To the editor,
My 46-year-old son, who is profoundly retarded with an IQ less than 20, has a mental ability of a 10-month old baby. He is non-verbal and cannot do anything for himself. He has lived at the Montgomery Developmental Center for 27 years. Given his condition, I know he will not be able to live in a waiver home. He needs to stay at the Montgomery Center where he can have the care he needs and not be forced to move into a waiver home.
Closing the Montgomery and Youngstown centers will most certainly take away a very vital choice from the most vulnerable Ohioans. And, moving them to another state facility an hour or more away is not an option for many of the parents or guardians like myself who are elderly, widowed on fixed income, or in ill health, cannot travel an hour or more every week to visit our loved ones. Also, many of these disabled individuals have lived in the Montgomery or Youngstown centers for decades. It is unfair to evict them from their home.
Families, staff, advocate, and legislatures worked very hard, spent many days until late into the nights in hearings. The legislatures listened and agreed to insert language into the budget bill to create a closure commission. Unfortunately, Governor Kasich vetoed the provision that would have given us a fair and just process to investigate closures. By vetoing the well vetted and widely supported provision, the governor is ignoring the will of the legislature and therefore the will of the people of Ohio. This is wrong and must be corrected!
Senator Schiavoni is helping us to request Senator Faber to convene a summer session to override governor Kasich’s veto. We hope that Senator Faber will find it in his heart to do the right thing to help those who cannot speak for themselves. This is not a political issue, it is a human compassion issue that should not be ignored.