As disability right advocates, you’ve made countless calls to your elected officials. You know how to make your voice heard. Now, we need you to do something different: use email and social media to tell your members of congress, Mitch McConnell, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, and Kevin McCarthy that they MUST center the needs of disabled people in the new coronavirus relief package.
The disability community has been overlooked in Congress’s previous attempts to address COVID-19. Now, Congress is working on a third bill, the largest one yet—and we are being excluded again. People with disabilities are being hit the hardest by COVID-19. If we are going to get through this, we need Congress to pay attention to us and make sure the third bill includes things like:
- Extra funding so Medicaid can still provide home and community based services during the crisis.
- Making sure family caregivers for adults with disabilities are covered by paid leave.
- Making sure that people on SSI or SSDI are able to receive cash payments like everyone else, without worrying about income or asset limits.
- Making sure that people with disabilities can get our medications refilled.
- Making sure we don’t face discrimination in health care.
- Protecting the rights of students with disabilities.
- Permanently reauthorizing Money Follows the Person, to make sure that people who are institutionalized during the crisis can return to their homes and communities.
Because of the virus, there aren’t many people in Congress answering the phones right now. But we can still make our voices heard. Here’s what you can do:
- Email your Members of Congress using this tool from The Arc.
- Tweet at your Members of Congress and tell them that they must include the disability community’s needs in the new coronavirus relief package.
- Tweet at Congressional leadership–Mitch McConnell, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, and Kevin McCarthy to demand that our community be included in the package.
People with disabilities are at the most risk with COVID-19. Our independence, our health, and our lives are on the line-and we cannot let our elected officials forget that. Now more than ever, we must let those who represent us know that there will be nothing about us without us.