Duluth forum focuses on funding for people living with disabilities

By KBJR News 1

October 22, 2013 Updated Oct 22, 2013 at 12:20 AM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - People living with disabilities in the Northland and advocates alike made their point to state and local lawmakers to continue the fight for funding.

A few dozen people came together for the Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities forum to urge State Senator Roger Reinert and Representative Erik Simonson to fight for higher funding for caretakers of people with disabilities.

Forum organizers say the meeting was a great way to let lawmakers hear from the impoverished members of the disability community.

"We're hearing a wide variety of public policy issues from consumers. We are certainly hearing how their lives are impacted by the high turnover rates with direct support professionals, but we're also hearing about the challenges that they're facing in transportation and employment supports," said Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities organizer Rebecca Covington.

Many advocates at Monday's forum say they support a wage hike for caregivers in order to provide services that foster an independent lifestyle for people living with disabilities.