Bev Perdue addressed the packed room of families, people, and advocates in the developmental disability community by addressing her knowledge that there is a difference between the needs of people with mental illness and the needs of people with developmental disabilities.
"There is a huge difference between mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse needs. To see these three pieces lumped together needs to be fixed. Nothing makes me sadder. There are different treatment options, different family options, different needs. We need to make distinct differences."
Perdue went on to tell the story of her twelve year old granddaughter Rachael. "Rachael is a beautiful girl with brown hair and brown eyes who is 100% special needs. 100% cerebral palsy. My family and my grand daughter is special to me just like your families are special to you."
Bev Perdue then addressed the need to have 24-7 care opportunities available for families in all 100 counties. She stated that her family is committed to keeping Rachael in our home and getting as much support from Mediciad as possible.
Perdue also addressed the need to expand economic and educational opprortunities. "Every kid in North Carolina deserves a change to have a good education. Every child in our system have the opportunity to communicate and when possible get a job."
Bev Perdue also made a pledge to the audience..."you should not be limited to services based on your zip code-there needs to be a safety net in all 100 counties-with flat services for all of your folks-same basic safety net of services."
On transportation-Perdue said we need to figure out a way to move folks that is accessible and affordable.
On housing-Housing Trust Fund-must give housing critical importance. People with disabilities often live on only $670.00 per month. We have housing challenges and the Housing Trust Fund must be a top priority.