11/15/18 PRESS ALERT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For More Information:
Stephanie Woodward (585) 269-9184
Dawn Russell (303) 884-1471
Mike Oxford (785) 224-3865
WHO: National ADAPT
WHAT: Demand Congresswoman Diana DeGette Champion the Rights of Disabled Americans as She Seeks a Leadership Position among House Democrats
WHERE: 600 N Grant St, Ste 202, Denver, CO 80203
WHEN: Thursday, November 15th, 2018; Happening NOW
ADAPT Demand Congresswoman Diana DeGette Champion the Rights of Disabled Americans as She Seeks a Leadership Position among House Democrats
11/15/18 Denver, CO — Atlantis ADAPT and National ADAPT have a long history of working with Congresswoman Diana DeGette who immediately co-sponsored the Disability Integration Act (HR 2472) when it was introduced in this Congress. The Disability Integration Act (DIA) would ensure that elderly and Disabled Americans are no longer denied their most basic rights to life, liberty, and freedom through unwanted placement in nursing facilities and other institutions.
The Congresswoman is currently running for the majority whip or assistant majority leader – the third highest ranking position in the House Democratic Caucus. She is running against Congressman James Clyburn of South Carolina who has not yet cosponsored DIA. “The Disability Community has a vested interest in who is in Democratic Leadership,” said Dawn Russell of Atlantis ADAPT. “We need Democratic Leadership that will champion the Disability Community, our civil rights, and the Disability Integration Act, instead of maintaining the ableist status quo that locks us away.”
ADAPT is also asking the Congresswoman to continue her strong support for the Empower Care Act, H.R.5306, which would extend a program developed under President George W. Bush and extended by President Obama. “Over 83,000 elderly and disabled people have transitioned back into the community using this program,” said Mike Oxford of Kansas ADAPT, who was one of the architects of the program. “This program has given vital support for states to promote community integration. It shouldn’t end because Congress can’t work together.”
ADAPT is asking the Congresswoman to further assist ADAPT in ending the practice using electric shocks to control the behavior of its Disabled people who re institutionalized. There is only one institution in the nation that still uses this barbaric practice, the Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC) in Canton, Massachusetts.
Congresswoman DeGette has used her connections with Commissioner Scott Gottlieb of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to communicate the importance of the FDA releasing the final rules that would end the cruel practice of using shocks to control the disabled residents. “The FDA had done all of the work needed to stop this atrocity,” said Hope Moseley of Atlantis ADAPT. “They simply need to release these rules which have broad support throughout the Disability Community.”
“If this were being done to non-disabled children, there would be outrage. If an organization were doing this to dogs, there would be huge pushback. It is appalling that this is being done to Disabled Americans everyday and our own government is looking the other way,” said Shannon Secrest of Atlantis ADAPT.
Finally, the group is asking Congresswoman DeGette to work with ADAPT and Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition to introduce a bill by February 1, 2019, to carve out consumer directed care and family caregivers from the Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) monitoring requirements in the 21st Century Cures Act. “These EVV systems are an intrusive invasion of privacy with some systems using GPS to track the disabled person”, said Josh Winkler of Atlantis ADAPT. “It is also impacting our ability to get and keep attendants because they don’t want to be tracked like this as well.”
Concerns about the misuse of EVV are validated by the experience of members of Rochester (NY) ADAPT where unscrupulous governmental officials used EVV data to retaliate against the local Disabled Community and local Center for Independent Living. “We were fighting for access and community integration and local officials retaliated against us by using EVV data to try to put our CIL out of business, and as a result Disabled people went back into institutions and died,” said Stephanie Woodward of Rochester ADAPT. “This shouldn’t happen anywhere, particularly the United States.”