The following letter was sent to Mmebers of the General Assembly, Governor Lincoln Chafee and Lt. Governor Elizabeth Roberts.
June 20th, 2010
Dear Members of the Rhode Island General Assembly,
Advocates in Action is Rhode Island’s statewide Self-Advocacy organization. We’re directed by, and also represent, people who have a developmental disability and receive services funded by the RI Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals.
We’re writing to you about funding for services for those people; for us. We understand how hard things are right now for everyone. Deciding what services and programs will be funded in the state budget, and what will get cut, isn’t going to be easy. As you make some difficult decisions, we hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch a short 5 1/2 minute video that we made which represents the voice of Rhode Islanders who have developmental disabilities. The video is available on our webpage:
You’ve heard from service agencies, advocacy organizations and also BHDDH itself about possible cuts in the budget and how it might affect people. Our voice is different because we are those people. Other stakeholders may have something important to add, but, at the end of the day, we’re the ones who still need the support.
We want to THANK YOU for your support! Our lives would not be as good as they are without the excellent services that the state of Rhode Island pays for.
We also need to share our concerns. There are some enormous cuts in the 2011-2012 state budget to funding for the services that Rhode Islanders with developmental disabilities rely on. We are very concerned that this will make life very difficult for most of us. Our services mean a lot to us. They help us to be active, contributing members of society. Most of us would prefer to not need the support. We’d rather not have a developmental disability. We’d rather not be seen as a burden to everyone else. We try to give back as much as possible! We just need some help along the way. We hope you’ll vote to help us keep that help in this year’s budget.
Thank you, again, for your time and support. If you have any questions, please
feel free to contact us.