Utah Legislature Strikes Again

Parents Speak Out Against Disability Cuts

KUTV — When you’re the mother of a disabled child, it can consume your whole life.

Moms of disabled children told state officials today that cuts in the help they get with their children will affect their well being, and the lives of their families.

“It impacts everything in our lives. Life with a disabled child is so rewarding, but it’s also so challenging,” said Jessica Kerr.

Officials told the mothers the legislature cut the budget. The Department of Social Services is laying off workers. Many services will have to be cut, which could also include services for disabled children.

“We are so overwhelmed, we are tired, we are discouraged, and now we are worried,” said Diane Miller, who brought her son Cooper to the meeting.

Cooper suffered a brain injury when he was almost 2. Now he is 17, and he must be watched by an adult all the time. “I turned my back for 10, minutes, and he was burned,” Miller said.

Cooper burned himself two years ago, and the scars show vividly on his face and neck.

After years on a waiting list, Miller now has workers, hired by the state, who come to her home and help her watch Cooper.

If that service is cut, she fears Cooper may escape attention, and hurt himself again.

“He can hurt himself, he can break things, he can hurt other people. He needs one-on-one attention,” Miller said.

Officials said the cuts were made by the legislature, and can’t be reversed now. They noted a lot of services for poor and needy people will be cut this year.

Without Medicaid we can’t pay for Parker’s vent. Without Parker’s vent there goes all of his progress with his Pulmonary Hypertension.

Yet while so many in the state of Utah are losing THEIR insurance and services, the Utah Legislature voted to keep all of their benefits.

Bravo.

About Tammy and Parker

Special Needs Blogger, and homeschooling Mom, heavily involved in advocacy for all kids with special needs in Utah.

Comments

  1. kaylene says:

    And of course, no one hears about it until AFTER the end of the session.

    Did you see this report on ksl?

    http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=148&sid=6113631

    Spending $2.3 million on a preschool program, when the preschoolers would get more out of the parents doing the job of the “computer”.

  2. I was sick when I saw the news – and sooo dismayed when they said they were going to freeze the waiting list. I’ve never even put Brady on it – I guess I better get to that before there is no chance of him ever getting on it :(

  3. ((hugs))
    We’re dealing with the same thing here in AZ. The state tried to get rid of ALL therapy services for kids ages 0-3. The only thing that stopped them was a court injunction (which they keep appealing and losing).