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Lt. Gov. talks solutions for state disability issues

NEW ALBANY — Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch wants for the state’s next comprehensive plan for disability issues to be just that. Comprehensive. As comprehensive as possible, in fact.

She and a task force of 17 have met publicly seven times since last November to discuss the contents of the plan, which will recommend laws that state legislators can write to “promote and support” Indiana residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

At each meeting, members of the public have spoken about issues they want included in the report, which should be finished by this November.

And Southern Indiana residents have opinions about what the state should do. Some of them voiced their concerns at the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Task Force’s Wednesday visit to Indiana University Southeast.

Connie Baugh, a Floyd County mother of two children with autism, wishes their Medicaid-funded therapy was the kind her kids seem to need.

Crouch said that the task force is considering recommending that the state pay for more individualized medical services.

Cathy Summers wants for the state to prevent the federal government from taking away funding from her brother’s supported living home in Clark County.

Crouch said that one of the task force’s goals is to provide options for people with disabilities, and that she couldn’t imagine the group taking away a choice like that.

Jennifer Owens wishes that the state would increase funding for the early intervention program she oversees as an employee of a Harrison County disability services organization. The current amount that the state pays her program isn’t enough for her to attract and retain therapists.

Courtesy of the Anderson Herald Bulletin
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