Shut Down All DD Institutions

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Dear Governor Jay Inslee, Washington State Legislators, and members of the community:

The Shut Them Down Coalition believes that Washington State should close the state institutions to end a chapter of segregation and institutionalization of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. For the past 20+ years, self-advocates and the DD partners have worked on moving people out of segregated institutional settings and back into the community. We strongly believe that building any new dedicated I/DD nursing facilities is sending us backwards in time. Twelve other states and the District of Columbia have all moved away from the old restrictive institutional model to the newer community residential model. The Shut Them Down Coalition believes Washington State should be next.

DDA Assessments should be given to each person to determine supports and needs. A person-centered planner should work with each person to discover their current support network and individual preferences. Case Managers can begin to map what community placement should look like using person-centered planning options. Individuals can be helped to direct their own services, through the supported decision making process. Self-advocates should have the ability to connect with residents to ensure that they have support and the DD Ombuds should be monitoring to ensure that people have their voices heard.

The Coalition is also advocating and fighting to create more community based residential options, and to grow and improve in-home care. It is critical that individuals are given multiple options on where to live at. Individuals should be able to receive most nursing home level care in their community. Some individuals may need more assistance in finding providers with a higher level of expertise. We need to make sure there is a higher level of provider with more expertise to do medical level tasks and/or mental health support. The unions should be engaged in how to meet this unmet need. New community housing options may need to be created to support everyone at the cost of living is high in Washington State. It is our belief that when the State has enough community residential options and community services in every community, all people with I/DD can live successfully in their community.

If you agree with our petition to Shut Down the institutions and improve community supports, we ask you to sign on to this petition and let all of our voices be heard to Washington State Government and Community Leaders.

Sincerely, 

The Shut Them Down Coalition



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