There are many actions you can take to help shape a better future for I/DD individuals who desperately need the quality, long-term care solutions STS provides. Here are some suggestions:
The best I/DD advocates are informed advocates. Sign up for our e-alerts about events, workshops, forums and fairs organized by the CT Department of Developmental Services (DDS), the SEIU199 Union, and others.
Attend DDS Events and Make Connections
Make a point of attending events, workshops and fairs for DDS caregivers. These are perfect opportunities to connect with people who have I/DD loved ones on the DDS group home waiting list. Many may be receptive to protecting the rights of I/DD individuals and in supporting STS as a solution to the waiting list crisis in Connecticut.
Tell Legislators Your Personal Story
Contact your elected officials and tell them about your experiences at STS. Explain why STS is your choice for quality care and services. Tell them that STS, with its sophisticated equipment, experienced staff and trained medical teams, is uniquely qualified to meet the needs of I/DD individuals unable to live within a community group home setting.
At the November 6, 2016 General Membership Meeting Lauralyn Lewis, Director of Advocacy for CT DDS Families First, gave an inspiring presentation regarding the importance of families meeting with their legislators to share their stories. She has seen firsthand what a difference that makes, but more families need to get involved. To read a brief summary of Lauralyn's message follow this link.
Urge Legislators to Visit STS
Invite your legislators to STS so they can see for themselves why you choose STS for your loved one. The experience may help gain their support toward making STS a choice for those on the waiting list who desperately need the long-term quality care STS currently provides.
Make it Personal
Ask your legislators if they have ever actually met an individual with severe intellectual or physical disabilities or talked to their families. Challenge them to do so in order to learn first-hand what the hardships and needs are in providing adequate levels of care and services for I/DD individuals with unique needs.
Reach out to Media
Write letters-to-the-editor of local and state newspapers. Scope out online news sources and submit your own personal story about what STS means to you. Do a Google search to find disability news stories and, if appropriate, post comments about STS.
Get Active on Social Media "Like" Home and School STS on Facebook. Please share this Facebook page with your support groups, those with families on the wait list and providers. Google search to find I/DD parent groups that may have online forums or message boards you can join, or social media such as Facebook or Twitter you can participate in.
Do your part to spread the word about STS. And please invite the people you meet – parents, guardians, lawmakers, the media – to contact the Home and School Association for more information. They can call us at 855-200-0490 or e-mailus at firstname.lastname@example.org.