Photo of Senator Slossberg.

State Senator

Gayle Slossberg

Representing Milford, Orange, West Haven & Woodbridge

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Senator Slossberg’s Capitol Corner: Senate Bill 246

A column in the Orange Times

One of our core responsibilities as a state is to ensure everyone has access to the care they need, particularly persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. I am proud to have fought for the preservation and extension of services for these people, and this year I am working to pass legislation that will make those services more accessible.

Senate Bill 246, of which I am a co-sponsor, will ensure that Connecticut’s Department of Developmental Services (DDS) establishes a regularly updated list of individuals with disabilities who are waiting for services. This list will be organized geographically and based on need. This will make it easier for individuals with disabilities and their family members to determine whether they are on the waiting list, their priority status, and how to request more information or a change of status.

This legislation has been requested by families throughout Connecticut. It is a change that has been needed for years now, and I hope that this year we will be able to make it happen. The DDS waiting list has continued to grow over the years, and we need to ensure that each of the people on this list are kept informed until the time that we are able to get them the help they need.

As of September 30, 2016, there were 657 individuals living with their families or on their own who were on the waiting list for residential services with an assigned status of “Emergency” or “Priority 1.” Additionally, as of September 30, 2016, 304 individuals who were receiving some level of residential supports still had unmet needs and had an “Emergency” or “Priority 1” need for additional residential funding. Another 1,138 individuals were on the Residential Planning List with a Priority 2 or Priority 3 need for residential funding.

Establishing this new format for tracking and documenting the DDS waiting list will bring clarity and peace of mind to hundreds of families throughout Connecticut. Waiting on services can be very stressful for people with disabilities and their loved ones. I believe that passing this legislation will go a long way toward relieving that stress and establishing a more efficient system of care.

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