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House Bill

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Words 810
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To: Stephen Huffman
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Office Held: Ohio State Representative (District 80)
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From: Robb Fulker
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Problem statement
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The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities which serves people in the state of Ohio with disabilities has have decided to close down two developmental centers in the state. Developmental Centers are institutional housing complex‘s that house those with Developmental Disabilities with direct care and supevison twenty-four hours a day. Many of these rsiddents have lived in these centers most of their lives. Many of them have medical needs, or a lot of behavior issues which can make it hard to place them in community based settings. Currently ohio has ten Developmental Centers and they are looking at closing two facilities by 2017 and there will be eight remaining.
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Over the past seven years, the census at the DCs has continued to reduce by an average of 90 people a year, with a census of 919 on December 31, 2014. There is no plan to close any of the other eight centers. (DODD.OH) Downsizing of Ohio’s Developmental Centers is below the national average. According to the new State of the States in Developmental Disabilities Project (2013), from 2011-2013, Ohio has reduced the number of people living in DCs by 13 percent compared to the national average of 17 percent (Bradock 2016).
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It is not a sustainable use of state resources to continue to operate 10 Developmental Centers (DC). Since 2007, the number of individuals living in Developmental Centers has decreased from 1,600 to approximately 900, a decline of more than 40 percent, with all but two Developmental Centers currently serving less than 100 individuals. (CLEVELAND19).
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Proposed Solution
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House Bill 73 proposes the Govenor will determine if one or more of the states institutional facilities should be closed, sold or privitized. Upon the Governers notice a state facilities closure commission shall be created. The commission will decide which facility should close and will list them in order of the prefference for closure, sale, or privitazation. The bill also says who should be on the commission and outlines the ten factors to determine which facility to close.
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The Commission is a good idea because it collects the commission together to make recommendations for changes. The decisions they have to make will possibly anger some people . The commission feels it is the right thing to do because living in small homes provides natural interactions and relationships in the community in addition natural interactions with the community enhance personal growth experiences.
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Additionally these individuals will have better services, they can move to another Developmental Center and an individual, family, or guardian can change their provider and remain in their home. The individual will have more choices on who provides their services and allows the them more choices on where they would like to live. This also allows and encourages choise along with community experiences, builds independence under supervision and structure, leading to more independence which is a great goal for the individual.
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Each individual with disabilities will end up with a medicade waiver of which there are thousands in Ohio on a waiting list to get these waviers. The people moved out of the DC’s will have a good source of funding to get different living situations.
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Major obsticles/Implementation Challanges
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The opposition on this issue will definately be with the employees of approximately 397 staff and the families of at least 180 residents. A lot of the individuals in the Developmental Centers may have more issue in a group home type environment because of their disabilities. The main reason they were placed there was that the family can not maintain them well in the home. They may have a lot of medical needs and behavior issues which will make living in the community very difficult. The families are going to try and get public sympothy by having a public campaign and portray their disabled family member as a victim of budget cuts.
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The employees are members of a union, which are very good at mobilizing voters, so politicians in support of the bill can be targeted at the next ellection The decisonon to close two Developmental Centers was not one that was easily made. All of Ohio’s Developmental Centers do deliver quality care that is provided by dedicated and caring staff. Any poloticians who votes for this bill will need to be aware of the alternative residential options when they take with their voters.
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References, Footnotes, and exhibits
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Retrieved from website http://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA131-HB-73 : View current Text (OH.GOV)
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Retrived from website Braddock et al., Coleman Institute and Department of Psychiatry, University of Colorado, 2014. 3 http://stateofthestates.org (Bradock 2016)
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Retrieved from website http://www.cleveland19.com/story/4494994/state-to-close-home-for-disabled-fate-of-another-centers-in-doubt (CLEVELAND19)
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