Lawmakers and families of people with disabilities demand action from state on reopening |

Lawmakers and families of people with disabilities demand action from state on reopening

Jacquie Slater & WNYT Staff
Created: June 15, 2020 06:59 PM

Families of people with disabilities in group homes and day habilitation programs are calling on the state to allow visitation and programming to resume as other businesses and school programs have been given the green light.

It's a story NewsChannel 13 has been covering.

Several lawmakers and families joined in a virtual conference on Monday, urging the governor to take action.

These families say enough is enough. They are tired of the standard response that they are working on it.

They feel the state has forgotten the disabled population and with each passing day, the damage being done continues to get worse.

The Zoom meeting was led by Assmblymember Melissa Miller of Nassau County. Joining in from our area was Assemblymember Mary Beth Walsh and Mary Ann Allen, who is the director of the Wildwood Programs in and around Schenectady. Both have adult children with developmental disabilities.

Last week, NewsChannel 13 met with a family in Ballston Spa who said their daughter has been regressing without the needed supports and routines her dayhab program offers.

At the time, NewsChannel 13 reached out to the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities and we were told they're working on the reopening vision for the programs and what visitation to group homes might look like.

A week later that same family said a call from OPWDD gave them the same response - we're working on it. Every person in the Zoom call said they've been told the same thing. Now they are demanding a better response, saying a timeline must be laid out, and they want to know some specifics.

Hear more about families' frustrations and how they say the delays are negatively affecting their loved ones by watching the video of Jacquie Slater's story.

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