IDD Advocacy and Civil Rights
IDD advocacy is so very important in order for people with IDD to achieve the full life they choose. There are many issues in IDD Civil Rights that limit the life choices of people with IDD
My own son Ryan had to wait 16 years for a new Medicaid waiver Home and Community Services, (HCS), slot. The entire 16 years of his wait, Texas was in violation of the Olmstead Decision as it relates to a reasonably fast moving Medicaid waiver wait list. The present Medicaid Waiver wait time for someone with IDD, who just gets on the list, is 97 years. The reason for this wait is that the Texas Legislature does not fund enough new slots and has not funded enough new slots for years.
Guardianship versus "Assisted Decision Making Contracts" is another issue that needs more attention, as it has a profound effect on the choices a person with IDD and their family can make.
Lastly, people with IDD have no access to legal council or the Courts. This is a First Amendment right that even prisoners enjoy. Disability Rights Texas, Inc. was established by federal law for this but they do not have enough resources to really be even marginally effective in this area. Also, even if a person with IDD should get into Federal Court they are not considered a "suspect class" deserving of strict scrutiny by the court as to questions of discrimination.
These are all areas Full Life Services will address in their Advocacy Legal Civil Rights Section. I have been and am now pursuing several of these issues but will need substantial funding and lawyers to expand to become more effective.
Joseph T. Potts CEO Full Life Services
Advocacy news 02/24/2022:
The "Build Back Better Bill" die in the US Congress and with it any chance to increase funding for Medicaid Waiver Home and Community Services new slots, HCS,.
The HCS Medicaid Waiver wait list in Texas is still over 100,000 and growing. Texas is still in violation of the ADA and the Olmstead decision as it relates to this wait list.
The Texas new voter bill which has increased restriction for those helping disabled voters vote in now being challenged in Federal Court. I was able to receive an ADA accommodation, under the new law, to allow me to help my son vote without swearing out the new, more restrictive, assistance oath or being bound new increased restrictions.