April 9, 2016
Thank you for investigating this issue. Life and liberty depend on honest, in depth, accurate and complete illumination.
While those of us who have devoted much of our lives to caring for and defending the rights of those who cannot care for or defend themselves, appreciate your efforts, we also expect you to get the full story and the basic issues right. Thank you for letting persons who are differently abled and their families respond.
“We hold These Truths…All…Equal…Life, Liberty, Pursuit of happiness”
No disability precludes any person from having
A place and a space of their own
Having the freedom to make their own Choices, to the best of their ability
Making a Contribution of their gifts, aptitudes, and interests…and having them received by us
Air, water, food, shelter, comfort…physical needs and security of estate
Love for a Lifetime from a Circle of Friends, supportive Network
But two realities have yet to be faced by DSHS, WA Legislature, and those of us who elect and pay them:
Individuals are placed in residential settings which in some cases do not give them the freedom to make their own life choices they are fully capable of. Others are denied or removed from the settings which do not meet their needs.
I know Mike and Jim. They were the former, and I rejoice in their liberation and detest the past situations where they and many others were kept against their will.
Tommy Murray is dead. At least five forced from Fircrest are dead. Of the 123 taken from Interlake School, five died. But countless others died because they were denied what they needed in the first place. Many others suffer because no one notices or considers them worth making the effort to care.
Representative Sherry Appleton, Senators Christine Rolfes, Maralyn Chase, Judith Warnick and Mark Schoesler have fought for rights of individuals and their families to choose and defend those services which those individual and their families realized were best and most appropriate for their loved ones’ needs. But DSHS and others who see shutting down and denying services as a cash cow, refuse to face the reality the care needs of some persons requires best practices and dedicated well-trained care staff that are costly.
All lives matter. Each life matters. No matter what our ethnicity, creed, or ability. When will we the people of this state demand that we support and defend those rights?
You can get the whole story. Don’t stop with the job part way done. Get the whole truth and act on it.