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Disability Integration Act (DIA) Reintroduction...
What is the Disability Integration Act? The Disability Integration Act (DIA) is civil rights legislation, introduced by Senator Schumer in the Senate and Representative Sensenbrenner in the House, to address the fundamental issue that people who need Long Term Services and Supports (LTSS) are forced into institutions and losing their basic civil rights. The legislation (S.910, H.R.2472) builds on the 25 years of work that ADAPT has done to end the institutional bias and provide seniors and people with disabilities home and community-based services (HCBS) as an alternative to institutionalization. It is the next step in our national advocacy after securing the Community First Choice (CFC) option. Summary Twenty-five years after the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, unwanted institutionalization remains a serious problem for people with disabilities and seniors. This issue was documented in the HELP Committee report: ?Separate and Unequal: States Fail to Fulfill the Community Living Promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act?. That report recommended that Congress amend the ADA to clarify and strengthen the law?s integration mandate in a manner that accelerates Olmstead implementation and clarifies that every individual who is eligible for LTSS under Medicaid has a federally protected right to a real choice in how they receive services and supports. The report and this recommendation were well received by the Disability Community. Although the Disability Integration Act (S.910, H.R. 2472) does NOT amend the ADA, the legislation, modeled on the ADA and the ADA Amendments Act, strengthens Olmstead?s integration mandate and creates federal civil rights law which addresses the civil rights issue that people with disabilities who are stuck in institutions cannot benefit from many of the rights established under the ADA. Legislative Background The Disability Integration Act builds on the 25-year campaign that ADAPT has done to end the institutional bias and provide seniors and people with disabilities an alternative to unwanted institutionalization. There have been a number of different incarnations of legislation intended to address Medicaid?s institutional bias, starting with the Medicaid Community Attendant Services Act. Previous versions of legislation were required to do two things: create a Medicaid infrastructure that would meet the assistance needs of all individuals at the institutional level of care and mandate that states implement such a program. Consequently, previous versions of legislation were focused on Medicaid. However, the Affordable Care Act included language that created the Community First Choice (CFC) Option. This language established a simple Medicaid State Plan option that pre-invests the savings associated with transition to home and community-based services into an incentive of an enhanced FMAP. Current Environment Although CFC was optional, it was believed that the six percent additional FMAP would result in states selecting the option and providing a real alternative to institutionalization. Unfortunately, only six states (California, Oregon, Maryland, Montana, New York and Texas) have implemented Community First Choice. Other states have indicated that they intend to implement CFC or have submitted a State Plan Amendment to CMS, but uptake of this option has been extremely limited. Some states?like Illinois?determined the state would actually generate excess long-term revenue by implementing CFC, but still haven?t selected the option. It is possible for states to implement CFC, secure the extra federal funds, and continue to maintain policies that limit access to services or fail to provide a real alternative to institutionalization. Requirements What is Required Under the Disability Integration Act? 1.Public Entities and Insurance Providers that Pay for LTSS Cannot Discriminate Against People with Disabilities When Providing HCBS oPublic entities and insurance providers that pay for LTSS cannot use eligibility criteria that prevent an individual or class of individuals from receiving HCBS; oPublic entities and insurance providers that pay for LTSS cannot limit the availability of services to individuals who need such services based on cost or service caps; oPublic entities and insurance providers that pay for LTSS cannot refuse to pay for a specific service needed by an individual or class of individuals and must also provide services and supports that are needed on an intermittent, short-term or emergent basis; oEligible individuals must be provided with services in a HCBS without unnecessary delay or restriction of services; oPublic entities and insurance providers that pay for LTSS cannot require people to use informal supports; oPublic entities and insurance providers that pay for LTSS cannot impose policies that restrict an individual or class of individuals from living in the community and leading an independent life, like a requirement that the individual must be in a congregate or disability-specific setting; and oPublic entities and insurance providers that pay for LTSS must make reasonable modifications to policies, practices and procedures. 