These actions on Disabled Greens News and discussion:
Advocate/Act for elderly, handicapped, et al, or yours will be next:
This petition on change.org: Act for elderly, handicapped, et al:
ADAPT to Washington: “Stop De-funding Our FREEDOM! (and lives)”:
For Immediate release, For information contact: April 26, 2011
Bruce Darling, 585-370-6690
Rahnee Patrick, 312-320-5111
Washington, D.C.- Over 400 members of the national grassroots disability rights organization, ADAPT will converge on Washington, D.C. from all parts of the country April 30-May 5 to tell Congress and the Obama Administration to “Stop De-funding Our FREEDOM!”
“For people with disabilities and those who are aging, it feels like we are being drowned in a man-made tsunami of cuts to Medicaid services,” said Bruce Darling, ADAPT organizer from Rochester, NY. “Between the draconian cuts we are experiencing in our home states, and the added threat of collateral damage from the budget wars here in Washington, we are not only at risk for losing our freedom to live in our own homes, but we are truly afraid for our lives.”
The 1999 U.S. Supreme Court Olmstead decision, affirming Title II of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, mandates that people with
disabilities of all ages should be served in the “most integrated
setting,” which almost always is their own home and community. Olmstead further states that isolating people unnecessarily in institutions is segregation, and therefore illegal.
Yet today, at least 38 states are proposing or have made cuts to Medicaid that threaten the civil rights of older and disabled Americans to live in their own homes and neighborhoods. These cuts are proposed in a variety of areas, from home-based attendant services, to medications, vision and dental services, to mental health services, and durable medical equipment like wheelchairs. All of these services and equipment are medically necessary for the health and safety and freedom of those with disabilities and who are aging.
“Our own home states are treating us like second class citizens, and it’s no better here in Washington,” said Mike Ervin, ADAPT organizer from Chicago. “For 20 years we’ve been telling everyone that removing the institutional bias from the Medicaid program, giving people who need some daily assistance the choice to stay in their own home to receive services, would save the government money along with being in compliance with the law. And yet, even with research to back us up, Congress has chosen not to make this simple change in the law and save both money and lives.”
Medicaid currently mandates states to pay for nursing homes, but does not similarly mandate that states can pay for the same services in a person’s own home. This is not a partisan issue. The Obama administration says it is open to any solutions that could help reduce the deficit, and Democratic congressional leaders like Sen. Tom Harkin (IA) and Rep. Danny Davis (IL) and Sen. Max Baucus (MT) have long supported home and community-based legislation. Republican Representative Dennis Rehberg (MT) has stated, “To control long-term care costs, Congress and the Administration should also examine ways to move Medicaid away from institutionalized care and toward home and community based care,” and Republican Governor (WI), Scott Walker, recently wrote, that Medicaid is “…is biased toward caring for people in nursing homes rather than in their own homes and neighborhoods.”
“We’ll be in Washington this week DEFENDING OUR FREEDOM, and demanding that Congress stop de-funding our freedom,” said Rahnee Patrick, ADAPT Organizer from Chicago. “Many of us live on $674/month, 75% of poverty level. Federal and state budgets should not be balanced on the backs of the poorest of the poor.
FOR MORE INFORMATION on ADAPT visit our website at
Spring Issue of Breath and Shadow:
Breath and Shadow
Volume 8, Number 2
In our Spring issue we feature poems by Melissa Aldridge, Erica Ratti,
Kerry Elizabeth Thompson and Ariel Johnson. There is a short story by
William Ward, a fantasy story by Louis Bertrand Shalako And a science
fiction piece by Maija Haavisto. Pinalben Patel shares her thoughts on
the ADA, and Alison Leavens contributes one of the most powerful
creative non-fiction pieces we’ve ever published.
Our editors hope you enjoy this issue of Breath and Shadow. Please
recommend us to your friends. In this difficult economy, we are
struggling along with most non-profits. Your tax deductible donations
are essential to the work we do. Visit our web site for details.
