5/20/19 PRESS ALERT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For More Information:
Stephanie Woodward: (585) 269-9184
Gregg Beratan: (610) 247 4188
Marilee Adamski-Smith: (715) 204-4152
WHAT: ADAPT’s First Day: Meeting with DHHS, Gaining Ground on DIA, and Evening Action
WHERE: Washington, DC and Mechanicsville, Maryland
WHEN: Monday, May 20, 2019
ADAPT Carries First Day Momentum into the Night
5/20/19, Washington, DC – ADAPT’s work started today with a morning visit to the Department of Health and Human Services to address the failure of the administration to ensure that Disabled Americans are able to live in freedom. In the afternoon, ADAPT staged 19 simultaneous actions in the Offices of House Democrats who have not yet co-sponsored the Disability Integration Act (DIA), legislation ensuring the right to home and community based services for elderly and disabled citizens. This tactic led to the commitment of (—–) more Representatives to co-sponsor the DIA. If that wasn’t enough, ADAPT continues their work this evening outside of House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer’s home in Mechanicsville, Maryland.
Majority Leader Hoyer is lauded for and often speaks about his work shepherding the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Despite this, Representative Hoyer has been notably absent from efforts to pass the Disability Integration Act. He hasn’t even co-sponsored the bill even though hundreds of aging, disability, faith-based, and social justice organizations have demanded its passage in the House of Representatives this July.
Dawn Russell from Denver ADAPT said, “We’re visiting Representative Hoyer’s home to demand he take action to help pass the DIA in this House this summer, instead of impeding our process and ultimately thwarting our fight for freedom. We have tried to work with him, but when we met with his office, his representative rolled her eyes as we talked about the impact that unwanted institutionalization has on elderly and Disabled Americans as well as their families. It was truly insulting.”
ADAPT contrasted Representative Hoyer’s silence with the public statements of Speaker Pelosi who expressed her support for the bill. At a disability rights rally last July, then-Minority Leader Pelosi said, “I am very proud to stand before you wearing this pin. It’s a Disability Integration Act pin… Bruce [Darling] lent this to me so I could hold it up here and say to you that I will do everything possible to get as many cosponsors for this legislation.”
ADAPT members are pleased with the increasing the momentum the bill is developing, but is clearly willing to hold Members of Congress accountable in unconventional ways. “We have been working on this issue for nearly three decades while Disabled people have been locked away and died behind the walls of the institutions. We will do whatever it takes to free our people,” said Anita Cameron an ADAPT organizer from Rochester, NY. “And we will do what we do best: ADAPT and resist.”
For decades ADAPT has fought to secure the same rights and liberties for Disabled Americans as those of their non-disabled neighbors. Learn more about ADAPT’s history and activities at www.adapt.org, on social media with the National ADAPT Facebook and Twitter pages. Also, keep up to date on their current endeavors by following the hashtags #DIAToday and #ADAPTandRESIST