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.
Last night, my son attended his first People First meeting (http://peoplefirstwi.org/page2.php). This was his first real opportunity to be with individuals who are fighting for their rights, other than his family. People First is an advocacy group that takes on issues that affect them and their families. It is a group run by individuals with varying disabilities.
The issue last night was the State budget. There is great concern about the Medicaid budget. Medicaid also covers Family Care and IRIS programs within the State. Not only does Medicaid affect people with disabilities, but it also affects the elderly.
At last nights meeting, members wrote a letter to Governor Walker as well as Secretary Smith from DHS. These letters told the stories of the importance of Family Care and IRIS in their lives. They talked about the need to adequately fund these programs to allow for their own continued independence.
I worked with my son on drafting his own letter. We talked about how important it is to him to be allowed to make some of his own choices now, but as he grows older, he will want to make ALL of his own choices. Just as the Governor, Secretary, you and me make our own choices in our daily lives, so too must Tyler be allowed those same choices.
It was a proud moment for me to see him write his name on the letter that will be sent to Madison and to voice his concerns about issues that affect him. I must be honest, he has now written more letters to government to fight for an issue than I have.