Vitale Statement On Joint Hearing On Services For Developmentally Disabled

Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Services Vice-Chairman Joseph F. Vitale (D-Middlesex) released the following statement Friday on the joint hearing of the Senate and Assembly health committees on state services provided for individuals living with developmental disabilities:

“Today’s hearing was a great first step in creating an overdue dialogue on how to improve services for people with developmental disabilities. Whether those individuals live with their families, live in one of the State-administered developmental centers, or live in a State-contracted community care setting, they deserve our respect, and they deserve a level of care and support which is appropriate and meets their personal care needs.

“Ultimately, there is no magic bullet, or one-size-fits-all model of care that meets everybody’s needs. New Jersey needs to continue to provide care options, so that individuals and their families are empowered to choose the best option possible for them. And we need to offer better access to those care options, so that individuals and their families don’t have to languish — most times for years — on waiting lists that never seem to get any shorter.

“As we work to determine the best use of our limited State resources for services for people living with developmental disabilities, we need the advocacy community to work together to arrive at a consensus plan which merges flexibility for individuals with access to needed services. I don’t think we’re at that consensus yet, but I look forward to continuing a productive dialogue so we can craft a plan that works for as many people as possible.”