Organizations supporting more than 17,000 Marylanders with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families are fighting for their lives. These organizations, which have struggled to keep pace with the rising costs of delivering services and maintaining adequate staffing, now face potential budget cuts as Governor Hogan tries to deal with budget shortfalls brought about by the pandemic.
Ande Kolp, Executive Director of The Arc Maryland (the largest statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to the rights and quality of life of persons with I/DD and their families), is leading the charge along with the Maryland Association of Community Services and People on the Go Maryland by advocating for no cuts to the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) budget for FY21.
NOTE: In the interview, Ande Kolp mentions, “There are already a couple thousand young adults who haven’t connected with a day support provider to start services in July.” She corrected herself after the interview, noting that she meant to say “a couple hundred young adults.”
Interview Questions :
Q1: To set the stage, Ande, tell us a little bit about The Arc Maryland and the network of organizations with which you work?
Q2: How many individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are supported by these organizations?
Q3: The State’s intellectual and developmental disability community is currently facing the possibility of a significant budget crisis. Why is this occurring?
Q4: Obviously, the pandemic has had a devastating impact on budgets everywhere. Shouldn’t the intellectual and developmental disability community shoulder their share of the burden like other agencies that receive State funding?
Q5: How would State funding cuts impact the intellectual and developmental disability community’s ability to offer services?
Q6: You’ve said that funding cuts by the State would also hurt the parents of people with disabilities. Why?
Q7: The disability community has made a great deal of progress over the years, from, closing state institutions to increasing employment opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Would funding cuts by the State impact these advances?
Q8: What is your message to Governor Hogan?
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