2013 Government Shutdown & People with Disabilities
Posted on October 2nd, 2013 by Jennifer
Being a native Washingtonian and one of the people that represents Easter Seals on Capitol Hill, it is hard to see what is happening right now during the government shutdown. Imagine if all of the sudden a vast majority of your town was all laid off at once. Knowing the impact this will have for my family and friends is scary. But what I am particularly worried about is what this shutdown and the larger inability of our Congress to reach agreements on funding priorities means for people with disabilities throughout the country.
People with disabilities rely on government services to live, learn and work in their communities. Federal services and supports for people with disabilities have already faced years of stagnant or decreasing funding while the demand for services is increasing. With each step in this ongoing budget debate, services to people with disabilities have suffered. The shutdown will mean that people with disabilities will face delays in applying for and receiving direct benefits; education programs like Head Start may start shutting down; federal funding for food programs like WIC (Women, Infants and Children) and Meals on Wheels will stop coming; and more. These affects will just get worse the longer the shutdown goes on.
Easter Seals is working to stop the shutdown and make sure that Congress prioritizes the needs of people with disabilities. You can help by contacting your member of Congress and adding your voice. Thanks.