Thursday, November 18, 2010

Insurance Agent

Why do we have car insurance? Or safety features on our cars? Because most everyone agrees that incidents such as those in the video below are a matter of when, not if, and we want to make sure we have planned accordingly.

If we didn’t think these incidents were likely to happen, would we have mandated insurance, or regulated safety features on cars? Heck no. These are examples of planning for what would otherwise be emergencies. It is interesting that we are OK with mandating and paying for insurance policies and safety features on cars.

I bring this up because this very logical and practical approach to planning seems absent in the way services for individuals with intellectual disabilities are funded and delivered in the State of Colorado.

The regulations we have seem to be directed towards the “ifs,” and tend to ignore the “whens.” As a result, a great deal time, effort, and resources are spent reacting to “emergencies” that are really a result of poor planning. It is not an “emergency” if there is a high probability of an event occurring. The “emergency” in this case is an adult with an intellectual disability, who has no support available, and no ability to fend for himself. The number of people in this situation in Colorado is growing. Barring any change, that trend will continue.

The citizens of Colorado, including the people we serve, need to know that because of the unwillingness to plan for our future, we are looking at the likelihood of an ever increasing number of adults with intellectual disabilities who have absolutely no services available to them, and no ability to fend for themselves. Where are the mandated airbags? Where is the mandated insurance policy? We do it for registered vehicles without batting an eye.

I don’t want to speculate where people without a safety net might end up.

Probably we’ll see examples of very unfortunate outcomes. And of course, no one will win in those scenarios – not the State, not taxpayers, not local communities, not the families, and certainly not the individuals who need the services.

It is not too late to change this course. But changing will involve creative thinking and a true commitment to ensuring we are creating a system of air bags, door locks, head rests and insurance policies that meets the needs of the individuals we serve. I hope we can make it happen.

Then again, what do I know?

No comments:

Post a Comment