2013 Government Shutdown & People with Disabilities

U.S. Capitol buildingBeing 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.


 

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  1. james Says:

    hi my name james martineau
    i been in easter saals all my life i and it not good
    i get so made beause we get miss treaed here


  2. LEE KORTH Says:

    MY WIFE AND I ARE BOTH DISABLED. WITHOUT THE ASSISTANCE OF CHARIATABLE ORGS., WE COULD NOT PAY OUR BILLS PRIOR THAN THE GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN. THOUGH I RESPECT ALL THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED HEREIN, WHAT ABOUT THE REST OF THE COUNTRY THAT IS IN ” OUR POSITION”?? YES, ITS TERRIBLE THAT THE GOVERNMENT WORKERS ARE “LAID-OFF, FURLOUGHED, TEMP. KICKED-OUT,” WHAT EVER LABLE IT CAN BE CALLED,THEY WILL STRUGGLE FOR AWHILE TO MAKE ENDS MEET. THE POSITIVE IS THAT THEY WILL NOT BE IN THAT POSITION FOREVER! THE GOVERNMENT HAS TO OPEN UP SOONER OR LATER! IM IN A WHEELCHAIR AND I HAVE A DIFFICULT TIME AS IT IS, AS OTHER PERSONS THAT ARE AS BAD OR WORSE OFF THAN ME, WHAT ARE WE SUPPOSE TO DO WHEN WE GET KICKED OUT FOR NON-PAYMENT OF RENT! AS MEAGER AS THEY ARE, I THANK GOD EVERYDAY FOR THE PROVISIONS I DO HAVE. THE PEOPLE IN WASHINGTON THAT PUT THIS COUNTRY IN THE CURRENT STATUS SHOULD BE JAILED FOR THIS.I CANT, FOR THE LIFE OF ME CANT UNDERSTAND HOW “WE AS A PEOPLE” WHO OWN ARE COUNTRY LET THIS SITUATION GET LIKE THIS. IT BROUGHT TEARS TO MY EYES TO SEE OUR VETS,SOME THAT SERVED IN WARS LONG AGO, PICK UP THOSE BARRIERS AT THE WASHINGTON MONUMENT AND TOSS THEM ASIDE! THAT MADE THEM TRUE HEROES TWICE!WE ALL SHOULD BE TAKING OUR COUNTRY BACK!LEFT-WING, RIGHT-WING, INDEPENDENT, THESE ARE JUST LABELS! WE ARE ALL AMERICANS AND WE ALL HAVE A STAKE IN THE SUCCESS OF THIS COUNTRY! YES I AM DISABLED AND I STRUGGLE TO GO ON EVERYDAY, BUT I DO BECAUSE NO MATTER HOW BAD MY SITUATION IS, SOMEONE ELSE IS A HELL OF A LOT WORSE! THIS “VENT” ISNT ABOUT ME, IT IS ABOUT “US”, AMERICANS.WE LOVE OUR INDEPENDENCE, PEOPLE DIE EVERY DAY FOR US TO KEEP IT AND WASHINGTON IS PLAYING GAMES WITH IT AS IF SOME SCHOOL YARD BULLY! I SAY ITS TIME WE ALL JOIN THOSE “VETS ON THE MONUMENTS SIDEWALKS” AND START TAKING OUR COUNTRY BACK! OUR CIVIL RIGHTS ARE BEING STEPPED ON EVERYDAY, OUR FAMILIES ARE SUFFERING, CRIME IS RAMPANT MORE-SO BY OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS THAN ON OUR STREETS,OUR DEBT IS OUT OF CONTROL, WE LOST OUR WAY WHEN IT COMES TO CARING FOR OTHERS LESS FORTUNATE AND EVEN THOSE OF US THAT ARE DISABLED.EVEN OUR NEWS AGENCIES HAVE TAKEN POLITICAL SIDES, STILL, IM DAMN PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN AND MY WIFE AND I (BOTH DISABLED) LIVE ON LESS THAN $10,000 A YEAR! I SAY WE ALL NEED TO STAND-UP AND TAKE “OUR COUNTRY” BACK!I THANK GOD FOR PEOPLE LIKE “EASTER SEALS” WHO COMMIT THEIR LIVES TO HELPING OTHERS! I KNOW THERE IS MANY MANY MORE ORGANIZATIONS THAT ALSO DO THE SAME AND GOD BLESS THEM TOO. COME ON FOLKS! LETS GET MOTIVATED AND TAKE THIS COUNTRY BACK BEFORE WE BECOME A LAUGHING-STOCK ON THE GLOBAL STAGE AND SECOND OR EVEN THIRD WHEN IT COMES TO AN EXAMPLE!CHINA IS SNEAKING UP TO US AND NO ONE IS PAYING ATTENTION AS WELL AS SEVERAL OTHER COUNTRIES, LETS TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK! THANKS FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO EXPRESS MY OPINION, ANY OBJECTIONS??!! ANY ADVICE OR ANY HELP WHAT-SO-EVER,IM IN DESPERATE NEED OF A RELIABLE WHEELCHAIR VAN SO MY WIFE AND I CAN GET SOME OF OUR “LIFE BACK”.WE BEEN “PRISONERS IN OUR TINY APARTMENT” DUE TO DISABILITY FOR OVER 10 YEARS,SO ANY HELP WOULD BE A “GOD-SEND”! PLEASE, PLEASE SEND YOUR ADVICE OR SUGGESTIONS TO: lee.korth@yahoo.com
    HEARTBROKEN YET HOPEFULL HERE IN MISSOURI


