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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Action: Sent a hand-written letter in response with appreciation and best wishes

Submitted by: Representative Susan King

House District 71

"Perske Pencil Portraits
Sent a hand-written letter in response that said:

“Thank you so much for coming to our office and sharing your ideas regarding children with disabilities. I appreciate your work on behalf of children. Best wishes with your new project.”


Anonymous said...

Rep. King,

Our most vulnerable Texans with disabilities are at risk of losing vital services during this Legislative Session. My heart aches to think what the outcome will be if these cuts come to fruition. Please consider use of the Rainy Day Funds to offset these losses. I know your task will be difficult as you move to balance the budget, but please continue to show your compassion in ensuring the quality of life for our children, aging, and individuals with disabilities.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for supporting and advocating on behalf of all Texans who have a disability. You are respected by all, no matter where they choose to receive services, State Supported Living Centers and community supports.

Anonymous said...

The life lived by a person with a disability means so much more than one might think. It is our duty as Texans, not only to protect the lives of our most vunerable citizens, but in doing so, allow them to live a life that is as fulfilling and independent as it can be. Taking away community programs means taking away the life someone could live outside of an institution. It will not save Texas money. I have worked in large for- profit group homes. I know the daily rate these companies receive. This money is much better spent, allowing them to live in small settings where there are four to five people. These people in small settings are healthier and happier. This means less burden in medical costs. Some may not be able to verbalize "hope" and "contentment" but you can see it in their faces.

Anonymous said...

Our daughter was born 12 weeks early. Feeling that her life is valuable, her hospital pulled out all the stops to save her. She survived this with cerebral palsy (a form of quadriplegia). Studies show that if one sits by age 2, they someday walk; if not, they never sit. She never gained the ability to sit.

My husband has worked for 42 years for the phone company; I worked there for 17 years there but quit when our daughter aged out of after-school care. I became a volunteer and scout leader.

We have had a life of lifting her, bathing her, taking her to the bathroom, feeding her, being her homework scribes, driving her to thousands of therapy sessions, getting her through surgeries, purchasing wheelchairs, lifts, ramped vans and other durable medical equipment.

She has been a very dedicated student, dictating every word of work, both to us and to a computer. She graduated from high school with eight AP courses. She attended four years of college, graduating with three humanities majors, by dictating every paper. Her campus job was to work in the writing center, helping students to develop their papers.

She has become very valuable to her church, the theatre community, and the disability community. She has served on important advisory committees in Texas and in Washington DC. After college, she found a part time job which doesn’t begin to pay for attendants, surgeries, equipment, or cost of living.

What services have she received from Texas? Halfway through high school she came to the top of a waiting list for CLASS attendant care. This was valuable because her college day was so long. Seven years later, it looks like these supports that get her out of bed, to work, and through her day are in jeopardy.

Now I have a few questions. Why would Texas count her life as valuable at birth, but not as a hardworking, gifted young adult? Why is Texas educating students with disability well under IDEA and 504, yet is willing to send them to institutions as they graduate ---especially when CLASS costs a third of an institution? Why would Texas give services to a child when their parents are in their fifties and take it away when they are in their sixties and seventies?

As you think of people on the interest list, and often assume they are not qualified, think of them as being so disabled that they will never sit. Think of their parents as ‘hardworking’ and ‘exhausted’. For a child who has finished their education, remember current successes of having been educated under IDEA; don’t assume a previous, uneducated generation. Consider these young adults to be extremely valuable to the community, to the tax base, and to Texas.

They have no place being locked away in an institution. Use the rainy day fund and raise revenues!