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WCI Newsletter: May 17th, 2016

Message From The Vice President of Operations

This is the time of year that many of us look forward to. People get to break Joe Donatifree from their long hibernation they experienced through the winter and start to get outside and enjoy their communities. It is a time of year that many start to plan their week long vacations, long weekends or even a day away from work. Some are looking forward to being able to start doing seasonal employment that is mostly outdoors. Some are looking for creative outings into the community and being able to enjoy being a full member of their community. Overall, this is a time of year that brings great happiness (and allergies for some). What is important to remember is that this time of year often means it is also time to be strong advocates for the people we care about. I have attached the Developmental Disabilities Senate Budget information from ADDP. I write to you this time to ask you to take a few minutes of your time to call your State Senators to advocate that they support the amendments listed below. Your support will help all of us, and many other agencies, to be able to help the Individuals we have the pleasure of working with to be able to continue to do the wonderful things I mentioned before. I know we have busy lives, full schedules and many commitments. I only ask for a few moments of your time to help make a difference.

Residential & Day Employment Amendments Will Be Needed

Line Item House FY 17 SWM FY 17 Needed Difference
5920-2000
DDS Residential
$1,110,427,449 $1,110,427,449 $1,116,927,449 -$6.5 million
5920-2025
DDS Day and Employment
$192,196,335 $191,496,335 $201,996,335 -$10.5 million

The Senate Ways and Means FY 17 Budget, released this morning, contains good news for Respite and Family Support programs that were able to hold onto Governor Baker’s 10% increase of that program which provides in home supports for families, as well as respite services.

Areas that will still need support on the Senate Floor include:

Line Item 5920-2000 DDS Residential Services, underfunded by $6.5 million. This effect of this shortfall headshot1is the exclusion of 260 more people who will need services and supports in FY 17, and not providing funding for the estimated 650 people out of nearly 10,000 who will require more intense residential supports due to further deterioration of their health due to aging, some with dementia challenges while others may be facing further physical and behavioral challenges then when they entered the system years in the past. Advocates are working with Senator Jennifer Flanagan who will be offering an amendment to address this shortfall. ADDP Members are urged to ask their individual Senators to join Sen. Flanagan as a co-sponsor.

Line Item 5920-2025 DDS Day and Employment, underfunded by $9.8 million. The effect of this shortfall is to not fund the full cost of last year’s new participants, cutting many individualized headshot2supports for people in day hab programs who need help with hygiene, including toileting; feeding, positioning and behavioral supports. Also the shortfall doesn’t recognize or fund the 500 additional people who will be eligible and needing Day/Employment activities. Advocates are working with Senator Joan Lovely who is going to introduce an amendment to address this shortfall. ADDP Members are urged to ask their individual Senators to join Sen. Lovely as a co-sponsor.

To find your Senator’s email address and phone number, click here.

hopeDisability advocates are encouraged by the number of Senators who have a deep understanding of disability issues, the people who are served and the organizations that provide these supports and are hopeful that additional funds may be provided by the adoption of Senate amendments understanding of disability issues, the people who are served and the organizations that provide these supports and are hopeful that additional funds may be provided by the adoption of Senate amendments.


Spring Fling!

On April 27th, WCI held our Annual Spring Fling at the Hibernian Hall in Watertown. Individuals gathered for a night of socializing, eating pizza, and especially dancing! “I liked the dance,” said Kevin, one of the Individuals who attended. “I danced a lot! Charlene danced with me.”

This was a very successful event, and we’re looking forward to our next social gathering!


WCI Office Space Expansion & Renovations

We are finally coming to the end of our Main Office Renovations.

Industrial-Construction-Signs-43488BBHPLYALU-baOur Front Door Entrance is finished & Amaka Nwafor, Office Manager, will be moving back to her office Tuesday, 5/17.  We are still waiting for the buzzer mechanism to allow entry into the Front Office, but as of today the Front Entrance is open once again! We will keep you posted as to the locked entry.  Regarding the Human Resources offices, Rachael Furbish, Recruitment Coordinator, is now in her new office; however, Judy Nichols, Human Resources Manager and Rukshanna Begum, Payroll Specialist, will move back into their space by next week.  We look forward to seeing everyone.  Welcome to our newly renovated space. Thank you Duffy Properties!


Happy Birthday, Richard!

richardcakePlease join us in wishing Richard a very happy 78th birthday! The gentlemen of his and neighboring homes came together on Saturday to enjoy Boston Market, ice cream and cake in celebration of our good friend Ritchie.

 


Headlines:
Airline Accessibility Remains An Issue

Feds: Relying On Nursing Homes For Those With Disabilities Not OK

Video: Star Wars Signs in American Sign Language (ASL)

‘Touch Tours’ Help Blind Experience Philadelphia’s Historic Food Scene

Uber Settlement Requires Drivers To Accommodate Service Animals

Carly Fleischmann, Nonverbal Woman With Autism, Interviews Channing Tatum

Chef With Down Syndrome Opens Food Truck

LEGO-Style Braille Bricks Help Visually Impaired Children Learn to Read

Voc Rehab Often Leads To Low-Paying Jobs For Those With Autism

Blog Post: Managing Violence: Explosions, meltdowns and school problems

What now for autistic people no longer in school?

What Happened When Someone Complained That This Worker With Down Syndrome Was a Restaurant Health Hazard

Making Mental Illness Funny


Also remember to check out our Social Media feeds! Please like, share, and subscribe to our feeds to keep up to date on WCI and community events, interesting articles and videos, and updates on political happenings that affect the lives of our Individuals and their families!

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