Feel free to use the text I provided (just make it your own).
Families CAN NOT be Caregivers Forever and our loved ones are all different. We need to invest in them now, and invest in generations to come.
Step up to the plate New York!
March 14, 2015
Assemblyman William Magee Sen. David J. Valesky
Dear Assemblyman Magee and Sen. Valesky: I am writing to you not only as a valued constituent but as a very concerned mom of a special needs child. I implore you to take action on behalf of my non-verbal autistic son Theodore and families just like us across your district and state.
Even though New York State has identified a $6 billion surplus from bank settlements and both Houses of the Legislature have identified an additional $300 million in revenue, neither chamber has committed to investing additional monies in supports and services for people with development disabilities. New York State legislators make a commitment to protect all constituents. It makes sense to me that you would do your best to invest in services for those who are most vulnerable. Additional funding is critically needed to provide new day and residential supports and services such as Day Habilitation, Pre-Vocational Services, Residential Habilitation and Respite Services (of which we have found valuable for our whole family) to meet the needs of a population that lives at home often with aging parents. It’s time to stand up for families and organizations dedicated to improving the lives of those we hold so dear as parents as family members cannot be caretakers forever. As I often say regarding services for my son, who is almost 8-years-old, the time to invest in him is now to find out what works best down the line. If you wait too long to catch up, you lose the chance to nurture his skills, and, in turn, you lose the chance to nurture a whole generation. Not to mention dropping such funds would render current programs inoperable, taking choice away from so many individuals currently benefiting from such programs.
As these things go, playing a waiting game and refusing to invest now will only cost MORE down the road for all involved, including New York State. So please invest an additional $30 million on top of the Governor’s budget request for half the year to fund an additional 3,500 day and residential opportunities for people with developmental disabilities who are living at home.
Thank you for your time and attention.
Alexia H. Conrad