What issues matter most to you? Poll Results

We recently asked TASH Blog readers to provide us with feedback on issues you’d like to see addressed during the upcoming 2011 TASH Conference in Atlanta. Overwhelmingly, the most popular topic selected was Education Reform, followed then by Restraint and Seclusion. You can view the results in the graph below:

Several readers provided additional feedback on topics that matter to them:

Adults have few rights and poor services. TASH should spend energy on this tremendous need. Families of adults also have few resources or services.

Looking for a business plan that would addresses areas of concern for 14c waiver and keeping businesses viable to be able to employ individuals.

Access to augmentative communication methods is an important part of providing supports to prevent extreme actions and reactions that in some cases have sadly resulted in restraint and seclusion.  We need to discuss prevention–with policies against restraint and seclusion for sure but also with supportive strategies like access to improving communication through access to technology, training (including literacy instruction for all–including adults) and ongoing supports–no exceptions. Communication supports should be addressed as a right, and strategies should be exhaustively pursued until each person can communicate effectively–not just by yes/no and choices but through generative language. Communication is basic but often gets overlooked due to diagnosis/labels, lack of knowledge of AAC, low expectations, faulty assumptions, and focusing on broader topics rather than basic rights. With effective communication, people can advocate themselves for reform and changes in their life situations.  We are still advocating FOR rather than WITH many people who have no speech and no access to effective communication–particularly adults.  Many people subject to restraint, seclusion, and abuse have limited speech, although news reports that I have seen never include any questions or information regarding what was being done to help the individual improve his/her communication.  They sometimes mention that the person is “nonverbal”, as if that is the end of the story.  It is time to address the silence that many endure and to work to assure effective communication for all.

Choice-driven, community-based lives for people with severe, multiple disabilities, including health concerns.

Thank you to everyone who provided feedback on this poll. We’ll have many more opportunities for you to tell us how you feel right here on the TASH Blog.