Letter to the Editor

Don't cut disability services

I am the executive director of SEMO Alliance for Disability Independence (SADI) in Cape Girardeau and I need your help. Our governor has recommended two cuts to the Consumer Directed Services (CDS) personal care program. These cuts were recommended based on a rate study that reported skewed data and outdated information about the program.

CDS gives individuals with disabilities the choice to hire their own attendants and manage their own care. SADI has been providing CDS to consumers for 26 years and we have seen this service weather a lot of changes through the years, but these drastic cuts will have terrible consequences for everyone. These cuts will make it much, much harder for individuals to get the care they need in their own homes. This is not the time to cut funding to a program that literally saves Missouri money by keeping individuals out of nursing homes and institutions. Statistics show it is much more cost effective for individuals to live in their community with supports versus a nursing home.

I'm asking you to please reach out to Budget Chair Rep. Cody Smith and our local state representatives and ask them to stop the cuts to CDS. At the moment our state has a budget surplus and does not need to reduce services for those living with disabilities.

DONNA THOMPSON, executive director, SEMO Alliance for Disability Independence (SADI), Oak Ridge