CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) – The Developmental Disabilities Alliance of Western New York (DDAWNY) held its annual Legislative Breakfast at the Millennium Hotel, in Cheektowaga, Friday morning.
Family members of people with developmental disabilities shared their concerns with a bipartisan gathering of Western New York’s legislative delegation to Albany.
Advocates for the disabled told lawmakers they are concerned about the impact state cutbacks are having on families of those with disabilities. A growing shortage of direct care workers, and program reductions are forcing more parents to become the primary caregivers for their grown children.
Barb DeLong, co-chairperson of the annual breakfast said It creates extra stress — as people worry about what would happen to their loved ones if something happened to them.
“People are forced to not sleep at night, wondering what is going to happen if I wake up dead? I say that with all reality because that is what we live, day in and day out.”
Several parents shared the hardships they have to endure on a daily basis, balancing jobs and family issues with caring for developmentally disabled children, who can become violent enough to cause serious injuries.