  3. Gayle Johnson Says:

    Just to clarify to whoever might be interested, the sources that I referenced as using the terms “lay off”, “laid off” include abc.com, cnn.com, seattletimes.com, latimes.com, just to list a few.. Technically Mr. Calvecchio is correct in pointing out that there is a difference between being laid off and being furloughed, however, if the above cited sources can use the terms interchangeable I don’t think it is quite the “inaccurate, irresponsible, quasi-political” statement that will cost Easter Seals, to say nothing of the writer of the article, their “credibility”.

    Don’t we all need to give each other just a little bit more lee-way and focus on what really matters. Maybe more than a little bit?

    How can you help?


  4. Gayle Johnson Says:

    It is unfortunate that the Mr. Calvecchhio chooses to focus his entire opinion of this well written article on the author’s reference to workers being “laid off” instead of, using the “correct term” sequestered or furloughed. Perhaps more people can understand the more common term, which I have seen used interchangeably in the media, community publications, and various workplace announcements in the past months in reference to people not being able to participate in their usual government employment due to these tragic issues.

    I hope that other readers are not similarly affected; that they do not become so “lost” in Mr. Calvecchio’s response that they fail to take notice of the many significant points that the author made so succinctly.

    Jennifer, thank you for expressing your concern in such a concise and thorough manner. I too share the fear and anxiety, as so many other’s must certainly be experiencing as well, in response to the recent course of action chosen by the people who we elected to represent the interests of our country’s citizens. Clearly, if any accusations of irresponsible behavior should be made one might consider starting there.

    The effect of as many as 800,000 government employees having to be “furloughed”, or working without knowing when they will receive their paychecks, is difficult to truly comprehend and I believe that Jennifer illustrated the magnitude of facing that in her description of what she sees in the immediate aftermath of the partial shutdown of our Federal Government. Our Nation’s Capitol is an area that is densely populated by many of the people representative of our federal workforce . I hesitate to speculate on how this disruption alone will be effecting those members of our community who have limited capacity to understand what is taking place, let alone what the consequences of this will be on the benefits and services that they require, if the government shutdown is not swiftly resolved.

    I am just an everyday, ordinary community member. I vote, I worry. I am also a card-carrying member of Medicare (still over a decade too young to qualify the usual way) AND the parent of a child with significant developmental disability. I feel apprehension and dread at the thought of what the results of a prolonged state of shutdown could be, especially to a system that has already suffered the cumulative effects of years upon years of stress and strain caused by constantly decreasing funding and ab ever increasing demand for services.

    I praise the immediate response of people like Jennifer, the writer of this article. I applaud the actions taken by retail and food service companies rallying to offer free or discounted services to those who have been the first to be separated from their position. Cheers and kudo’s to the businesses and other organizations that are offering advocacy for those who have no idea when they will receive future paychecks beyond those owed for hours worked prior to being furloughed.

    I pray that the majority of readers will respond as they can in their own ways, and that intentional acts of generosity, arising from empathy, kindness and concern will prevail. I, for one, plan to act on Jennifer’s recommendation to contact my local Congress-person. I will also pass this excellent article on to family and friends and ask that they contact their representatives, and pass the information forward as well.
    Recently my younger child said “I can’t do anything, I am only one tiny voice?” in a moment of discouragement because a group of peers would not follow his lead in an action his teacher had allowed him to undertake. I told him that it is EXACTLY those many small voices of all of us ordinary and extraordinary people together that MAKE a difference. “United we stand, divided we fall” has stood well for our Nation for hundreds of years. It is our responsibility, each and every one of us, to use our individual “little voices” together until we make the sound of a ROAR. It all starts with one little voice ( the quiet tip tap of the computer keyboard?) For everyone’s sake, let one of those voices be yours.


  5. Joe Calvecchio Says:

    Inferring that people are “laid off” during this shutdown is inaccurate, irresponsible and quasi political in nature. You lose credibility for your good cause, and the finer points of concern in your post are lost with such a statement.


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