Today marks twenty-five years since the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act. On July 26th, 1990, President George H.W. Bush announced, “let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down.” Since that day, disability rights advocates have been working to make that dream a reality.
This month, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services also released data on 2013 Medicaid long term services and supports expenditures. For the first time in American history, more money is being spent on community based services than nursing homes, Intermediate Care Facilities and other institutions. This is a landmark occasion, reflecting a larger shift that will only deepen in the coming years. The ADA has made that change - and many others like it - possible.
Seniors and people with disabilities don’t want to spend their lives in institutions, with someone else making decisions that are rightfully theirs. MySupport was founded to make community living, choice and control possible for everyone. We are committed to helping to realize the dream of the Americans with Disabilities Act - a truly inclusive world, where old age and disability don’t mean loss of dignity and autonomy.
Earlier this year, we launched the MySupport platform for the first time. For the last several months, workers and clients in the San Francisco Bay Area have been using MySupport to find workers that match their personalities and lifestyles. We have also been working with our supported living agency partners to help them manage their workforces, coordinate schedules and upload worker timesheets for payroll processing.
As we continue to work to make self-determination available to all, we at MySupport want to take this special anniversary to share a quick update.
What We’ve Been Up To
- Since launching, MySupport is now being used by over a hundred people with disabilities and three hundred direct support workers in pilot sites in Santa Cruz, San Jose and the East Bay.
- MySupport is partnering with Bay Area Community Organizations to continue to spread the word about our platform and the tools it offers for choice and control to people with disabilities, seniors and workers. Our partners include the Center for Independent Living in Berkeley, Easy Does It Services, the Independent Living Resource Center of San Francisco and a variety of other partners dedicated to advancing self-determination for people with disabilities.
- MySupport received the AARP Foundation’s Startup Award and took second place in the Tufts University 100K Startup Competition’s Health Care strand. The prize was awarded by a distinguished panel of judges, including Jeff Kindler, former CEO of Pfizer, Martha Farmer, CEO of North Shore InnoVentures, Chris Silva, CEO of CEO of Allied Minds, David Greenwald, Co-inventor of the award winning Relay Innovation Engine Software, Erica Drazen, Former Managing Partner of Emerging Practices with Computer Sciences Corporation’s Healthcare Division, and Pam McNamara, CEO and Co-founder of Health Helm.
- MySupport will be launching in New Jersey in September, making available the platform to select supported living agency partners throughout the state. Watch this space or e-mail us to learn more about when MySupport may be coming to a community near you.
- Thanks to feedback from our users, we're developing new features to help make timesheet management easier than ever, integrate e-learning options for support workers and improve existing options like text message reminders and calendar coordination.
- We are currently in talks with new partners to make available MySupport in new locations across the country. If you're interested in learning more, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The ADA has changed the world for people with disabilities - we intend to do our part to help make the next twenty-five years of ADA as impactful as the last.