Noah Wyle was arrested at a protest on Capitol Hill on Monday. He'd joined other ADAPT members to protest Medicaid cuts that will reduce in-home medical services for people with disabilities. One hundred other protesters were arrested along with Noah Wyle.
ADAPT originally stood for "Americans Disabled for Accessible Public Transit", but the organization's mandate has spread far beyond transportation in recent years. Grassroots
advocacy for effective community supports for people with disabilities is now it's major focus. ADAPT's achievements include:
- Developing the Medicaid Community Attendant Services and Supports Act, to get people with disabilities out of nursing homes and institutions and receiving medical services in community residential settings. Now known as the Community Choice Act.
- Working to make sure that states receive funds from Money Follows the Person
- Developing the Access Across America campaign for housing for people with disabilities
- Training chapter leaders
- Operating two national bases in the United States
- Publishing a quarterly newsletter
But Back to Noah Wyle
I really admire celebrities, who obviously have a lot invested in maintaining a certain image, who are willing to take a risk and stand up for their beliefs (and Noah Wyle is currently acting in a TV series, "Falling Skies"). Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins are two other working actors that do a lot of activist work that spring to mind.
Obviously any volunteer's time and energy is valuable for a non-profit energy struggling to get its energy out there...and it's amazing when you find people committed enough to a cause to be arrested for it...but it doesn't get in the news when us Regular Joes get arrested. A star willing to get arrested for a cause - that gets us in the news. Noah Wyle was aware that he could get arrested, and he went through with this anyway, and that restores a bit of my faith in Hollywood. Thank you, Noah.
And Thank You To Others That Have a Lot To Lose
And, as a person who would like to work in social services again and could therefore have a lot to lose from an arrest, I'd like to thank the teachers, social workers, health care workers, etc., that undoubtedly show up at protests like these. I know what you're potentially risking for your beliefs. You truly rock. :)
ADAPT is taking National Action in Washington, D.C. until April 26, if anyone still wants to join.
More about ADAPT: http://www.adapt.org/