2.Public Entities and Insurance Providers that Pay for LTSS Must Establish Adequate Payment Structures for HCBS services oPublic entities and insurance providers that pay for LTSS must create payment structures that will maintain a sufficient workforce to provide services in HCBS for all individuals that require such services 3.Public Entities and Insurance Providers that Pay for LTSS Must Inform People with Disabilities of Their Right to Receive Services and Supports in the Community oIndividuals in institutional settings must be regularly provided with information to help them understand that they have the right to choose to receive services and supports in the community; and oIndividuals at risk of institutionalization must be provided with information to help them understand that they have the right to choose to receive services and supports in the community before they are placed in an institutional setting. 4.Public Entities Must Increase Affordable and Accessible Housing Options oPublic entities must develop plans to increase the availability of affordable and accessible private and public housing for individuals with disabilities. DIA Reintroduction Event Transcript [Applause] >> Ring with the height of liberty. Let our rejoicing high. Let resound loud as the rolling sea. Sing a song for faith that the dark path has taught us. Sing a song for hope that the president has bought us. Facing the rising son of our new day begun. Let us march on. Until victory is one. Welcome. To the read introduction of the Disability Integration Act. My name is Anita Cameron. I am a national organizer with ADAPT. It is my honor and pleasure to introduce to you the Senate Minority Leader, my senator from the great state of New York, Sen. Chuck Schumer. [Applause] Thank you. Thank you so much. It is great to be back. On such a wonderful occasion. I want to thank all of my advocates in the community for being such a strong support through the years as we are moving forward to get the Disability Integration Act past into law. [Applause] I am proud to reintroduce the legislation, and as you know I have been an advocate and champion for the disabled community throughout my Senate career. As you all know the story, this is what introduced me to it. Across the hall from us in our apartment building was a little boy named Joey. He was in a wheelchair. Sometimes his mom would ask me to take care of him. I did. I would take Joey outside. Because there were simply no curb cuts, he was confined to the block in which we lived. It was a revelation. I worked really hard to get New York City to put curb cuts in. That gave Joey freedom. Freedom. That is why I fought hard for the ADA back in 1990. I worked with the great Bob Casey to get the able act to become law. We have made progress but we have more to go. We will not rest on our laurels, are we? Right now a person who needs long-term services and support has a very limited choice where they can receive services and it is irrational and expensive. People with disabilities are often denied the choice to stay at home. And get services. It means people are placed in institutional facilities far away from their families. Far away from their jobs. Far away from where they work. It makes no sense and the people in the disability community like the rest of us, could have the opportunity to live the lives in a community they are part of with their loved ones. That is all we want to do. That?s why I authored the act. That?s why we have to do everything we can to make sure Americans with disabilities have the resources to live and thrive in the comfort of their homes and communities if they choose to. Our bill is simple. It says any individual with a disability who is eligible to receive institutional care, should be given the opportunity to receive the same long-term services and support at home. Just as they received in an institutional setting. The legislation I have to say would not be possible without you, the great advocates who have come down here regularly. I want to thank Bruce Darling. There you are from Rochester. Rochester, New York. And Stephanie Woodward. They have worked with me and convinced me to be the sponsor of this legislation. I want to thank all the groups here. ADAPT, the Council on Independent living, the American Association of people with disabilities. And also AARP. I want to thank both Senator Casey and Sen. Gardner for the support on their bill. Now let me say this. There is no better day to reintroduce this bill then on Dr. Martin Luther King?s birthday. This bill is ultimately a civil rights bill. At its core it?s about one simple thing people with disabilities must be treated equally to those without. I?m reminded of what Dr. King said that inspires me and I hope will inspire you. He said the arc of the moral universe is long. But it hangs in the direction of justice. We, together, can bend the arc a little more towards justice to those with disabilities by passing this legislation. Let?s get to work. Thank you, everyone. It is great to see you. We will keep working until we went. Right? Thank you. [Applause] thank you, everyone. >> Wasn?t that great? Senator Schumer a true friend of the disability community. Next, I am going to introduce three people who I totally, totally?I don?t even have the words to say how much I admire. They will give you a history of the Disability Integration Act. And so I am going to ?I want to introduce in the proper