DAA News Network

USA: Support for disabled people face drastic cuts in California

Posted 12/6-10 at 15.12

Disability programmes in California are being slashed to cope with the state's massive financial deficit. Benefit payments were reduced last year and dental coverage was eliminated. The governor's current budget plan would eliminate in-home support services.

At the end of May, the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC) claimed that the proposed cuts would violate Federal law that guarantees disabled people the right to independent living. In the Olmstead case, the United States Supreme Court ruled that states cannot force disabled people into institutional settings if they choose home and community-based placements.The court also held that the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) imposes an affirmative "integration mandate" to require the provision of services in the most integrated setting possible.


Editorial comment: As we reported in our March issue, this is but one example of how throughout the US the costs of the global financial crisis are being shifted onto the backs of disabled people. Because providing home services is not mandatory under Medicade, and closing institutions is politically more difficult, more and more disabled people face the prospect of not being able to live independently in their own homes. However, disabled people in California and elsewhere are fighting back. We can not let governments anywhere - and make no mistake this is going to be a battle we are going to have to fight throughout the world - use the excuse of budget deficits to overturn the gains the disability movement has made. We must work together to defend our rights to live dignified, independent lives.



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