Give her and other Connecticut adoptees back their identities

My birth certificate is a legal lie.

What’s true on it is that I was born at 4:44 a.m. Oct. 27, 1967. It’s also true I was born in Norwalk Hospital. And I’m guessing that Eric G. Norrington, MD, who’s listed as the attending physician, really was there.

What’s not true are the names typed in all caps under “Full Name of the Child’s Mother and Father.”

Partnership key to building stronger career pathways for CT residents

Connecticut’s legislature has proposed to create a task force to study the effectiveness, impact and cohesiveness of workforce development programs and initiatives in the state. The commitment to promote better coordination and collaboration and a more effective and efficient system for workforce development should be applauded. One of the first agenda items for the task force should be to identify and examine existing strategies that demonstrate cross-cutting, collaborative approaches to job training and employment and promise opportunity for residents who face the greatest challenges to obtaining a living wage.

Deadly math: Fentanyl and why the opioid epidemic is getting worse

Opioid overdose deaths continue to rise. A 2015 DEA report showed a greater than thousand-fold increase in fentanyls —potent synthetic opioids— showing up in intercepted drugs. This, more than anything, fuels our worsening crisis. The economics and pharmacology of fentanyl are game changers. Word on the street is buyer beware. What’s sold as heroin is probably fentanyl. What looks like a Xanax, Oxycodone, or Ativan could also be fentanyl.

Appreciation for lawmakers’ efforts to preserve funding for disabled constituents

I am the president of the board of directors of the Arc Connecticut, the state’s oldest and largest advocacy group for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). I am writing to applaud the efforts of several key legislative leaders for the part they are playing to preserve funding for people with I/DD despite the State’s increasingly difficult budget situation.

Lawmakers should consult the disabled community on this

Barriers faced by people with disabilities are often not understood by those who are not disabled; living with dignity, respect, and independence is a daily challenge. … An important but less obvious barrier is the use of inappropriate language; words such as “lame,” or “retarded” remain in popular use. Disabled people are among the last minority groups where discrimination and inclusion are under-recognized issues. …
Drafting SB796 “An Act Concerning the Use of Respectful and Person-First Language,” the state attempts to encourage the use of respectful language.

State and federal budget cuts leave those in need behind

Connecticut’s Community Action Agencies are facing state and federal budget cuts unlike anything we’ve seen in our 50+ year history of serving low-income and working poor individuals and families. Last month over 200 CAA network staff, board members, and customers attended Community Action Day at the State Capitol to make their voices heard against these cuts, which will severely impact our ability to effectively serve Connecticut’s most vulnerable residents.

Cuts to senior citizen programs don’t just hurt seniors

Supporting seniors at home is not just a senior issue, it’s an inter-generational one. As a college student —and family caregiver for my grandmother— I am deeply concerned about the governor’s budget cuts that make it harder for older adults to age with dignity at home.

Shifting services to community can make state’s human services better

The huge state deficit means there is a stark choice ahead for legislators: Preserve an antiquated system and balance the budget with brutal spending cuts that eliminate services for thousands of the state’s most vulnerable individuals. Or take the opportunity to update and modernize the state’s delivery of services in a way that maximizes dollars and provides the vital care that some families have waited for years to get.

Connecticut’s independent living centers save money

Thousands of individuals across Connecticut turn to the state’s Independent Living Centers each year for services that provide living skills and support their access to housing, employment, health insurance and medical care. We urge the General Assembly to renew its support for independent living centers, because providing services that help individuals with disabilities live their lives and be contributing members of our society is good for those individuals and good for our community.