term. Mike Oxford. [Applause] can you hear me now? Okay. Hello, everyone. You are looking good. This is a day to celebrate. Really fast, I have to give the quick history of how we got here today according to me and ADAPT. Beginning in 1990, ADAPT shifted gears from access to transit and the Americans with disabilities act to this issue. Ending the institutional bias so people could live wherever we want to live and what you want to do with everyone else. From 1990 until 1997, we did a number of things. But I remember chasing around Louis Sullivan with my buddy Anita. What we wanted was we wanted to redirect 25 percent of the Medicaid nursing home budget towards home and community. We knew all the money was tied up in nursing homes. We figured to transfer some of their money over to home and community. We did not get much traction on that. We started thinking, what about legislations? We decided to have our first sponsor be the most powerful politician in America at the time in one of the most conservative. Newt Gingrich introduced our first bill in 1997. I want to give a history disability. Senator Schumer is here Senator Casey, Sen. Gardner. The hearing I had when I saw Newt Gingrich coming down the style arm in arm with Gephardt. They did not like each other as far at this we know. They never did anything together. On this issue it transcended partisanship, donkeys, elephants, that stuff it is about freedom. Everyone has it. Since then, we have pursued this bipartisan legislation but what we want to do is reform Medicaid. We tried to reform Medicaid through various bills. Bills were introduced for us and people?what we heard was Medicaid and people are worried about money. People don?t like to hear Medicaid around here. We decided to switch from the service delivery side to rights. Because we tried the service delivery side from 1990 until what? About four years ago? Something like that. We tried and tried. We made some success. Now we are on rice. We all know we need services. We think we need a right to services to drive the service delivery network so we can stop having people carved out and waitlisted. You get served this year but it kicks you off that your. All of these things that happen to people have to stop. We think it?s the basis of rights. As the former nickel president NCOIL director. When I learned it 1 million years ago it?s all about getting rights. That is the basis for success with people and disabilities and getting where we want to go. That?s why we are fired up about the Disability Integration Act. Thank you. [Applause] yes, Mike. Yes. Next up. Is Kelly Buckman president of NICKLE. Thank you. It?s really exciting to be here today. It is an honor and pleasure. I will talk a while. There has been a symbiotic relationship between ADAPT and nickel. We took it to the hill. When Bruce Darling the ADAPT organizer and Kelly Buckland got arrested together in the capital building. And I really have to give a shout out to all of the members in the room. You guys have stepped up and I have been proud of the work you have done your keep it up we have to keep this going. We have to pass this bill and let?s not stop until we get this thing done. Tank you, everyone. Thank you, Kelly. Next up my ADAPT brother, Bruce Darling. So we are short on time. This bill is a civil rights bill. It is written differently. It was written by the disabled people who sacrificed their lives and liberty in the institution. We wrote this bill by going to every report and highlighting how people became institutionalized and clipping it out. We clipped it and put it in a pile and sorted it to come up with the specific prohibition in the bill. This bill honors the sacrifice of those of us who have been in institutions and who have lost their lives and liberty. So who wrote this bill? From the very beginning we need to honor that. We need to honor the adapters who fought for the bill across this change. Across 28 years. Oh my God. We have come to the realization. Our arguments have trained?change. We have come to the realization that we have the right to life and liberty as everyone else. There is no thing in the Declaration of Independence or Constitution that says unless you are disabled. We are not fighting for ourselves. I see these wonderful children here. We are fighting for our children. Our children deserve a future that has everything that we have to offer as a community and a society. We need to ensure that happens. Finally I want to say there is growing support for this bill. Just today we received a letter from the Colorado healthcare policy and finance folks basically the Medicaid director and office in Colorado endorsing the Disability Integration Act. The work needs to move on. We are going to make this happen. We will free our people. Thank you, Bruce. Yes. All right. Next up, I have the pleasure of introducing Amy from Congressman Sensenbrenner office. Please come forward and speak to us. Thank you. Hello. Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Amy and I am with the office of Congressman Sensenbrenner. Thank you. He asked me to deliver some short remarks to you today. First I apologize I cannot be with you today as I am currently recovering from hip surgery. I want to pass along my thank you to each and every one of you for all the important work that you are doing to garner support for the Disability Integration Act. I am proud to sponsor the house version of this strong, bipartisan bill. It will help ensure individuals with disabilities have equal rights and opportunities. The progress we have made since the original ADA is remarkable. In particular I am part of my wife Cheryl, who has worked tirelessly on behalf of the disability community. I was honored to stand with her behind President George W. Bush as he signed the Americans with disabilities amendment act in 2008. However there is much more work to be done. To strengthen laws to protect individuals with disabilities. I think the thousands of advocates who came to D.C. this week. I think there are some people from Wisconsin in the room. That?s wonderful. They inspire us to continue pushing on. I look forward to working with you to advance the efforts. Thank you so much. [Applause] thank you so much. And Congressman Sensenbrenner, we certainly appreciate your leadership on this. Thank you so much. Next up is Rhonda Richards from the American Association of Retired Persons. [Applause] thank you, Anita. Good afternoon, everyone. AARP is pleased to be here today to support the Disability Integration Act and join the long list of organizations supporting this important legislation. We commend the bill?s sponsors Sen. Chuck Schumer and Cory Gardner and Congressman Sensenbrenner to reintroduce this act. We thank Senator Casey here today as a cosponsor. We also want to recognize the leadership of ADAPT and others in the disability community on this significant bill. Thank you also to ADAPT for organizing the event. The vast majority of older adults want to live independently in their homes and communities. This legislation aims to ensure that older adults and people with disabilities who are in institutions or at risk of institutionalization?s are able to live in communities where they want to be. Achieving the goal of the legislation requires efforts of the federal government, state, local government, and those who provide community-based services and supports and ensures and managed care plans and housing providers, the workforce, and more. AARP supports the goals of the Disability Integration Act and the bipartisan reintroduction of the legislation today is in?and import step in making the goals and visions of the bill a reality. It is fitting we are here today on the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who worked to make sure his dream and the dream of many other Americans a reality. The Disability Integration Act can help make what is currently a dream for too many individuals living independently in their homes and communities a reality. Thank you for the opportunity to be here today to stand with you and support the Disability Integration Act. Thank you. [Applause] thank you so much, Shonda. >> Hello. It?s my honor to introduce you to our senator from Pennsylvania. He is someone who has my unending gratitude for the work he is done to fight for families like ours and for people with disabilities across the country. My senator and more importantly Abby Sen. Abby Sen. Bob Casey. >> Thank you so much for that introduction. What a great crowd. I was standing at the door so I could not see the back. I have all kinds of buttons that I was holding or was handed. I have a Little Lobbyists button. And you remember this one. The Disability Integration Act illustration that was drawn by her daughter Bridget who is here. I know Abby is here. I want to thank you for this opportunity to talk about an important piece of legislation. I know you saw Senator Schumer a few minutes ago and Sen. Gardner will be here soon. We are here to talk about a bill. More part when you talk about a bill that has not only a great urgency but also because of that urgency and because of your work, this bill is bipartisan. That is a good thing. And that word, bipartisan, is not Latin. It?s an English word that means both sides supported. I say that because it used to be the norm. It used to be the rule not the exception in Washington. If you go back not quite 100 years but if you go back a couple of years, most legislation was bipartisan. These days it doesn?t happen that often. I want to thank you for working towards that goal. Not just to get a good bill which this is, but also to get a bill that is bipartisan. It was mentioned a few moments ago that this date happens to be the 90th anniversary of the birth of Martin Luther King Jr. And when you consider that day, and his contribution to our country I think it?s important to remember why this legislation is significant. I will make three point what is to make the goal of the ADA a reality. We need this legislation. We need the Disability Integration Act. Now I know everyone goes by acronyms around here. DIA or whatever we call it, but I think it is better at the beginning to spell it out. The Disability Integration Act. Let?s not shorten it too soon. Acronyms don?t often work out well. It was the civil rights marker that builds on the foundation of the 14th amendment. Declaring all people have equal rights under the law including those with disabilities. That?s right. We are getting affirmations from that. As you know, without support, and without services, and without accessible housing and transportation, and of course without access to healthcare, there is no true freedom. There is no real