Today, Bettye (our CEO) and I attended The Arc of Indiana and INARF's Legislative & Critical Issues forum in Indianapolis. This annual gathering of disability service providers from across the state provides a time to look at data, trends, and legislation that is impacting or may impact our consumers. This is also a time to recognize a legislator who is doing good work to impact people with disabilities in Indiana.
We heard from Family & Social Services Administration Secretary Debra Minott and American Network of Community Options & Resources (ANCOR)'s liaison Diane McComb. Some food for thought we gained:
- There are 566,000 people with developmental disabilities served by disability agencies like Rauch. Of them, only 113,000 are working. Understandably, people who are working report the most satisfaction with their lives.
- The living arrangements of people with disabilities: 13% live in supervised residential care such as our housing at Hawthorn Glen, 16% live alone or with a roommate, and 72% live with a family caregiver (when you think about how many aging parents there are - that's a "whoa!" number).
We were also pleased to honor State Representative Ed Clere. Ed serves House District 72, which includes most of Floyd County including New Albany, Floyds Knobs, and Edwardsville. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 2008, appointed Chair of the Public Health Committee in 2013, and also serves as a member of the House Education and Public Policy Committees.
Representative Clere has shown himself to be creative, involved, and open to discourse on issues impacting our community. He has worked on numerous legislative initiatives impacting the lives of people with disabilities, and the systems that serve them, including sponsoring SB500 which amended Indiana Code to permit group homes to “convert in place.” When issues regarding people with disabilities arise, he always makes sure to contact Rauch to discuss the potential impact on his constituents. During this past session, he was a vocal advocate for developing reasonable approaches to Medicaid expansion to ensure access to health care for Indiana’s uninsured working poor. We were also grateful for and honored by his recognition of Rauch through House Concurrent Resolution 44 recognizing our 60th Anniversary.
Thank you for all you do for Rauch and agencies like us across the state, Ed!