The Disability Rights Washington report on Lakeland Village, as depicted in a July 20 article, is not an accurate description. The people living at Lakeland, their parents and guardians, are pleased with the care and services Lakeland Village provides; all want the care and services to continue. Residents of Lakeland are not inmates. They are not forced to live there. Many residents require more intensive care than is available in community settings. The staff of Lakeland Village has never failed to correct issues found by auditors. That is an admirable record.
Community homes are not subject to the same rigorous regulations as Lakeland Village. Community homes are not subject to unannounced audits and inspections. Could this mean people with developmental disabilities living in community settings are at higher risk? We hope not. We believe people with developmental disabilities have the right to choose where they receive care and services. We want to work with community advocates to improve the continuum of care for all, no matter where they choose to live. Yet some community advocates seek to deny the rights of those who want the care and services provided by Lakeland Village. This is wrong.
Come to Lakeland’s Open House at 9 a.m. on Aug. 17.
Bonnie Sullivan, Lakeland Village Associate’s President