Restore Massachusetts funding for individuals with Autism
By law, 950 students with developmental disabilities turning 22 this year in Massachusetts must leave their public schools, where they have been receiving support services. In the past, the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services has stepped in to provide critical support to families in the form of residential supports, family, day services, employment services, individual service coordination, and more.
We now learn that this funding is exhausted, and there is no indication that the necessary funding will be available in the near future. Families are facing the prospect of figuring out how to help their sons and daughters without support, including parents quitting their jobs so they can be home with them.
This has hit us close to home on Martha's Vineyard, where four students will "age-out" of our high school in the next few months. Unless a miracle happens, these students will be without services.
Urge Governor Baker to support an amendment (Amendment #811 to H.4200) recommended by representatives from across the state, to increase the allocation from $7,000,000 to $10,000,000 to adequately assist the 950 students turning 22 in 2017.
We are in a Turning 22 Crisis in Massachusetts. The numbers of students who are turning 22 and require services from the Department of Developmental Services has steadily increased each year. In 2010, 630 students needed transitional services. In 2017 there will be nearly a thousand. These individuals have a right to services to have a chance to live their lives to the fullest.
We urge you to support Amendment #811 to H.4200, which on recommendation of representatives from across the state asks to amend the bill in section 2, in line item 5920-5000, by increasing the allocation from $7,000,000 to $10,000,000 to adequately assist the 950 students turning 22 in 2017.
Thank you for your support of this deserving constituency.
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