01/15/19 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – ACTION HAPPENING NOW
For More Information:
Anita Cameron: (585) 259 8746
Bruce Darling: (585) 370-6690
Marilee Adamski-Smith: (715) 204-4152
Who: National ADAPT
What: Disability Community Celebrates the Reintroduction of the Disability Integration Act
Where: Capitol Visitors Center, Room SVC 202-3, Washington, DC
When: Tuesday, January 15, 2019 from 3pm to 4pm
Disability Community Celebrates the Reintroduction of the Disability Integration Act
Members of Congress from both side of the aisle came together today to celebrate the re-introduction of the Disability Integration Act (DIA) at the Senate Capitol Visitors Center. The Disability Integration Act is a bill that would affirm the rights of people with disabilities and seniors to have the real choice to live in the community by requiring insurance companies that would offer institutional services to also offer those same services in the community.
“At its core, the Disability Integration Act is about one simple thing: that people with disabilities must be treated as equally as those without.” said Senate Minority Leader Schumer “People with disabilities are too often denied the choice to receive at-home care and support services. This bill ensures that would never happen again.”. The bill, which received bipartisan support in both the Senate and the House in the last Congress, was reintroduced today by Senator Schumer and Representative James Sensenbrenner.
“I am proud to re-introduce this bill, because all Americans should share in the American Dream, and that begins in the community in someone’s own home,” said Representative Sensenbrenner.
DIA has widespread support in the Disability Community. “This bill builds on the idea that the independent living movement was founded on. DIA will mean that disabled and elderly Americans no longer have to move into institutions to get the services we need to live our lives,” said Anita Cameron, the Mistress of Ceremony at today’s event. The bill ends what disabled activists have long called “the institutional bias” by requiring that any insurer offering long term supports and services must make them available in the community setting rather than only in institutions and nursing facilities.
Much of the excitement over the reintroduction comes from the feeling that DIA’s time has come. “The midterm elections changed everything. With Democrats taking over the house, there is a real opportunity to pass the bill on the House side this year” said Kelly Buckland, Executive Director of the National Council for Independent Living. “As someone who uses attendant services and has spent time in a nursing facility, I can’t begin to express how exciting it is that this is finally going to happen.” To this end, ADAPT and the broader Disability Community have called upon the House of Representatives to pass DIA before July 26th of this year.
It is not a coincidence that the celebrations and the reintroduction are taking place on January 15th, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. The Disability Rights Movement has deep ties to the Civil Rights leader and has long marked this day as Freedom Day, with celebrations of the progress that has been made and direct action aimed at furthering the cause. To many in the Disability Community the DIA was made for Freedom Day, and the day the legislation finally passes will forever be known as Disability Freedom Day!
Celebrations are being held nationwide at disability rights organizations who are watching the livestream of the Reintroduction on National ADAPT’s Facebook and YouTube accounts. A reception will follow this event from 4pm to 6pm at the Capitol Visitors Center.
ADAPT’s history, the issues we are fighting for and our activities can be followed on our web site at www.adapt.org, our ADAPT Facebook page and on Twitter – look for #ADAPTandRESIST