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Community Advocates Oppose Kansas Plan To Reopen Closed Psych Unit

by Dave Reynolds (subscribe)

TOPEKA, KANSAS--"State institutions are the pigs of the service system . . . Opening up a new cottage is putting lipstick on that pig."

That quote came from Rocky Nichols, director of the Disability Rights Center of Kansas, the state's federally mandated protection and advocacy system, in the Lawrence Journal-World.

Nichols is one of many Kansans who are opposed to plans by the state's Social and Rehabilitation Services to spend $400,000 to reopen Willow Cottage, a now-closed unit at Parsons State Hospital, and move between 10 and 22 people with developmental disabilities into it.

Ironically, the push comes as Kansas looks to the federal government for money to move people with disabilities and seniors out of nursing homes and other institutions through a Money Follows the Person grant.

Part of the problem, it seems, is that the state plans to use the MFP project to focus on private nursing homes rather than state-run facilities.

One state official told the Journal-World that the state is trying to build capacity in the community for those now housed in state institutions.

SRS seeks to reopen state hospital wing (Lawrence Journal-World)

Copyright 2006 Inonit Publishing
Article reproduced here under special arrangement with Inclusion Daily Express international disability rights news service. Please do not reprint, republish or forward without permission.