Announcements

Missouri Consumer Direct announcements, newsletters, and surveys:

Disability vote & what it means

Vote Pin Background - Pile of Red White and Blue Political Campaign Buttons

“Vote as if your life depends on it… because it does.” – Justin Dart.

This quote not only emphasizes our responsibility to exercise our civil right to vote, it also communicates that securing our rights and freedoms is a continued effort. Preserving the dignity of all people and defining what our society will be for generations to come is an ongoing effort we should all sign up for. November 6th being our next opportunity to exercise this civil right, let’s educate ourselves on the issues, use our power, and vote.

People with disabilities constitute the largest minority group in America. In the last election more than one-fourth (25%) of the total electorate either had a disability or lived in a household with someone who had a disability, representing 62.7 million eligible voters. Though voter apathy is common across all populations (about 60 percent of eligible voters participating in presidential elections and 40 percent participate in midterm (non-presidential) elections), people with disabilities generally turn out 6-10 percent lower than people without disabilities. That means 2.2 million voters with disabilities did not vote in 2016.

Justin Dart understood that an engaged populous can drive needed social change. Dart, who became a wheelchair user in the 1940’s after contracting polio at age eighteen, met a world of barriers. People with disabilities were kept from society, either confined to institutions or by the numerous barriers to community living. Communities were filled with inaccessible buildings and modes of transportation, and unjust laws and regulations, all of which perpetuated by uncivil prejudices. Prior to 1965, people with disabilities did not even have equal access to vote. The Independent Living Movement brought forth leaders, like Dart, and an engaged disability community to demand equal rights and treatment for people with disabilities. Through engaged activism and community action, social justice laws were signed into law, such as, The Voting Rights Act of 1965, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The 1999 U.S. Supreme Court Olmstead decision made access to community living a protected civil right.

Nationally, recent efforts have attempted to undermine access to community living. By lessening enforcement on accessibility compliance and restricting access to needed services, people with disabilities face having less protection to live and participate in the community. The ADA Education and Reform Act, if passed by the U.S. Senate, allows businesses to delay removing an access barrier for 120 days, or an undefined length of time, if the business is showing “progress” towards removing the barrier. Various proposed changes to Medicaid through block grants and per capita caps limit beneficiaries and/or access to essential services while attaching work requirements restricts eligibility. All three threaten to take away independence and freedom from individuals wanting to maintain their life in the least restrictive and most cost effective environment, which is at home and in the community with family and friends. If you are looking to stay involved and engaged with all things related to the disability vote across the country, The REV-UP Campaign is a great resource. REV-UP stands for: Register, Educate, Vote, and Use your Power.

November 6th marks an opportunity for us to defend our civil rights and stake a claim in our future. We are in position to lead towards a barrier-free life that is inclusive and respectful to all. It is the opportunity we cannot afford to miss.

Darren Larson | Community Relations Coordinator
Consumer Direct Care Network | Development

 

Nominate Your Caregiver!

A row of people's heads who are looking up at who will win the first ever DSP of the year text.

The Care Network understands how important Direct Support Professionals (DSP) are to helping people maximize their independence in their home and community. Across the nation, dedicated DSPs provide essential caregiving and give individuals the needed support to live the life they want.

We invite you to nominate a caregiver for the “DSP of the Year” award. We are looking for DSPs whose work goes above and beyond – DSPs who make a difference every day.

Selected DSPs receive $150 bonus!

Know a great DSP? Fill out our online nomination form today! Click here.

Donation to the Food Bank

foodbank

Last week, Missouri Consumer Direct volunteered their time at The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri and made a cash donation. Joined by Consumer Direct’s Owner, Bill Woody, and Consumer Direct’s Chief Operating Officer, Beth Peterson, we enjoyed giving back. It was a great day!

Angie Peterson State Director
MO Consumer Direct | Consumer Direct FL

Call for Volunteers in National Research Study

The National Resource Center for Participant Directed Services (NRCPDS) is recruiting volunteers for their research study, Preserving the Continuity and Quality of Self-Directed Supports throughout the Lifespan of Individuals with Developmental and/or Intellectual Disabilities: A Parent’s Perspective.

In this study, they hope to learn what aging parents currently do to support their child with a developmental and/or intellectual disability in directing their own services, as well as what plans and concerns they have for the future.

This is for program participants who are 21 years or older. If you are interested please see the NRCPDS Recruitment Flyer and contact them directly.

Office phone and internet unavailable August 5th

MO Consumer Direct’s phone lines and internet will be temporarily disabled starting at 8:00 am on August 5 while repairs are completed. We hope this is a quick process and we promise to respond to any email or voicemail as quickly as our systems are back up. We apologize for any inconvenience.

CPR Certification Special

American Heart Association CPR Certification Special
Corporate Safety Solutions will be offering a $20 special during the month of May in the St. Joseph, MO & Columbia MO offices.
The event flyer can be viewed / downloaded by clicking here