Posted On: March 28, 2018
The Disability Rights Legislation Day was held at the capital in Jefferson City on March 13. The gathering was not merely a pep rally. Many advocates, agencies, groups and most importantly people with significant disabilities spoke to a crowd of over 200 people.
Topics concerning the important passage of several pending pieces of legislation, as well as addressing the 40% decrease in funding for personal attendant services were covered. These personal attendant services allow so many individuals with disabilities to live and work in their community.
Many of the speakers, including senators and representatives, highlighted successes such as the passage of the ABLE act. The passage of this act allows people with disabilities to save money for adaptive equipment and assistive technology.
Most importantly, the need for advocacy and political pressure are needed to continue advancement of the Disability Rights Community. This is to avoid being warehoused in institutions, to become more independent and integrated into the community.
Starkloff Disability Institute’s Director of Disability Studies, Steven Foelsch, specifically spoke to the crowd about the importance of people with disabilities being able to work. He talked about how state and federal programs possess outmoded perceptions of disability and unwittingly create disincentives to work.
“This is 2018, and we are primarily using a system that was designed in 1965,” Steve pointed out. “We are not your grandfather’s perception of disability! We want to work for our American Dream!” he pronounced.
Steve’s 10-minute speech ended with the chant, “Work More! Save More! Pay More!”