Disability Rights

254 petitions

Update posted 2 days ago

Petition to v. Kirvelaitis, p. Camalliere, m. Skibinski, c. Hogan, c. Sanders, t. burton, t. culcasi, s. pointon

Justice for Miss Mary (Mary Inman)--Lemont Library

According to the patch and those interviewed, Ms. Mary Inman was recently dismissed from her position at the library without cause after a year of possible discrimination and hostility.  The matter needs to be looked into immediately.  Miss Mary is the "face" of the Lemont Library and has touched so many lives both young and old.  She has served the residents of Lemont for 31 years and deserves our support.  Through her hard work and programs, she has helped community members come together to make meaningful and lasting relationships, and played an important role in the lives of many children (generations of children). This petition is linked to the board members' email addresses. Let them know that the people of Lemont are upset, and that they need to find out exactly what transpired at the library.   Any wrong doing needs to be righted.  The library is funded by taxes paid by the people of the community, and Miss Mary is definitely highly revered by those people. If she struggled with completing her job due to health issues as somewhat suggested by the article, then we provide accommodations or modifications to support her so that she can complete the job because she has earned that after 31 years of dedication and service-- we do not dismiss her.  Photo courtesy of the Lemont Patch Link to the article:  

Amy Cattaneo
1,171 supporters
Update posted 2 weeks ago

Petition to Dannell P. Malloy

Keep Camp Harkness Alive

In the State of Connecticut, a grievous fault has occurred. Governor Dannel Malloy has been making extreme budget cuts in all of the wrong places and our special needs community is feeling the brunt. It has been brought to my attention that my son's Birth to Three agency is being forced to close its doors due to funding not being provided by our crumbling state. Birth to Three’s mission is to “strengthen the capacity of families to meet the developmental and health-related needs of their infants and toddlers who have delays or disabilities.” Some of the remaining agencies will be merging together, leaving fewer resources to appropriately serve the population. My son has received therapy services from this same agency since he was six months old due to torticollis and his premature size. Thanks to his amazing therapists, they have helped him crawl, walk, make leaps and bounds with his speech and provided us with additional supports that we will forever be grateful for. It is mind boggling to think that not only will his therapists be out of their jobs, but what the future holds for so many families who rely heavily on these services. How could the state of Connecticut possibly cut services to babies with developmental delays and disabilities when early intervention is so crucial? There is more devastating news and this affects not just infants, but ALL people living with disabilities. Governor Dannel Malloy has a “proposed” bill to shut down Camp Harkness, our state park serving people with disabilities. Camp Harkness is unique among all state parks, bequeathed to our state veterans and children and adults of all ages living with disabilities. This special state park offers access and opportunities not available in other state parks and is the only beachfront camp in the entire country for people with disabilities. Through the vast use of cabins, cottages, participants of special events, tent campers, and day visitors numbering in excess of over 35,000 per year, as well as usage by 106 other groups and agencies, it is evident Camp Harkness is a “jewel” like our governor went on record to say. Governor Dannel Malloy visited Camp Harkness in the summer of 2013 to give praise to the camp and the services that they provide. He visited due to the restorations that occurred after Hurricane Sandy devastated the grounds in the fall of 2012. “Camp Harkness is a jewel of Connecticut,” said Governor Malloy. “This is the only beachfront camp for individuals with disabilities in the country and with FEMA’s help like so many other communities in Connecticut, it has been restored to its original beauty.” Our state has invested significantly over the past number of years to improve the facilities and the user experience. The federal government allocated FEMA funds as well as to preserve this jewel of Connecticut. They too saw the importance and significance of Camp Harkness to those who need it. How can Governor Malloy so easily negate the needs of his citizens and the feelings of the federal government? So much has been invested in Camp Harkness and Malloy seeks to undo it with one swift swipe of his pen. I strongly urge you to please sign this petition and stand behind the 35,000 families of the special needs community who benefit so greatly from this state facility and keep this one of a kind state park open to the people who deserve this wonderful park the most. Be the voice of this community that doesn’t have the reach to share their feelings and experiences directly with those who have the power to decide the future of such a beautiful and meaningful place!

