The Social Security Advisory Board (SSAB) has met with Christy Dunaway, an official of the Southeast Americans with Disabilities Act Center to talk about Social Security's disability programs, particularly work incentives. Here's a key quote from Dunaway:
One fundamental core value and belief underlies our comments today: All people of working age with disabilities can work if they have access to appropriate education, training, and vital supports such as technology assistance, transportation, and personal assistance services.
This is absolute rubbish. It comes from a woman who tells us that she is disabled. In Social Security terms, she is not a bit disabled since she has regular employment. Impaired yes, but disabled no. She has no business trying to speak for a group of people whom she does not represent and whom she does not begin to understand. All the things that Dunaway say make it possible for anyone to work regardless of their disabilities are irrelevant to the vast majority of Social Security disability recipients. None of that matters if you are suffering from severe pain or devastating mental illness or are older and have a severe, chronic degenerative diseases. Would she really repeat the statement she made to a real, live person dying of cancer?
People like Dunaway are a positive menace to truly disabled people. They are the reason we have politicians who are confused and dismayed that Social Security disability recipients fail to return to work. Dunaway and her ilk are mostly interested in federal grants to allow them to serve a tiny sliver of the handicapped community, most of whom are in wheelchairs. We have to make policy based upon the reality of who is drawing Social Security disability benefits and that's someone other than Dunaway and those few people whom she thinks are representative of the disabled population of this country.