ADAPT's Call to Action for Home and Community in America

Common People Holding Our Government Accountable for Enforcing Our Rights

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Liberating Women with Disabilities

Today 300 ADAPT activists called on Speaker Nancy Pelosi to liberate women with disabilities from institutions by supporting the Community Choice Act. We covered all the entrances at 1st and Constitution NW in DC where Pelosi was receiving the Alice Paul award at a luncheon. Alice Paul was a first wave feminist leader and the annual award is sponsored by the Sewell Belmont House.

68.4 % of all nursing home residents are women. You can bet they would rather be in their own homes with services and supports. Most are seniors and women with disabilities and definitely not rich. These women are not exactly on Speaker Pelosi's high priority list.

Sadly these women are also not high on the priority list of most feminists. All the women in ADAPT and many women with disabilities around the country were stoked about today's action. Most of us are feminists and would love to build links to a women's movement that, for the most part, ignores us.

What's the story here? Women with disabilities are among the most excluded and oppressed in the country. One would think the women's movement would be all over us. Not.

Instead it is often conservatives who attempt to build political alliances with us. The ADA was signed by President Bush 1 and President Bush 2 implemented and funded Money Follows the Person to get people with disabilities out of institutions, receiving services and supports in our own homes.

We still cannot get Speaker Pelosi to support the Community Choice Act and mainstream women's groups keep us off their agendas.

When will the women's and progressive movements welcome all excluded groups?

In the meantime...the women of ADAPT will continue to come out and rock and roll...until we Free Our People from nursing homes and other institutions.

If Alice Paul were still alive, she would have been in the streets with ADAPT.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

ADAPT Protest Brings Real Solutions to HUD-blocks 3 entrances

As I write this, 300 ADAPTERS are blocking 3 entrances to the HUD building in Washington, DC. What's up with that?
These are folks that live full lives and have better things to do with their time so why protest how federal housing dollars are spent?
There are still many in our society who want seniors and people with disabilities locked away in nursing homes and other institutions..out of sight out of mind. That's especially true if you are a senior or person with a disability who has a low income....and with 1 in 7 Americans living in poverty....well do the math. Tens of thousands of seniors and people with disabilities need affordable, integrated, accessible housing.

Yet 20 years after the ADA was signed into law, HUD still spends our tax dollars so that seniors and people with disabilities are forced to live ....and too often institutions.

ADAPTers can launch a great chant, can block the doors and chain themselves to HUD with a flair...yet also among us are top policy wonks in the housing arena. We want to work with HUD Secretary Donovan to implement a solution to this housing crisis.

What is so scary or hard about that?

What do we want? Affordable, accessible, integrated housing. When do we want it? NOW

Monday, September 20, 2010

Right now 300 plus ADAPTers are blocking streets around the White House. ADAPT was headed to the White House to tell President Obama to live up to his campaign promise to end the institutional bias and support the Community Choice Act. Sadly, the Obama White House is limiting the right to protest. No more than 25 people can protest at the WH without a permit. No other administration has done this.

Can you help tell the Obama administration to meet with ADAPT and hear our demands?

Right now we need YOU to contact the White House at! The action is nationwide, help us get the President's attention. YOU can make it happen!

Why is giving people the right to live in their own homes and communities so difficult? Why will the federal government pay for people to live in a nursing home but not in the community when the aggregate costs are less? Sane policy in this arena is not rocket science.

Have you ever heard anyone say "I can't wait until I age enough to live in a nursing home?" No one chooses such a horrid, constricted life if they can live in the community with services and supports.

It is past time for politicians to say no to all those dollars from the nursing homes and end the institutional bias.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

What If...

By National ADAPT
  • What if your landlord decided if you could go out...and when, where and with whom?
  • What if someone made it their business to decide that you could not have anyone spend the night, and even though you were 43 years old?
  • What if you could only have alcohol on special occasions, and only if you were "good"?
  • What if there were no guarantee you and your spouse, let alone a friend, could live together?
  • What if your entire living space was 10 by 12 feet and you had to share it with a roommate your landlord picked for you?
  • What if they sedated you because you were "uncooperative"?
  • And that said it was all "for your own good"?
That's life in a nursing home or institution.

What if you could have a REAL CHOICE?

