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.
Their specific objectives are:
The Key Coalition has identified four major priorities to be addressed during this year’s Key Campaign.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.
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.