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Archive for Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Advocates for those with disabilities rally for funding

April 27, 2011, 1:47 p.m. Updated April 27, 2011, 2:16 p.m.

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Several hundred people rallied at the Capitol on Wednesday in support of funding of services and programs for those with disabilities.

Several hundred people rallied at the Capitol on Wednesday in support of funding of services and programs for those with disabilities.

An awareness campaign by disability service organizations called "Walk a Mile in My Shoes: Walk Around the World," sought to walk 24,902 miles -- the circumference of the Earth -- over a two month period. The effort ended with 128,188 miles, as announced at a rally at the Capitol on Wednesday and displayed by a group that receives services through Lawrence-based Cottonwood Inc.

An awareness campaign by disability service organizations called "Walk a Mile in My Shoes: Walk Around the World," sought to walk 24,902 miles -- the circumference of the Earth -- over a two month period. The effort ended with 128,188 miles, as announced at a rally at the Capitol on Wednesday and displayed by a group that receives services through Lawrence-based Cottonwood Inc.

— As thousands of Kansans with disabilities wait for services, several hundred people rallied Wednesday against funding cuts to those services.

“They should do the right thing,” said Kathy Lobb of Lawrence. “The waiting list seems to go up every year,” Lobb, a consumer representative with the Self-Advocate Coalition of Kansas, said.

More than 4,650 children and adults with developmental disabilities are waiting to receive disability services.

Advocates for those with disabilities said Gov. Sam Brownback and the Legislature need to approve a multiyear funding plan to address the issue.

“We need legislators to try their best to eliminate the waiting lists,” Matt Fletcher, associate executive director of InterHab, said during a chilly, windy event on the southside of the Capitol. InterHab is an association of disability service providers.

After a three-week break, the Legislature resumed its session Wednesday. The House and Senate are supposed to complete work on a budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

Tom Laing, executive director of InterHab, said legislators have carved out $2 million in proposed funding to help those on the waiting lists. And while that is appreciated, Laing said, “it doesn’t really scratch the surface.”

That funding should provide services to approximately 200 people, but more than that number will be added to waiting list over the next fiscal year, he said.

Comments

Mary Alexander 2 years, 11 months ago

All systems can be made better but not to help those in need is just wrong. If the list is to long to help those that are waiting we need to see why it is not getting taken care of. Is it staffing or what? Those that have never had a disabilities can not tell someone who has one what is right or wrong. Those that have to take care of these individuals know what it takes so someone who has never taken care of these individuals should not try to tell them how to. These services needs to be available. I am proud of those that went to Topeka on Wednesday to express how important that this is to be funded.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

The rich say we're broke, so the disabled must pay.

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Deb Engstrom 2 years, 11 months ago

You will find people on both sides of this discussion but what needs to be preserved is a continuum of services and consumers/families right to choose what best meets their needs. Right now, if you are stuck on the waiting list, your choice is NO services or pay for them out of pocket (not an option for most). Students with disabilities leaving the public schools can look forward to a 5-7 year wait right now. Not acceptable!!!

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Scott Morgan 2 years, 11 months ago

This nation in the modern era, post Civil War has cared for the disabled. Before this time faith based organizations did wonderful things for the unfortunate. Not sure I can find any pure evil in care, but certainly misled treatments have occured due to ignorance. I'm sure a few evil people did evil deeds, but as we learned more about disabilities we certainly changed.

As a life long proponent of care for the less fortunate I find it both fascinating and disturbing how expectations have changed over the years.

For instance John Kennedy's sister was developmentally disabled. Top notch care in this era was a private "group" hospital setting. Many in the know feel group settings provide more than adequate care. In fact some suggest this cost effective style of treatment really is superior in terms of social development.

Now it seems more and more noble parents of a DD youth often expect a lifetime of home personal care.

This involves a small private setting away from the parents home in some cases, often an apartment with 1 or 2 others. This mimics the feeling the youth is normal. Who wouldn't want this for a relative with a DD? Yet the cost of care in these settings is breaking not only school budgets, but entire social service community coffers too.

Somewhere along the progressive history associated with severe disabilities the cradle to grave 24 round the clock home support for our less unfortunate is considered a right.

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autie 2 years, 11 months ago

@artichokeheart...ya">p>@artichokeheart...ya see, what we have here is the slight of hand mis-direction with this Obama birther thing....at the state level we have Virgil Peckerwood and KKKobach and his phantom voter fraud outbreaks...To divert attention away from REAL problems like this one. The fact is the conservative base doesn't want to be bothered with such things as people with true needs if it comes at the cost of enhancing revenues for their donation base come re election.

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Paradox_Lost 2 years, 11 months ago

My wife is a social worker. I can't tell you how many times she has come home telling me about all the homeless alcoholic losers who are trying to get disability. There are actual people with REAL disabilities who need help. We need to weed out the moochers. I'm sorry but just cause you can't get a job and you think you have bipolar I don't think you deserve disability.

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Paradox_Lost 2 years, 11 months ago

In these times I bet so many have a disability.

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Amy Heeter 2 years, 11 months ago

Over a hundred people have commented on Obamas birth certificate but only three here. Americans have some serious priority problems.

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Christina Hoffman 2 years, 11 months ago

My child will be one of those many many people added in the next year to this long list. I was told its a five year waiting list for services that my 6 year old could benefit from now. Services for children with disabilities are expensive, with out help my 6 year old probably wont receive all the services she needs just because we cannot afford to get them to her out of pocket.

Thank you to all who rally together to help those that need it most.

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Joshua Montgomery 2 years, 11 months ago

Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.

-Matthew 25:40

The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.

-FDR, Second Inaugural

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