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“In lawsuit, groups claims Corbett’s Medicaid changes cut benefits to 200,000”

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This December 22, 2014  The Patriot-News article talks about a class action lawsuit being brought against the state of Pennsylvania alleging that 200,000 Medicaid recipients have been illegally cut from the program.

“Department of Public Welfare Discriminates Against Deaf Pennsylvanians with Intellectual Disabilities”

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/department-of-public-welfare-discriminates-against-deaf-pennsylvanians-with-intellectual-disabilities-92440609.html

This article talks about aq case that was recently filed to help folks who are Deaf and developmentally disabled gain access to basic means of communicating with caretakers.  Many are unable to communicate because there is a lack of caretakers who understand American Sign Language in Pennsylvania.  This creates a situation where folks who rely on signing for example to communicate in a position where they have no way of communicating in some cases.

It’s an interesting case and I admit it isn’t specifically about mental health issues, but I think that being unable to communicate with the world around you probably doesn’t help keep your mental health in check and it could easily deteriorrate so it is one of those things that is more of an indirect mental health issue with regards to this blog.  I do feel it’s important though, and touches a tender spot in my heart because I’ve met a couple folks over the years who are deaf and developmentally disabled one of my most favorite people in the world is a gentleman who is non-verbal and is also developmentally disabled.  His sign language is weak, but he is able to communicate enough to where I can have a basic conversation with him, his favorite topics being trucks, plowing snow and his dog that lives with his Mom who he gets to visit.  This gentleman is fortunate to have folks in his life who do their best to learn his method of communicating, but he still gets really frustrated at times and I’m sure it’s because he’s trying to tell the world around him something and we just aren’t getting the message.  In some ways this gentleman is like a brother to me, and will always hold a place in my heart.  When he retired from the sheltered workshop we both worked at I got him a set of trucks as a gift, I know that for an adult to be given a set of matchbox type trucks as a retirement gift might sound strange or even demeaning, but to him those trucks were the highlight of his day when I handed them to him.  I see him once in awhile in the community always accompanied by a staff person or family member, and he usually will give me a great big bear hug to greet me.  Anytime he has a new staff member with him I have to explain that it’s ok and how I know him then they are fine with it once they realize he’s not off on some hugging spree and that it’s a genuine greeting.   I could see him getting very angry and possibly violent if it weren’t for the folks he has in his life who help translate his signs for him. So it is because of this gentleman and others I have met but don’t know that well that I am openly supporting the filing of this case.

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