April 9, 2009

Disability Rights

Disability rights groups are dealing both with cuts in services at the state level and the prospect of millions of additional dollars flowing from the federal stimulus program and the national budget.

Marcia Franklin talks with Kelly Buckland, the executive director of the State Independent Living Council, about the effects of the cutbacks, and his priorities for the money the state will be receiving.

Buckland, who will be leaving his post in May to take over the reins of the National Council on Independent Living, has been an advocate for the disabled in Idaho for more than 20 years. He will be joined by Angela Lindig, the parent of a child with disabilities.

Earlier this year, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare announced proposed cuts in services to people with disabilities, including reduced hours of psychosocial rehabilitation, mental health day treatment and developmental therapy. At the same time, hundreds of millions of dollars will now be available in stimulus money for disability-related issues, including an additional $140 million for Centers of Independent Living.