#AdvocacyMatters: Better at Home

November 20, 2020 / #AdvocacyMatters

At Disability Rights Ohio, we believe that all Ohioans have the right to receive care in their communities. This is why Disability Rights Ohio—along with 48 other organizations and individuals—has 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 Home and Community Based system in Ohio needs additional funding from the state to continue supporting the independence and safety of older Ohioans and people with disabilities. Given additional support, HCBS could expand transitions out of long-term care facilities, identify those most at-risk of institutionalization, prevent reductions in individual services, and strengthen provider and workforce capacity. The Ohio HCBS Coalition’s advocacy aims to highlight the important work that these services and supports provide to our communities.

During the pandemic, long-term care facilities have struggled and the state needs to focus on rebalancing its systems of care. Overburdened by COVID-19, these facilities account for nearly 2/3 of all COVID-19 deaths in Ohio despite representing only 7% of all cases. Living in the community is more than an individuals’ right: For older Ohioans and people with disabilities, it can be the difference between life and death.

The Ohio HCBS Coalition is committed to supporting providers, caretakers, and organizations that make HCBS a reality for all Ohioans who choose it. During the upcoming state budget process, coalition members will organize their collective advocacy to demonstrate the importance and urgency of HCBS expansion. Any individual or organization that supports the mission and goals of the Ohio HCBS Coalition is encouraged to join in their advocacy efforts through the coalition website here.

Uplifting HCBS is a step in the right direction to ensuring that all Ohioans receive the care they need. As the work continues, Disability Rights Ohio will join our partners to support access to HCBS for people with disabilities, because we know that #AdvocacyMatters.

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