ATLANTA — Monday marks World Down Syndrome Day and one Atlanta organization is asking its social media followers for help.
The Down Syndrome Association of Atlanta and the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities partnered together on March 21 to advocate for more waivers for the New Options Waiver Program (NOW) and Comprehensive Supports Waiver Program (COMP).
The non-profit posted their initiative on their social media urging people to email their state legislators asking them to address the NOW and COMP waiver waitlist.
These Medicaid waivers provide financial help to people with intellectual, developmental, or physical disabilities. They help pay for home and community-based services for people with developmental or intellectual disabilities who could otherwise be routed into institutional care.
According to the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities, there are more than 7,000 people on the waitlist for a Medicaid waiver in Georgia.
Recent moves to offer more funding for made by Gov. Brian Kemp include his $2 million proposed budget for 100 new slots in the Medicaid waitlist. The number was then raised to $6.6 million for 325 slots in the House during Crossover Day on March 15. The new spending plan starts in July.
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The GCDD called the 325 new slots passed in the House "the largest increase in waiver spots in many years," according to their partnership announcement with DSAA.
Leading up to World Down Syndrome Day the nonprofit launched its $21 for 21 Days Campaign. Each day for 21 days, DSAA highlighted individuals with Down Syndrome and urged followers to donate $21 dollars.
According to the World Down Syndrome Day website, the date for WDSD being the 21st day of the 3rd month was selected to signify the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome.
To learn more about the NOW/COMP Waivers click here.