No one wants to be locked away in an institution at any time of the year, but it is worst during the holidays. As you celebrate this holiday season, you can help the Center for Disability Rights (CDR) make freedom a reality for people with disabilities and help them be home for every holiday.
The last two weeks exemplify some of our work. Earlier this month, Richard, who had spent a number of years in a local nursing facility, was able sign a lease to move into his own apartment and was approved for enough hours that he could leave the institution. CDR’s transition services made it happen by cutting through the resistance of his managed care organization and the property management company. This week, Paul, who been stuck in another local institution for years, was able to move back into the community with the help of our Rapid Transition Housing program. With CDR’s assistance, both will be home for the New Year. And they join the 125 other people CDR helped transition into the community during the last year!
CDR had a huge impact on those 125 people. That – in and of itself – would be a major success, but CDR did far more, serving well over 10,000 people with disabilities across the state in 2019.
We had a major impact through our systems advocacy as well! At the start of the year we helped launch the Disability Integration Act (DIA), bi-partisan, bi-cameral legislation that we helped craft which would ensure that the right of people with disabilities to live in the community is protected under the law. In the last year, the bill has gained 237 sponsors in the House and 34 in the Senate. That means DIA needs only 17 more Senate sponsors for the majority needed to pass it in both houses.
In the last year, we also worked at the state level to save the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance (CDPA) Program against an attack from the State of New York. CDPA is a vital tool in ensuring that disabled New Yorkers can continue to live independently. By the state’s own admission, this attack would have forced many people with disabilities into nursing facilities and other institutions. CDR and several other organizations filed a successful lawsuit to stop the state’s policy changes. Although we have won the first round, the state has already indicated that it intends to continue with its efforts to destroy the program. With your support, CDR will be there to stop them.
CDR does not just work to fight discrimination and injustice. We are actively working to create the world we want to see. We are piloting a Support Service Provider program in Rochester that is intended as a model for New York in supporting members of the Deaf-Blind community to live independently. We host an annual Accessible Trick or Treat event that makes the holiday experience truly accessible so it can be enjoyed by all children. And our Pooled Trust services allow people with disabilities and elderly individuals to qualify for Medicaid services needed to be independent and remain in the community.
We are reaching out to you because you have already shown your support for Disability Rights. You can help support CDR’s mission today by making a donation today. Please join us in fighting to create a world in which everyone has a place in the community. Donate today!
Dr. Gregg D. Beratan
Director of Development