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.
I attended a meeting with Kitty Rhoades, Deputy Secretary at the Department of Health Services a couple of weeks ago. Part of our agenda was to come up with the cost savings ideas that DHS is looking for the eliminate the caps in the Family Care Program. During the meeting, Kitty mentioned that one of the things that DHS is looking for is that individuals who are in these long term care programs, are getting out of the home and into the community.
I was at a meeting about a week later with a group of individuals and we were discussing the County Budget, specifically the proposed cuts to the bus system. This would include cuts to the Transit Plus system. The Transit Plus buses run similiar to the County bus schedule.
This week, my daughter has come home from school with many questions. You see, she was only 2 years old 10 years ago. One of her questions was "what were you doing on 9/11 daddy?"
It was not a question that took any thought. I was sitting at my desk, as an operations manager in an air freight company, tracking and tracing my customers freight. All of a sudden I got one email, followed by a phone call from the corporate office. This is how I was told about the planes. Remember, 10 years ago, I don't remember having the technology that we do today to watch live TV on the computer. It took an hour or so to get pictures posted on the internet.
My colleague Randy Hollenbeck recently interviewed 2 Cudahy Elementary teachers. From the writings of Randy, the term bully came out of the conversation from the teachers. Specifically, that special needs families “bully” the Cudahy School Board to get what they want. This is a term that has my wife and I upset. I posted the definitions of both advocate and bully on Monday. We were accused of “attacking the teachers”. Well, calling special needs families bullies is an attack on us.
Unless you live with an individual with a disability, you have no idea what families go through. There is no possible way you can understand, unless you live it. We face discrimination every single day in one form or another. Many people have low expectations for our children with disabilities. But families do not have the same expectations as others. Some families may have unrealistic expectations, but for the most part they know what their child can do. Who knows their child better than a parent?
As I mentioned last week, I had the opportunity to listen to representatives from Milwaukee County Transit speak to a group of individuals with disabilities. One of the questions I asked was "how many rides would be affected by the proposed cuts to para-transit?"
The anwer is up to 40,000 rides could be affected if the Transit portion of the County Budget remains unchanged. What effect would this have on individuals with disabilities?
Last week I received a call from a Cudahy resident looking for help on addressing the issue of high school kids smoking before school near his home and on school property. When asked, the resident did say that he has contacted the Cudahy Police as well as the School District. When I contacted both parties, they both said they were aware of the issue and they are trying to clean it up. A piece of advice from the Cudahy Police is to keep calling when you see something happening. This same theme of continuing contacting the Police came up during the Neighborhood Watch meeting last night.
As I talked to the resident, he said that when he says things to the students, he is cursed at and told to mind his own business. The students also leave garbage and cigarette butts when they leave. No respect for the nighbors or the neighborhood.