Alright – so, this has become an issue that I would like to advocate for or even have those in power understand what families and people with autism and other disabilities go through. Essentially, we have 87 counties and 87 rules and policies. DHS has a hands-off approach and counties are simply winging it.
Below is my testimony. Oh, I forgot – the county commissioners gave me 5 minutes. Whoa, what – whole five minutes. That is enough time to read a novel. I am so used to the 2 minutes from the state legislature. On a non-related to EAA, I stayed and listened to the county board meeting; I loved their discussion, their compassion, and how they interacted with each other.
Scott County Commissioners Board Meeting
April 5, 2022
Re: Health and Human Services – Environmental Accessibility Adaptation
Dear Board Members, Good Morning:
My name is Idil Abdull; I am a Somali autism mom and advocate. First, I would like to thank again my county commissioner Barb Weckmann Brekke for always supporting my son who has autism.
I have a son with autism, and we have lived in Scott County for decades. I come before you today to raise awareness about environmental accessibility adaptation (EAA). This is under the state waiver system that supports people with disabilities where the funds flow through the counties.
As you know, we want all people with disabilities to live in their homes and communities. The EAA is supposed to support this effort and make the person’s environment modified for their safety, health, and well-being.
I have encountered some difficulties with EAA in Scott County as commissioner Barb can vouch for. I am asking for a system that gives the person with the disability choices but also ensures cost-effectiveness and support for the family.
My son needs home safety modifications and just the assessments alone as no installation has been done thus far is thousands of dollars. When I contacted the county leadership, I was met with resistance. They said I need to just deal with it because things are expensive now and that is the way this county does it. I respectfully disagree with that.
As an advocate, I have helped other families in other counties. For example, Hennepin County does not just pay for whatever invoice the EAA assessor sends. First, they ask for the rate and total hours needed to complete the whole project, then they approve or deny it if it is not cost-effective all while providing choice to the person/family.
In parallel, Scott County just pays the invoice from the EAA assessor without approval or even knowing their rate and their total hours. This cannot be good for the person with the disability, and I can’t imagine being helpful for the county.
I am asking that Scott County reviews EAA assessments and then approves pends, or denies them. I am also asking the county supports and explain the process to the families as we are not experts in this.
I thank you much for your time and hope that you will consider my suggestions. At least, have conversations about it. The ultimate goal should be supporting people with disabilities in a manner that is person-centered with reasonable cost-effective measures.
Below is a helpful link that explains a bit more about EAA.
Idil Abdull – Somali Autism Mom & Advocate
The above words do not reflect any candidate, agency, or committee.
Idil – Autism Mom & Advocate