Stephen Ivancie : Support 51
November 2, 2008
Steamboat Springs — More than 1 million Americans and countless Coloradans have autism spectrum disorder, a condition that affects communication, socialization and behavior. These individuals and their families are part of our community; they need our help and support.
Approval of Amendment 51 would cost 2 cents on a $10 purchase, a worthy investment in some of our most needy citizens. Amendment 51 would provide services for children and adults with developmental disabilities such as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and autism. By investing in this therapy early in life, many of the disabled can become productive members of society, hold jobs, pay taxes and improve their self-esteem, decreasing the need for life-long services.
Approval of Amendment 51 is an amendment to Colorado statue, not an amendment to the state constitution. The under-funding of programs for individuals with disabilities causes school districts and social service agencies to limit or deny services to these families, eventually increasing the costs to all of society.
We, as concerned citizens, must lead the way to increase awareness of disabilities and their inadequate funding. A society is judged by how it deals with its most vulnerable members.
As a board member of the Yampa Valley Autism Program, a parent and a citizen, I will cast my vote for Amendment 51 and urge my fellow Steamboat Springs neighbors to support this worthy investment.
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