On May 19, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius issued a statement on the death of Katie Beckett, a woman with disabilities who played an integral role in the disability rights movement.
When Beckett was a child, her family and doctors wanted her to live at home, but were precluded from Medicaid covering the cost of her support and care outside of a hospital setting.
In response, Beckett’s mother, Julie, advocated on behalf of her daughter and others. Thirty years ago, her effort resulted in the “Katie Beckett Waiver”—a program that has provided more than half of a million children with disabilities the opportunity to live at home and participate in their communities.
ANCOR CEO Renee Pietrangelo also commented on Beckett’s passing: “Katie and her mom forever changed the landscape of how people with disabilities are supported. Thank you, Katie. You made an essential and indelible difference for hundreds of thousands and forever enriched our communities.”
Beckett died on May 18, 2012, at the age of 34, following medical complications.