Jan 21, 2009

Skylers open letter to Barak Obama, if he could write it...

Dear President Obama,

Congratulations on being elected to the office of the president. I watched a lot of news about you in the past year. You seem like a nice guy and know a lot. What you may not know is what is going on for people like me, who have a handicap or special needs.

Everyone is being asked to cut back on what they spend to help out the economy, and I understand that there are a lot of banks and car companies that are in trouble and need help. There are some other people who are being asked to cut back, but they haven't been getting any funding even when the times were good. They are they folks who provide services to kids and adults like me.

I have a disability called Cerebral Palsy, because I was born too early and the part of my brain that makes my body work was damaged. I think just like everyone else, but can't make anything work right, walk or talk and that stuff. Mom and dad take good care of me, because I need a lot of care, but someday I would like to try and live without them. This means that there has to be some people or some place to help me out. Mom and Dad call it services.

Mom and Dad put me on a list when I was little to get services, but the list is long and there isn't a lot of money. A couple of years ago, the last time we checked, I was due to get to the top of the list in about 25 years. I don't imagine it is any better now that everyone needs to cut back. We have met a lot of the people who work at these agencies that help people out, they are nice and try hard. A lot of them work for minimum wage or no money at all, and have to leave to find other jobs that pay them enough to help. But nobody seems to think that what these people do is important.

Maybe you could do something to help out with this. There was a lot of talk about spreading around the wealth during your campaign, and it would be great if some more money wound up helping some people like me. Mom and Dad can take care of me until they are old, but what happens then? I hear that I would go to an institution, which doesn't sound like a very good place to live.

Maybe someday you could visit one of those places that some people seem to think is a great alternative for people like me. You could talk to the folks who are locked in, or tied to their beds all day. Ask them if they are happy. Ask them if you think that the auto workers and banks are the only ones with problems.

Thanks for listening,
Skyler

29 comments:

  1. What an amazing, heart wrenching letter. I bet you see it in his eyes often. Send the letter, with Skyler's picture. SOMETHING has to be done. I keep you all in my prayers daily.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think you should send this, as well. I think the Pres would read it and maybe do something. Who knows!

    ReplyDelete
  3. That letter was perfect, pointed and heartbreaking. I would send it to the WH, and all your representatives and to your local media outlets as well.

    The situation you describe is a damnable shame.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow. I agree with the folks above. Thanks for saying this.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sky Dad, you've got me bawling like a baby here. But it's good! That was absolutely beautiful. Very, very much so. :-)

    How is Skyler these days?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yup, I agree with the rest of these folks. Send it. To the pres, to your congresspeople, to your state legislators and governor... to your local newspaper, the NY Times, the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Time, USA Today ... send it everywhere and hope that a few folks publish it. It's worth a try, to raise awareness and funding.

    I'm putting a link to this on my blog. It's not much, but if even a couple more people read this than otherwise would have, well, at least it's something.

    Wish I could do more...

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have an idea. Why don't we start a little blog project in which everyone prints out a copy of the letter and mails it to his/her representative. And, of course, we ask all our followers to the same.
    Email is easy to ignore, letters with the same subject not so much.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Well said Skyler!!!

    #1

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wow. I just can't top this letter, nor would I want to.
    Wonderful, thought provoking and action getting for sure.
    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Well said Skyler! You are a great writer- just like your dad. I hope our new president sees through the "red tape" and helps you and others like you to live independently some day soon.

    I'm with Bela-that sort of action could be effective.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I found you thru LegalMist. I completely agree, I think this needs to be sent to everyone that can help make changes. There are so many people that are constantly overlooked simply because they spend their money on *needs* instead of advertising. Best of luck. :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I hope you don't mind, but I just sent the link of your blog to the White House website.

    ReplyDelete
  13. If Skyler was president, this would be a much better world for us all. Beautiful post!!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Fantastic letter! Twenty-five years? Ye cats! My wife and mother-in-law both work in social services, so I know the pay is rotten and the funding sporadic at best, but I had no idea the waiting list was THAT long!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh wow. I agree with everyone else so far. You should definitely send this letter! Even if Barack never reads it himself someone in his admin will and one day they may remember it and suggest a change. That is after all what we voted him in for right? Change

    ReplyDelete
  16. I think you should send this as well. It is so sad - I know with the economy the way it is a lot of charities are having a hard time. I hope your letter gets to someone who can do something to make a difference.

    ReplyDelete
  17. If you didn't already print this and mail it, I'm doin' it for yew, with the exception that I'm putting MY kids' names on it as well.

    Thankee, sirs, thankee to th' both of yew!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thank you very, very much everyone. All of your comments are truly appreciated!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I don't know what I can possibly say, but I wanted to say something - if only that I hope it works out for you. It's horrible that charities are losing out due to the economic problems, I decided a while ago I would put my saved VAT money to a UK charity, making sure it gets spent (which is what the cut was for) on something that matters.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I don't know if your letter would ever end up on President Obama's desk, but for the first time in a long time, I do believe our president will hire the person who will hire the person who will hire the person who'll actually read it. Not only read it, but give a damn.

    ReplyDelete
  21. ditto to every one's sentiment above. what a beautiful display of thought and emotion. "out of the mouths of babes"....
    i would send that letter to your newspaper and ask them to print it. then i would send it to nancy grace's sight, CNN, rachel maddow, good morning america, ELLEN, larry king, Oprah, robin meade on CNN, and any other agency you can think of. get it public! some one will see it, and pass it along.
    keep us posted.

    C

    you must be so proud of skyler.

    ReplyDelete
  22. What really, really, upset me in those situations..is the fact that many millions of dollars(or other currency depending of the part of the world)are thrown away in useless actions like wars, when people like Skyler,for example, would need it so much!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I'm glad Spooky forwarded your letter on. FYI that the White House blog has an agenda on people with disabilities (thanks again Spooky!).

    And FYI,independent living is becoming a huge philosophy in the "ADA industry" so to speak. My agency is now part of a program funded by the state of Ohio that looks to move almost 3,000 Ohioans from nursing homes back into the community by 2010. The chosen person goes through a process determining that they can live independently with support and the funds are provided to set them up. (It looks like I'm gonna be the big dawg doing needs assessments.)
    So trust me, we are thinking about what we're gonna do with Skyler in 10 years RIGHT NOW.

    CILs, Centers for Independent Living, stick close to those folks. See if there's any types jobs you think Skyler could do.

    You're a cool Dad, Skyler's a lucky dude to have a dad who's so capable.

    ReplyDelete
  24. That was beautiful, and very well said. Thanks for giving us Skyler's perspective.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Very nice Skydad. I agree, you should send it.

    ReplyDelete