Philly ADAPT, along with other PA ADAPT chapters and numerous other disability advocacy groups from across the state, participated in the FUND PEOPLE FIRST Rally at the Capitol in Harrisburg. The event was sponsored by Disabled in Action of PA (DIA) and the Disability Rights Network of PA (DRN).
We informed PA legislators that we cannot allow a state budget that would take away our services and throw us into nursing homes!
After the rally, ADAPT went to Senator Jake Corman’s (Chair of Senate Appropriations Committee) office in great force! We demanded a meeting. After about an hour of loud chanting, his staff acknowledged we would not just leave and scheduled a meeting for June 17th.
Next, we went to House Representative Dwight Evans' (Chair House Appropriations Committee) office and thanked him for introducing the Governor’s budget which does cover all our services. He also gave us a meeting for June 17th.
A few ADAPT members met with Senator Corman, asking him to work on implementing an Olmstead Plan in PA. [Olmstead is the landmark Supreme Court decision that upheld the ADA's focus on community integration. Part of the decision requires states to develop a plan so individuals with disabilities can live in "the least restrictive environment" - i.e., in our own homes, not nursing homes).
PA Department of Public Welfare (DPW) claims we have an Olmstead Plan (but we don't). Corman said he’ll request the plan from DPW and then meet with us in the next couple of months. We also explained why our services cannot be cut. Corman said he understood but that we should not ‘hit’ his office again like we did on June 11th. We told him that we can't promise that, as it is our very own freedom and civil rights at risk.
Next, we also met with Rep. Evans who stated that he fully supports the FUND PEOPLE FIRST agenda. He will also ask DPW for their supposed Olmstead Plan and work with us later to implement.