freedom. Freedom becomes a hollow word if you don?t have supports and services. If you don?t have access and healthcare of course. The Disability Integration Act ensures services and supports available for everyone who needs them and makes sure the services are available in the neighborhoods and available in their own homes. [Applause] we didn?t even practice that and it worked. Just for example in Pennsylvania there are 10,000 Pennsylvanians and 650,000 Americans around the country waiting for homes and community- based services. We want to make sure we get those numbers down. When the Disability Integration Act passes into law, that is an applause line. [Applause] it will mean these individuals, these Americans, will have real choices. Real choices and real freedom. Not the freedom to wait for services that may never happen. The second point I want to make is that we have to make sure we collaborate here in Washington and around the country. Some of you know the collaboration it takes to get a big bill passed. We have had legislation over the years in Pennsylvania at the state level where we require Democrats and Republicans to work together. That happened in state government years ago when my father was elected governor. They passed the children?s health insurance program. That needed two parties. Initially the other party, the Republican Party didn?t want to do it. They finally got on board and now it is a bipartisan program. We know it as CHIP. The children?s health insurance. We also had bipartisan CHIP and collaboration here in Washington that led to the passage of the ADA. The Americans with disabilities act. I want to put a plug in for another Pennsylvania governor. Thornburg. He was the governor of Pennsylvania. From 1978 just before my father came in. But he came to Washington. He worked for Republican president. He was a strong Republican. He worked with Democrats in the House and the Senate here to pass the ADA. We know collaboration is critically important. Collaboration means knowing what principles are important for you and standing up for them. You may not think of Medicaid as a principal is a program. Medicaid is a critically important program for people with disabilities and seniors and children. There have been efforts, and they are continuing efforts here in Washington to take steps on Medicaid that would decimate the program. Or at a minimum, undermine the program. When I hear people in Washington talk about making a particular program sustainable over time saying we will not be able to pay for this program, we may not be able to pay for it or we don?t want to pay for it. When I hear leg which like that I get my fist up and start fighting. We are not going to allow anyone in Washington, DC, in either house or party, to undermine the gains we had made on Medicaid over the last 50 years. We are not going to allow it to happen. We will fight it. [Applause] we have to make sure that even as we are pushing to get the Disability Integration Act passed into law which we will do, because we are determined and we have bipartisan support, we want to make sure we don?t fall backwards two steps with that step forward by undermining Medicaid. We will fight very hard to protect Medicaid. Finally, let me make a point about Dr. King. You have all heard great words from his speeches. When he would speak to us as if he were the preacher that he was. He would speak to us almost in a prayerful way. That is one of the reasons why he was so successful. He was so inspiring. We want to make sure that we continue that foundation of not just having a good bill, but having the inspiration behind it to make sure we get it passed. Here is what Dr. King said years ago. He said the following about what happens when we focus on justice and injustice. He said injustice anywhere is a threat to injustice everywhere. Injustice anywhere is a threat to injustice everywhere. When we see injustice in our midst and we don?t fight against it, and we tear it out by the roots, ultimately it will help out ?her all of us. We found that to be true in our history. Thank goodness people in the room believed in rooting out injustice and putting in its place the full measure of justice itself. If you cannot get access to treatment. If you cannot get the benefit of good healthcare through Medicaid or otherwise, if you can?t get access to supports and services you are a victim of injustice. We want to make sure that bypassing the Disability Integration Act, we provide the full measure of justice in America. We are not there yet. I know we have the ADA. That?s great. That legislation will never be fully implemented until we have the full measure of justice. Thank you for helping us get to this point. Let?s go out and pass the Disability Integration Act. [Applause] thank you, Senator Bob Casey. Hello. I am Elena Hung. I am the cofounder of Little Lobbyists. We are a parent led organization of families with children with complex medical needs and disabilities. The original Little Lobbyists is the original. We recognize disabled children and hopefully one day they will grow up to be disabled adults. As we do every day as their parents and caregivers, we want to make sure they have the support in place to live the best lives and maximize their independence in the community and be here with us and not in institutions far away. That is why we are