National ADAPT Condemns Rollback of Warren’s Disability Rights Platform

Yesterday, Warren’s campaign released a new version of its disability rights platform. Where the campaign’s previous version included support for and mention of the Senator’s co-sponsorship of the Disability Integration Act (S.117/HR.555), the new version of her platform released yesterday fails to mention the bill altogether.

The Disability Integration Act would ensure no disabled person needing long term services and supports would have to make a choice between the support they need and their freedom. The legislation has secured more than enough cosponsors to pass the House of Representatives and is only 16 cosponsors from having the votes needed to pass in the Senate.

ADAPTers were initially pleased to see an updated, otherwise robust plan, but after reading the new plan were disappointed to find that the Warren prides herself on her many detailed plans offers no specifics on how her administration would end the institutional bias and ensure Disabled people can live in freedom. Previous iterations of the plan had cited her support for the Disability Integration Act as the means to achieving this end.

Warren names 11 other pieces of legislation in her new plan, but does not include legislation that would ensure that the more than two million Disabled and elderly people living in nursing facilities have an enforceable civil right to live in freedom. The fact that she excludes legislation that would help people with the most significant disabilities live the American dream in freedom illustrates the ableism of her plan.

“I am angry, said Anita Cameron of Rochester ADAPT. “Warren used my name, but then erases the work that I and other ADAPTers are doing to pass the Disability Integration Act. This is critical civil rights legislation for our community. She needs to correct this immediately.”

“I am appalled”, said Dawn Russell of Atlantis ADAPT in Denver, “She starts her statement referencing the Denver bus blockade, but ignores the fact that the fight for accessible buses was begun by people who had escaped from a nursing facility. DIA is the culmination of the work that began with the Gang of 19 and Wade Blank; it is truly disrespectful to ignore it.”

“The campaign is using people with disabilities instead of advancing real Disability Justice. I was among the ADAPTers who saved Obamacare during the #SummerofADAPT. We earned our right to live in freedom. Democrats like Warren shouldn’t turn their back on us now,” said Allison Donald of Mid-South ADAPT in Memphis Tennessee. “The fight for the freedom and liberation will continue until all our people are free”. The Disability Integration Act is CIVIL RIGHTS legislation that serves to uplift and empower people with disabilities. It is time for Democrats like Elizabeth Warren to have our backs the way we had theirs.”