Advocates for Californians with developmental disabilities have filed a lawsuit against the State of California. The issue is that the state has violated federal law because it failed to adequately fund services that are needed by people who have developmental disabilities.
Parents of children who have special needs want to do everything they can to make sure that their child’s needs are met. When a child who has developmental disabilities becomes an adult, parents are supposed to be able to rest assured that certain government services will be available to their offspring so that he or she can be as independent as possible.
The state of California has been sued by a group of advocates for Californians with developmental disabilities. The lawsuit states that the state of California is in violation of certain federal laws.
Specifically, the state is in violation of the Federal Home and Community Based Service Providers (HCBS) waiver program. The state reduced the rates and reimbursements for this program without having federal approval to do so, and without considering the impact that this would have on federally required safeguards.
The lawsuit also states that the state of California is in violation of California’s Lanterman Act, (which went into affect in 1969). This law guarantees people with intellectual and developmental disabilities the right to obtain the support services that they need in order for them to live as independently as possible in their own communities.
In the Summer of 2011, the state of California cut $174 million of funding to support programs that helped Californians who had developmental disabilities. As a result, many of the programs that helped disabled people to live independently have shut down.
The lawsuit also claims that the state of California has “abandoned” people who have developmental disabilities by exposing them to safety risks when the state failed to provided the people with the support services they need.
The advocates want the court to make the state of California adhere to the laws that it is in violation of, and restore the necessary funding. It will be interesting to see where this goes, in a state that has a huge problem with its budget.
Image by Calsidyrose on Flickr