Tomorrow, Tuesday, October 20, 2009 the Arc of Massachusetts and a number of other statewide disability advocacy groups will participate in a virtual protest against further budget cuts to human services for our most vulnerable residents of the Commonwealth. More than ten thousand individuals with disabilities have already lost some or all essential services this budget year ($45 Million cut in the Department of Developmental Services in FY’2010). These cuts included employment, day programs, family supports, and transportation that are central to people’s lives. Many families are already struggling and in need of help. More cuts will push many families to the brink and could actually be life-threatening. If these cuts go through, it will mean the dismantling of the Safety Net for tens of thousands of people with disabilities statewide.
Why is it that when times are tough, services for people with disabilities shoulder a disproportionate burden of budget cuts? Advocates fight so hard for vital services, yet these services can be taken away in the blink of an eye. The Governor and legislature must know about the potential dangers of making any further cuts to human services. What does it say about our society when our most vulnerable citizens are left without vital services?
If you work in the human services field, if you know someone with a developmental disability (such as the Bissell boys), or if you simply care about our most vulnerable citizens, here are a few things you can do to help:
* Use this Action Center to send an email to the Governor and EOHHS Secretary Judy Ann Bigby.
* Make phone calls to the Governor (617-725-4005), your senator and your representative (you can find who they are and get contact info at the Action Center).
* Use this link to sign our Twitter petition and send a tweet to the Governor (@MassGovernor): http://act.ly/ov
* Share your concerns on the Governor’s Facebook Fan Page http://www.facebook.com/GovernorPatrick
* Contact your local newspaper and tell them that you are participating in the People First Campaign.
Press release template (Word Format)
More information and talking points (PDF Format)
Tell whoever you talk to that you are concerned about the harm already inflicted on services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and that further erosion of the Safety Net cannot be withstood. Thanks.