Letter to the Editor – June 2011: Spend a day with me and learn about service needs, challenges

Life should seem pretty good. Then why do I feel so upset right now. On one hand, you have the […]

Life should seem pretty good. Then why do I feel so upset right now.

On one hand, you have the current situation at the legislature. While, by my own assessment, this won’t affect me personally, the cuts, the talk about eight-bed homes for the disabled do set a dangerous precedent. Right now, they are only talking about the most severely disabled. But, assuming the recession is deepening again, at what point do I fall into that category? Or, at what point do I not have enough needs to qualify for the supports I need?

On one hand, these actions only continue to foster the idea that people with disabilities like cerebral palsy need constant supervision. You would be surprised how many times a week that I get asked “who is with you” or “what group-home do you live in?” It gets old very quickly. On the other hand, actions like the May 11 ADAPT protest only hurt in another way. You would be surprised how many posts on bulletin boards have suggested either the protestors, or all “disabled” people, need to have benefits and checks cut even more is equally disheartening. Part of me understands why there was a protest. But if this is the reaction, what is the benefit?

I could go through all the facts and numbers again. However, I feel that those facts have been well documented. I feel that cuts without looking at systemic improvement only lead to disaster. One would think that when I went to work, my medical needs would have transferred to my employer’s coverage. However, PCA services are not covered. I still must rely on other government programs to access these services. Why this is true and why aren’t our elected leaders not asking this question?

Perhaps we still need to do basic education. I would challenge anyone, especially elected leaders, to go through my day with me and see what I accomplish during the day. Maybe one thing will be come clear. That true reform and innovation is the only way to fix these issues long term.

Scott Dehn, MBA, CPA New Hope

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