May 14, 2002 --
On May 15 Senators Tom Harkin (D.- IA) and Arlen Specter (R. - PA) will address over 4,000 disability advocates nationwide by telephone hookup to sites in over 40 states. They'll be discussing the Medicaid Community Services and Supports Act (MiCassa) now in Congress. Anyone wishing to participate can go to one of the over 80 sites to take part in the phone event (see below). Joining them will House MiCassa co-sponsors Reps. Danny Davis (D) and John Shimkus (R), both from Illinois. The address will emanate from the Dirksen Senate Building at noon Eastern time. . Scheduled speakers also include representatives from major disability and aging organizations.
The event is part of a week-long series of actions by activists of American Disabled for Attendant Programs Today, or ADAPT, who are in the nation's capital this week to press for passage of MiCassa and for administration support of a shift in long-term care funding from nursing homes and other institutions to in-home services and supports. MiCassa (S1298 and HR3612) "would reform Medicaid by removing the archaic institutional bias and allowing people of all ages to choose to receive long-term care services in their own homes and communities, close to family and friends," says ADAPT.
"We intend to fight for our rights until we succeed in reforming both Medicaid and the current long-term care situation," adds Kansas ADAPT activist Lou Ann Kibbee. "Many of us are baby boomers, many of us are women, and every year our disabilities progress and we get older. We don't intend to be forced into nursing homes. I guess you could say we're a pretty good example of the "personal" being political."
For more on MiCassa, go to http://www.accessiblesociety.org/topics/persasst/micassa01.htm
Follow the action of ADAPT in Washington this week at the website of the Memphis Center for Independent Living at http://www.mcil.org/mcil/adapt/wdc511/511-rpt1a.htm
Sites hosting the telephone event on Wednesday include the Marin Center for I.L. in San Rafael, CA; The Westside Independent Living in Los Angeles; Idaho SILC in Boise, ID; Access Living in Chicago; TILRC in Topeka, KS; The Center for Accessible Living in Louisville, KY; The CIL in Lansing MI; Paraquad in St. Louis, MO; The Whole Person in Kansas City, MO; The; League of Human Dignity in Omaha, NE; The Queens ILC and the Bronx Independent Living Center in New York City; Suffolk IL on Long Island; RCIL in Utica NY; LEAP in Elyria, OH; The Ability Center in Toledo; Liberty Resources in Philadelphia; the Houston CIL; the Fairfax County Retardation Center in Virginia and the Vermont Center for IL in Burlington, VT and many other sites. If you don't see a site near you and want to participate, email us at email@example.com and we'll try to direct you to one near you.