Heather Dierberger
20,751 supporters
Update posted 2 weeks ago

Petition to Don Davis

Vehicles for the Vulnerable

Like many families with disabled family members, transportation is a struggle with my son Jayden and me.  A wheelchair accessible van would alleviate our issues, but the cost is too high for a working mother with student loan debt and other expenses that come with daily life. Medicaid can help, but their policies make it nearly impossible to get what families need. They help with accessible vehicles in two ways. They will either pay to add modifications to an unmodified vehicle, or they will help with the purchase of a previously modified vehicle by paying the cost of the conversion toward the total price of the vehicle. Recently, I requested an already modified vehicle, and was approved but only for $7,175.00. A conversion costs upwards of $20,000. I learned that for unmodified vehicles, Medicaid pays for nearly 20 conversion items, but will only cover four items on a previously modified vehicle. Many conversion items on previously modified vehicles are necessary for even the most basic conversion. For example, any vehicle with a ramp needs a lowered floor, but that item isn't covered by Medicaid for previously modified vehicles, though it IS covered on unmodified vehicles. If Medicaid would cover the same conversion items on a previously modified vehicle as they do on unmodified vehicles, I would be able to purchase the vehicle and finance the remaining cost. I don't want to buy an unmodified vehicle because there is no guarantee modifications would be approved, and the conversion process itself takes eight to ten weeks. I have already been battling Medicaid for over three months. Please sign this petition to require Medicaid to cover the same conversion items on a previously modified vehicle that they cover on a modified vehicle. My child should not have to be confined to our home over a policy which can be revised to work in favor of our disabled children, rather than against them. ********* While I'm fighting this policy, I still need adequate transportation for my son. Therefore, I am posting the link to a GoFundMe Campaign to raise the money to purchase a vehicle in the meantime. Any money raised will be applied to the cost of the vehicle, whether Medicaid helps or not. Thanks again!********

Rebecca Fontes
98,413 supporters
Update posted 3 weeks ago

Petition to Charlie Baker, Massachusetts State Senate, Massachusetts State House

Disability for Firefighters with Parkinson's Disease due to toxins on the job.

  A fire can expose firefighters to millions of chemicals and toxins. We have become aware of the massive risks these toxins pose for first responders, who breathe them in, ingest them, and absorb them through the skin while putting their lives on the line. Most states have adopted “cancer presumptive laws,” meaning that if a firefighter gets cancer on the job, they are automatically awarded accidental disability to see them through their illness. But the increased rate of Parkinson’s Disease (PD), a degenerative brain disorder, in firefighters has mostly been ignored. I am a firefighter who was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s. I am not alone -- while the rate of PD in the general population is 3 out of 1000, it is 30 out of 1000 for firefighters. I am young to be experiencing this disease, but that’s often how it works for emergency responders, and there is mounting evidence that our exposure to burning chemicals is the culprit. I have 12 years left until I reach retirement, and, unfortunately, I am not sure I'll be able to keep working that long. My state of Massachusetts has great presumptive laws for firefighters, not only for cancer, but for heart and lung disease as well. It is now time for our legislators to include Parkinson’s Disease among these illnesses. We cannot ignore the connection between toxic chemical exposure and PD anymore. While PD usually develops slowly among the general population, symptoms often hit firefighters fast, seemingly out of nowhere. Research now suggests that toxin-induced PD has a more rapid onset than genetic PD, another indicator that we are, indeed, contracting this illness on the job. For those of us struggling with Parkinson’s, walking, talking, grasping and even blinking become increasingly difficult tasks to accomplish. Needless to say, continuing to work as firefighters while battling this disease is most often not possible. Indiana recently became the first state to include Parkinson’s in its presumptive law. This has provided unimaginable relief to many firefighters, who were running out of sick time, and facing unemployment and massive medical bills due to their debilitating disease. We now must band together and demand that more states recognize the link between firefighting and PD, and include PD among the illnesses covered by their presumptive laws. Please sign this petition to include Parkinson's in Massachusetts’ presumptive law, which would allow firefighters with Parkinson's to retire on full accidental disability.

Greg Heath
57,513 supporters