Advocates for Southbury Training School Our Choice for Quality of Life and Care for I/DD Loved Ones
There is a crisis in Connecticut concerning long-term care and quality-of-life support services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).
Thousands of I/DD individuals are waiting for residential placement in a group home environment – some for as long as 25 years. They, and their care-giving families are aging.
There are also younger families with I/DD children who are facing an uncertain future in finding long-term, quality-care solutions for their loved ones.
We are the advocates for our loved ones living at STS. We have a choice. We can move our loved ones into an uncertain group-home environment. Or they can age in place, within the safe environment of STS.
We choose STS.
Our concern is that other families of I/DD loved ones in Connecticut can’t make that same choice. Because we’re concerned for them, and for future generations of I/DD individuals, we intend to do something about it.
Become a Member The STS Home and School Association seeks to protect the interests of I/DD individuals within the Connecticut Department of Developmental Services (DDS) system by advocating for their right to long-term, quality-of-life care and services at the Southbury Training School.
Marty Dwyer and Tracy Atwood attended VOR's Annual Meeting & Legislative Initiative on June 9 - 13, 2018
Representing New York and Connecticut at the annual gathering Marty and Tracy joined VOR members and advocates from around the country to convey the importance of residential choice and family decision-making to Members of Congress.
The Home & School Association welcomes new Board of Directors member John Hirschauer
"Reimagining the Southbury Training School" was presented by John Hirschauer on Saturday January 27, 2018. The presentation won the undergraduate first prize in the William F. Buckley Jr. Program at Yale's inaugural IDEAS Forum. See the presentation
Please read the testimonial by Jane Anthony on the value of staying connected to parents, guardians, and advocates of those with I/DD on the VOR page of this website.
The DDS Council Advocacy Sub-committee plans to work with Governor Malloy’s Office, the leaders of both the House and Senate, and the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Caucus to advance the seven priorities.Follow this link to the 7 priorities.
Our Answer to the DDS Call for Recommendations on the Future of STS In response to DDS Commissioner Murray’s request for public recommendations for the future of STS, (deadline December 31, 2015) the Home and School Association has made four recommendations to improve the I/DD waiting list crisis in Connecticut and the overall health of the DDS system in Connecticut:
Conduct a fair and comprehensive community vs. STS cost comparison study that assess the true costs of care for a significant population of individuals with severe and profound I/DD, such as the population of STS. The study should encompass sources of funding, intensity of services, staffing, and other considerations that distinguish this cohort from other individuals with I/DD for better suited to services provided through HCBS waivers.
Conduct a focused study that identifies costs and short-term issues associated with transitioning STS residents to community services.
Review the quality of life, services and supports in all settings, including specific comparisons for varying levels of need.
Keep STS and the remaining 3 regional centers open as vital parts of the service system and do whatever is necessary to enhance and re-invigorate them for the benefit of all Connecticut citizens with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Beds at these facilities should be made available to individuals on the waiting list. DDS should also consider expanding the services provided at STS, including by developing a nursing facility within STS, providing intensive behavioral programs for autistic individuals and providing emergency short-term support and respite. DDS could also use STS and the regional centers as bases for developing, possibly through public-private partnerships, medical, neurological, mental health and ancillary service centers that would provide services similar to those offered through ICF/IDs, but to those living in community settings.
This is not a time to be closing STS; rather it is a time to be renewing it, updating its role, sharpening its services and supports, and integrating it with other DDS service elements.
DDS needs to make STS part of the solution to current DDS problems.
Please read our complete list of recommendations, backed by facts and statistics, to better understand why we believe closing STS and the five regional centers will cost Connecticut a significant amount of money over many years and will only worsen the waiting list crisis.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says closing Southbury Training School for people with severe intellectual disabilities is a more complicated budget-savings proposition than he first thought…
Malloy, who previously voiced support for possibly closing Southbury, said he has visited the facility and since learned more about the unique care that's being provided, acknowledging he was "caught up in a one-size-fits-all" way of thinking earlier… read the full article here Disability Housing: Institutional Avoidance Huffington Post Please read this eye-opening article in the Huffington Post that discusses the many positive aspects of Southbury Training School (STS) and how the advocacy push to “deinstitutionalize” facilities like STS “has failed to focus on what it means to create communities” and “build life-giving places” for people with disabilities to “live and thrive.” Read more…