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First Person: Mike V.

Mike vividly remembers what life was like before CDPA.

“Before Consumer Directed Personal Assistance was available here where I live, I was with an agency. I had to rely on whoever the agency sent me. They were not always the best person, the most trustworthy person, the most capable person. It was a time where things were not as good as they could’ve been; I was not even in total control over what happened in my own house.”

Because of CDPA, the days of relying on an agency who didn’t always send the best people are history. Mike knows who is coming into his home and instructing PAs to do things his way.

“I decide my own life, with my own liberty, and my own freedom.”

Mike has been using Consumer Directed Personal Assistance (CDPA) for nearly 22 years. He lives in the heart of Albany just seven blocks from the Capitol building; a neighborhood that is one of the most diverse in the city. CDPA enables him to be very active as a Disability Rights advocate, empowering his independence, and do some traveling.

One of Mike's favorite destinations is Yankee Stadium. Without CDPA, Mike wouldn’t be able to go to a game because he requires 24/7 care. Mike’s Personal Assistants (PAs) bathe, dress, and position him comfortably in his wheelchair. PAs go with him not just to Yankee Stadium, but also to the Capitol and various meetings to advocate for disability rights. He has also received several awards for his advocacy and community service efforts. You can catch his words in the Op-Ed column of the Times-Union from time to time.


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