so excited to be here today to celebrate the reintroduction of the Disability Integration Act. You have heard from my friend and I will pass the mic to her. Thank you. I name is Erin Gabriel. I am from Pennsylvania. This is my daughter Abby and her big sister Bridget. Bridget is the artist behind the artwork over here in the corner. Abby is nine years old. She is deaf, blind, she is in a wheelchair pick she has a rare progressive and degenerative syndrome we are learning more about. Medically she has gone through a lot. Because of where we live in Pennsylvania her hearing loss was found at birth and she qualified for early intervention services as well as a home and community-based Medicaid waiver for children with disabilities. We found disabilities and treatments that have helped her significantly while keeping her home. Her syndrome is progressive. She will eventually lose much of what she?s gained and her seizures will return. It is unlikely she will ever be able to care for herself completely. As her disease progresses we know she will soon need nursing care in order to stay at home. We know right now, as a child of Pennsylvania, she will be able to access that carrier through the home and community- based waivers. As she reaches adulthood, that becomes much more of a question. That waiver is not even available to every child like Abby. It is state-by-state. It?s part of why we live 600 miles away from our closest family. Abby?s access to care literally depends on her ZIP Code. Right now, Abby is growing up in her community with her family and friends. She goes everywhere with us. She enjoys shopping, going to movies, and even some political event. She travels and go swimming at the local lake. She snuggled with her dog at home and rides all the rides at the local amusement park. She smiles and laughs. She brightens the day of everyone around her. She lives her life with more spark than most people I know. She deserves to have that freedom to keep living in the community. [Applause] to get a job if she can. To keep going out with her friends and travel if she wants to pick she deserves to have that choice and not be relegated to a nursing home at age 22 because of the services she will require. She deserves to actually live and not just exist. Abby and people like her deserve the right to that choice regardless of the state they happen to live in. This is why the Disability Integration Act is so important to Abby and children like her. This summer the national centers for Independent living held an art contest. My daughter Bridget, entered. It was entitled what the DIA means to me. After talking for a few moments Bridget knew what it would mean to her. She drew a picture of herself and her little sister in a wheelchair with a nurse being shown to the table at a restaurant because as she explained to me, DIA would mean I could visit Abby at her house, and we could go to a restaurant or anywhere we want instead of being stuck in a nursing home. [Applause] the DIA means families can stay together and people with disabilities can participate in their communities and live their lives just like every other American. Thank you. [Applause] let?s hear it for the Little Lobbyists. [Applause] I am honored and excited, so excited to introduce the senator from the great state of Colorado. That was my home for many years. Thank you for your support here to speak is Senator Cory Gardner. Thank you. Thank you for coming back to Washington. It?s great to see everyone. Just let me hear you if you have been to Washington before. That?s everyone. Welcome back to town and thank you very much. I want to thank you for celebrating this day and the introduction of the Disability Integration Act. We celebrated with some cake and punch and pizza didn?t we? This is a testament to the strong power of the coalition and dialogue between lawmakers and constituents across the country. You have long communicated your needs and our needs in this country to live in and be fully integrated into all of our communities. And individuals that need assistance with the tasks of daily living should be able to determine which setting is best. They should be forced into an institutionalized setting. That?s what this represents. Thank you very much to Bob Casey working with my office. I look forward in continuing our strong dialogue. Have you already done visits? You are doing more visits tomorrow? It ensures people can live in the community where they want and how they want. We have a choice to make sure they live in a setting that fits their needs. No one should be forced into a situation that doesn?t fit their needs and their best needs and that we have the community-based services and the support that we know. Colorado I think all of us are on the billing Colorado? Is that right? The entire delegation is on the legislation. [Applause]. I will credit all of that to the Colorado folks. Very good. Thank you, Dawn. Enjoy the rest of the day here. Let me thank you for being a part of this. I hope we see success with this legislation. Not just introduction but success. [Applause] thank you so much for real leadership. Thank you to everyone for the opportunity to be with all of you today and we will see you on the Hill. Thank you. I?m from Denver. Downtown. Thank you so much, Senator Cory Gardner. Next up is my friend and colleague from ADAPT, my