Tuesday, April 24, 2007

ADAPT Goes to Washington DC

Memphis, Tennessee. Members of ADAPT of Tennessee will be in Washington, D.C., April 28 to May 3 to push for passage of the Community Choice Act and promote affordable, accessible, integrated housing for people with disabilities. ADAPT’s successful efforts in 2006 on Money Follows the Person currently help people get out of nursing homes and return to their communities. The new Community Choice Act (S 799 and HR 1621) gives people with disabilities increased access to community-based services and supports in their own homes, thus preventing them from being forced into nursing homes in the first place.


In anticipation of ADAPT’s arrival in D.C., the Republican and Democratic National Committee Chairs; HUD Secretary, Alphonso Jackson, and Leslie Norwalk, Director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have all agreed to meet with ADAPT. Meetings with the Democratic and Republican National Committee Chairs will focus on holding hearings on the Community Choice Act. Jackson will meet with ADAPT on “Access Across America,” ADAPT’s blueprint to increase the stock of affordable, accessible, integrated housing for people returning to their communities from nursing homes and other institutions.

“We’d love to sit back and celebrate our success in increasing funding for community-based supports so people can get out of institutions, but we don’t have that luxury. It’s time to end the entitlement only to nursing homes. It is time to assure that people are not forced into institutions to begin with,” said Randy Alexander. “And, it’s also time to put focus on housing, so people coming out of nursing homes and institutions have someplace to live. And that someplace has to be affordable, it has to be accessible, it has to be integrated, and it has to be permanent housing, not transitional.”

While they are in Washington, D.C., members of ADAPT of Tennessee will engage in a fundraising event to support their efforts. On Sunday, April 29, nine members of ADAPT of Tennessee, will join nationally prominent figures in the disability community to run, walk, and roll around Washington’s Upper Senate Park, collecting pledges for each circuit they make. Money raised will help underwrite the cost for recipients of SSI and SSDI to come to Washington, D.C. to meet with and speak to their elected officials and national policymakers.

“We intend to let Congress know that it’s time for the passage of the Community Choice Act to be a priority on their agenda. Our fundraising event will provide the financial assistance many of us need in order to meet face to face with our Congressional delegations on the Community Choice Act and related issues that affect our lives,” said Lonnie Collins “Nothing about us without us!”

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