VIDEO CLICK HERE .....
Trudy Shields knows firsthand how hard it can be to find affordable, accessible, integrated housing. Southeast Kansas has limited opportunities. Additionally Trudy experienced discrimination as a person with a disability.
Trudy is an example of a self empowered advocate. Pulling together resources locally from SKIL Resource Center and working directly with HUD, Trudy worked through the paperwork to successfully negotiate a resolution to the discrimination she experienced.
CLick here for transcript.
Legislative history from the turn of the century shows that people with disabilities have been viewed as everything from "unfit" to "dangerous" to a "detriment to normal society." These views directly led to the establishment of our nation's very long history of government imposed segregation of people with disabilities.
People with disabilities across the United States are forced into institutions, like nursing facilities, due to the lack of housing that meets their needs for accessibility, affordability, and integration. In many states, housing is the number one reason that people with disabilities, of all ages, are forced into institutions. Simply put, people with disabilities face a HOUSING CRISIS. There is little housing that is accessible, even less that is also affordable, and still less that is also integrated.
People with significant disabilities often cannot find housing that allows them to simply get in the front door. There are few requirements to build apartments and homes that are accessible and what requirements there are have been poorly enforced. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is rarely heeded by housing authorities and rarely enforced by The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The Fair Housing Amendments Act has limited impact and, again, enforcement is sparse. Many thousands of units that should have been accessible are not, due to the lack of enforcement.
The housing options in this system of imposed segregation are large warehouse-like state operated institutions and smaller institutions, such as group homes. People with disabilities are considered "sick" and in need of treatment to be cured. The perception that people with disabilities need to be "treated" unfortunately continues in our society today. Housing options for people with disabilities, therefore, have resembled medical centers rather than what most people would call a home.