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"No Problem" Governor Manchin's Jerking Around Of Disabled Needs Stopped

For Immediate Release:                                      July 12, 2005

Vicki Shaffer

138 Glen Abbey Lane

Morgantown WV 26508


(304) 598-5919

My name is Vicki Shaffer. I am a 34 year old woman who was born with Cerebral Palsy. I need training and services to keep me in my apartment. The state of West Virginia is trying to take those services away, which would place me in a nursing home.

The program I am on is called the Title 19 MR/DD waiver program, a program designed to reduce or even "waive" restrictions normally placed on medicaid. The Title XIX MR/DD waiver is designed to give individuals like mysel,f who are eligible for nursing home or group home care, an option to remain in the community, a basic civil guaranteed by the Olmstead supreme court decision, and work toward independence and employment both of which are dreams of mine.

In May 2004 after only being on the program five months I fell and broke my hip leading to a long and painful recovery. This made my condition worse and made it impossible for me to do any training. The state of West Virginia now is saying that I am no longer eligible for the program. How can that be when I have the same abilities or even fewer because of the injury?

When I got my termination letter in February 2005, I immediately pleaded for Governor Joe Manchin III for help those pleas were first ignored. Then on March 30th, 2005, I got to meet with the governor and ask him face to face for his help. He stated "no problem". (www.labs.net/adapt/mvi_1644.avi) Since that time the governor has not lived up to his promise and once again is ignoring me and others around the country who are asking him to direct DHHR to allow me to remain on this program.

His office claims that they can not intervene because the case is going to fair hearing on July 22nd. I do not believe this is true. The reason I asked the governor for his help in the first place is that I believe that the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources is discriminating against me. I can’t dress, cook, drive, shower, or care for my cat. I need training to learn these activities, that’s the reason for the program. I want to live at home and work towards independence, but for this to happen Governor Joe Manchin must live up to his promise.

Will you please help spread the word of my case and remind Joe to live up to his promise? My life depends on it.


This letter was faxed & emailed to Governor Joe Manchin III, of West Virginia. We'll see if he responds.......kk-


Disabled Action Committee
14405 Artery Ln#11 - Dale City, VA 22193 - U.S.
Phone 703-878-1737 - Email DAC4VA@aol.com

July 12, 2005

Governor Joe Manchin III
West Virginia

Dear Governor Joe Manchin:

I'm writing in regard to a promise you made to Ms Vicki L. Shaffer, 138 Glen Abbey Lane, Morgantown, West Virginia 26508.

You promised Ms Shaffer on March 30, 2005, after being apprised of her situation that there would be "no problem" in getting her dilemma resolved and you also stated that "you did not want to see her in a nursing home."

To refresh your memory let me explain Ms Shaffer's problem and/or situation. Ms Shaffer is currently a recipient of MR/DD waiver services. In February 2005, she received a letter from DHHR stating she was no longer eligible for this program. 

When your designated disability contact, Mary Jo Thompson, was asked why Ms Shaffer was being removed from the MR/DD program she cited twenty-one hours of college courses that Ms Shaffer had taken over ten years ago. This is not grounds for removal in any state waiver program. Many people on the MR/DD waiver take college courses as part of their training curriculum to improve or enhance their life, not to set them back to the stone ages, therefore, this should not disqualify Ms Shaffer from trying to improve herself from taking college courses ten years prior to now.

You even state on your website: "Governor Manchin believes that the people of West Virginia expect and deserve a Governor who works hard every day to make things better for our state and who uses common sense to remove any barriers standing in the way." Seems like some common sense is needed now.

We know this information is incorrect regarding college courses and feel it's just a form of retaliation from DHHR for whatever their reason may be. West Virginia has two waivers each of which have waiting lists. By removing Ms Shaffer from a program that she has been on for over 1 1/2 years and is eligible for, just to institutionalize her, is a clear violation of the Olmstead decision and her basic state rights.

If Ms Shaffer's services and supports are removed she will be immediately imprisoned in a nursing home at a "greater cost" to the state. What is the rationale behind that logic?

I'm aware that your office has been contacted by hundreds of people from around the country asking you to honor your word and I'm requesting the same. It is your sworn duty to represent all of your constituents in West Virginia and that is exactly what you state on your website.

By failing to honor your promise would put Ms Shaffer at risk of losing her home, her family, and most importantly her independence and freedom. 

Ms Tina Maher who is the State Olmstead coordinator is aware that Ms Shaffer has filed a complaint against you being that you're the Governor of West Virginia and I would encourage you to not go through unnecessary litigation just to hear a case that could easily be remedied.

Let's not allow those people to fall through the cracks and please give this matter your utmost attention before it becomes a nationwide issue. Thank you for your assistance in making an amiable solution to this matter.


Keith Kessler - Founder of DAC (disabled Action committee)
14405 Artery Ln#11
Dale City, VA 22193
Email: DAC4VA@aol.com

Website:  http://members.aol.com/DAC4VA/main.htm 

**Some people grin and bear it.  Others smile and change it.**

cc/advocates nationwide
cc/dac network

July 13, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink


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Sometimes it's difficult to judge the situation with just a patient's letter. I suggest that Vicki have people who write well and are well-informed about medical guidelines to write letters on her behalf for the hearing. This can be quite successful.

Three people who come to mind as possible advocates (writers on her behalf) are her physician, the nurse supervising any care done in the home and the social worker. Perhaps she will not get all three, but she should give it a try.
A note to any patient with disabilites: work on having good relationships with all your health care providers. This is the
real starting point for success.

Posted by: Rachael, RN | Jul 16, 2005 1:07:44 AM

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