Advocates Celebrate ADA, Urge MiCASSA Passage
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
July 28, 2003
TOPEKA, KANSAS--Topeka Mayor Butch Felker joined a crowd of disability rights advocates at the steps of the state Capitol to celebrate the 13th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and to urge Congress to pass the Medicaid Community Attendant Services and Supports Act of 2003 (MiCASSA).
Felker applauded the advocacy work done by citizens with disabilities which led to the creation of the 1990 anti-discrimination law. He also encouraged the crowd to keep pushing for passage of MiCASSA, which would allow people who receive Medicaid benefits to choose in-home and community-based services rather than be forced into nursing homes or other institutions.
"The advocacy is necessary," said Felker, who explained that his mother had polio when he was a boy. "We all have to understand -- those of us who don't have disabilities -- that everybody's better off if you're independent. The cost is a lot less, the stress is a lot less."
"You guys can do wonderful things. If you look around the offices now, more and more people with disabilities are working -- working hard -- and producing just as well as everybody else."
Mike Oxford, president of Topeka Independent Living Resource Center, said that the ADA has helped but a lot more needs to be done.
"Why? Because we're not free from institutions," Oxford said.
Related article with links to audio clips:
"Disabled Kansans hold rally at Capitol" (Topeka Capitol-Journal)
The Medicaid Community Attendant Services Act, MiCASSA (ADAPT)