The Day of Action
Earlier this month, I got the chance to fly up to Sacramento to attend the Day of Action, a meeting about the governor’s master plan for aging. This plan outlines a program to help elderly people and people with disabilities age better. The Californian demographic is changing. Our population is getting older and we need to make sure elderly people, people with disabilities, and people in rural areas who are underserved get good services, live good lives, and don’t get put away in institutions or conservatorships. We also need to make sure they can continue living in their own homes and can afford medical care. That is what the Day of Action was all about. As someone on the Elder and Disability Justice Coordinating Council, I got invited to attend the Day of Action. The conference was about where we currently stand, what the governor wants for the future, and what we can do to make things better. My independent facilitator, Tammi Bradley, arranged a hotel for me to stay in, and one of her friends, Rachel Palmer, very graciously agreed to accommodate me so I could participate in the conference. They helped me get a manual wheelchair because airlines have a terrible reputation of breaking power wheelchairs, and Rachel kindly agreed to come up to Sacramento with me on the plane. Additionally, Tammi had an associate of hers bring an accessible van to meet me at the airport and bring me to my hotel. I stayed there overnight and the following morning, I went to the conference right across the street. 500 people attended this conference and there was a very dynamic keynote speaker who talked about the need for more accessible ramps so people with disabilities could participate in events like this. There were also panel discussions and we talked about what the future should look like for elderly people with disabilities and how they need to be protected from scams, have good medical care, and ensure they don’t get locked away in conservatorships. Overall, the conference was very informational and I’m glad I went. I support the governor and his master plan for aging and I support efforts to protect elderly people with disabilities in making sure they have adequate housing, employment, and access to medical care. Everyone is going to get old someday. Once that happens, we need to know we’re going to be protected, live good lives, and make good contributions to society. The governor’s master plan for aging is about protecting people and making sure they are treated like human beings. We need to get more services into rural areas, increase accessibility for people with disabilities, and protect them from being exploited because all too often, they are. Overall, I had a great time at the conference in Sacramento and I could not have done it without the help of Tammi Bradley and Rachel Palmer.