I am a husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend. I believe in sharing my talents and experiences by giving back to the community by giving my time to coaching, church and especially to the disability community. I truly believe that all men and women are created equally.
Remember what it was like going to your 10 year reunion? Classmates are now married, parents, balding, graying, any number of physical things have changed in those 10 years. By now, most classmates have embarked on a career, in a lot of cases not what you would have expected from this person.
Now imagine you are not invited to the reunion because you were sort of forgotten about. You did not build meaningful friendships in high school because you had a disability. Again, the highlight of your day 10 years ago was a simple hello and smile. The classmates that remember you are your siblings friends. They had some social interaction with you. The true friends will ask your siblings how you are doing on a regular basis.
If there are caps placed on Family Care or IRIS, the answer will be limited. You will probably still be living with your parents or by now a sibling. Or you may be living in a nursing home (possibly at tax payer expense). There is a good chance that you would still be waiting for services because it is hard to imagine the waiting list being eliminated in 10 years. Who knows if you will be working.
While I was talkng with the Men's Club at Nativity of the Lord, one member mentioned how he was impressed by how my daughter seems to really look out for her brother. I was appreciative that it was noticible, but I mentioned that it is just a by-product of the situation. I can not imagine the responsibity that an 11 and a 9 year old must feel when they have an older brother with a disability. I am proud of both of Tyler's younger siblings, Madisyn and Spencer.
I am working witha group of people, Wisconsin Families Forward, to try and have the caps removed from Family Care during the budget process. Duing a strategy call this week, it was mentioned that 75% of individuals with disabilities are living with family members or guardians that are over 60 years old.
Without the supports provided within the Family Care and IRIS systems, most individuals with disabilities will be unable to live on their own safely. If they can not get these supports, how do they gain the experience to live on their own. If 75% of individulas with disabilities are living with supports over 60 years old, how long can that situation realistically last? Once the supports pass away, where does that leave the individual with a disability? Who do you think is going to end up paying in the long run?
We must have the caps removed from Family Care so that individuals with disabilities have opportunities in life.