In answer to yesterday’s New Year’s Day question … Here are five things I think might happen in 2015. Because I don’t really know how each of them will unfold, they are questions rather than predictions:
1. What will Congress do to shore up Social Security Disability funding? Can we possibly hope to see new funding allocated without another round of panicky stories about how SSDI is full of fraud and “out of control”?
2. Will The ABLE Act get a real, robust test, with lots of diverse families and disabled people opening accounts and using them for a wide variety of purposes? Or, will it be used mainly by wealthier families as a slight improvement on Supplemental Needs Trusts?
3. Will we see a major shift in public opinion against Sheltered Workshops, a backlash in defense of them, or will this issue remain a debate taking place mostly within the disability community?
4. What will happen to home care in the United States when the new overtime rules go into effect? Will it improve things for both workers and the people they serve? Or, will states and agencies just respond by cutting hours of service, harming disabled people and their home care aides?
5. Will the general public start to view the murder of disabled kids at the hands of “stressed” parents in a different light? Or, will these incidents still be discussed mostly as sad stories of parents frightened by the future and unable to get the “support” they say they need?
You can probably tell how I hope these things pan out. But, while I tend to be pessimistic, I really don’t know what will happen. Maybe nothing will happen at all. Maybe things will turn out for the worse on all of these issues. But maybe, against odds, some good will emerge.