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New CPD Director Worries About Budget Cuts, Creating More Programs


On Tuesday, President Trump said he wants to cut billions from non-defense programs to give to the defense and security budget. The proposed budget changes could affect the Center for Persons with Disabilities in Utah.

Dr. Matthew Wappett with the CPD said until you experience disability, it’s hard to realize that society is built around a certain idea of "normal."

"This is a population of students and people that are out there in society that people are largely unaware of," he said.

Wappett is the new executive director for the CPD at Utah State University. The center is in danger of losing the federal and state funding it needs to keep programs running.

"Given the uncertainty about the federal budget, then the states are uncertain about the federal budget, it has a direct impact on our programs," he said. "The proposal yesterday by President Trump to cut $54 billion from discretionary programs and move that to military funding would certainly touch some of the services and programs that we provide at the CPD."

Wappett said he is working to create more opportunities to help people with disabilities in urban and rural communities, no matter how the budget turns out.

"We want to dive more into a growth mindset. Growing programs, creating more opportunities for people with disabilities," he said. "How do we create opportunities to include people with disabilities so they get to live, learn, work and play in their communities with everybody else?"

The Center for Persons with Disabilities is the oldest university center program in the west, serving Utah for over 45 years.