To read this month’s issue, please visit:
Breath and Shadow Staff:
Chris Kuell, Editor in Chief
Assistant Editors: Abby Astor, Dorothy Baker, Anne Chiapetta,Linda
Cronin, Arden Eli Hill, Erika Jahneke, Tricia Owsley and Suzanne
Breath & Shadow is a collaborative effort of AbilityMaine, Resources
for Organizing and Social Change (ROSC), and our many valuable readers
Please consider donating to Breath and Shadow. We need
your support to achieve our mission, and your gift is tax deductible.
You can learn more by visiting:
Tell CMS that you support Community FIRST!:
Let CMS know you support ADAPT’s Comments on the Proposed Rules for the Community First Choice Option
CMS has released the proposed rules for the Community First Choice Option. ADAPT has thoroughly reviewed the proposed rules developed by CMS for implementing the Community First Choice Option. ADAPT is concerned that CMS misinterpreted the statute and broadened the eligibility beyond the institutional level of care. With this broader eligibility, it is likely that many states won’t be willing to select the option.
Additionally, the proposed rules allow states to select the service model between an Agency model and a Self-directing model with service budget, when in fact the original statute did not intend to provide states with the choice of which model to offer. Rather, CFCO was intended to give individuals a choice in how they receive long term services and supports.
ADAPT identified other concerns as well, and recommended improvements in the proposed rules. To read the full comments prepared by ADAPT, go to
We need as many people and organizations as possible to send these comments to CMS and show the broad support for implementing REAL CHOICE through the Community First Choice Option. Feel free to edit your message and be sure to include the name of your organization if you represent one. Because CMS won’t accept emailed comments, your comments will be emailed to CDR and we will print and mail them to CMS for you.
THANK YOU for taking action below to support ADAPT’s efforts to assure that the Community First Choice Option will FREE OUR PEOPLE!
Services and Supports for People with Disabilities:
Dear Friends of NOEWAIT,
Please join Denver Fox, Carol Calix, and Phil May Tuesday evening,
April 5th, for a lively discussion on a major national problem
regarding our most vulnerable citizens; namely, those with
developmental disabilities. The discussion will focus on education
about and raising the awareness of, and eventually ending the
years-long waitlists for Home and Community Based Medicaid
Waiver Services for individuals with intellectual and developmental
disabilities. We would urge you to view the website of NOEWAIT (The
National Organization to End the Waitlisr) at
**Call-in Number: (805) 243-1368
4/5/2011 7:00 PM Eastern time; 6:00 Central, 5:00 Mountain, 4:00
Pacific. Thank you,**
Help Wanted! Letter writers.:
In many countries, May Day (May 1), is synonymous with International Workers’ Day, or Labor Day, and how appropriate that we should begin to increase Progressive Secretary’s reach by requesting volunteers to write the letters that we send.
I worry about overtaxing our current staff of excellent writers, and that’s why I’m trying to expand our group of writers now.
A Progressive Secretary Letter Writer is a special kind of wordsmith. Our letters are succinct, to the point, pithy. They must provide enough information so that our members can decide whether or not to send them, as well as enough information so that the recipient’s aides can immediately understand the issue, and which side the writer supports. And this is all done in under 150 words (Jim prefers 75-100 words as do I).
Another attribute that makes our letter writers special is that they understand that editors make letters better. Writers have to be comfortable with other people editing their prose.
Learning to write this way (if you don’t already know how) is rewarding.
If you’d like to try your hand at letter writing, please let me know. Please write to
(you can click right on the email address), put “Letter Writer” in the subject, and tell me a little about yourself.
I’d also like to know if you’d be amenable to a phone call, what your telephone number is, and what time zone you live in (when we set up a time to speak, I’d like it to be convenient for both of us!).
By the way, if you’d like more info about May Day and the celebrations throughout the world, Wikipedia has a good article here:
Happy May Day!
Kathie Turner, Chief of Staff