Choice Should be Paramount in Services Provided to Individuals with Disabilities 

I held a press conference to announce the findings from the Joint State Government Commission report mandated from House Resolution 212 – which I authored while serving in the House of Representatives.  The report reviewed individuals with disabilities and the services provided by the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP); including work opportunities and living arrangements. View the report here.

The press conference was held at Associated Production Services (APS), a packaging company that is employed predominately by individuals with disabilities.  Currently, ODP in their rate setting penalizes operations like APS because there is not a community element. However, we heard from many of the working individuals along with their families and happily working at APS in a clean, safe, and structured environment with their peers is their community. Learn More

Watch what the workers of APS and their families had to say:  
The Denucci Family
Gail Thibodeau and son Matt, APS consumer

In 2017, we held a rally at the Capitol with workers from APS and like workplaces, their families, and service providers advocating for “My Work. My Choice.”  I cannot believe we are still talking about this today.  One astounding issue is that to participate in a work program like APS, you need to be found ineligible for other programs and is considered a setting of last resort.  That doesn’t sound like choice. That sounds like these individuals are being forced in a setting they may not want to be in. 

The report reaffirms that choice should be paramount in the services provided by the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP).  The number one recommendation in the report is “promote freedom of choice.”  I am going to use this report as the blueprint to continue to advocate for programs like APS to stay open and ensure individuals with disabilities are treated fairly by having the freedom to choose where they live and work. Learn More

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