Thursday, December 11, 2008


It's looking like the state has a plan to keep people with developmental disabilities waiting for services longer than they have been already. The infamous "Waitlist" may once again rear its' ugly head in the face of people who need help NOW.

Let's run through an imagined, yet real scenario, where YOU are on a Waitlist for services. You are 45 years old. You've been scraping by in life since you graduated high school with a modified diploma in the early 80's. You live in a single room occupancy hotel in downtown Portland. You get $609 per month from Social Security...$350 goes for renting your roach infested room. You can't get a job, because you have no one to help you navigate through the "system". You are on a Waitlist for assistnce.

You might feel like if you complain it may only get worse for you, so you just throw away the letter from DHS that the guy in the room next door reads to you. You might be relieved that you can put off the anxiety of dealing with new people, new situations, and new successes, even though you know your way doesn't work so well. You might not care any more. After all... you've managed to stay alive this long on your own.

Think this is some sort of exageration of the truth? There are over 2000 citizens in Oregon (mostly in the Portland Metro area)who fit in this scenario somewhere. Civil Rights? Human Rights? Fairness? Equity? None of these exist for those still waiting. It's really a shame, that Oregon can do without.

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