Families Speaking Up/A-Team Delaware is a non-partisan, grass roots group of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), their families, friends, and caregivers. We work to ensure that all voices are heard in the IDD debate. We share our knowledge and experiences, advocate for and include our loved ones with IDD in decision-making, serve as a unifying voice, and educate ourselves and policymakers. There is strength in numbers and our many strong voices must be heard.
Families Speaking Up is in the process of rebranding as A-Team Delaware. We are excited to be taking the grass-roots work we’ve been doing for the last several years statewide, with one chapter that meets in New Castle County and one that meets on the border between Kent and Sussex Counties. As one of the newest A-Teams in the United States, we have become a part of the national movement for choice in day and residential services. We would encourage you to visit ATeamUSA.net for more information about the other states that have joined this movement. Although our name has changed, our goals remain the same — to ensure that all voices are heard when policies are being made that affect people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.
Through family support, networking, social media, word of mouth, and with the power of our numbers, we will seek to advocate for and influence Federal and State policy for all persons with IDD.
We believe that:
- Federal legislation and guidelines have allowed our adult children to benefit from well run state and local housing and employment programs.
- Changes in guidelines and trends may impact both the funding and implementation of laws that until now have benefited our adult children.
- Programs that are at risk of being eliminated are those that serve individuals with the most severe disabilities who are the least able to speak up for themselves.
- Persons with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities (IDD) should have the option to choose housing and employment programs that ensure the least restrictive and individually appropriate settings.
- By eliminating options and choice we will see a “one size fits all” service system. Such a system will not meet the individual needs of our adult children.
We know that:
- There are people with IDD and their families who share our beliefs and concerns. These people not only have the right be heard, they need to be heard!
- Poorly managed housing and employment programs should not be allowed to continue to operate.
- If we work together and are able to raise and communicate the concerns and needs of all persons with IDD, our collective voice will have a greater impact.
- Together we must work with our federal, state and local governments and policymakers to improve existing programs while exploring new opportunities for all persons with IDD.
We hope that:
- You will join with us to advocate for all persons with IDD especially those who cannot advocate on their own behalf
- You will use this website as a tool to tell your stories and voice your opinion on what works well and what needs improvement.
- You will visit this site often to learn or share news and information.
- You will contact your state and local government officials and legislative representatives to let them know what your family member wants and needs.
- We can join together to make sure all are heard and all options remain on the table.
Just as one size cannot fit all, one perspective cannot know all, one voice does not tell all!
Please Get Involved today.