Disabled people have lives that are worth something.

Update: Yesterday I posted about Wrong Planet taking down a post at the request of Autism Speaks. Today the Autistics Speak blog posted a little more information about why the post was removed, but it sounds like a remarkably weak defense of censorship based on a lack of understanding of parody to me. What do you think?

On to today’s post.

I came across a disturbing article this morning about what some state workers in Indiana have suggested parents do with severely disabled adult children they can no longer care for at home. I can’t begin to describe the feelings caused by finding out people have been told to leave disabled adults at homeless shelters. I’m glad the workers who made the suggestion will be disciplined, if they haven’t been already, but how could anyone possibly say something like that to a family seeking much-needed help for their loved one?

I think Becky Holladay, the mother of a disabled adult son, said it best:

“We are people and they are people,” she told members of the General Assembly’s Commission on Developmental Disabilities on Tuesday. “They have lives that are worth something.”

(“Parents told to leave disabled kids at shelters” Associated Press, via The Star Press)

Yes, the economy is still in a deep hole with little hope of it improving any time soon, but I don’t understand how government officials can justify cutting funding to services essential for disabled adults and then expecting the families to find a way to pay for the care out of their own pockets. Unless the government likes watching people file for bankruptcy and desperately seek non-existent help, I don’t see how cutting the funding could possibly have been a good idea.

Please excuse me while I take a deep, calming breath…Okay, that’s better.

Now, I know the state budget needs to be balanced, other programs had funding cut, etc. I understand that these are hard times for everyone, not just individuals and small businesses but big corporations and government agencies as well. But despite all of that, I honestly think the officials responsible for creating the budget would do well to take a good hard look at what they’re cutting the funding for and how it will effect the citizens in need of those programs and services.

This is turning into one of those weeks where it feels like society is on the verge of collapse. Freedom of speech threatened, backs turned on those who need help the most…what’s next?

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