1,4000 Alabamans Still Wait For Services
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
August 23, 2005
DECATUR, ALABAMA--For more than 30 years, Alabama has been working to reduce the number of people with developmental disabilities housed in state-run institutions while increasing their living options in the community.
Closing the troubled facilities has meant a transfer of resources from institutions to community services, but not at a rate that community advocates had hoped for, in part because the federal government cut its funding to the state.
Today, 220 people are housed in just one large state-operated facility, the William D. Partlow Developmental Center in Tuscaloosa, at an average cost of $394 a day. At the same time more than 5,000 people receive community-based services, at an average cost of $55 a day.
Still, more than 1,400 people are on a waiting list for community services, according to a story in Monday's Decatur Daily.
Some have been waiting for several years.
Ninety percent of those on the list are living with aging parents.
"We expect there are many more who could be eligible, if we had the resources to serve them," said Mental Health/Mental Retardation Commissioner John Houston.
For many of those families, the only way their loved ones move up to the top of the list is if someone else in the system dies or moves out of the state.
"Waiting for Help" (Decatur Daily)
"Trouble in Alabama's Institutions" (Inclusion Daily Express Archives)