Measure Would Reduce Wait Times
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
November 29, 2006
CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE--In 1991, the state of New Hampshire promised to provide community-based supports for people with developmental disabilities when it closed its last institution, the Laconia State School.
Since then, however, the waiting list for those in-home and community-based services has grown and the time of the wait has fluctuated. One state official told the Concord Monitor that the average wait was 425 days in September 2005. The current average time on the waiting list is 190 days.
On Monday, lawmakers, community advocates, and Health and Human Services Commissioner John Stephen endorsed a measure that would provide an additional $16 million over the next two years for community services for adults with developmental disabilities. If approved, the money would shorten the waiting list to just 90 days by June 2009.
"We've made a commitment that people shouldn't be in institutional settings. But that does mean that community-based supports are essential," said Amy Messer, an attorney for the Disabilities Rights Center, the state's federally mandated protection and advocacy system.
"Plan may reduce wait for services" (Concord Monitor)
"Shortening wait for young disabled adults is backed" (Union Leader)