On March 8, 2017 over 100 people attended the RESPECT and MORE Rally/legislative briefing. Advocates, attendants, people with disabilities, representation of Texas Independent Living Centers and many other organizations were present. We had a great time at the luncheon even though the plight of the attendant is very serious.
National disability rights attorney Steve Gold addressed the group and a video “An Indecent Arrangement: Texas Attendant Services” was seen. Mark C. spoke about his inabilities to find an attendant that led to three hospitalizations and rehabilitation due to a pressure sore. These are real lives, real people that are dealing with this issue daily. Texas’ State Legislators continue neglecting the need in addressing the difficulty in recruiting and retaining Community Attendants. With competition from stores like Buc-ees and Dairy Queen (who start their employees at $12/per hour), the Medicaid and state funded home and community based attendant programs (which start and often keep attendants at $8/per hour) can’t meet the needs of Texans that rely on attendant services.
After the luncheon/briefing, we marched over to the Capitol for a brief rally and then legislative visits. The group delivered copies of petitions signed by thousands of Texans who support a $13/hour base wage for the Community Attendants.