ADAPT marches for and demands a Community for ALL

All Are One! March Background and Demands

Poor and marginalized people, who bear the least responsibility for contributing to the causes of climate change, should not bear the greatest burden from its impacts. But we do. Climate risks disproportionately harm those of us who are already vulnerable because of racial and socioeconomic disparities. Lack of access to transportation, lack of access in emergency shelters, and lack of access to community services and supports in times of disaster and recovery further limit people with disabilities’ ability to escape danger and, having escaped danger, limits our ability to return home. In the past several years, FEMA has failed the disability community by dismantling their disability advisor program, starving it to death and leaving positions unfilled, eschewing responsibility for ensuring local disaster preparedness and response efforts are accessible for people with disabilities, and turning to the Department of Health and Human Services to grant states “emergency waivers” to institutionalize and hospitalize people with disabilities instead of supporting community options for services and supports.

  1. Fully fund and staff the disability advisor program, hiring people with disabilities into those positions to gather and represent the experiences, needs, and priorities of people with disabilities in disaster preparedness planning and response.
  2. Work with CMS to end the emergency institutional waiver program, and replace it with an expedited program so that community services and supports can be made available on an expedited basis, either through payment guarantee to existing DSW workers, or through an emergency services program.
  3. Require all partners to include specific information about accessibility and accommodations and designate funds, personnel and resources, in their programs, services, and shelters, to ensure equal access for people with disabilities.
  4. Discontinue the use of “special needs” shelters to segregate people with disabilities from our neighbors, friends, and families.
  5. Publicly express support for the medical deferment program that allows people with disabilities and health concerns entrée to the United States following times of disaster in other countries.

Museum of African American History and Culture
The Black experience in America is, simply put, the everyday experience of a history of oppression. Black people with disabilities’ oppression experience is compounded in ways that create greater disadvantage, with greater risk of harm, and far less opportunity. Black students are twice as likely to be classified as having emotional disturbance and intellectual disabilities than students of other races. Among adults with a disability, 47% of African Americans report fair or poor health, compared with 37% of their white counterparts. As a whole, people with disabilities represent 40% of those who have difficulties getting the transportation they need. Blacks with disabilities are less likely to have access to a vehicle and are more likely to experience a longer commute time than their white peers. Barriers to transportation can interfere with employment opportunities, access to nutritious foods, and community engagement. Understanding the Black experience is key to understanding the basis of our country as one built with stolen labor, on stolen lands.

  1. Dismantle systems where bias creates disparities and limits opportunities for Blacks.
  2. Lift up our Black siblings to tell their stories and re-vision our movement to address the structural inequities that exist at all levels.
  3. Celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of Blacks, and Black people with disabilities.
  4. Lift up the memories of Blacks and Black people with disabilities lost to us by police state violence.
  5. Create opportunities for our Black siblings to lead our movement.
  6. End the preschool to prison pipeline for our Black children with disabilities.
  7. Stop caging our Black siblings through over-criminalization and over-incarceration.

Housing is a human right. Yet redlining in housing, housing practices that discriminate, and construction that excludes people with disabilities are realities for people with disabilities, particularly multiply-marginalized people with disabilities. Discrimination results in disproportionately high numbers of homelessness in racial minorities, women, LGBTQIA+, formerly incarcerated, Veterans, and disabled people. This Administration, under Secretary Carson’s leadership, has deepened the housing crisis, with public housing infrastructure crumbling and housing affordability having become a myth: a renter working 40 hours a week, earning minimum wage cannot afford housing in any county, anywhere in the country.

  1. HUD leadership should adopt ADAPT’s Access across America as the strategic plan for ensuring accessible, affordable, safe, integrated housing is available for people with disabilities in all our communities.
  2. HUD will request funding for implementation of Access across America, including funding for 1,000 new housing choice vouchers for people with disabilities for each of the next five (5) years.

Department of Homeland Security
The Department of Homeland Security is the parent agency for both Immigration & Custom Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), policing agencies against immigrants seeking asylum, and immigrants who have been detained as unauthorized to be in this country. Detainees are separated from family members, including children with disabilities. Disabled detainees are discriminated against because there is a lack of adequate mental and physical health care in these facilities. Immigrants with mental health issues are isolated from the rest of the population. Immigrants with other disabilities or health conditions are left untreated or without accommodations. The severe lack of accommodations at detention facilities across the U.S. is commonplace. People are dying in these facilities because of the inhumane conditions, the lack of accommodations, and the denial of health care.

  1. Stop detaining people.
  2. Stop violating detainees’ civil and human rights.
  3. Provide disability accommodations for immigration applicants at all steps of the immigration process, from application, through granting of citizenship.

US Navy Memorial Plaza
In service to the values espoused by this country, people enlist to protect, honor, and serve freedom and democracy in times of peace, and in theaters of war around the world. Notwithstanding their service, Black Veterans and Disabled Veterans returned to this country to racial and socioeconomic division that excluded them and their families from the benefits of military service, and the hopes of black veterans and their communities were crushed by an unyielding racism that barred their entry into the middle class. The VA Hospital system and its delays make obtaining medical care for disabled Veterans a complex web to navigate; for Black and minority Veterans, implicit bias in these systems compound the frustration.

  1. Honor their service by dismantling systems and programs where bias perpetuates disparities and limits opportunities for Black and Disabled Veterans.
  2. Lift up Black Disabled Veterans to tell their stories and re-vision our movement to address the structural inequities that exist at all levels.
  3. The Veteran’s Administration should aggressively implement programs and interventions to address race-based stress and trauma among Veterans.

White House
From the earliest days on the campaign trail, this Administration has expressed its hostility and antipathy toward people with disabilities, and marginalized communities in overt and aggressive fashion. Time and again, people with disabilities have played a prominent role as targets of the harmful rhetoric and even more harmful policy proposals of this administration. This week, we have taken up the issue of the expansion of the Public Charge, this Administration’s pile on to the discrimination written into immigration law against people with disabilities, and evisceration of funding for programs ranging from public housing infrastructure to housing choice vouchers. People with disabilities have played a prominent role in this Administration’s demonization, making us abusers of social security in need of having our social media monitored, perpetrators of violence responsible for unspeakable acts of gun violence. Executive branch agencies have picked up on this harmful rhetoric and proposed time and again translating that into harmful practices that would link roll back protections offered under the Affordable Care Act, limit the types of families we can form, expose us to harmful environmental conditions under de-regulations, impose work requirements for benefits, link our benefits to the harmful consumer price index, all the while scaling back the anti-discrimination enforcement avenues available to address discrimination in all aspects of their operations.

  1. Stop the harmful rhetoric, demonization, and policy proposals against people with disabilities and our marginalized and multiply-marginalized family, friends, and neighbors.
  2. Empower and encourage anti-discrimination organizations within each agency of the Executive Branch to aggressively pursue discrimination complaints against those agencies.
  3. Promote hiring practices that encourage aggressive recruitment and retention of multiply-marginalized civil servants.
  4. Stop attempts to block grant or limit funding to states that is critical to the social safety net and creating opportunities for choice, freedom, and community living for people with disabilities.