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Rally for Disability Services at State Capitol

Posted at: 04/25/2013 10:40 PM
By: Steph Crock

(ABC 6 News) -- Roughly 70 people from our area headed to the capitol to push for more funding for disability services. We sat down with a mother who says this impacts her family and many others in the state.

An issue these families are facing is that disability services have had to make major cuts due to budget restraints. They hoped Thursday’s visit would push lawmakers to think twice before they finalize this year's budget.

"He's very cheerful and interactive, and he can eat somewhat by himself, but otherwise he really requires almost complete assistance will all activities of daily living," said mother Mary Ellen Mayo.

He 24 year-old son James was born with both physical and intellectual disabilities. "It's not always clear that people with disabilities are just like us, that they probably have the same dreams, hopes, and desires that all of us have," said Mayo.

Which is why she's fighting to get him the care he deserves She along with a number of others rallied at the capitol for more funding for disability services, something the state has cut back on. “Those cuts that have happened to disability services have really hurt people," said Mayo.

She's been having trouble finding the care James needs. "The folks that work in the community, that take care of people with disabilities, don't get paid very much and I think consequently we've had a hard time finding people to help out," said Mayo.

Plus once she does, those caregivers don't always last. "There are some folks that were here that have moved on to either positions that have better pay and better benefits," said Mayo.

She just hopes lawmakers will decide to pitch in, so those caregivers can continue to help her son. "We are happy to take care of him but we need other people to help us out," said Mayo.

She did say that some of the lawmakers and even Governor Dayton came out to the rally to show their support. However, a few lawmakers say, as much as they want to help, they are limited on how much they can spend for such services.