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Voices

An ADAPT Action Journal 

First-hand accounts of the action 
direct from ADAPT Activists.

Quinn Brisben

Quinn Brisben


Chicago, Illinois
14 years with ADAPT

 

ADAPT marches down Penn Ave in the cold.Today we had a truly heroic failure. I was afraid I would not be able to walk the whole distance, but I made if from 6th and C NW to 14th and E NW without even taking pain medicine. I helped block an entrance at the Marriott where the NGA is meeting, then the intersection at Pennsylvania Avenue and 14th. It was snowing so much that I had difficulty keeping my fingers warm enough to write and my notebook paper dry.

Ten we went to the White House. I was hoping to get arrested so that I could be taken somewhere dry and warm, but that did not happen despite our best efforts. It was a very difficult effort for us and superbly planned as usual, but I fear we shall get little media coverage. I was especially impressed b y the way we improvised ways to keep warm and help each other out. The NGA must at least be well aware of our determination and persistence.

I am especially proud of my 70-year-old bladder with held out from 7:00 am to 2:00 pm in difficult circumstances.

ADAPT Activists at the White House in the snow.

Sahar Drinn


Belchertown, Massachusetts
First ADAPT Action



The face of Unity

ADAPT activists block the White House gate.Today I saw
A spread of many different faces
Today I felt
The warmth of compassion from strangers
Today I heard
The people’s voices raised as one, united
Today I lived
Without fear of being different
Without sadness
Without despair
Today I was
Today I did 
Today We Are Strong

Never before had I felt so much a part of what was happening. This was my first ADAPT function and it will not be my last. Today I made friends I will never forget. Today I lived.

 

Christine Woodell

Christine Woodell

D’Iberville, Mississippi
6 years with ADAPT


Christine WoodellI was behind a young man on the march who was in a manual chair. He was having a bit of trouble keeping tight. I was impressed by the team leaders ability to nurture and guide in such a gentle way. I am continually impressed by the subtle, empowering leadership. 

We were in the street in front of the Marriott, two governors come out to visit their constituents. We called the hotel and got our governors voice mail and invited him to see us. As we expected, there was no response – I am not sure, but I don’t think my feet have EVER been that cold. Purple and red and forecast for SNOW tomorrow!

The Governor of Montana visits ADAPT.

Cecil Walker

Iola, Kansas
6 years with ADAPT


Police attempt to block ADAPT from the White House gate.I thought it was great that another Governor came out to talk to us besides Rendell. And I was glad that Governor Rendell was going to work towards putting back in the Olmstead and Money Follows the Person pieces of the original ADAPT Resolution.

It was a little cold, but not too bad. We will see what the weather will be tomorrow.

 

Samuel Mitchell

Samuel Mitchell

Atlanta, Georgia
2 years with ADAPT


Barricaid that reads N G A This was my first action since I got married. I was married 2/20/05. Upon arriving I met a lot of old friends. I was chosen to be a color leader and introduced Mark McClellan the head of CMS at the ADAPT meeting. We left the hotel in single file formation. It turned bitterly cold and began to snow by the time we reached the hotel where the NGA was staying.

We took control of the intersection in front of the hotel and the entrance and driveway of the hotel. This was in answer to an un-kept promise made by the NGA to phone us concerning a meeting. 

When they did phone us, it was to say they were too busy to meet with us. This seems strange since they were here to vote and make decisions on policies that would affect us. 

We followed the Governors to the White House. Even though it was snowing and bitter cold, we remained there. We chanted: “sign the Resolution, N – G – A.” It takes true commitment by ADAPT members to remain true to the cause in such harsh circumstances. But we stayed and made our presence known.

Security did not arrest us, even though we blocked both driveways and chained ourselves to the fence. We left only after we had made our point.

Claude Holcomb

Claude Holcomb

ADAPT of Connecticut
21+ years with ADAPT


This is something to think about. Maybe we can talk about this in Washington?

Claude HolcombPeople need attendants to live in the community, if someone has a disability, how will they get an attendant or attendants? Right now it is a problem in the community; some people are having problems finding attendants even if the states have programs to pay attendants. We have the money follow the person and some grants to get people out of institutions and nursing homes. When MiCASSA passes, people will need some good attendants who show up. When people are locked away inside of a nursing home, if the attendant does not show up, the nursing home has the problem not the person who is waiting for an attendant. Now people are using their family, friends or taking a risk to remain in the community.

We say this is a civil right and a choice, to live in the community. How can we say that if someone needs an attendant and cannot get one?

I think we have to think about this is a big part of life with a disability. Because if someone wants to live in the community, but they lived in a nursing home or an institution for a time and then move out in the community, the first time an attendant don’t show up or quits, the individual will be in trouble because the person who is the attendant helps them go to the bathroom, get up out of bed, eat, if they have to take medication, etc.

I know we are on the right track with MiCASSA, we have to remember we are fighting for all disabilities.

ADAPT faces the White House.

Cindy Hancock

Rochester New York
10 years with ADAPT


ADAPT blocks 14th Street.I feel that ADAPT is good for me to get out of the state. The action today was good because we did a lot of chanting at the White House and along the streets.

It was cold today (Monday), but I didn’t mind the weather.

Cold ADAPT activists chained to the White House fence.

Elaine Kolb

West Haven, Connecticut
16 years with ADAPT


ADAPT blocks the street in front of the NGA hotelSaturday, I attended my maternal grandma’s 100th Birthday Party – A family reunion, where I saw folks I haven’t seen in years. Then, I came to DC and had another kind of family reunion. Being with ADAPT is also “homecoming.”

Monday morning, up at 5:30 am. We started lining up at 7 am, organized by color into smaller squads. I was red. Even after so many years, it is exciting to be here knowing that we are determined – together – to FREE OUR PEOPLE!

Single file, we take to the street, wearing many layers of clothing, prepared as best we can be for the expected snow. It is cold. We roll and march and chant, knowing that we are the lucky ones. Some of us have been trapped in institutions for part of our lives – but we are here and we are proud. We do this so more of our people can get out of nursing homes, or never have to go there in the first place.

Over the years, as we have struggled to get the ADA passed and as we continue to fight to pass MiCASSA, our ADAPT family grows and changes. Looking around, tears come to my eyes, remembering some who are with us in spirit. ADAPT children are with us, growing up.

We blocked the intersection of 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, right at the Marriott Hotel, where the National Governors Association was meeting. We arrived there at about 8:30 am. “Pass the Resolution N – G – A,” we chanted and sang.

The snow began. We pulled out plastic rain ponchos and passed out hand warmers. Yes, we were cold. Now, we were wet; yet, we were fired up by our collective determination. After a short break for coffee and egg or sausage and biscuits, we lined up again and headed for the White House, where many of us handcuffed ourselves to the fence. The snow increased, along with the wind. Even after blocking the gates to the White House, there were no arrests, which is very unusual. So we lined up again and headed back to the hotel. Got there around 3pm.

Tomorrow is another day, another action. We hope the NGA will p-ass our Resolution. We know that our ADAPT family of Freedom fighters will keep moving and growing. WE WILL RIDE!

 

 


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