Miller opens Disability Funding Rally in Capitol Rotunda

Advocates seek fair funding for Pennsylvanians with disabilities

HARRISBURG, June 5 – State Rep. Dan Miller, D-Mt. Lebanon, whose annual Disability Summit in March is the largest resource event of its kind in western Pennsylvania, yesterday opened a rally in the Capitol Rotunda seeking fair funding for those with disabilities.

Miller was the first speaker at the Disability Funding Rally, which brought together advocates from across the state – including legislators, people with disabilities, family members, friends and disability organizations.

“It’s tremendous to see so many self-advocates in the Capitol today,” Miller said. “We have to open up the door for people with disabilities. A lot of people need our help … for dignity to reign throughout Pennsylvania.

“We have a lot of friends on the Democratic and the Republican sides. Hopefully, this will be our last Disability Funding Rally. Maybe next year we won’t need it.”

At the rally, Miller, who co-chairs the legislature’s Autism and Intellectual Disabilities Caucus, introduced fellow speakers that included state Reps. Bryan Cutler, Thomas Murt and Gene DiGirolamo.

Cutler, a Republican who serves as House majority whip, recognized Miller for the work he does and those in attendance for helping promote the cause.

“No matter how hard Dan and I work … nothing is more powerful than a personal story,” Cutler said. “And I want to thank the advocates for coming (to Harrisburg) to tell their story.”

A consortium of those advocates from across the state attended the rally in support of disability funding in Pennsylvania.

“In addition to upholding the rights of the disabled, we all share a commitment to make sure they are able to receive the services and supports they need,” Miller said. “As I have said before, it’s important to remind decision-makers that you can’t say you support the disabled without also supporting the workers who provide them with the services they desperately need.”

The event was sponsored by these 12 disability-related organizations:

  • Pennsylvania House Intellectual Disabilities and Autism Caucus,

  • Disability Rights Pennsylvania,

  • Institute on Disabilities at Temple University,

  • Pennsylvania Advocacy and Resources for Autism and Intellectual Disability,

  • Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association,

  • Self Advocates United as 1,

  • Speaking For Ourselves,

  • The Arc of PA and its 33 chapters,

  • The PA Waiting List Campaign,

  • The Provider Alliance,

  • United Cerebral Palsy of PA and its chapters, and

  • Vision for Equality.