Thursday, February 24, 2011

CAL Turns 30 - Thank you for your support!

- By Keith Hosey -

You may not have noticed. There wasn’t any fanfare, no celebrations or pats on the back. The Center for Accessible Living turned 30 in January. Founded January 19, 1981, the Center began as a housing resource for people with disabilities, the first of its kind in Kentucky. The Center started as a dream of a few people with disabilities asking the question: What do we really need to live our lives?

I am so very proud to be a part of this thirty year tradition. The Center for Accessible Living has helped tens of thousand of people with disabilities live independently since 1981. TENS OF THOUSANDS of people have had their lives changed for the better because the Center was here. People like Jackie, Arthur, Cass, Georgia, Bruce, Theresa, Jake, Elijah, Myrna, Violet, Greg, Tony, Ian, Bobby, Alan, Eric, me… and so many more.

The Center has been instrumental in systems change. CAL was involved in helping to implement the Medicaid Buy-in, a ramps program, the Kentucky Personal Care Attendant Program pilot, then PCAP expansion money - allocated for an actual statewide attendant program, Consumer Directed Option, Money Follows the Person, accessible parking fines to go towards PCAP funds, accessibility across the state, legislation to get ASL interpreters certified to ensure quality of communication, increasing accessible affordable housing options, restoring services to 3,500+ people in nursing homes and Community Based Services (through ARMS), the Real Choice Program – which directly transitioned 19 people out of institutions.

There was no fanfare. There were no big galas. My co-workers were busy in January. Busy helping Violet understand her bills, helping Bruce move into his own home, telling SSA beneficiaries they can work and be successful, managing attendant care, providing freedom in ramps, IL skills, employment, suits and advocating for legislation that helps every Kentuckian with a disability.

In January one man got a job and can provide for his son, nine people received ramps or home modifications, 170+ people received PCAP services that kept them in their own homes. All and all, it was a pretty routine January. What we call routine, our consumers call access and freedom and quality of life. That is why I am so very proud to be a part of this thirty year tradition.