Closing Options would be step back

The Gazette Opinion Staff
Published: December 16 2013 | 1:33 pm - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 12:55 am in
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My sister, Chris Imsland, has been a client of Options since 1981. The quality of life that this organization has given her cannot be measured.

My sister was born in 1955 during a time when mentally challenged children were institutionalized; my family chose to keep her at home.

Luckily, the Kennedy Administration came along and changed the way our society views the mentally challenged by allowing them to be educated in the public school system and mainstream them into our society.

The staff at Options are highly trained and educate not only the clients, but the families who sometimes have questions on how to deal with their family member. My sister feels she is a part of everyday life and has been given the skills to cope with situations that we “normals” take for granted.

Having the pay scale lowered would jeopardize the continuity of the staff, not to mention the experience and knowledge it takes to work with this population. Do we really want to regress and neglect our most vulnerable members of society? I encourage the Linn County Board of Supervisors to work with the clients’ families to come up with a reasonable solution to keep Options open. Let’s not go back to the Dark Ages.

Mary Richeson

Cedar Rapids


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