Header

People with Disabilities Facing Uncertain Future

MANY PEOPLE FELT THAT THE SIGNING OF THE AMERICAN’S WITH DISABILITIES ACT BY PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH IN 1990 WOULD MEAN SIGNIFICANT CHANGES IN THE WAY SERVICES FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES WOULD BE PROVIDED.  ONE OF THE EXPECTED DEVELOPMENTS INCLUDED THE MOVEMENT OF INDIVIDUALS WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES FROM INSTITUTIONAL SETTINGS TO INDEPENDENT LIVING WITH FAMILY AND COMMUNITY SUPPORTS. WHILE SUCH SERVICES ARE ABOUT HALF AS EXPENSIVE AS INSTITUTIONAL GOVERNMENTS HAVE SUPPORTED THE INDEPENDENT LIVING LOGIC BUT HAVE CONTINUED TO CUT FUNDING FOR THE SUPPORTS THE INDIVIDUALS NEED TO LIVE IN THEIR OWN HOME OR IN A GROUP HOME IN THEIR OWN COMMUNITY.

KEITH GREENARCH,  AN ADVOCATE WITH THE ADAPTABLES CENTER FOR INDEPENDENT LIVING IN WINSTON SALEM  STATED WEDNESDAY THAT HE WAS ASSISTING A LOCAL FAMILY MEMBER FACING THE DECISION OF BECOMING UNEMPLOYED IN ORDER TO STAY HOME AND CARE FOR A FAMILY MEMBER WITH A SEVERE DISABILITY WHO IS NO LONGER ELIGIBLE FOR INDEPENDENT LIVING ASSISTANCE.

A RECENT CUT OF TWENTY MILLION DOLLARS IN THE STATE BUDGET FOR THESE SERVICES HAS PUT TWELVE MILLION INDIVIDUALS IN NORTH CAROLINA WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES IN DANGER OF BECOMING HOMELESS IN JANUARY.  MANY ADVOCATES OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES FEAR THE AFFECTED INDIVIDUALS MAY END UP IN PRISON WHICH BY DEFAULT HAS BECOME THE NEW INSTITUTION.