Services for the Disabled
The Tennessee Catholic Conference calls on the State of Tennessee to serve the varied needs of approximately 70,000 disabled citizens who have been on a “waiting list” for services. Some of those on the list have been on this waiting list for more than 6 years.
The TNCPPC calls upon the Sate of Tennessee to serve the approximately 70,000 disabled citizens who have been on the “waiting list” for services, many for as long as six years and in some cases even longer.
The range in age and need of these citizens is varied. Some waiting list victims will be able to participate in a fuller and eventually a self-supporting life if services are met in a timely manner. However, at the present time even the most humble of requests are often met with a delay that could cost a family precious time.
We acknowledge the progress the state has made in supporting families with the Family Support programs and added long term care funding. But often the state has chosen to respond to the needs of some of our disabled citizens only after circumstances have become so horrific that the courts have had to intervene.
Recognizing that approximately eighty thousand families have a member with mental retardation or other disabilities the state must make a more urgent attempt to serve these families. Many of whom have never turned to the state for services before. Often parents have been able to care for their children until they reach an age where they themselves can no longer be the caregivers. These families are not looking for pity. They seek the available services that will allow them and their loved ones to life their lives with dignity.The United States Catholic conference states: “We also have faith that our quest for justice, increasingly enlisted on the side of persons with disabilities, will work powerfully in their behalf. No one would deny that every man, woman and child has a right to develop his or her potential to the fullest.
Tennessee Catholic Public Policy Commission requests that the State of Tennessee put an end to the excessive wait for services that our Tennessee families are having to endure.