SRV in the News: Heightened Vulnerability and Economic Hard-Ship

Following my last post, on the theme of the heightened vulnerability of elderly persons, I return to the concept of heightened vulnerability as it is also a very real concern for intellectually disabled people, especially during these hard economic times. The following articles give a sense of the scope of cuts coming to services for the disabled in California in the coming years. According to the California Healthline, the upcoming cuts include a plan to scale-back homecare services by 20%, a provision currently being fought over in the California Supreme Court. As Wolfensberger pointed out in his article entitled How to Comport Ourselves in an Era of Shrinking Resources (2010), “Economic hardships are known to have particularly severe impacts on already vulnerable people” (p. 148). In other words, being of a devalued status in society places intellectually disabled people at a heightened risk for further wounding and devaluation during times of economic difficulty. Wolfensberger makes it clear in his article that there is no easy solution to these problems. He tells us frankly that:

“ We need to wake up to the fact that in human services as in other sectors, we have gotten very spoiled, and taken a lot of things for granted that a distressed economy or society will now or soon no longer be willing to fund, or even able to afford” (p. 151).

For those facing funding cuts in California, it would be appropriate at this stage for their service providers, families and allies to ask themselves how they can shore up the relationships and social roles of those they are serving, to protect them from the hard-ships that will almost certainly follow the proposed budget cuts.

See also: Los-Angeles Times and Boston Globe

For more on Wolfensberger’s 2010 article see this blog posting.

Posted on December 22, 2011 at 5:21 pm by stevetiff · Permalink
In: Uncategorized · Tagged with: , , , , , ,

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