OP-ED: How State Budget Impasse Hurts Local Special Needs Families–Like Mine

Alison Jacobson is a Wilton parent of 19-year-old Spencer, who has Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. She has made a YouTube video (below) about the personal impact and consequences that having no approved state budget in CT has on families like hers.

This week agencies around Connecticut that support people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) are going to have to make some heart-wrenching choices. Due to the inability or refusal of legislators to work together to create a budget, agencies like STAR Inc. in Norwalk will be forced to furlough employees and shut their doors for one day per month to deal with severe cuts to their funding.

While one day might not seem much, for families with loved ones who rely on these agencies to provide services it could mean financial ruin. Parents who both work and simply can’t afford to take a day off will be forced to in order to care for their adult children, many who can’t walk or manage their personal care needs.

People who are supported by these agencies also volunteer and work. But this coming Wednesday there will be no one to from the agency to support them. So the 80 elderly people who usually receive their Meals on Wheels deliveries from STAR Inc. “clients” won’t get them.

One day per month is just the beginning if a budget that supports people with IDD and the agencies that serve them isn’t passed. These cuts don’t just hurt the person with IDD. It affects employers and other members in the community. It means that family members could lose their jobs as they would need to stay home to care for their loved one.

Please watch this video and help me spread the word. Legislators must come together and be human not political. The most vulnerable people in our community desperately need our support. #CTNoFundsNoFuture