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State must keep its promise to developmentally disabled

As parent advocates, it was a welcome relief to see the editorial in the Dec. 21 edition of The News titled, “State needs to address needs of people who have developmental disabilities.” Thank you for reporting on this serious crisis in such an informed and compelling way.

The editorial helps to identify the gravity of the barriers faced by aging parents who are being held in limbo by the cutbacks in funding by the state and federal governments. Too many families who are looking to move loved ones with developmental disabilities from their homes into safe and appropriate living situations are forced to wait and wait.

In addition, there are wait lists for day programs for this population, and closing of intakes for sheltered workshops and work centers. Not-for-profit agencies cannot continue to sustain additional cuts to programs and still care for the majority of these individuals with varying needs. These individuals deserve to enjoy a quality of life, as do their families who provide for them.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the State Legislature need to keep the promise in the Willowbrook Consent Decree not to forget individuals with developmental disabilities: Please no more hurtful cuts! Our children deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. See www.ddawny.org for more information.

Max and Joyce Donatelli

Hamburg