throughout history. It addresses some of the harsh realities that society has grown through such as eugenics, sterilization, trepanning (letting the evil spirits out of the head was to cut a hole in the skull) and much more.

The bright side of the museum focuses on the advocacy movement and on reformers such as Dorothea Dix, Josephine Shaw Lowell, William Pryor Letchworth, the Kennedys and many more. I encourage you to take some time to browse this site and glean a glimpse of where we have been, where we are and where we still need to go.