sister and ADAPT, Allison to tell us about the history of ADAPT. >> Thank you, Miss Anita. Thank you for being here today and all of the other supportive organizations on behalf of the Disability Integration Act. I stand here today before you a proud black woman with a disability. And a member of ADAPT. However, I did not get here alone. We did not get here alone. As we all stand on the shoulders of Carolyn, and Linda, Larry, Terry, William, Marianne, George, Mel, Jamie, Glenn, Bob, Kerry, Jim, Lori, Cindy, Paul, [Indiscernible], Bobby, Debbie, the gang of 19. [Applause] those who put their bodies on the line at the corner of Colfax and Broadway on July 5 of 1978 in Denver, Colorado in protest of the inaccessibility of the RTD buses. They charge through the disability movement that in 1983, started by Wayne and Mike became ADAPT. Wayne held his organizing skills alongside African- American leaders during those citizens, protest, and legal battles that came to define the civil rights movement and now ADAPT. He saw firsthand how nonviolent civil disobedience along with direct action could stir emotions and start conversations and create transformative change. We have come a long way since Colfax and Broadway 40 years ago. The fight for freedom and liberation for people with disabilities is more urgent than ever. ADAPT continues to demand we be counted. That our community be seen, and most importantly, our civil rights as American citizens be upheld. Every activist that you see and you don?t see writing letters, making legislative visits, and writing line by line the Disability Integration Act, Act 117. Protesting because our lives depend on it. Just like before me, Senator Schumer, and Senator 24. I would like to leave you with a quote. From Dr. Martin Luther King on his birthday. The time is right to always do what is right. And the time is now to pass the Disability Integration Act. Because disability rights are civil rights. Free our people. [Applause] thank you, Allison. Thank you so much for that. A sister has never lied. Okay. Some of you all know that my day job is director of minority outreach, for not dead yet. That?s the disability rights organization of one that sisters with ADAPT that fights against suicide and euthanasia for people with disabilities. Next we have our board member Shonda McLaughlin to say some words for Not Dead Yet. Thank you all for allowing me to be here today. It?s an honored to be in solidarity here with ADAPT. Especially on behalf of Not Dead Yet. Thank you Miss Anita Cameron. I appreciate everything you are trying to teach me. Thank you. I would like to share something personal with you all about me. As a teenager, I missed attending a significant part of my sophomore and all of my junior year of high school. It was a time of my life where I couldn?t do anything for myself. Leave the house, dress, sit up, bathe, basic things we all take for granted. Some thought I was a burden to society. My family specifically. Because many are so at ease to write off and divide the lives of people with disabilities like mine. Suicide is perpetuated as a viable option. That is for the disabled as opposed to them exercising their civil rights. Particularly those from certain communities. For example, nondisabled who have suicide prevention services. While the counterparts would be assisted with suicide. Plus black people, brown people, and the elder ? elderly are disproportionately impacted. Still I believe I would go to college regardless of my circumstances. Meaning everyone was telling me I could not go. Advocacy efforts from parents and children with disabilities and legislation like the rehabilitation act and Americans With Disabilities Act made it possible for me to attend college. Most importantly, however, Vocational Rehabilitation program afforded me the opportunity to temporarily have a personal care attendant. That made it possible for me to choose to participate in some aspects of my collegiate life. Since that time, I have done other things. I went on to earn my PhD. Thank you. Sometimes I go back and I say [Indiscernible]. The Disability Integration Act is comprehensive. It ensures full integration of people with disabilities. Eligible persons would have access to long-term support services and a federal right and choosing how they receive services. So Not Dead Yet and ADAPT advocate for policies that promote life and liberty for persons with all disabilities. Thank you, ADAPT, for the promotion of the Disability Integration Act. Not Dead Yet stands firmly in salvation with you as this gives people with disabilities and the elderly the rights to receive services and supports at home assisting people to live not die. Access to services at home must be available to people who need it not suicide. Life and liberty. [Applause] thank you, Shonda, thank you so much for the Not Dead Yet support. Before a call on my next speaker, I am going to call on the House, to pass the Disability Integration Act by July 26, 2019. We can pass this bill. There is support for this bill. Do not be afraid of this bill. This is civil rights. Past the Disability Integration Act by July 19. By July 26, 2008. I?m going to call Miss Weintraub. I can?t see you so if you can come forward. Thank you, Anita. Hello. My name is Liz Weintraub. I am the senior advocacy specialist at AUCD. I am so excited to