11/13/18 PRESS ALERT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For More Information:
Candy Dalton (303) 947-7690
Cathy Cranston (512) 650-6543
WHAT: National ADAPT Meets with The Department of Health and Human Services with Ambitious Agenda.
WHERE: US Health and Human Services Region 8 Office 1961 Stout Street Denver, Colorado
WHEN: Tuesday, November 13th, 2018; Happening NOW
National ADAPT Meets with the Department of Health and Human Services with Ambitious Agenda
11/13/18 Denver, CO — Having celebrated its 40-year history yesterday, the national Disability Rights organization ADAPT looks to the future today. Hundreds of ADAPT activists are in route to a meeting at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The agenda of the meeting includes several issues that have long been of concern to the organization.
The first item on the agenda getting the Department to acknowledge that Disabled Americans who require long term supports and services have the same right to life and liberty that nondisabled Americans enjoy without question. It is an issue arising from the longstanding institutional bias that means many Disabled Americans can only receive the supports they need to live if they are willing to accept institutionalization. As local ADAPT organizer Jaqueline Mitchell said, “There is no disabled person that is unable to live in the community if properly supported, so no disabled person should ever be forced to leave their community just to get the supports and services, they need to live their life! HHS needs to acknowledge this and honor our constitutional rights in its practices.”
The group is also asking HHS to ensure that the Disability Community’s concerns over the implementation of the controversial Electronic Visit Verification are properly addressed. ADAPT and other disability organizations have raised concerns over the use of GPS and the collection of biometric data as part of the system introduced as part of the 21st Century Cures Act. Earlier this year largely in response to the concerns raised by ADAPT and other groups Congress chose delay EVV’s implementation by a year. “Delaying EVV was a start but it won’t do us any good if HHS does nothing to steer providers and states away from some of these dangerous systems being offered,” said ADAPT organizer Josue Rodriguez of El Paso Texas. “A year’s delay won’t do us any good if HHS allows states and providers to use EVV to control and limit our lives!”
ADAPT’s ambitious agenda also includes demanding the department instruct the FDA administrator to finalize regulations that would ban the use of Electric shock devices on disabled people. The regulations have been pending since the Obama administration and thousands of people and organizations have weighed in to support them and yet the FDA in two administrations has refused to act.
Since the passage of the American’s with Disabilities act ADAPT’s primary focus has been on ensuring that Disabled American’s can live in freedom in their communities. The rest of their agenda for the meeting focuses on this. “We have so much we need to do and HHS can help us lead the way. We need to re-establish Money Follows the person so people who are in nursing facilities can get out. We need to address the crisis in attendant wages and we need to push states to promote community living over institutionalization,” said ADAPT organizer Anita Cameron of Rochester New York.
ADAPT is in Denver all week and this visit promises to be the first of many as the group celebrates its past and fights to continue its mission to “Free our people”