2024 Barriers Statement Coming Soon

The issue areas we focus on for Advocacy Day for Access & Independence, 2024, are selected by people with disabilities! Details on the 2024 issue area and topics will be posted here soon. Because the issues still apply today, check out our 2023 booklet and abbreviated listings below.

2023 Advocacy Day Issue Area Booklet

The issue areas discussed in the booklet linked above come directly from people with disabilities living in South Carolina. A recent South Carolina Statewide Independent Living Council survey found that discrimination, housing, transportation, and healthcare were the top priorities of people with disabilities in our state. Each of these priorities raises an issue area for people with disabilities. Each issue area is has one or more barriers that stop us from fully participating in our communities. There are keys to unlocking each of these barriers. Read the full booklet to learn about how our lawmakers can unlock these barriers.

Abbreviated Issue Areas and Barriers for Advocacy Day for Access & Independence:

Discrimination

“I do not feel as though I have equal access to all the parts of my life I want to participate in. I feel like I am forced to rely on others to meet needs that I know I could meet if our state’s infrastructure were better and people were not so uninformed about disability. If we cannot get out into the community, then people will not think of us when designing the world.”

  • A Disabled South Carolinian

The Issue: South Carolinians with disabilities believe our number one barrier is how people see us.

The way people view and think about people with disabilities leads to discrimination.

The state can combat discrimination by:

  • Having ADA Coordinators at all state agencies
  • Bringing Disability Rights & History Month to our schools
  • Recognizing Supported Decision Making as the first choice for people with disabilities over guardianship

Housing

“We cannot afford housing and are forced into a substandard housing situation. I was forced to move into a camper because I cannot afford rent. I was told by the county it’s illegal to live in a camper. I cannot get help from the county because I get too much SSDI… and my camper is considered a resource. What am I supposed to do – sell my home and live in the street?”

  • A Disabled South Carolinian

The Issue: Community living is not accessible, unaffordable, and does not follow Supreme Court rulings.

Housing is key to independence. People with disabilities want to live in the community alongside non-disabled peers in housing that is affordable and built with disabilities in mind.

Accessible means something is usable by everyone.

The state can combat housing issues by:

  • Creating an Olmstead Plan (a plan to help people with disabilities live in the community instead of forcing us into institutions or group homes)
  • Making it easier for builders to create affordable housing that uses Universal Design. Universal Design is a way to build that’s useable by everyone. Universal Design is accessible

Transportation

“I have been blind for 20 years. [there is a] lack of public transportation… I have not tried to find a job because I know that I do not have any dependable transportation to get me to and from a job, and I do not want to be the type of employee that is not dependable. Lack of transportation is one [of our] biggest issues… [we can’t] access to jobs that pay well and being able to afford to live in the towns where the good jobs are.”

  • A Disabled South Carolinian

The Issue: Transportation is key to independence and community participation. People with disabilities are twice as likely to lack dependable transportation.

Without transportation it is difficult to:

  • Find and keep jobs for independence
  • Take care of our health needs, early
  • Build friendships, relationships, and family connections
  • Take part in community activities and the local economy

There are only 27 public transit authorities. They don’t serve all parts of South Carolina.

The state can combat transportation issues by:

  • Creating a statewide transportation plan that helps bring public transportation to rural communities

Healthcare

“[Healthcare in South Carolina is] Demoralizing. Dehumanizing. Long waiting lists for waivers and funding for services. Then, when you get the funding, the services don’t exist or are miles away. Adult services are even worse. After years of pediatric services, I can find literally no adult psychiatrists or adult-supporting housing opportunities. There are no waiting lists; they are just not here. It’s disgusting, frankly.”

  • A Disabled South Carolinian

The Issue: People with disabilities need affordable and accessible healthcare in order to maintain their health and independence.

 Available, affordable healthcare allows us to work and provide for our families and communities.

The state can combat healthcare affordability issues by:

  • Bringing Medicaid expansion to South Carolina! Learn more about why Medicaid Expansion is important at CoverSC.org

10th Anniversary Advocacy Day for Access & Independence: Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Click here to register!