The Maryland Developmental Disability Administration (DDA) is proposing several changes SDS. Families and participants have expressed their concerns by written correspondence, and in meetings and webinars to DDA. The proposed changes violate freedom of choice, disability rights and are in direct opposition to the CMS HCBS waiver and DDA transformation. Lastly, there has been lack of transparency, false information referring to Federal guidelines and reports, and a dismissive attitude in webinars to the people with disabilities that it serves. The following are three changes SDAN is concerned about:
- Requirement for participants to receive services from agencies and/or personnel with specialized certifications, with restricted availability; creating a new level of bureaucracy
- Restriction that participants cannot hire a relatives.
- Budget changes for self-directed participants since they do not “have the administrative overhead” of agencies.
These changes would result in cumbersome scheduling, higher administrative costs, less vested personnel, and agency dependency- thereby moving toward a more institutionalized structure.
Maryland Self-Directed Advocacy Network collected over 600 petitions in two weeks. The petition requested the removal of SDS from Amendment 2. DDA has obliged. However, we are concerned these changes will still happen. Although their has been tremendous input from participants and families, we have received no assurance. If anything, the contrary. We are asking for your help on behalf of the participants in SDS. We have heard the voices of parents and participants filled with fear regarding these changes. We feel it is our duty as advocates for self-direction to ask you to investigate this and work with us so the participants’ voices can be heard.