That's what the Community Choice Act (CCA) would do. ADAPT is fighting to give people the opportunity to decide where they live and receive long term services and supports. People cold choose to stay in their own homes rather than be forced into nursing homes or institutions.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Press Release: ADAPT to Storm Washington, DC

For immediate release
Mike Oxford, (785) 224-3865
Bruce Darling, (585) 370-6690
ADAPT Activists to Storm Washington DC; Vow to Fight State Cuts to Medicaid Home Services
Fighting dangerous state Medicaid budget cuts across the country, the national grassroots disability rights action group ADAPT is planning direct actions at several venues in Washington, DC between September 19 to 22 to demand that states save Medicaid-funded home and community based services. These services support low income people with disabilities and who are aging to stay in their own homes instead of being forced into nursing facilities to obtain services. During this critical election season, ADAPT plans to make it clear that saving Medicaid services is key to winning the disability vote.
"During this time of fiscal panic, governors are looking for ways to save dollars," notes Mike Ervin of Chicago ADAPT. "Hundreds of us are coming to Washington because Congress and the White House need to step up efforts to protect Medicaid community services in the states. I use home services and without someone to assist me, I'd be waiting on some nursing home aide to change me or feed me whenever she was done with the other fifty people living in the same facility. With home services, I am in charge of my life."
Current Medicaid law mandates that states use their Medicaid programs to pay for nursing homes, but the law does not equally mandate that states pay for the same services in a person's own home. Today, most states recognize that providing home and community based services (HCBS) is a less expensive solution than institutions. However, in these tight fiscal times, Medicaid dollars funding "optional" services like HCBS are first on the budget chopping block, while the mandatory institutional budgets are rarely touched. ADAPT's current "Defending Our Freedom" campaign is a direct response to states' attacks against HCBS, services that allow people with disabilities to take care of themselves, raise their families and be part of society.
"Without the home services funded by Medicaid, hundreds, if not thousands, of people with disabilities in my state would be forced to live in nursing homes or institutions," said Joe Stramondo of Michigan ADAPT. "Some states are virtually on the edge of bankruptcy. It makes no sense to spend extra dollars on institutions when those same dollars could fund more people with disabilities to live in the communities of our choice."
To learn more about Defending Our Freedom, please visit

Friday, September 17, 2010

Center for Disability Services Cuts 10 Jobs

2010-09-17 17:37:14

ALBANY – The not-for-profit Center for Disability Services is eliminating ten jobs, forcing remaining service coordinators to double their caseload from 25 to as many as 50, a spokeswoman said Friday.

Each consumer will only receive about three yearly visits instead of 12, she said.

“We remain committed to providing the best program possible,” Anne Scheider Costigan said in a statement. “We are doing everything possible to make this a smooth transition."

The Center will attempt to find another position for the affected employees, as it did in 2009 when 50 jobs were eliminated by the termination of daycare and pre-school programs.

Scheinder Costigan blamed the layoffs on a reduction in Medicaid Service Coordination funding mandated by Gov. David Paterson at the height of New York’s fiscal crisis.

For more see

Friday, September 10, 2010

Minnesota Governor: Obstructionist?

From the Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities:

Update on Minnesota’s ability to pursue federal healthcare reform grants
September 10, 2010
by mnccd

Many of you are already aware that last Tuesday, Aug. 31, Governor Pawlenty announced an executive order requiring all state agencies to send any federal grant requests related to federal healthcare reform through his office, noting that he would likely not allow these grant requests to move forward unless they are required by law. The federal healthcare reform legislating that was passed this past year contains a variety of opportunities for states to apply for specific healthcare reform grants from the federal government. At this point it is unclear exactly how much this action will cost the state of Minnesota, but some estimates place this number as high as tens of millions of dollars in lost potential grant money. You can view a Star Tribune story on the decision here.

Minnesota’s disability community will feel the impact of this decision. First of all, federal monies that would have come to MN in the form of specific healthcare reform grants would have lessened the strain on Minnesota’s overall Medicaid budget. Secondly, a number of the state grant opportunities outlined in federal healthcare reform legislation were designed to support states in their work to serve individuals with disabilities in their homes and communities, rather than in institutions. The inability of Minnesota to move forward with applying for these grants will negatively impact our state’s progress in this area.

As a specific example, federal healthcare reform legislation included a $200,000 planning grant for a Money Follows the Person program that would have supported states in helping individuals with disabilities to move out of nursing homes and into the community by providing an increased federal Medicaid match for the individual’s first year in community services. A Minnesota state agency’s plan to move forward with applying for this grant was stopped as a result of this executive order.

MN-CCD leaders will continue to meet with state officials and other stakeholders to discuss this issue, so stay tuned for updates.