DSHS overlooked a fundamental need

OlympiaDecember 31, 2013 

Regarding your Dec. 23 article in The Olympian entitled “Washington disability services may be lacking,” I take great exception to the state Department of Social and Health Services’ position that there is inadequate documentation of what is called “specialized services” for folks with developmental disabilities who reside in the various Residential Habilitation Centers.

The DSHS unit previously known as Residential Care Services knowingly permitted state services to turn a blind eye to the habilitation needs of most residents in the nursing home sides of the four identified habilitation centers. As a surveyor of these facilities for more than 13 years, I remember when the federal government allowed the creation of nursing home certification for the most disabled, a decision which I and others sounded the alarm about, saying that lack of services would result. I blame DSHS for overtly conspiring with the feds to overlook this fundamental need and right that was built into the survey process, but disregarded.

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