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.
Throughout this entire budget process, I sometimes get the feeling that we forget that we are dealing with real people. All you here about is the dollar amounts. While these dollar amounts are staggering, we are still forgetting that there will be an affect on people. Whether it is U.S. citizens as we talk about a massive overhaul of Medicare and Medicaid or Wisconsin citizens when we talk about freezing Family Care, we are talking about real people here.
Yes, I am personally touched by these issues. My son Tyler is non-verbal and was born with Down syndrome and Autism. But Tyler has dreams. Tyler wants to be able to contribute to society by having a job, living on his own, buying consumer goods and most importantly paying taxes. Tyler wants to be able to live the same life as you and me.
Tyler did not choose to be born with a disability, but he has learned to live with it. It was the Good Lord who decided that my family should be blessed with Tyler. All Tyler is looking for is a little help and a fair shake in life. Tyler does not feel that he is entitled to anything. In fact he does not really know what this means. But Tyler does understand that he needs some help. Tyler also understands that his family needs some help as well to take care of him.
When it comes to housing, Tyler wants to live where he wants. All too often, we hear communities say that is a great idea, but not in my backyard.
When it comes to employment, Tyler wants a real competitive wage job, not a job that pays him sub-minimum wage that many individuals with disabilities get pigeon holed into.
Throughout my travels in the disability community, every person that I have encountered feels the same way. They want to be treated as regular people, just like every reader of this blog. The one exception is that they need some help. They are not asking for a free ride, just help to have the same quality of life as you and me.
We hear that a major part of the problem is that health care costs have risen too fast and they exceed the money available to help those who need it most. Have we looked into why these costs are rising so fast, not just taken the word of the industry itself? Or is this off limits because it is a private industry and the lobbyists for the health care industry will not allow it?
Do we not have a moral obligation as a country to take care of our own citizens who need it the most? I find that those who argue the loudest against these programs are people who are not affected by the programs and do not rely on them to be able to live a quality life.