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Fight over housing for disabled is sad

After reading Beth Miller’s articles, Dr. Lanny Edelsohn’s opinion piece, Dr. Gary Mears’ letter, and the comments engendered, I am disheartened to see the polarization that is developing between certain individuals and groups in Delaware’s disability community. This is unfortunate for people like my brother, who has complex intellectual and developmental disabilities, in addition to the issues of aging. His voice is lost in the “din” of ideological arguments and uncompromising attitudes directed at those who might think differently about solutions to the problems he faces.

When persons, without direct experience or understanding of the fundamental realities, attempt to speak for the entire spectrum of citizens with developmental and intellectual disabilities, public perception of the issues is distorted. The sad result of ungrounded pronouncements about what is “best” for the flesh and blood human beings, having the most severe intellectual disabilities, is that important life choices are blocked. Families want a range of affordable, safe housing options for their loved ones without being dictated to about the setting. The Supreme Court Olmstead decision requires the least restrictive and most appropriate setting for each and every person, not a faceless, ideologically imagined phantom.

Lisa Elias

Click to read on Delaware Online


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