The MENTOR Network

Advocacy Spotlight

REM West Virginia Families Attend Rally to Protect IDD Funding

REM Community Options in West Virginia serves individuals of all ages with intellectual and developmental disabilities living and working in the community. Funding for these services comes from West Virginia’s IDD Waiver program, which is currently going through the process of redesign. Proposed changes to the waiver would put the quality of care received by West Virginians with intellectual and developmental disabilities at risk by significantly decreasing funding for parents and family members supporting their loved ones in the natural family home, and for agencies that support these individuals.

On April 9, 2015, West Virginia providers held a rally to protest the proposed changes. The event was an overwhelming success! Parents, individuals receiving services through the IDD Waiver program, and other concerned constituents from all over the state headed to Charleston to participate in the rally.  Nearly 1,200 people brought signs and pictures of their loved ones and wore bright red shirts that said “Don’t cut our lifeline” as they filled the Capitol steps on a beautiful April evening. Several legislators, representatives from various advocacy organizations, and an estimated 200 people from our REM West Virginia community, joined with other providers to support the parents and families protesting the proposed changes.

State Delegate Don Perdue addressed the crowd and talked about why he is fiercely supportive of IDD services. You can watch his speech here.

REM West Virginia and our fellow providers hope that this event, along with the advocacy efforts underway, will help legislators understand why it is critical that funding for these services is preserved.

REM West Virginia is a partner of The MENTOR Network.