Washington, D.C. – (July 19, 2011) – The American Association of People with Disabilities and United Cerebral Palsy launched new radio ads in Iowa and New Hampshire, educating listeners about the disastrous effects that Medicaid cuts would have on Americans with disabilities and their families. Without the services that Medicaid provides, many people with disabilities would be unable to work, contribute to their communities, and lead independent lives. For parents of people with disabilities, Medicaid services often make the difference between being able to work and having to go on public assistance—or make the choice to put a child in an institution. The ads are the first in a series of initiatives to reach out to conservatives and people of faith to join the fight to protect Medicaid.
“We are sending a message: members of Congress who would deny American families this vital resource are going to be held accountable when they return to their districts,” said AAPD President and CEO Mark Perriello. “This is no time to be posturing for 2012, when Americans are living in 2011. Instead of yanking the rug out from under American families who want to keep going to work and contributing to their communities, our leaders need to do their own jobs and honor their own commitments to public service,” he added.
“These ads are meant to remind members of Congress that Medicaid provides a lifeline to Americans on both sides of the aisle,” said Stephen Bennett, President and CEO of United Cerebral Palsy. “Radio audiences are going to hear from people of faith, reminding policy makers that gutting supports for the most vulnerable in our society has an impact beyond the balance sheet. Bipartisan leadership in Washington needs to know that an assault on Medicaid is an attack on the very Americans who will help lead the nation back to economic prosperity. People with disabilities and their families will not remain silent on this issue, now or at the ballot box in 2012.”
The ad in Iowa features Sue Hetrick, an Ohio mother whose son, Micah, has Down syndrome. Without the aide that Medicaid provides for Micah, Sue would have to leave the workforce. In the ad, Hetrick says:
As a mother…a taxpayer….and a woman of faith, I pray we can fix our nation’s finances without hurting people with disabilities.We’re all God’s children and deserve a life with dignity. Let’s make sure our leaders in Washington don’t forget it.
Father Tom Dunstan, a Catholic Priest from New Hampshire, appears in the ad in that state. Dunstan speaks from a faith perspective, quoting scripture: Whatever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me.
He calls upon the listeners to take action:
As God’s children we are called to serve one another. Let’s make sure our leaders in Washington don’t forget it.
To listen to the ads or read the transcripts, visit www.aapd.com/medicaidradioads and www.ucp.org.
About United Cerebral Palsy
United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) educates, advocates and provides support services to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities. Together with nearly 100 affiliates, UCP has a mission to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people disabilities by supporting more than 176,000 children and adults every day—one person at a time, one family at a time. UCP works to enact real change—to revolutionize care, raise standards of living and create opportunities—impacting the lives of millions living with disabilities. For more than 60 years, UCP has worked to ensure the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in every facet of society. Together, with parents and caregivers, UCP will continue to push for the social, legal and technological changes that increase accessibility and independence, allowing people with disabilities to dream their own dreams, for the next 60 years, and beyond. For more information, please visit www.ucp.org.
Lauren Cozzi, 202-973-7114, LCozzi@ucp.org
Alicia Kubert Smith, 202-973 7168, email@example.com
* * *
The American Association of People with Disabilities is a convener, connector, and catalyst for change, increasing the political and economic power of people with disabilities.