Texas Families Continue To Wait For Community Services
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
August 1, 2005
HOUSTON, TEXAS--In a study published three years ago, Texas ranked 48th among all 50 states in per capita spending for home and community-based services for people with intellectual disabilities.
That low level of funding has left somewhere between 28,000 and 40,000 Texans on waiting lists for those services -- some of them for over 10 years.
And it doesn't look like the waiting list is going away any time soon: The state Legislature has allocated enough money during the next two years to get community services for only about 10 percent of those on the waiting lists.
At the same time, the state still houses thousands of people in institutions, here called "State Schools", for many times the cost of homes in the community.
"The mentality blows my mind," Jamie Travis, who cares for her 25-year-old daughter at home, told the Houston Chronicle. "If I keep my child at home, you will not give me a cent. But you will spend $110,000 if I give her up and put her in a state school."
Three years ago, the Arc of Texas and Advocacy Inc. filed a lawsuit on behalf of 20 plaintiffs, including Travis' daughter, accusing Texas of discriminating against 40,000 people with developmental disabilities who continue to wait for Medicaid-funded services.
As of March of this year, lawsuits had been filed against 24 other states by people with developmental disabilities and their families seeking community-based services.
"Just like any other parents, we want our kids to be where they are happy and to be where they are fulfilled," Travis said.
"Families sue to keep mentally disabled close by" (Houston Chronicle)
State of the States in Developmental Disabilities (Coleman Institute)