I have a 38 year old son with ID who has been happily employed in a prevocational program for many years. He looks forward to going not only to be productive, earn a pay check but to be with his friends who he likes to socialize with during his breaks. He is happy and would be devastated if he lost his CHOICE to attend. My son is NOT able to be employed in the community due to chronic medical and behavioral issues. He requires 24 hour care at home and in the community to ensure his safety and meet his needs. Furthermore, most families need both parents to work who depend on prevocational programs who provide 40 hours of care each week for their son and daughter. How many people with ID and/or Autism do you know who work 40 hours a week? Who is going to pay for companion care and/or employment supports on a PFDS waiver that has a cap of $33,000? Are families going to lose their home if one parent is forced to stay home or if a single parent no longer has care for their son or daughter so they can work? The system is working for our loved ones and families! It doesn't make sense to increase budgets to meet health and safety needs for those who are lucky enough to have funding while thousands are sitting at home doing nothing and waiting for funding. I also want to know states that have closed centers, how many are happy and successfully employed? Each time I asked this no one has an answer. Lastly, those who do want more community activities attend programs part time, work in the community part time and yes may have staffing for preferred activities and make it work with the PFDS budget. A win-win from everyone to chose what makes their life meaningful. Leave the system alone. It is not broke and let's stream line budgets so others may be served!
Idea No. 837