BATON ROUGE, LA — Individuals with disabilities, their families, and advocates from across the state will convene in Baton Rouge at the Louisiana State Capitol on May 1, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. for the 2013 Disability Rights Rally. This marks the sixth Disability Rights Rally in support of home and community-based services for people with developmental disabilities. The theme for this year’s Rally is “Restore and Protect Individualized Support Services for People with Developmental Disabilities and Their Families.”
Home and community-based supports and services allow people with developmental disabilities to live independently in their own homes or with their families in the community. Unfortunately, funding cuts over the last few years have caused drastic reductions to individual and family support services and prevented the addition of much needed Medicaid waiver slots. The result is an increase in the number of individuals put on waiting lists for services and the length of wait for New Opportunities Waiver services currently over eight years. Adequate funding for home and community-based services is necessary to ensure thousands of individuals with developmental disabilities and their family members do not reach the end of their rope emotionally, financially and/or physically.
With over 350 people already registered to participate in the Rally and many more expected to join these ranks, Legislators are sure to see a “sea of yellow” on the Capitol Steps. Individuals interested in participating should contact the Families Helping Families Resource Center in their region. Transportation is provided to the Capitol from most regions of the state. Speakers at the event include Senator Jack Donahue, Representative Katrina Jackson, and Advocacy Leader Kay Marcel. For more information on the Rally, visit http://www.laddc.org/content.cfm?id=448.
The 2013 Disability Rights Rally is organized and supported through the collaborative efforts of the Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council, Families Helping Families Regional Resource Centers, LaCAN, People First of Louisiana, The Arc of Louisiana, and the Advocacy Center.