A disability rights advocate and counselor in Nashville, Stewart freed himself from a de facto life sentence in a nursing home after a car accident in his mid-30s which resulted in quadraplegia. He now helps others follow the trail he blazed. We enter the huge, 600-bed state facility where Stewart was once confined. He is returning to visit James Boyd, a young man with a recent spinal cord injury, to urge him to take advantage of his technical background and a new generation of accessible tools to get a degree, and eventually gain his independence. "Why pay $65,000 a year to keep someone in a nursing home when $25,000 would allow them to live independently?”
INDEPENDENT LIVING LINKS
National Council on Independent Living (NCIL)
NCIL is a membership organization that advances the independent living philosophy and advocates for the human rights of, and services for, people with disabilities to further their full integration and participation in society.
The Medicaid Community-Based Attendant Services and Supports Act of 2003 (MiCASSA) calls for Medicaid funding to be used for personal assistance services and supports for people of all ages in their homes and communities, rather than only in an institution— paying for assistance with bathing, dressing, meal preparation, money management and certain health-related tasks.