Home and Community-Based Services Can’t Wait

Erin Hawley outside on a sunny day

Erin Hawley

I have Muscular Dystrophy which requires full care for all activities of daily living. Through home and community-based services in New Jersey, I am able to live in the community rather than an institution. I have a full-time job at Easterseals, where I work with the national staff as a Digital Content Producer. I also work on video game accessibility and disability representation as a freelance consultant. Beyond work, I spend time with my family and my loving partner of almost 7 years. I love reading and just redecorated my bedroom to look like a Victorian library – a dream I’ve had since I was a little girl. My family just got a Yorkshire Terrier named Madelyn who loves to run around my room and jump on my wheelchair. On the weekends, I play games with my niece who just started 5th grade, and help her with her homework.

I share all of that with you to let you understand my humanity. To show you that I am not just a number on a page, or a statistic. My life has value, as all lives do. If I lived in an institution, I would not be able to do any of the things I cherish. My physical and mental well-being would be in jeopardy. If you truly believed in the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness for all, then do the right thing and fully fund home and community-based services. We need that funding so people like me, who are disabled and have great plans for their future, can realize those dreams.

This issue doesn’t just impact people with disabilities – it also impacts their loved ones and professional caretakers. Higher wages are needed to meet the demand of people living in the community. We can’t meet that demand if we don’t receive the full funding. Without it, that means even longer waitlists, and even more people dying in institutions. During the height of COVID, we lost so many people living in these congregate settings, making the demand for community care more pressing than ever.

Segregation is injustice. The disability community is paying attention to the vote. Make the right choice not just for us, but for the entire nation – because only a nation that is more just and equal is truly united.



Comments may not reflect Easterseals' policies or positions.

Please read our community guidelines when posting comments.

  1. zagrosllc.com/ Says:

    Great article you shared here.

  2. about Says:

    Great info!

  3. Wako Wako Says:

    Brilliant! This is truly inspiring! Update us for more esvrm.com

  4. monicabing422 Says:

    Very informative this will help with my field study along with my essay writings contractors

  5. jselleck893 Says:

    Is there a link where other information are posted? cooling

  6. Fencing lincoln Says:

    Thanks for the information. Very helpful.

  7. Games MEA Says:

    I respect your bravery and fortitude in sharing your experiences and accomplishments with the rest of the world. You’ve demonstrated that you’re equally valuable to others. You are a role model for all of us.

  8. more info Says:

    Do the right thing and fully finance the home and community-based programs if you truly believe in the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness for all. Regardless of your circumstances, you struggle and demonstrate that you are capable of doing an outstanding job and competing with society’s standards.

  9. Richards Willis Says:

    If you truly believed in the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness for all, then do the right thing and fully fund home and community-based services.

  10. Waco Says:

    Hello, Erin! Despite your condition, you fight and prove that you can do amazing work and compete to the standard of society. Very inspiring!

  11. www.carpetcleanerfresno.com/ Says:

    I admire your courage and strength to let the world know about your experience and achievements. You are an inspiration to all of us. Thank you.

  12. Neha bharat Naik Says:

    My name is neha bharat Naik newsletter reporter and receptionist I confirm that independent skills and
    Leadership skills

Leave a Reply