AJE is happy to share this information from the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), The Arc, Disability Rights DC and Quality Trust about today’s DC Council hearing on the decision of the DC Department of Disability Services (DDS) to cancel their contract with Georgetown University. This contract provides adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities with important health services; you can find out more about Georgetown’s work and their impact here (also linked below). Interested DC voters, families and impacted individuals may want to look at ASAN’s Toolkit in particular. ASAN has shared great information for DC advocates on this topic, including sample social media posts and a list of the Twitter handles for the entire DC Council.
Disability Rights DC and Quality Trust have issued a joint letter expressing concern about this change, it is also below. DDS’ July 19th statement on the change is also linked to this post and is available here. Finally, below is a copy of the statement issued by both The Arc and ASAN.
DC’s Department on Disability Services plans to abruptly cancel a contract with Georgetown University which provides people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) with lifesaving health services. Too often, people with I/DD are allowed to fall through the cracks of the health care system — ignored or misunderstood by medical professionals, denied the services we need to understand and take charge of our care, or lost in the shuffle when systems and providers fail to coordinate. For 14 years, Georgetown’s Health Initiative has provided patient advocacy, health education, home visits, nursing care, and more to ensure that people with I/DD get the care we need. DDS’ piecemeal, incomplete substitute for this highly valued program was hastily developed with no stakeholder input whatsoever. If we don’t act now, DDS’ cuts will leave people without Georgetown’s services in six weeks.