#AdvocacyMatters: Speaking Up For Better

March 5, 2021 / #AdvocacyMatters

Moving towards a society of equity - where people with disabilities are free to live, work, learn, and go where and how they choose - isn’t a dream. This is the guiding force behind our work and the righteous drive behind our fight. There is no “good enough” when it comes to achieving equity.

When Governor DeWine released his biennial budget proposal, we recognized and applauded the small increase funding it provided to support people with disabilities to maintain their independence and live and work in their communities. This issue has long been a barrier to equity for people with disabilities, but became magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic and the way this virus devastated so many in congregate care settings.

This week, we submitted interested party testimony on this proposed budget to the House Finance Subcommittee on Health and Human Services. Our testimony focused on six core issues and their impacts on Ohioans with disabilities:

  • Increasing investments to support direct support provider wages;
  • Ensuring Ohio draws entire federal funding for vocational rehabilitation services;
  • Providing additional oversight of hospitals;
  • Decreasing nursing home capacity through the nursing home bed reduction program;
  • Funding for care coordination preventing individuals from being placed in an institutional setting;
  • Increasing investments supporting multi-system youth and preventing custody relinquishment.

As you can see, our expectations aren’t outlandish. These are simply early steps than can be – and should be – taken on the march towards equity for people with disabilities in our communities and across our state. We won’t wait quietly for these changes to happen on our own. #AdvocacyMatters, and we’ll always use our platform and our voice to speak up for better.

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