Twenty-First Birthday Could Be Disastrous For Ramos
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
July 23, 2004
OELWEIN, IOWA--Tony Ramos is not looking forward to his birthday in September.
That's because he will turn 21 and will lose thousands of dollars in state-funded services that have helped him to live at home.
Right now, about 500 Iowans are on a waiting list for in-home services. Ramos is number 307 on that list. That means years of waiting for the young man, who has been paraplegic from a car-bicycle accident in the mid-90s.
"I think its terrible," Ramos told KWWL-TV.
"I don't want to go to a nursing home, that's for older folks," he said. "I still want to live life. I want to go to college and I want to make something of my life."
Ramos hopes to convince state lawmakers to increase grant money for people with disabilities of all ages -- soon.
Iowa health officials said they are working with Congressional leaders to pass a bill which would provide more money for adults with disabilities to live in their own homes rather than nursing homes or other institutions.
Young adults in other states face similar situations.
Last year, Nick Dupree, an Alabama college student with muscular dystrophy, won a two-year campaign aimed at getting the federal government to approve a Medicaid program in his state to allow him to continue to receive in-home services after he turned 21. While the program specifically helped 29 young people in Dupree's situation, many more adults continue to be denied such services.
"Nick Dupree's Crusade Pays Off For Him And Others" (Inclusion Daily Express Archives)