I am a member of Voice for Independent Living, a group that advocates for the rights of people with disabilities to live independently in their communities. We write to, and visit our legislator's offices, and attend rallys. The group also provides training in advocacy and community organizing.
Most of the work of the group these days focuses on programs, such as Medicare, MediCal, Social Security, and IHSS (In-home Supportive Services). All these programs, in one way or another, make it possible for people with disabilities, and the elderly, to live independent lives in their communities, and in their own homes.
In the present political, and economic climate, these programs are under attack. Severe cuts to these programs could make it more difficult for many people with disabilities, and the elderly to live at home. That would mean that many more people would end up in nursing homes.
This group also aims to fight an institutional bias, which tends to favor institutionalization over community based programs. Although there has been great progress over the years in independent living, this institutional bias still exists.
The group is part of Access to Independence of San Diego (A2I), a non-profit, non-residential center for independent living (CIL) that serves the city and county of San Diego. We meet twice a month at the A2I office in Mission Valley (8885 Rio San Diego Drive, Suite 131, San Diego, CA 92108). There is teleconference equipment for those who can't physically be there. We are a fairly small group and are in need of more members. The group is run by Raquel Vega, a community organizer. If anyone in the San Diego area would like to be a part of this group, please contact Raquel Vega at (619) 293-3500 ext. 236 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org