Access Living rallies for jobs and Medicaid funding for people with disabilities

Advocates join National Day of Action to support independence for disabled

Access Living will join scores of other groups on November 17 to rally in support of independence, Medicaid, and economic opportunity.
(Chicago) – On Thursday, November 17 at 3:30 p.m., people with disabilities from Access Living will join thousands of other advocates at the Jobs Not Cuts rally at the Thompson Center in downtown Chicago as part of the National Day of Action. Access Living will call for investment in resources that employ people with disabilities, support people with disabilities while on the job, and eliminate physical, programmatic and social barriers that prevent people with disabilities from entering the workforce.

“Whether we have disabilities or not, we all want the opportunity to work and live independently,” said Tom Wilson, a community organizer at Access Living. “On November 17, we will rally side by side with thousands of other Chicagoans who are calling for a redistribution of resources that will open up more opportunity for people with and without disabilities to live and work in our home communities.”

Access Living will also send a message to the U.S. Congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, also known as the Super Committee, demanding that members preserve Medicaid services. Thousands of people with disabilities in Illinois and around the country utilize Medicaid services to live independently in their own homes, work in the community, and stay out of institutions. Access Living urges the Super Committee, instead of cutting Medicaid, to reform the system by investing in services that enable people to live at home. “If the goal of the Super Committee is to cut costs,” said Amber Smock, Access Living's Director of Advocacy, “then it needs to redistribute resources into the community. Community–based services cost much less than institutional services.” The Super Committee is expected to issue a proposal on November 23. If it does not, automatic deficit reduction measures will kick in.

Established in 1980, Access Living is a non–profit, Chicago–based disability rights and service organization that provides individualized, peer–based services for people with disabilities. With a strong influence in public policy and social reform, Access Living is a leading force in the community. Committed to challenging stereotypes, protecting civil rights and breaking institutional and community barriers, Access Living is a nationally recognized change agent at the forefront of the disability rights movement.