Americans With Disabilities Action Report

September 29 to October 3, 2013 ADAPT Action Report Washington DC.ADAPT graphic

Americans with disabilities have fought and won many freedoms in our nation, but when times are hard our basic liberties are in jeopardy. But just like Americans of the past, we will not allow our nation to step backward toward oppression and segregation. Wherever you are, join with ADAPT to say “My Medicaid Matters!”

You may follow the ADAPT action here at the ADAPT Action Report, on Facebook and with Twitter. You may help from wherever you are by making calls, telling others and email to support ADAPT activists in the streets of Washington DC.

On Sunday, September 29th begin following the ADAPT action right here. Each morning the ADAPT Action Report will bring photos, news and commentary directly from activists in the streets.

Below is the report from Saturday

A Thirty-year Campaign for Integration

By Tim Wheat, Boulder ADAPT

Activists have arrived at the Capitol Hill Holiday Inn for a week of direct action to strengthen the ADAPT thirty-year Campaign to Free Our People! ADAPT’s first national action was in 1983 to end the segregation of people with disabilities in this country; starting with the public transit systems that would not put lifts on buses. After the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, the focus of ADAPT turned to ending the institutional bias in Medicaid that segregates people in expensive institutions and nursing homes.ADAPT wheelchair photo

For years ADAPT has had success struggling to reform Medicaid with positive and effective change. ADAPT created Money Follows the Person, the Community First Choice Option and The Community Choice Act. This action ADAPT will continued to end the Medicaid institutional bias as well as defending the federal program from unwise and harmful cuts.

“We have not and cannot allow the values of independence and community living to be threatened by proposed austerity policies that totally disregard the basic supports that keep millions of people with disabilities thriving in the community,” said David Wittie of ADAPT of Texas. “We are coming to DC to once again hold public officials accountable to the human rights of people with disabilities, who are often the poorest of the poor.”

ADAPT demands that some common-sense principles are used to guide Medicaid policy: Expand the use of community-based services, demedicalize services, expand consumer directed service options and reorganize Medicaid services to eliminate wasteful bureaucracy. All of the ADAPT demands not only help to make the program cost less, they also make Medicaid more efficient and effective.ADAPT in DC

Often what politicians mean when they talk about “Reforming Medicaid” is simply cutting a working and popular program. Budget hawks are quick to think cuts save money however the math reverses when the cuts isolate people, removing them from home and family; participation, health care and employment. The expense of segregating, detaching and ignoring people is actually much greater than building inclusion in an integrated community.

ADAPT will also press the Obama Administration and the Department of Labor for a realistic solution to the “companionship exemption.” Most importantly, ADAPT insists that people with disabilities be at the table for these discussions as our community was promised. There is a unique relationship between attendants and people with disabilities and the rules that govern that relationship cannot be effectively developed without the input and actual experience of the people involved.

Follow what ADAPT is doing in Washington DC at the ADAPT Action Report.

The ADAPT Action Report is organized to let you follow the ADAPT Action in Washington DC. This year the direct-action group will use video phones to upload video on YouTube.com. The idea is to show the hard-work and exciting in-your-face advocacy of ADAPT. There is nothing like the experience of an ADAPT Action, but if you cannot be in Washington, the ADAPT Action Report will try to capture some of the feel of being there.

Follow the Action on Twitter: http://twitter.com/NationalADAPT.

Look for Twitter photos: http://twitpic.com/photos/NationalADAPT.

If you don’t have a Twitter account; follow the action on the adapt site with a “Twitter Feed.”http://www.adapt.org/twitter#twitterfeed.

Action information on Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/NationalADAPT