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November 5, 2008

More Hope for the Disabled?

While Obama's track record on protecting the unborn is abysmal, there is hope that his administration will make some strides in protecting and caring for the disabled.

As the parent of a teenager with mental disabilities (bipolar, Aspergers, and ADHD), that would be a most welcome improvement. Especially here in Illinois, where one of the richest states in America has a pitiful record of spending for adults with disabilities. And now that my son is only months away from technically reaching adulthood, that's a pressing concern.

Across America, The ARC advocates for the rights of all children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. And here in the Land of Lincoln, my wife and I have very much appreciated The Arc of Illinois's advocacy on our behalf, and for our son.

Executive director Tony Paulauski, clearly pleased with the election result, sent out this e-mail to Arc members this morning:

"I first met President-Elect Obama when he was serving in the Senate. When the Democrats gained the majority in the Senate, he then became the Chairperson of the Senate Health & Human Services Committee. This is the committee that considered disability legislation. The Senator always ran a good committee meeting, with good discussion and debate. He always supported important disability legislation. He always found time to meet with me to discuss disability legislation. His pragmatic style leads me to believe his Presidency will move slowly to reach consensus on important issues like Medicaid reform, Social Security solvency, Health Care reform and Special Education. All of these issues are extremely important to people with disabilities and their families. I do not think the President will use his majority in the House and Senate to shut out the Republican minority. If the past is any indication, he will work with both sides. In the end, this will be good for everyone. One of the President-Elect Obama’s key advisors is David Axelrod. David was the architect of the Obama campaign and what a campaign it was. David Axelrod is also someone I have worked with on media projects over the years. David has a daughter with disabilities and first worked with The Arc on our waiting list campaign many years ago. I believe President-Elect Obama will look favorably on important community disability initiatives. He has already become a co-sponsor of important disability legislation now pending in the Congress.

"The issues facing our new President are among the most challenging any President has ever faced. The American public has always chosen the right President for the times and Obama’s time is now."

Comments

I'm hopeful that President Obama will do a lot to help people with disabilities. But parents, community leaders, and others also have roles to play. Here are my "10 Ways to Make a Difference" for people with special needs.

http://specialneeds08.blogspot.com/2008/11/if-you-care-about-special-needs-today.html

Good article!! I am also excited and anticipating some great changes!!

MY WORK IN THE COMMUNITY! I FIND MANY PEOPLE THAT HAVE NEEDS. ONE OF THE THINGS I WOULD LIKE TO SEE IN CA! THE IN-HOME SERVICES HAVE A LIST OF PEOPLE TO PICK FROM. THE COUNTY PAYS THE BILL THROUGH THE INSURANCE, MEDICARE OR ?? THE PEOPLE ON THE LIST ARE NOT GIVEN A CRIMINAL BACK GROUND CHECK. THE COUNTY IS NOT RESPONSIBLE AS THE PEOPLE ON THE LIST ARE INDEPENDANT CONTRACTORS. IT IS UP TO THE PERSON THAT HIRES THEM TO DO A BACK GROUND CHECK. WHAT ELDERLY PERSON WOULD READ THE FINE PRINT OR UNDERSTAND THAT THE PERSON THEY PICK DOESN'T HAVE A BACK GROUND CHECK. THEY ARE SICK, THEY NEED HELP 'NOW'. THEY CAN'T GET OUT TO MAKE A BACK GROUND CHECK, THEY ARE OVER THE BARREL WITH A NEED. THIS HAS TO BE SUPERVISED WITH GREAT CARE THAT ELDERLY AND DISABLES ARE NOT TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF.
THIS IS ALSO A PROBLEMS WITH CONTRACTORS ON HOME IMPROVEMENT, WATER DAMAGE, AC, AND OTHER HOME REPAIRS. THIS IS A BIG PROBLEM WITH ELDERS AND PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES. I HAD A CONTRACTOR WHO TRIED TO RIP ME OFF. I AM ELDER, CAN'T HEAR BUT HE DIDN'T KNOW I KNEW CONSTRUCTION AND FINISH WORK. I CALLED THE CONTRACTOR LICENSING BOARD. IT TOOK ALMOST A YEAR TO GET MY HOUSE COMPLETED WITH THE MESS THE CONTRACTOR LEFT ME WITH AND HE GOT 5,000 OUT OF 21,000. WE NEED MORE PEOPLE LIKE ME TO FIGHT FOR OUR RIGHTS.

Thank you so much for this article, as I do have some disabilities along with millions of other Americans. So we can be thankful, for concern and compassion towards our bodies. And the bodies of say "those in the military".