The Unseen Disability

English: Barack Obama signing the Patient Prot...

English: Barack Obama signing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act at the White House Español: Barack Obama firmando la Ley de Protección al Paciente y Cuidado de Salud Asequible en la Casa Blanca (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I received this letter on the online organizing tool “Dashboard“, which is used for the Obama re-election campaign. While I have edited the spelling and punctuation, I think her words and grammar speak exactly to the frustration and pain of many of the country’s disabled. This post is to give her voice, and to let her see that there are many of us out there that are willing to listen.

Hi I am Edith, and I cannot post public messages on dashboard, and no one has helped, it has been over 2 weeks so I am sending you privately.

I understand disabilities and because I am intelligent and my disability is not as obvious as using a walker sometimes people think it is fake. I am an adjunct instructor and the income is not steady. I cannot do other kinds of work because I have CP and neurological handicaps that are visual-spatial (meaning ability to judge perception and distance), and poor balance, coordination and I cannot make judgments on what others want, severely limiting what I can do. I am a doctoral student with 4 masters degrees and academic things are the only things I can do. I cannot do any “practical” job, cannot cook, do laundry or carry things, (husband with intellectual disability does those physical things). I cannot use a device and require arm assistance of others for distances. I also experience chronic pain and I do yoga to combat that. I am writing this to let you know I understand disabilities, I am with Obama on health care, and I really wanted to see that CLASS act passed that the Republicans stopped. That would allow people to obtain personal assistant services who are not on Medicaid or not eligible for Medicaid like me. I depend on friend and colleagues because that act is not passed. we need Obama to help meet our needs.

Edith speaks to a very important issue, who helps the person who is disabled but wishes to live independently? Why should these people be warehoused in long-term care? What are the insurance companies doing to make sure they get adequate care that prevents further deterioration?

There is much more to this issue, and I will be covering it as letters follow. I am interested in the CLASS Act, and what it might provide. Let me know what you think?


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