Disability advocates and activists from around the city will protest outside of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's NYC offices Thursday, to remind him that proposed changes that could spell the elimination of Consumer Directed Person Assistance would spell disaster for tens of thousands of families across New York State. The highly successful program began in New York and has since been copied across the country. Consumer directions allows people with disabilities to hire home care attendants they know and like including neighbors, family and friends. This also allowing disabled individuals to better customize their care to fit their specific needs. The elimination of consumer direction would mean thousands, maybe tens of thousands will have to relocate to nursing homes at a far greater cost to society _ not to mention the individual's health and happiness. We believe these moves only benefit the unions and owners of nursing homes who fatten their profits by skimping on care. Meanwhile, programs like consumer direction keep disabled people in their communities, among their loved ones at a much lower price. We need more common sense policies that recognize that allowing people with disabilities to determine their own care is the future. The changes proposed in Cuomo's budget represent a painful step backward for the disability community. These programs need to be better funded and improved, not reduced or eliminated.
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