Monday, December 22, 2014

California Families Get to Make a Difference!

The big challenge - rebuilding our system - starts with you!

The future is in our hands...

The development services system that affects so many lives needs to be rebuilt, and we need your help to do it!

Last spring, many voices came together to insist on Early Start being renewed. By working as a group with a single goal, eligibility was restored and thousands of at-risk infants and toddlers can once again access life-changing services. But beyond those thousands, there are hundreds of thousands of people with developmental disabilities already in our service system. They are able to live in communities of their choosing because of three main things: services and supports to help meet their needs (including their families' needs), dedicated service providers and direct support professionals, and regional centers coordinating and managing services and supports for nearly 280,000 Californians.

But years of chronic underfunding, rate freezes, and cuts have done great harm to our system. Recognizing this threat to the existence of the community service system, the 19-member Lanterman Coalition (including ARCA) has united around a solution to this challenge!

Our system needs a 10% across-the-board funding increase now, and 5% increases yearly, until funding for provider rates and regional center services is reformed.

But for this to happen, your voice and advocacy is needed. Only by individuals, groups, and coalitions coming together and telling their elected officials why this matters can we see the Lanterman Act preserved. To support this, the Coalition has prepared a number of tools, and we want you to share them far and wide.

Your advocacy matters! Our system is facing a monumental challenge. It’s big, it’s complicated, and there are a lot of moving parts. But we have to start somewhere, and a 10% budget increase for our system is the first step the Lanterman Coalition is rallying around. To make that – and comprehensive reform – happen, we need you to stand up for people with developmental disabilities, their families, service providers, and regional centers. The system that supports people to live in communities of their choosing needs you. Every voice throws light on a part of this common problem we are facing, and we need you to let your light shine!
10 things you can do
as an individual, or as a group of advocates who want our legislators to get the message - save our system!
Ideas for talking points
when you meet your representatives. For self-advocates, families, service provider organizations/employees, and regional center employees.
Extra tools
and supporting documents that will help you be best prepared to meet with your legislators.
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