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ADAPT Disability Rights Activists and SEIU Home Care Attendants Tell Congress: Community Choice is a Right
Date:4/29/2009

Consumers and Workers Call on Elected Officials to Pass Community Choice Act

WASHINGTON, April 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Hundreds of activists from the ADAPT disability rights organization, and home care attendants who belong to SEIU joined together in the halls of Congress today to deliver an urgent message to legislators: pass the Community Choice Act (SB 683, HB1670) to ensure access to home and community-based services for disabled and older Americans.

The rally was part of a larger effort by ADAPT and SEIU to strengthen the country's current long-term services and supports system, and prepare it for the rising demand for in-home services as the baby boomer generation ages.

Speaking at a rally in Upper Senate Park, ADAPT organizer Mike Oxford of Kansas explained, "People with disabilities and their families will no longer tolerate being forced into institutions to receive assistance. It's time for a real choice. Congress needs to pass CCA now."

"To ensure quality supports in the home, we need good home care jobs. That's why personal care attendants and consumers are uniting to pass the Community Choice Act," said Shareen Miller, a personal care attendant from Falls Church, Virginia, and a member of SEIU.

Medicaid funding currently favors one type of service -- nursing homes -- at the expense of in-home services and supports. While Medicaid is set up to guarantee nursing home services to individuals needing long-term care, it does not guarantee equal access to home and community-based services.

Sponsored by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL), the Community Choice Act will allow eligible people with disabilities and older people to choose to stay in their own homes and communities with attendant care instead of being forced into nursing homes.

Working together on this critical piece of federal legislation, ADAPT and SEIU have partnered at the state level for improved funding, choice, and quality for in-home supports and services.

ADAPT is the nation's largest cross-disability, grassroots, disability rights organization, with members in every state and several countries.

With more than 2 million members, SEIU is the country's largest home care union, with more than 420,000 home care members.


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