be here today to help celebrate the reintroducing of the Disability Integration Act. Thank you to Senator Schumer, and Representative Sensenbrener, for introducing this important legislation in the 116th Congress. Thank you to all of our congressional champions, including my friend Senator Bob Casey. I remember when this act was first introduced in the 90s under the name of MICASSA. We sure have come a long way. As the saying goes, there are miles to go before we can sleep or claim victory. In the late 80s, I was forced into a private institution. They called it a community. In fact, that?s how they got my parents to send me there. My parents thought, what could be so wrong with a community? When I got there, I found out in reality, it was an institution. This experience made me committed to my self- determination and to self- determination for all. For me, all means all. Community is for all. Community is for all. The DIA is about the civil rights of all people. We all have the rate to live life in real communities. We all have the right to give support in our community. Today, my husband and I live in a real community with support from an agency that helps us with daily living skills. Let?s make 2019 the year to pass DIA. It is time to stand up for the rights of all people. [Applause] thank you. Next I am going to call to speak someone dear to me. Rebecca Cokley. Please come and thank you so much. I hate podiums. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate podiums. I am being deliberate and political and making a statement. If you cannot see me, I can?t see you either. This shows that even 29 years after the passage of the ADA, we still have a long way to go. Congratulations to ADAPT . Congratulations to my friend, Anita Cameron. A lot of folks here have some in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King. I will bring up someone else?s words. I will bring up the words of Congressman Owens. One of the original sponsors of the Americans with disabilities act. Incidentally, who I just [Indiscernible] after Justin was fired for being the commissioner for the rehabilitation commissioner. They were thinking about how to bring together the broad-based civil rights communities and the progressive allies and the disability community. That is what helped form the basis of early work around the Americans with disabilities act. However, when the law was signed, and I thought about this because someone mentioned cake a few minutes ago. Cakes were given to the sponsors of the ADA. One cake was missing. The cake that belong to Congressman major Owens. He was the chairman of the Congressional Black Kosice and the House Ways and Means Committee. What every time I would visit him I would bring them cake. When you think about eating cake, think about who should be eating cake. Both folks in institutions that don?t get to choose what they eat. In the words of Congressman Owens, yes. Our enemy is not each other. Our enemy is segregation. This day is your day, Anita. The DIA is your legacy. You cannot separate the legacy of the Disability Integration Act. We know those who are locked up are disproportionately black, brown, LGBTQ IA, immigrants, etc. The fruits of your labor, my sister, will be 20 years from now, this room is way more black, way more brown, way more immigrant. The abiding hope I have, is that at that time, 20 years from now, Anita, our communities eating society and yes our disability community, is deserving of that. The disability community gain significant attention and justifiably so from the progressive allies in terms of realizing we demand to be at the tables and not on the menu. As we see different organizations and legislators it is imperative we insure we all combat the institutional bias. DIA gives us a place to have this conversation. It allows us to talk about how we ensure that jobs, schools, healthcare systems are ready to meet these folks where they are. Not to see them is broken but create an environment where every person with a disability, regardless of the type of that disability or the background can bring themselves to the table. I was walking through the hallway just now one of the parents was back there with her daughter. Her daughter was making a lot of noise. And she was like I don?t want her to disturb the function. I said haven?t you been to an ADAPT rally? I am was pulled out the videos when you are at our office. That young woman and everyone here we are among our people. In a time when we are constantly playing defense?I know you are tired are you all tired? I have 10 seconds to go. This is in the Oscars. What I ate look forward to is as we talk about the DIA institution in the community, how we are talking about moving folks from the industrial complex into the community. How we move immigrants from detention centers into the community. Thank you. That?s it. This marks the end of the celebration of the disability integration act. The reintroduction of the disability introduction. Once again call on Congress and the House to pass it on July 26, 2019. That is your challenge. Free our people. Everyone now that we all have in the room we have to get out of the room so they can set it up so we can come back into the room. Go into the hall and mingle and celebrate. This is a great day. [Event Concluded]
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