Friday, February 25, 2011

Key Campaign Rally for Families with Kids with Serious Health Problems

 When I got back from the Alaska ferry terminal to see Rep. Cissna's homecoming, there was a rally in front of the Capitol. They had a song book and were singing their message with familiar tunes with new lyrics.

I wasn't completely sure who was putting this on or their specific objectives, so I looked on line.  The information is on the Hopealaska website - I think this is the organization that used to be known as Hope Cottages:
Anyone who is concerned about the rights, dignity and dreams of individuals who experience disabilities is encouraged to join in the efforts of our Key Coalition. The Key Campaign will be held in Juneau February 23-24, 2011, with similar advocacy rallies across the face of urban and rural Alaska, taking place on Thursday, February 24.

In addition to joining the rallies, you are asked to contact your legislator personally by sending an email or submitting a Public Opinion Message (POM): Submit POM Online or Download the POM Form.

Their specific objectives are:

The Key Coalition has identified four major priorities to be addressed during this year’s Key Campaign.

Wait List Reduction—Currently the State of Alaska has committed to drawing 50 people from the State Wait List for Community Services each quarter. This initiative encourages the State to increase the draw to 75 people per quarter (from 200 people to 300 people annually).

Periodic Rate Review—Establish a periodic rate review into statute. This statute would address an equitable process to establish rate increases for community services that are in place for institutional services.  All we are asking in community programs is a simple matter of equity—the same ability to predict consistent budgets in a similar process dictated under state law.  This discrepancy between institution and community resulted in a previous period of a four year rate freeze for programs similar to Hope, while nursing homes and hospitals received much needed annual adjustments.

Complex Behavior (HUB)—Support the Hub component (point of entry) of the Alaska Complex Behavior Collaborative, which is an investment in Alaska's workforce and services for individuals with cognitive disabilities and complex behavioral needs.

Autism Insurance— Pass HB79 and SB74 requiring insurance coverage for autism spectrum disorders.  Most insurance policies specifically exclude coverage for treating autism, even when the services are otherwise covered by the health plan. Coverage of medically necessary autism treatment in Alaska will enable many children to access the services they need and live more productive lives. 
 But the real reason this is important comes through in this short video of a mother of a severely brain damaged child.  She and her husband had no one to turn to until Key Campaign organizations helped them out.


  1. Key Campaign is a great thing that has been going on for over 20 years. It tries to draw attention to the plight of folks with developmental disabilities - first it was to get them out of our one and only institution (Harborview) and now it is to make the community and home based services better. Too bad the folks that work to put on Key Campaign don't also work to make sure folks with disabilities are able to work and play without discrimination.

  2. A teachable moment courtesy of Annonymous. I am so proud to be a part of the Magic that is Hope! Our Mission Statement: "To provide services and supports, that are requested and designed by individuals and families who experience disabilities, that result in choice, control, family preservation and community inclusion." We strive to identify the dream of those experiencing disabilities and work diligently and creatively to make that dream come true. No dream is too small. No dream is too big. But the dream must be identified! When every person experiencing a disability is welcomed and immeresed into the community without discrimination or stereotyping, our mission will be complete! Read more -

  3. Thank you Hope. You all do great work, but you don't hire folks with developmental disabilities to work with folks with disabilities, despite many examples of how well that works. But, Hope and many other organizations do good work. Despite these comments, I was actually talking about people with disabilities that work in the community at large, yet don't get promoted because they have a disability (and the bosses perceive the employee couldn't handle the promotion).


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