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Disability Advocates Arrested Outside White House


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More than three-dozen disability rights activists were arrested while protesting near the White House gates Monday.

Those arrested were among 200 demonstrators with the disability rights group ADAPT. They were seeking a meeting with Obama administration officials.

The group says that President Barack Obama has done too little to ensure that people with disabilities are able to access services in their communities rather than being relegated to nursing homes.

“The president has not taken the initiative to proactively champion community living or the innovative Medicaid programs that could make it a reality,” said ADAPT organizer Josue Rodriguez of Memphis, Tenn. in a statement. “In nearly every way, President Obama and his administration have failed to live up to the promises about community living that he made during his presidential campaigns.”

The U.S. Secret Service arrested 38 individuals Monday afternoon who are facing misdemeanor charges of crossing a police line, according to Brian Leary, an agency spokesman. All of the protesters who were detained were released shortly thereafter.

White House officials did not respond to a request for comment about the demonstration.

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Comments (11 Responses)

  1. Bonnie Hagy says:

    Please, we must be heard before it’s too late.! I’ve been living on my own, away from institutions and family for over 50 years. I’ve been hiring, training and firing when necessary caregivers which I found through placing an ad in the newspaper. All the while being on a ventilator 24/7 and being totally paralyzed . Now it seems the government wants to take away my independence and have a nursing agency send whom they please. Wrong! My way is cost – effective and my life is too precious for me to have strangers taking care of me. As a citizen of this country, I think my rights are being taken from me! Thank you for listening,

  2. MaryAnn Carroll says:

    Get Back On The Back of the Bus–this part of the Coalision for Civil Rights were left behind-not only by the nation but by all the other civil rights groups-they are still not yet far ahead enough- but also never looked back to help their disabled brothers and sisters..move ahead.
    Every Civil Rights group goals-anti-discrimination in jobs, housing public accommodation, economic opportunities-people w/disabilites still at the lowest rung-Rosa parks, we need you-someone help us to organize and get off the damn back of the bus!!!

  3. marie camp says:

    I commend the advocates for doing an excellent job. As a fellow advocate I support ideas 100 per cent, keep up the great work and don’t stop believing this cause.xes

  4. Lyelle Palmer, Ph.D. says:

    What are the specific issues? This squib is far too general to generate any
    action. What are the specifics?

  5. Kate Moran says:

    Who got arrested, do you have names or pictures? Don’t you have more information than this?

  6. Gary Gimper says:

    Why is it B. Husein s Obama’s responsibility to ensure that people with disabilities are able to access services in their communities rather than being relegated to nursing homes? Where in the Constitution does it give the Prez this responsibility? Why should my tax dollars benefit people who don’t work and who demand more money and more services?

  7. Cyndi says:

    We spend money helping other countries that hate us and send money to countries that want to blow us up but, this country only promises to help the disabled. What is wrong with that picture? I am the mother of a child with special needs who has struggled to stay afloat in this country because my child limits my ability to work . I lost a job that I had worked for 3 1/2 yrs with Garden Ridge because I could not work anytime of the day or night because of my child. Even though the company new when they hired me that I could only work through the week and during the day. Trying to keep my son at home and finding workers to work with him has been difficult so do not take away what little freedom we have in the choice of in home care Thank you to the advocates that can march on Washington to fight for our rights.

  8. michelle steger says:

    I was one of the people arrested. Right now, nursing home care is an entitlement for people with disabilities who qualify for long term care. So medicaid has to spend Billions of dollars warehousing people who don’t want to be there and aren’t getting any of the “care” we’re paying for. ADAPT advocates for those medicaid dollars, being wasted and used to abuse people in nursing homes, to be available for people to use for community based services where they can actually get the support they need and still be productive members of society. Money is saved and people get appropriate support, everyone wins except the nursing home profiteers. Obama can change this, he has promised to but has not lived up to his promises to people with disabilities. For more information about what happened and about why ADAPT has to resort to civil disobedience to secure civil rights for people with disabilities go to

  9. michelle steger says:

    to Gary Gimper, we are not asking for more money or more services. We are telling the president he needs to be fiscally and humanely responsible and direct medicaid dollars differently so they actually help the people they are supposed to, people with disabilities, not nursing home owners. And by the way, many of these people with disabilities, including myself, have worked hard all of their lives and have been tax paying citizens. Either way they deserve humane services, even those like yourself who don’t “get it.”

  10. Rose says:

    To Gary Gimper: You’re talking to the wrong crowd here. These are people that have a disability and some can’t work, not like the ones who are completely able to work but want to steal from the system. And if Pres Obama would allow more of the disabled to live in the community instead of nursing homes, they would be able to have a lot more opportunity to get jobs! People with disabilities WANT to work, they WANT to fit in to society. So go talk to the people who live on welfare by choice about wasting taxpayer money, not the disabled! You are on the wrong website.

  11. Wmodnl says:

    Yea, hope and change… What a sham, only in the good old USA ware programs for PWD’s been drasticly cut over and over again over the past 10 years and counting! Enough is enough! They would rather PWD’s be dead than alive. Look at the employment data and how in 2015, PWD’s are still fighting for their most basic rights and liberties. =#DISABLEDLIVESMATTER!

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