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Education

Advocacy Group Fights For People Living With Disabilities

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/advocacygr_5065.mp3

Even though Congress is currently out of session a local group that’s concerned about healthcare is hoping to make a difference in the Springfield community and nationally. KSMU’s Katie Easley has the report.

Reporter- “I’m standing here outside the Southwest Center for Independent Living where a local advocacy group for people with disabilities meets monthly to discuss legislative issues involving people with disabilities.”“We’re trying to educate the community on why it’s important to make Springfield and all of this area inclusive for people with disabilities. They just want to live like everyone else,” says Butler.Shelby Butler is the Public Policy Advocate for The Southwest Center for Independent Living, and founder of this advocacy group. Each meeting involves members sharing information on issues that affect people living with disabilities.“I am hoping the group will feel so empowered that any issue they see come up they’ll be able to tackle immediately,” says Butler.At each meeting members discuss facts related to legislation that involves people with disabilities, make a plan of action, write letters to legislators, and share personal stories. “People with disabilities want to be at the table, they want to be a part of every discussion. Because it doesn’t matter if you’re black, you’re white, you’re poor, you’re rich, you’re male or female, anyone could have a disability,” says Butler.One hot topic this advocacy group is primarily concerned with is the federal health care legislation.

“With health care reform at the national level our group has been talking about how health care reform could or would affect people with disabilities in our city and our state and in our country,” says Butler.For more information on this advocacy group you can contact Shelby Butler at 417-886-1188. For KSMU News, I’m Katie Easley