ADAPT Calls On Center for American Progress to Back Constitutional Rights

From ADAPT, May 15, 2018

Washington, D.C. – Nearly 100 ADAPT activists are at the Center for American Progress (CAP) to demand an endorsement of the Disability Integration Act (DIA, S.910/HR.2472), a civil rights bill that would provide disabled people a community-based alternative to institutional placement.
The DIA has broad support from both major political parties in both houses of Congress.

The path to the DIA began with the passage of the ADA in 1990 and then the 1999 landmark Supreme Court ruling in Olmstead v. L.C. that first recognized that Disabled people have a right to live in the community. Olmstead, however, has not been put into practice; “Disabled Americans are being denied their Constitutional rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness by being forced into nursing homes and other institutions in order to receive long-term services and supports,” said Bruce Darling, an organizer with National ADAPT. “The Americans with Disabilities Act provides a mandate for integration, and the DIA will strengthen that mandate. As a progressive organization, CAP should acknowledge the situation and endorse the solution.”

Institutionalization effectively denies a person’s right to liberty. “When disabled people are institutionalized – and this happens to disabled and older Americans every single day! – we don’t get to decide when we get up in the morning, when we eat, or even who handles and touches our bodies, never mind accessing opportunities that are the birthright of every person” said Dawn Russell, a Denver, CO, organizer. “CAP says it’s committed to ‘boundless opportunity.’ That opportunity should be for people with disabilities too.”

States are required to pay for certain people with disabilities to receive institutional care, while care provided in the community is optional. Therefore, people with disabilities often have no choice but to enter nursing homes and other facilities if they want to get the services they need. “Nobody wants to live in a nursing home,” said Josue Rodrigues “Nobody should have to. Let’s bring our people home.”

“CAP cannot continue to claim that it is ‘dedicated to improving the lives of all Americans, through bold, progressive ideas’ while refusing to support the DIA said Chicago ADAPT member Cal Montgomery. “It just won’t have any credibility. They must endorse DIA!”

For decades ADAPT has worked to secure for disabled Americans the same rights and liberties enjoyed by their non-disabled neighbors. Learn more about ADAPT’s history and activities at www.adapt.org , on social media with the National ADAPT Facebook and Twitter pages. Also, under the hashtag #ADAPTandRESIST.

http://adapt.org/press-release-adapt-adapt-calls-on-center-for-american-progress-to-back-constitutional-rights/

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