April 11, 2016
Dear Susannah: I worked at Lakeland Village for 37 years. During that time I was active in the Washington Federation of State Employees. After I retired I became vice president of the Lakeland Village Associates. As an RHC advocate I find it rather sad that so many are willing to deny the rights of those who desire services offered within our Residential Habilitation Centers. It's as if the folks living in our RHCs are second class citizens who don't know better. During my Union active years, and afterward, RHC advocates have expressed our willingness to work with all involved parties to improve services for all people with developmental disabilities. Our condition that this be on a live and let live basis definitely meets the test of reason. Time after time the anti-RHC crowd refuses to fully accept the rights of those who want RHC services. This does not enhance the evironment for all people with developmental disabilities. We believe in choice. No one should be forced to live in a RHC who does not want RHC services. But choice is a two way street. No one wanting RHC services should be forced into community based services. In the Olmstead Decision the U.S. Supreme Court recognized that some will require RHC level services, either permanently or temporarily. The right to RHC services, if qualified, is established.
Vice president LVA