#AdvocacyMatters: An Attitude of Empowerment

February 26, 2021 / #AdvocacyMatters

Empower: To give someone the power or authority to do something. To make stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights.

Our work is guided by a clear mission: To foster a society where people with disabilities are full and equal members and are free to live, work, learn, and go where they choose. A society of inclusion and equity cannot be possible when so often a diagnosis strips away one’s opportunity to choose where they live and receive care.

Last fall, we and 48 other organizations and individuals joined forces to form the Ohio Home and Community-Based Services Coalition (Ohio HCBS Coalition). These organizations and individuals will advocate to maintain and expand home and community-based services (HCBS) in Ohio, specifically directing their advocacy towards the state budget process. The Ohio HCBS Coalition is committed to supporting providers, caretakers, and organizations that make HCBS a reality for all Ohioans who choose it.

This week, our advocacy for home and community-based services moved another step forward. Members of the DRO team began virtual visits with residents of Intermediate Care Facilities (ICFs) to help them understand the opportunities that exist for them to live and receive their services within a home or community setting. As part of the Ball v. DeWine settlement, state-funded waivers are available to help ICF residents move out of these facilities and into their own homes in their communities.

The ability to choose to live and receive services at home instead of a facility isn’t a privilege, it’s a right. Data from the state shows that around 99% of Ohioans who move from ICFs into home and community-based services report being happy with their decision to do so. We’ll keep working to empower people with disabilities across our state to make the choice that’s best for them, because #AdvocacyMatters.

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