41 protesters from ADAPT were arrested Monday. They broke through the cordoned off area in front of the White House. Protesters were chanting, “I’d rather go to jail than die in a nursing home”. After negotiations with [a group leader], the arrested protesters were let off with a citation.
Protesters are unhappy about what they see as Obama’s lack of follow through in helping people with disabilities live in the community rather than nursing homes. ADAPT says Medicaid has an “institutional bias.” Studies have shown that community-based alternatives are almost always less expensive, and promote better mental health for people with disabilities and a better community for everyone. So why the “institutional bias”? I’ll get to that. But first, what is ADAPT, and how many political-action groups are there out there for generalized disabilities? (It does seem every sub-group is getting its own lot together, which is helpful for research, but may be unhelpful when we try to speak as one; i.e. people with disabilities)
ADAPT stands for American Disabled for Attendant Program Today. According to their website, they are a “national grass roots community of disability rights activists”. Their main goal is to make sure people with disabilities live in the community, and while in the community, are able to receive adequate services, but really touches on all disability civil rights issues. They do this through “non-violent direct action, including civil disobedience.” ADAPT started 30 years ago this year. [quotes taken from ADAPT.org, main page]
Every other group I have run into seems very state-centric. Even ADAPT is, although they have a national organization to bind them together. And I get it, Medicaid is state funded, but in a lot of ways I don’t understand. Why is AARP so strong? Or the NRA (God help us)? Because they are national organizations- if we keep dividing each other- be it by illness, or state, or type of funding we receive- we will never have a seat at the table. The table? The tables of government, of media, of finance, of medicine.