The Big Sandy Mountaineer -

Trent Butler reappointed by Governor Bullock to serve in Helena


March 28, 2018

Trenton Butler has been reappointed by Governor Steve Bullock to Montana Council on Developmental Disabilities. During his time on the Council they have concentrated on the last half of the word "disabilities" which is abilities.

Trenton just returned to Big Sandy after participating in a Council meeting in Helena, visiting the Governor's office, and participating in a rally. March is Development Disabilities Month and this year's Rally theme was See Me. See me as your neighbor; see me as a sports nut; see me as a business man; or see me as a person who loves being with friends. The purpose of the rally was to clarify and express clearly that people with developmental disabilities can do the things that others can, only they may need extra help to get things done. It is clearly understood that people with disabilities want to live and work within their communities. They may need more assistance and support from others and would prefer to have friends that would support them.

Nationwide there are 5 million individuals with a Development Disability (DD). In the state of Montana, we have 39,000 individuals with a developmental disability, however only 2,500 individuals with developmental disabilities receive services. Those agencies will be struggling with issues on how to survive service cuts. Big Sandy Activities is highly regulated and are required to meet those requirements. They will need to do so even with financial cuts.

According to the Developmental Disability web site the vision of the state of Montana and therefore the residents of Montana is: "People in services have a voice and the support to live productive, healthy and fulfilled lives in the community of their choice. Their Mission is: Create a system that coordinates resources, supports and services for people to have meaningful lives in their communities. And Their values: People choose their providers, services and supports. Plans of care are developed by the person and the people who support them. People have opportunities for personal growth. People are treated with respect and dignity. People live and recreate in safe and healthy environments. People have opportunities to work in safe, integrated community employment of their choosing.

The Montana Development Disabilities Program supports many of these individuals in their own homes or in community group homes. Services provided to eligible persons through the Developmental Disabilities Program are available at no cost to individuals of any age. Many kinds of services are offered through providers in communities or self-directed options. This support is separate from other assistance that is provided through schools, Medicaid, private insurance, Social Security, and other sources." Big Sandy Activities serves individual through a contract with the state of Montana. The initial cuts received by Big Sandy Activities is 3% of its budget, other cuts are on the horizon including cuts to group homes, and transportation.

There are serious cuts to children's service as well as parents have received notice from their provider there will no longer be services provided to their child even though according to Department of Health and Human Services "Montana Milestones/Part C of IDEA Early Intervention Program is Montana's overall system of early intervention supports and services for families who have infants or toddlers, from birth through two years of age. Montana Milestones is funded through an annual federal grant under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Part C guarantees rights and entitlements for infants and toddlers, ages birth through two years of age, who have significant developmental delays or disabilities or have been diagnosed with a condition associated with significant delays in development and their families. Accessing early intervention supports and services begins when a parent or other caregiver is first concerned about a baby's development or when a baby receives a diagnosis of a condition that is associated with significant developmental delay."


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