Archive: February 2011 (X)
You all should check this out- "We Have Choices," a documentary from the Self-Advocacy Association of New York, is being considered for a People Choice Award at this year's Telly Awards competition. http://rtc.umn.edu/rtcmedia/wehavechoices/
I came across the following article in Slate this past week (http://www.slate.com/id/2284662/?gt1=38001) which says that even though data shows the crime rate in the U.S. has severely dipped over the last two decades, most Americans believe that it's getting worse. My grandmother would be a prime example of "most Americans." On more than one occasion, "it never used to be this bad" has been heard coming out of her mouth when talking about the crime that gets so theatrically broadcasted on the local news . It "kills" me to hear her say that because she spends so much time and energy worrying about crime; much unneeded stress which could be better spent worrying about her near-perfect grandsons.
News stories and anectdotes are both important, especially as a reminder that not all people have the same experiences. I'm certain the famillies of the scores of murder victims this week will find no comfort in that overall crime is not as bad as most people think. But data is ever so important to get a sense of what is actually happening in our so called lives. I feel fortunate that I get to work on the NCI project which has such rich data on the lives of people with developmental disabilities.
HSRI and NASDDDS staff were in the beautiful state of Washington last week to observe Lisa Weber and the rest of the WA NCI team in action. Part of the agenda included attending a DD Council focus group meeting. This meeting was made up of self-advocates, family members of children with developmental disabilities, and DD Council staff, and was the second in a three-part series where NCI data was reviewed in order to make policy recommendations to the Divison of Developmental Disabilities (DDD). The group reviewed 2008-09 Child Family Survey data which was organized where the WA data could be compared to the "NCI average", as well as compared to WA data from previous years.
Each of the self-advocates and family members contributed greatly during the meeting. Some of the main topic areas discussed were: information regarding services and process, computer technology in service information and service use, and community inclusion.
In the upcoming weeks, the group will be finalizing their recommendations to the DDD. We would like to thank the DD Council and the DDD for allowing us to be part of this meeting. We were very honored to hear the shared stories and experiences of the group, and are very proud that NCI data is being used in order to create positive change.
If you would like further information on this group and how Washington uses NCI data, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.