Community organizing work in the health care arena at Access Living mirrors the health care policy work. The goals are the same.
Community organizing efforts are geared toward:
1. creating consumer controlled health care options for people with disabilities;
2. addressing disability–related disparities and discrimination in health insurance and social safety net provider programs;
3. ensuring the civil right of people with disabilities to live in the community, not institutions or nursing homes; and
4. increased safety and accessibility in the health care community.
The community organizing work focuses on three core areas of concern:
Financing health care for people with disabilities: addressing disability–related disparities and discrimination in health insurance and social safety net provider programs, including supporting people on Medicaid with services in communities rather than institutions, and rebalancing our state's spending on long term care services towards home and community based services.
Olmstead enforcement: ensuring the civil right of people with disabilities to live in the community, not institutions or nursing homes.
Hospital access: ensuring that people with disabilities have equal access to all forms of medical services in order to live healthy lives, and ensuring that providers have the knowledge and capacity to serve people with disabilities.
To address these three areas of concern, Access Living maintains a community organizing group (Task Force for Attendant Services) that mobilizes individuals around issues of access, community choices, and quality, well–funded health options for people with disabilities.
Access Living not only seeks to revise the role of health care in the lives of people with disabilities, but to support a shift in health–related industries towards valuing the self–determination of people with disabilities. Through community education, organizing, policy/legislation monitoring and legal action, Access Living seeks to capitalize on more than 30 years of consumer–led advocacy to shape health care as a human right for all.