For those who sponsored me in past and present, I would like to thank you for sponsoring me and other people. I hope you do not mind that I am sending another email in case those who have not yet sponsored me for 2012 ADAPT Fun Run, a fundraiser to support disability rights activism! We are going there to fight for our Medicaid. And, we are going to Washington DC to say, “My Medicaid Matters!”

You may not realize that many of our local ADAPT activists who are deaf, hard of hearing or disability live on benefits or SSI. This means that they have extremely limited incomes, but each of them saves up something like $400 every year to pay part of their way to the national ADAPT and state actions. This is a big commitment and a LOT of money for people really DO NOT have in begin with. Frankly, the cost of travel and hotel rooms is outrageous, and all the funds we raise subsidize the costs associated with these trips.

Keep in mind that our Rochester ADAPTERS are not asking for money to travel in luxury. To keep costs down, we often travel by bus – even when a plane would be much faster and easier. Many people in our group get carried down the aisle, transfer into seats, and stay there for hours. You might be surprised at how many of us can fit on a bus, not to mention the luggage and motorized wheelchairs. Seeing us unload the bus has been described a something of a circus act. Although, I am amazed at how easy the group makes it seem. This is because they want to go to Washington DC this year to say, “My Medicaid Matters!”

Can you image having spent 18 hours on a crowed bus as the picture above? I can tell you that the whole trip and hours spend are not easy. But everyone stays focused on why we are making the trips and (generally) is in good spirits. During the past year, our ADAPT folks have helped fight back against cuts to home care, with a lot of local folks confronted different legislators. Even though it was freezing cold, the group would stay out there and share food, drinks, snacks and other things. In 2010, the group even waited for the Governor to arrive. It was so cold, in fact that an activist’s lips actually froze to her sip-and-puff control for her wheelchair! As soon as the Governor arrived they chanted loudly to FREE OUR PEOPLE and DON’T CUT MY FREEDOM. Now that’s commitment.

For the deaf and hard of hearing community, ADAPT provided an interpreter who sang the songs and signed what was happening all day long. The deaf people worked independently in different of actions knowing an interpreter was in their sight somehow.

They are even outside when there is so much rain that the literally flooded everything around us, but nothing would stop the group from carrying out its mission.

We don’t just want to change the world. we want to improve our home town. We confronted a local legislator who used the R-word, worked to support people returning to community living, and most recently, our local folks took on the Rochester transportation authority to address the fact that people with disabilities still are not getting the rides they are entitled to under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

OK. I’m not asking you to cram yourself on a bus with a whole lot of people, their equipment, and a stray Gremlin. I’m not asking you to sit outside in the freezing cold, chanting while your fingers turn blue, or to get drenched in torrential downpours day after day. I’m not even asking you to come up with $400… although you can if you want! But I am asking that you make a donation… any donation you can afford… to support the people with disabilities who do these things, year in and year out.

They are heroes in my book and they deserve our support. Even Noah Wyle, the actor starring in “Falling Skies,” and Howard Rosenblum, the CEO of the National Association of the Deaf, will join us at the ADAPT 7th Annual FUN RUN for Disability Rights as our 2012 “Celebrity Fun Runner” on Sunday April 22, 2012 in Washington, DC.

If those two Celebrities will join our fundraiser to support these heroes, I would say that this is a perfect time to support disability rights activism. This year the deaf, hard of hearing and disability individuals deserve better Medicaid Services. In past, our ADAPT folks fought to end the institutional bias in Medicaid by passing the Community Choice Act to save the government money. Today, the government still prefers to cut the Medicaid services that means the chances for people to get home care services will be cut more than the institutional biased services. Those who receive Medicaid are mostly poor people. Why would the government want to cut Medicaid and bring people to institutional bias invironment that costs the government more money? Most of those on Medicaid never even had well paying job before.

Please help support ADAPT’s advocacy, below is a picture of 5 of the deaf and hard of hearing ADAPTers who gathered together for the end of day results. As you can see behind them was a room full of ADAPTers who also agreed with the mission.

It is easy to donate. Just use this link:, and donate what you can.I want to thank you in advance for sponsoring ADAPT’s advocacy. Our local ADAPTers are working hard to raise the money needed to keep their work affordable. Please help donate so these local ADAPTers can go to Washington DC and chat MY MEDICAID MATTERS!!!

Please help them accomplish this goal. And, thank you for any support that you gave or may be able to give. Just remember, it’s easy to register online at this tinyurl link, or if you have questions please feel free to call, email or contact me at the below contact information. If you can forward this to people who you know might be interested, please do so, remember all donations are TAX DEDUCTIBLE!


Thanks you, again!

Dean DeRusso (Fun Runner #113)
Deaf Systems Advocate
Regional Center for Independent Living
Advocacy and Independent Living Services for Individuals
497 State Street
Rochester, NY 14608
VP/Voice: (585) 598-4862
Other VP: (585) 286-2725
TTY: (888) 202-1055
Fax: 585.546.7577
E-Mail: dd******@rc**.org

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