The eyes and voices of parents of persons with disabilities reflect sheer terror about the futures of their children in light of proposed budget cuts in the state of Texas. The safety nets for their children and themselves is shredded! Group homes will be under-staffed or closed, day sheltered workshops that allow students to be productive will be limited or eliminated, and many community services will be so underfunded the long waiting lists will get even longer. When a child has no place to work or “be” during the day, a parent will have to quit work and stay home with them permanently, and this is at a time when they are saving for when they are gone and there is no one to care for their child.
We are already faced with waiting lists in the hundreds for job training or workshops for students who just graduated from high school at the age or 22. The future is bleak for them. They need to be productive citizens to have a sense of worth. They need socialization in order to keep the personal skills they learned in school. They have had the misfortune to have parents who live in Texas, a state that contributes less to their care than any in the United States. People in general value persons with disabilities, but somehow our leaders do not. It’s not malice, just lack of understanding and in some cases heart. It’s a shame, too, because most of them profess to be Christian or have other religious values with guidelines that say they are to do for the persons least able to do for themselves. Maybe we need to educate them.
Please call AND write your congressman and find out who is on the finance committee that could use your information. It’s urgent. Don’t wait.