Sunday, October 5, 2008

Candidates forum highlights disability issues

In a room full of people, and even a few guide dogs, candidates for Missouri state offices addressed issues on Saturday afternoon concerning the estimated 1 million disabled Missourians.
The disabilities forum was hosted by the Congress on Disability Policy at the Hilton Garden Conference Center in Columbia. The advocacy group, which started in 2003, includes state associations and councils such as the Brain Injury Association of Missouri and the Missouri Centers for Independent Living.
Barbara Griffin, vice president of People First Missouri, attended along with members of her association and her guide dog, Mardi Gras. She said issues such as cuts to the state's health care program, MO HealthNet, struck a chord with her during the forum.
"They really hurt us in '05," Griffin said.
Candidates answered questions about cuts to MO HealthNet, how they will promote opportunities for people with disabilities and how they would deal with limited resources and wait lists. Improving Missouri's six rehabilitation centers was also discussed.

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