Supporters of Community Living for Disabled Rally in Yakima - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Supporters of Community Living for Disabled Rally in Yakima

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YAKIMA--The debate over the fate of the Yakima Valley School continues.

Supporters of community living who want to close the school gathered in Millenium Plaza in Yakima Saturday afternoon.

Dozens of developmentally disabled people spoke at the rally, saying they feel an institution like the Selah school limits their freedom.

Some people who want to keep the school open believe the ralliers were exploited, but one organizer said it was their idea.

"I think they know that they have the right to live on their own," Von Elison, Executive Director of Central Wash. Disabilities Resources, said.  "I think that it's up to the state to provide [developmentally disabled people] the support to live on their own."

"You don't go tearing down a house before you have another one to live in," John Mahaney, President, Friends of the Yakima Valley School, said.  "Why tear that down until there's a suitable replacement in the community?"

Mahaney said he and others who want to keep the school open are going to Olympia this week to talk to legislators about their proposed budgets.

He's not sure whether or not the school will be included in those budgets.

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