Supporting people with intellectual or developmental disabilities is a work in progress from a policy perspective. Now that Arizona has a new Democratic governor, sometimes I also happen to have a background in social work, but here’s the problem.
John Myers is executive director of the Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council advocating for people with disabilities.
“We are optimistic that this will be an administration that can work very closely together and have very candid conversations,” he said.
And that includes conversations about wages and staffing.
“That’s really the key,” he said. “What policies and funding are in place not only to enable health care providers to hire and retain quality staff, but also to enable the Department of Developmental Disabilities and AHCCCS to hire and retain quality staff? If necessary, we must do it.”
In his inaugural address, Hobbes outlined an agenda focused on high-paying jobs, affordable housing, education and water. Myers is optimistic about working with the Hobbes administration but cautious about the Arizona legislature, which opens on Monday. Meyers said this means educating lawmakers about the hurdles facing IDD patients.
“Our legislators are people of heart, they are the people who represent individuals with disabilities in their districts. I hope you can.”