Disability Advocates for Sherrod: Meet Neil

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Disability Advocates for Sherrod: Meet Neil

Neil, a lifelong Ohioan, is the father of an adult son with autism. He’s faced challenges over the years in helping his son—who is on the lower-functionality end of the autism spectrum—receive the care he needs.

When the state closed several developmental centers for the intellectually and developmentally disabled, Neil’s son happened to be a resident in one of those centers.

Then, in 2014, the federal government revised the Home and Community Based Services waiver rule and guidance. Neil took issue with what he and others saw as a “one size fits all” approach in the waiver’s treatment of those with autism, which left some people like his son at risk of not being able to get the help they needed. Gathering a group of parents, legal guardians, and professionals working in the disability field, Neil went to Washington and met with Ohio legislators about the issue.

“We got the most welcome and willingness to hear our issues from Sherrod Brown’s office,” he said. “He spent over 45 minutes with us. It was very apparent to myself and the others in our group that Sherrod not only understood the issue and the problems, but we first saw back then that he was willing to lead on the issue.”

Neil supports Sherrod because he sees a drive in him to help people like his son, and all Ohioans who need care—whether in the form of Medicaid, Medicare, or Social Security.

“I’ve found that Sherrod cares for the working class people, who really in my estimation built what we have today,” he said. “There’s a tremendous challenge on some people’s behalf to tear down the system. Mr. Brown respects what’s here. He knows that we need to reach out and provide basic care for the people who need our support.”