I live in Massachusetts, and I'm really getting sick of all the budget cuts to programs for people with Disabilities. There have been weeks where every day dozens (if not hundreds) of us are at the State House talking to legislators pushing for them to protect these programs- day programs, work programs, voc rehab, PCA programs, etc. Things many people in the community can't survive without.
If they cut programs like the PCA program or other day programs, many would end up institutionalized - which in the long run would cost the state more. When they start cutting work programs, people end up collecting state and federal disability without a means of working - when they could have (and should have) been able to continue working.
I live in elderly/disabled housing, and one of my neighbors, who is Autistic and in his late 50s has been around more than usual of late. He wanders aimlessly all day, or just sits out side looking sad for hours. I finally said something the other day to another neighbor about him. was told that with the latest budget cuts, they decided to cut the older disabled people from the work program to allow funding for the younger ones. :[
I feel so bad for him, because his job was his identity. He was proud to go to work every day. He worked there for years! I think it was just tasks like unloading trucks or in a warehouse or something, but it gave him a paycheck and a routine. Now he just wanders unsure of what to do with himself. He's a good guy, and I'm sure he was a great worker. He probably would never have retired and just worked until he died because its what he loved. :[
When I see people affected by these budget cuts, it really makes me sad. Do these politicians not understand that peoples LIVES are affected or do they think they are merely playing with numbers on a budget?