The ARC Connecticut has launched a new public relations campaign aimed at forcing the closure of STS, five regional centers, and all state-run group homes by 2020.
The ARC CT and its allies held a press conference in the state capitol on December 4, 2014 to launch the campaign. Four of us were there including the president of the Home and School Association, Martha Dwyer, who was quoted in several news articles about why our organization opposes this plan.
We believe that the ARC’s proposal is not economically feasible. The cost to close state-run facilities will end up being far greater to the State over time and will do little to reduce the waiting list of more than 2,000 I/DD individuals in need of residential placement.
Closure of STS would also violate the Supreme Court’s Olmstead decision and the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000.
We will resist the ARC’s efforts. VOR, the national advocacy voice for I/DD individuals, has been providing us with expert advice and legal assistance. Both are invaluable.
We remain confident that efforts to close STS will lose legislative support. Closure will help no one, especially our most vulnerable citizens – both in residencies and those on the waiting list.
Guardians at STS who have felt unduly pressured into moving a ward or family member from STS, or who regret moving their ward from STS into the community, are encouraged to call us at 855-200-0490, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and sign up for our e-mail alerts on how to take action in the months ahead.