On Tuesday, June 29 ( This blog post is over a month late. Blame it on summer procrastination) , I paid a visit to the local office of State Senator Mark Wyland. I went to his office to discuss my concerns about possible cuts to IHSS (In-home Support Services) and Medi-Cal and how cuts to these programs could adversely affect the ability of people with disabilities to live independent lives, and to be a part of the community
This is part of my work with Access to Independence of San Diego to advocate for the disabled community. Again I was accompanied by Rachel Vega from A2I. But, this time I did most of the talking. Senator Wyland was not available, so we met with his assistant instead.
I told Senator Wyland's assistant how important it was for a person with a disability to live in the community and to get in-home care or assistance. If I didn't have in-home care to help me with my everyday needs, then it would be very difficult for me to live at home and I would end up in a nursing home. A nursing home is a terrible fate for an independent person; in a nursing home there are all kinds of germs and viruses and it isolates people from the community. If cuts are made to programs that enable people with disabilities to live in the community, such as IHSS and Medi-Cal Waiver Program, then it be comes a quality of life issue. It would also violate the Olmstead Act, which is supposed to allow people with disabilities to choose to live in the community, and not to be forced into nursing homes.
His assistant seemed attentive to what I was saying and appeared to grasp the importance of what I was saying. Whether or not what I said will influence Senator Wyland or not is difficult to know, but it is still important to let my voice be heard and to try to give voice to an important issue for the disabled community.