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Providing information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

Message From Georgia Advocates To Lawmakers: "Free Our People!"
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
February 9, 2005

ATLANTA, GEORGIA--A group of about 70 disability rights advocates gathered Monday to rally at the state Capitol.

While they brought several individual stories to tell, they ended up with one clear message: "Free Our People!"

According to the Macon Telegraph, the advocates had a hard time hearing under the huge dome, especially after the sound equipment failed.

So, they raised their voices as one to let Governor Sonny Perdue and state lawmakers know they are not at all pleased with his proposed budget plan. That plan would cut the amount the state pays on Medicaid home and community waivers which let people receive services in their own homes instead of nursing homes and other institutions.

The advocates are worried that the governor's proposal could mean some Georgians with disabilities would be forced into institutions outside the state.

"The caps could institutionalize me and others in the program," said Edwin McWilliams, who is quadriplegic and lives in his own home.

Last week, McWilliams told the Atlanta Journal Constitution: "I have had an abundant life living in my own home. I don't think the severity of my disability should disqualify me from being able to live in the community."

"Disabled advocates strain to be heard at Capitol rally" (Macon Telegraph)
"Quadriplegic fights threat to disabled's independence" January 29, 2005 (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
"Perdue seeks to cap costs for some with disabilities" January 29, 2005 (Macon Telegraph)


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