For this week’s Observercast — Twelve Years, Nine Months — we talked with advocates Roseann Duplan and Wanda Felty to learn more about the waitlist to receive services through the Developmental Disabilities Service Division. These services should help those over three years old who would otherwise require placement in what’s called an “intermediate care facility for individuals with intellectual disabilities” receive necessary services to live at home or in their communities, getting help so they navigate life and learn how to do skills sometimes as basic as getting dressed or using the bathroom as independently as possible.
The problem is, once you submit the application for these services, it takes just under 13 years — 12 years and nine months, to be exact — for an application to start being processed for eligibility.
As you can imagine, there have been some pretty creative ideas that have made their way to the governor’s desk to solve this 13-year wait on the DDS list. One was signed this past summer and then, quickly, deemed unconstitutional by the federal government. But the one thing that may kick this part of the health care system into high gear just seems to be ignored by the powers that be at 23rd and Lincoln: they just don’t adequately fund it.