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"Our lives begin to end
the day we become silent
 about things that matter."
   -- Martin Luther King Jr.

Advocates For People With Developmental Disabilities


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Action DD Summer meeting Sees Changes in leadership

On June 6th Action DD held it's annual membership meeting at the beautiful Yakima Valley School in Selah. Attendance was larger than expected filling the meeting room.  Representative Bruce Chandler of the 15th District was in attendance and received our annual award for his support of RHCs and the Yakima Valley School.
     Changes were made to the Board of Directors with resignations and new members voted in.  A new chair was created as Webmaster.
     President Paul Strand retired and Business Vice-president Cheryl Felak resigned leaving their offices vacant.  The duties of these offices will be handled by the Board of Directors until new officers come forward.  These offices are for one year at a time.
     The employees union, WFSE council 28, provided outstanding snacks and an abundant lunch. Everyone loved the fresh picked Yakima Valley cherries.

Rainier School Fashion Show is a Big Success
Click picture to view YouTube video   View Video

Action DD Responds to KING5's Anti RHC Reporting

Dear Ms. Frame,

There is a broad spectrum of need among people with developmental disabilities. Most live at home or with others in a house or apartment. A few, about 4%, require closer care in one of our RHCs; what you call “The Last of the Institutions.”
      They are not as they often are portrayed. They are not fenced in, there are no large dormitories or big buildings to live in, and no one is isolated. There are doctors, nurses, therapists and caregivers on duty at all times. Best of all, it costs no more to provide campus based service than it does for community provided services. DSHS has agreed with this, where close care is needed. Even the United States Supreme Court agrees (Olmstead Decision, 1999)
       Several years ago we replaced the so called institutions with community homes. You interviewed some of these residents, who are happy to be on their own. But for those with need of more intensive care, we built homes with individual bedrooms, kitchens and other amenities, much like a house on any American street. These amenities are difficult-if not impossible - to duplicate elsewhere.
      Instead of degrading the RHCs we should be thankful that we have them. Not all states are so fortunate.
-- Paul Strand

Friends of Fircrest and Friends of Rainier Release Important New Video
Some would have you believe that RHCs are not needed. This five-minute video is a must watch for anyone who wants to understand why Washington State supports RHC care.
   Click this picture to learn more.

Second Annual Legislative Reception a Success
Members of Action DD welcomed more than 30 legislators or their aides during a midday reception on capitol campus, Tuesday, February 2nd. Our new video, "Protecting our Most Vulnerable."  was viewed and well received. 
     The meeting was packed.  Recent negative television reporting of our RHCs as well as neglect in private care settings enlivened members and drew new people to join our cause for the best attended Action DD membership meeting ever.
     Action DD lobbyist Rick Jensen emphasized our need to support Senate Bill 5243, which would restore respite care to Yakima Valley School, and the governor's budget which contains money for respite.
      A nominating committee was formed to find new officers for our June 2016 election in Yakima. President, Paul Strand is retiring leaving the leadership open for election.  All positions are open for election each year. Please consider running for office.

Paul Strand, President Action DD Retires  

I leave with great reluctance, but after all these years on the trail, sitting by the campfire beckons.  Thanks to all of you who have been so supportive along the way. -- too many special people to list.  
     "There’s never enough time to do all the nothing you want. -- Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes.

 It's important to know the facts about our RHCs
Fact 1.
Only 4% of people with a developmental disability  who require state services live in a large facility called an RHC*.
Fact 2. People who need RHC care cost just as much when served in the community, but the community provides fewer services.
Fact 3. Closing RHCs and moving residents causes depression, injury and death. This is called transfer trauma. It is now happening nation-wide. 
Fact 4.  Washington State is being impelled by community based advocacy groups and even the federal government to close RHCs.
Fact 5. The Supreme Court Olmstead Decision states: "The ADA is not reasonably read to impel States to phase out institutions, placing patients in need of close care at risk."
Fact 6. People want the services of RHCs. For people in need of close care the RHC is the best possible treatment and residential option.
Fact 7. People with high care needs are often isolated in apartments not free to be part of a community.  Many are being deprived of the needed care of an RHC.
Fact 8. RHCs may not look like what you've been told.  Click on gold seal to see for yourself.

* What's an RHC?

Washington State's Residential Habilitation Centers (RHC) provide intensified and therapeutic services for people in the most need of close personal care.  RHCs are a part of the continuum of care for people with developmental disabilities.

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Statement 1 No savings to close
Statement 1 Part of continuum
Statement 1 Efficient services
Statement 1 Respite care 
Statement 1 Safety net
Statement 1 Prevent mortality

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Speaker of the House Frank Chopp told us, “We need a full continuum of services for people with developmental disabilities.”

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