United Cerebral Palsy and The Arc Concerned by Chairman Thomas’s Idea to Dismantle Social Security

Washington, DC, May 6, 2005 — In response to House Ways and Means Committee
Chairman Bill Thomas (R-CA) comments to Bloomberg News, Disability Policy Collaboration
spokesperson Marty Ford issued the following statement:

We are deeply concerned by Chairman Bill Thomas’s idea to separate the retirement,
disability and survivor programs from Social Security, which would dismantle
the entire system as we know it. Social Security is an insurance program that
truly works and the system is the lifeblood for more than seven million Americans
with disabilities, their spouses and families. For most, it is their sole source
of income.

While little is known about Chairman Thomas’s recent idea, any effort to
separate the disability program from the Social Security system would likely
be harmful for beneficiaries with disabilities. We urge all members of Congress
who consider making radical changes to the Social Security system to first understand
and carefully consider the impact on the system’s beneficiaries.

Millions of Americans with disabilities receiving benefits from Social Security
deserve no less.


About the Disability Policy Collaboration, a Partnership of United Cerebral
Palsy and The Arc

United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) and The Arc have combined their resources, talents
and strong legacy of grassroots involvement in national public policy into a
formal Disability Policy Collaboration. Working together, we strive to be more
effective in convincing policymakers of the vast unmet needs of our constituents
and in mobilizing our constituents, their families, and our chapters and affiliates
as active players in national public policy.

About Marty Ford

Marty Ford is the director of legal advocacy for the Disability Policy Collaboration,
a partnership of UCP and The Arc. Marty represents both The Arc and UCP on Capitol
Hill and in the federal agencies on issues affecting people with disabilities
in long term services and supports (including Medicaid), the Supplemental Security
Income program, and Social Security disability issues. Marty is vice-chair of
the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) and serves as co-chair of
the CCD Task Forces on Social Security and on Long Term Services and Supports.
CCD is comprised of more than 100 national disability organizations.

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June 04, 2005 – A CHILDRENS charity has dumped radio host Derryn Hinch, despite
his “extraordinary” financial support, over his claims Graham Kennedy died of

The Cerebral Palsy Education Centres move came amid a community backlash in
which Hinch was also dropped as guest of honour at a building launch.

Hinch said on radio last week that Australias king of comedy died of AIDS,
a claim fiercely denied by Kennedys close friends and disproved by the results
of a test done in the weeks before the TV stars death.

CPEC president Garry Prigg said the charity decided early yesterday to dump
Hinch, who has helped raise more than $600,000 as its principal ambassador since

Hinch said the charitys decision to drop him was “the biggest kick in the
gut that I have ever had”.

Charity lashes Hinch claims

Shannon McRae
07jun05 – PARENTS of children suffering cerebral palsy are outraged at Derryn
Hinch’s attack on their charity after it dumped him. They say his claims to
have spent many hours with their children and raised tens of thousands of dollars
for them don’t stand up.

The Cerebral Palsy Education Centre’s management told the 3AW radio host it
no longer wanted him as patron after the Graham Kennedy furore, resulting in
Hinch lambasting the charity on his program and branding its management ‘d—heads’.

Hinch’s on-air claims to have raised up to $800,000 for the charity and to
have hugged and held hands with the children have been refuted by CPEC president
Garry Prigg, who says Hinch’s fundraising paled in comparison to contributions
from businesses, families and the general public.

Hinch told listeners to his program on Friday; “I’ve been with these kids,
I’ve held their hands, I’ve hugged them, I’ve laughed with them.”

“And now to be treated like a leper by the CPEC hurts me.

“Find somebody else who can raise you $800,000 in a year.”

Mr Prigg said Hinch had visited the children’s facility, which has recently
moved to Oakleigh from Glen Waverley, just twice in over four years.

He said he had financial documents that proved Hinch’s claim to have bankrolled
$800,000 in improvements were off the mark. Hinch had directly been involved
in raising almost $5000 for the charity through an appeal on his program, Mr
Prigg said, adding most of the centre’s money came from a $300,000 government
grant and donations from companies and families.

“For him to be so insulting as to call us d—heads, us being our committee
of management, which is made up partly of families of children with cerebral
palsy, is unbelievable.”

Mr Prigg said his records showed Hinch had visited the centre once in September
2001, and again for promotional filming in February this year.

“Ask him to tell you three of the children’s names and he wouldn’t be able
to do it.

“Ask him where our new centre is and he wouldn’t know.

“He says it’s all about the children, but if that were true he wouldn’t have
said the things he’s said.”

Troy Upfield, whose daughter Lily, 2, a cerebral palsy sufferer who attends
the centre two days a week, said neither he nor his wife Josie had met Hinch.

The Kangaroo Ground family has been active in fundraising for the centre in
the past year.

The Herald Sun tried to contact Hinch but was unsuccessful yesterday.