Perteria Allen, 68, of Greenville, Miss., is the sole caretaker of her 21-year-old grandson, Bertrand, who has severe autism. Bertrand is eligible for a Medicaid waiver that would pay for a caretaker to come into the house part time, but he is on a long waiting list. (Andrea Morales/For The Washington Post)

The July 27 news article “Families struggle amid cuts to services for disabled,” about the dangers of Medicaid cuts for people with disabilities in Mississippi and across the country, illustrated a critical national issue but missed the story closer to home.

According to a 2016 study, there are nearly 9,000 people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the District, and they are under a dual funding threat. One of those threats affects the just-under 2,000 people now receiving supports via the District’s limited IQ-based disability program who would be hit directly by the ill-considered cuts to Medicaid under discussion in the House and Senate. The other threat is the chilling effect of the national climate on the prospects to expand eligibility for disability services to the far larger number of people with autism or other conditions who do not fit the outmoded definition of disability based on IQ score.

Sustained political courage is needed from local officials, and support from affected families, to pass legislation that will right this long-neglected injustice.

Carol Grigsby, Washington

The writer serves on D.C.’s Developmental
Disabilities Council and on the board of the Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities.