Including people with disabilities in the next COVID funding package moving through Congress is the top issue this week. We have several open petitions and other actions that we are tracking now, but stop by regularly as things are moving rapidly. The disability community has largely been left out of the 3 relief packages passed so far. We need to work together to make sure our issues are addressed… and work together to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
The other COVID issue that is really taking off right now is IDEA waivers. Congress has given Secretary DeVos 30 days to report back on modifications to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The whole concept that the right to education can be modified or suspended… basically means that it is not a right. Students with disabilities are already being left behind by our “normal” education system. Please review the latest actions to be sure that this doesn’t happen – and we position ourselves to do better in the future.
Last week, healthcare discrimination was the big COVID concern. Several states and individuals have proposed triage that would discriminate against people with disabilities in healthcare “triage”. There has been progress with Illinois taking action to officially protect people with disabilities and numerous complaints filed in other states and with the US Government.
COVID isn’t the only issue the disability community has to worry about. Housing for people with disabilities continues to pose a challenge. Please review the issue and the latest actions.
In the “long term”, we need to come together to be ready for future funding packages and other legislation at the federal and state level so that they do not discriminate actively against kids and adults with disabilities or do so through “neglecting” to include them.
We’re working on a Accessible Voting – a key issue as we move towards the fall – made extra important by the COVID epidemic, efforts at voter suppression, and the clear fragility of the position of the disability community in our society.
What can we do for you?
If you know of specific actions related to these issues that we should be including here – let me know – email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Similarly, if there are organizations we should add to our directory (and good contacts in those groups), … email me at: email@example.com
Our goal with the Disability Democracy project for Not Without Us is to bring the disability community together for more effective civic action. We welcome your suggestions and feedback. Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call me: 650-278-7416. Leave a message and we’ll find a good time to talk.
Steve and Chelsea
PS – please share this newsletter with your friends and other disability community members and allies – together, we are more than 20 percent of the voting population – but only if we vote and vote together.