ADAPT Names Tennessee FIRST Worst

Thomas Cagle (
Mon, 18 May 1998 07:52:05 -0400

From: (ADAPT Press Releases)

May 10, 1998

Contact:  	Michael Auberger (901) 528-1800, Room M-4
	    	Jennifer Burnett (901) 522-9700, Room 611

ADAPT names Tennessee FIRST Worst

83% of the residents in American nursing homes are women according to the

Health Care Financing  Administration. On this Mother's Day,  500 members

of ADAPT gathered in Court Square to hear national organizer Mike 
Auberger name Tennessee as the nation's worst state for directing public 
dollars into nursing homes and institutions instead of communities.
Cunningham, Director of Memphis Center for Independent Living, accepted 
the award on behalf of Tennessee and promised to take it to the governor.

Tennessee was followed by Mississippi, Louisiana, Missouri, Georgia, 
Illinois, Indiana, Florida, Ohio, and Kentucky to complete the list of 
the nation's ten worst states.

Speakers at the rally included Charles Hall of Tennessee People First 
which sued the state to close institutions for persons with developmental

disabilities. Hall was joined by Mary Stockley of the AARP, and LaTonya 
Reeve, formerly of Memphis, who said, "I'm ashamed to say that I'm from 
Tennessee. I had to leave the city of Memphis and move to Denver to get 
attendant services."

Following the rally in Court Square, 200 of the ADAPT activists stood 
vigil along McElmore Street across from the Kings Daughters and Sons Home

which is a nursing home almost entirely of younger persons with 
disabilities. Backed by chants of "Can you hear us, on the inside?" and 
"Free Our People, Now!", 2 ADAPT members laid flowers at the entrance of 
the nursing home. "We wanted our brothers and sisters who are still being

warehoused in nursing homes to know that those of us on the outside 
continue to fight for their freedom and their right to choose where they 
live," said Dawn Russell of Memphis.

ADAPT, a national disability rights organization, is in Memphis this 
week for four days of demonstrations in protest of Tennessee and 
America's very poor commitment to REAL choice in long-term services. 
Since 1990 ADAPT has been working to change the institutional bias in our

long term care system. The cornerstone of ADAPT's REAL Choice campaign 
for home and community based services is MiCASA, the Medicaid Community 
Attendant Services Act of 1997. Introduced by Speaker Newt Gingrich, the 
legislation has 63 co-sponsors in the House including Tennessee 
Congressmen Harold Ford and Bob Clement. MiCASA would give people REAL 
Choice, by allowing resources that now pay for them to live in a 
nursing home or other institution to be used where they choose-their own 
home in their own community. "I have never met anyone who wanted to live 
in a nursing home," stated Deborah Cunningham.


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Support MiCASA HR 2020
Tom Cagle
ICQ 7555286
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