I am writing to draw attention to LD 1984, “An Act to Eliminate Waiting Lists for Home and Community-Based Services for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities, Autism, Brain Injury and Other Related Conditions.”

There are currently more than 1,600 Maine residents on the waiting list for waiver 21, which provides heightened support, including group/residential home services, and hundreds of others on the wait list for waivers 29, 20 and 18. When our young adults, with various disabilities, age out of the school system in Maine there is, essentially, an evaporation of all services.

My son received good support in school and made amazing gains. Now, without consistent support, my son is currently in a temporary crisis bed after being roomed in the ED for days. My son receives waiver 29 funding but, given the lack of direct workers, he has been receiving no services. He has been on the wait list for waiver 21 for nearly two years. There are residential facilities with beds available but no funding. The bill, LD 1984, is essential to address the waiting lists as well as take steps to provide a living wage to direct care staff.

I am asking that our state representatives as well as the public rally in support of this bill. It is heartbreaking to see our (young) adults with disabilities not afforded the opportunity to live meaningful lives with appropriate support services.

Jennifer Shaw, Minot

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