Town hall to address cuts affecting disabled

KINGMAN - With budget cuts already affecting individuals with disabilities, the Kingman Area Partners Collaborating for Special Needs will discuss proposed additional cuts.

The group will hold a town hall meeting at 11 a.m. on Saturday at the Kingman Boys & Girls Club, 301 N. First St.

At the town hall, representatives will provide information on the current and proposed budget cuts affecting the Kingman area and its residents. KAPCSN will also address how individuals and local agencies can positively make a difference, said Vicki Brewster with KAPCSN.

"This is an opportunity to come together as families, individuals and agencies within our community to gather information and work together to make a positive difference," Brewster wrote in a news release.

To meet the budget shortfall in the 2009 fiscal year budget, 98 employees with the Division of Developmental Disabilities with the Arizona Department of Economic Security were laid off.

Four thousand people with developmental disabilities who receive state funding will lose their services on March 27.

For Brewster, she has been affected by the provider rates being decreased by 10 percent. Her child will not undergo testing to examine his medication history and behavioral response to determine future medication prescriptions.

For more information about the town hall at 11 a.m. on Saturday at the Kingman Boys & Girls Club, contact Brewster at (928) 753-8077.

Individuals with questions about their individual cases and benefits should contact their case manager or local office with the Arizona Department of Economic Security.

The Arizona Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities is advocating for services for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.

"Addressing the budget deficit isn't just about numbers," the council wrote in a news release. "It's also about assuring that Arizonans with disabilities are afforded the most basic human accommodation: shelter, food, health care, provision for mobility, education, employment, and rehabilitation services."

The Arizona Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities has examined the current program cuts, ranging from aging and adult services to early intervention to benefits and medical eligibility. For more information about their efforts, call (866) 771-9378 or go to www.azgcdd.org.