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Five minutes could restore Karen Vaughn’s civil rights

Information courtesy of John Cardwell and Nancy Griffin

Karen Vaughn has been a leading disability advocate in Indiana for many years. For the past three decades, she advocated for the independence and service needs of all people with disabilities so they can remain in their own homes while engaged in community life. She spent years helping the disability community, and now it’s time to help her.

Karen is 58 and has quadriplegia. In January, she was hospitalized for a mild case of pneumonia, which cleared up in a week. However, she was not allowed to go home. Her licensed home health agency refused to take her back as a Medicaid client even though she had an approved plan of care from the state Medicaid office and the Division of Aging.

Earlier this month, she was moved against her will to a nursing home in Indianapolis. She is also now at risk of losing her apartment because she has been held in an institution for nearly eleven months. She needs the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration’s Office of Medicaid Policy and Planning to uphold her civil rights. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Karen has the right to live in her own home in the community and the state cannot legally force her to stay in a hospital or a nursing home.

Karen today in the nursing home

Karen today in the nursing home

Karen presenting on assistive technology

Karen presenting on assistive technology

Karen in better times, out in her community

Karen in better times, out in her community

If you have five minutes to spare today, you can help Karen return to her own home and her life of disability advocacy. You can call and write Joe Moser, the Director of the Office of Medicaid Policy and Planning (OMPP), and request that he restore Karen Vaughn’s Medicaid home and community based services so she can go home immediately. Also, ask that he act quickly so that Karen can keep her apartment. You can also send a copy of your message to Mr. Moser to your state representative, state senator, and your member of Congress.

Joe Moser’s telephone number is 317-234-8725. His address is: OMPP Director Joe Moser, FSSA Office of Medicaid Policy and Planning, Indiana Government Center South, 402 W. Washington Street, Room W-461, Indianapolis, IN 46204. You can find contact information for your elected officials here.

Thank you for your help, advocates!

Doug Schmidt
Act Team Coordinator
The Fifth Freedom Network