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West Hartford Legislator Honored as ‘Champion’ by Arc Connecticut

Rep. Derek Slap (third from right) with Arc Angel Awardees and I/DD advocates at Monday’s ceremony. Submitted photo

State Rep. Derek Slap received the Arc Angel Award for legislative advocacy on behalf of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Submitted

The Arc Connecticut presented State Rep. Derek Slap (D-West Hartford/Avon/Farmington) with the Arc Angel Award for his legislative advocacy for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) at a ceremony Monday evening.

The Arc Connecticut is an advocacy organization committed to protecting the rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Advocates Jamie Lazaroff and Aurora D’Angona also received the Arc Angel Award.

“It has been a pleasure working with families, fellow legislators and advocates to help protect individuals with disabilities this past session. It is unfortunate the Governor’s initial budget proposal zeroed out funding for critical services for folks with disabilities. I’m pleased we were able to work in a bipartisan fashion to restore the funding,” Slap said. “While I’m grateful for this honor, I’m also well aware that our work is not over. We must continue to work across party lines to ensure our budgets reflect our values – and for me that means not abandoning people with disabilities.”

“We are honoring Derek because when he first got elected he told us he wanted to understand our issues, and he has proved time and again that he really meant it. He never turned down an opportunity to meet with families or to talk with us and to listen,” said Shannon Jacovino, director of Advocacy & Public Policy at The Arc Connecticut.

The Arc lauded Slap for his support and advocacy for a bipartisan budget that included funding for Employment and Day Services for individuals with disabilities.

The Governor’s initial budget proposal eliminated Department of Social Services (DSS) funding for Employment and Day Services for new high school graduates with intellectual disabilities. Under this proposal only those already receiving services would have had access to supports that help recent graduates transition from high school.

Slap is a member of the legislature’s Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Caucus, which promotes public policy that supports the I/DD community.

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