Editorial missed initiative for help to disabled

January 17, 1998|By W.M. RYAN

IN YOUR EDITORIAL "Lawmaking in an election year" (Jan. 11), I was disappointed that the Waiting List Initiative to provide about $30 million in critically needed funds for housing and services to people with disabilities was not discussed.

For several years, Maryland has provided inadequate funding for these needs and has allowed the waiting lists to build up and become much more critical. At this point, only the disabled people whose parents die and who then become homeless have a chance at getting state financial assistance.

At a recent meeting in Rockville, a 90-year-old woman publicly pleaded for help for her child before she died -- this, after a lifetime of providing the care herself.

The Developmental Disabilities Administration has estimated that because of the past inadequate funding, it would now take $72 million to eliminate the waiting lists for disabled people in crisis situations.

While not solving the problem, the proposed Waiting List Initiative for $30 million would have a major impact on the lives of many people with disabilities and their families.

W. M. Ryan



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