On January 18, Meg Carter, spoke at the DDA Senate Budget Committee Briefing. She spoke in three capacities: 1. The mother of a daugher, Lucy, with a developmental disability; 2. a support broker for 15 clients; and 3. an SDAN representative.
Meg shared how rich Lucy’s life is because of self-direction. Lucy has drop seizures and needs to wear a helmet to protect her if she falls. It is likely that were she served by a traditional agency, her activities would be curtailed because of that risk and liability. Yet, under self-direction, Lucy climbs rock walls, rides horses, works with a personal trainer, and does all the family shopping. Lucy is fully engaged in and known by members of her authentic community. She lives a very fulll life doing they things that are special to her.
Meg thanked the legislators and DDA for allowing Lucy to have that experience and stated how she has seen the same things in the lives of the other individuals that she supports. She asked DDA and the State to help expand the self-direction options and not to take away options that these participants have enjoyed over the last 13 years of self-direction in Maryland. She stated the SDAN concern that the recent waiver renewal is taking things away from this wonderful program.
The written testimony submitted to the Budget Committee is attached to show SDAN’s concerns with the waiver renewal and DDA’s recent policies and practices. We need your support to continue our efforts to retain self-direction flexibility and return some of the options already lost to this program.
The next opportunity to testify about DDA’s budget and programs will be the budget hearings in the Maryland House of Delegates and Senate on February 28 and March 2. We are looking for self-directing participants interested in testifying on those two days. Please contact us if you are interested in representating SDAN.