???? ASAN October Update ????

Red, yellow, and orange leaves stacked up on each other

Dear friends,

What’s scarier than ghosts and ghouls? Not enough funding for community supports! This October, we’ve been hard at work fighting for funding for home- and community-based services (HCBS), releasing new resources, and more. Here’s what we’ve been up to.

We joined over a dozen organizations from across the country to hold a 24-hour vigil outside the U.S. Capitol, to urge elected leaders to hold the line on funding for the disability community in the Build Back Better Act. Advocates read thousands of HCBS users’ stories and later delivered them to Senators to urge them to include HCBS in the budget reconciliation package. The disability community deserves a Congress that will fight for us and have our backs during a devastating pandemic. Will you take action to ensure people with disabilities have a say in COVID recovery?

Earlier this month, we submitted written testimony to Senators Blumenthal and Cruz to weigh in on a Senate hearing on guardianship. We urge Congress to promote alternatives to guardianship on a federal level. Alongside our testimony, we also submitted recommendations for federal actions to promote alternatives to guardianship like Supported Decision Making.

We also submitted comments to the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee’s public meeting on October 13th and 14th. We expanded on comments submitted in July to urge the IACC to focus on the need for high-quality services and supports that serve autistic people of all ages and demographics, including access to augmented and alternative communication (AAC) for nonspeaking people.

We also released comments regarding the discriminatory public charge rule. ASAN has long opposed this racist, ableist, and eugenicist policy, and we urge the Biden administration to do all they can to end it. As we explain in our comments, this can begin by reversing the Trump administration’s expansion of the rule, and rewriting it to limit its applicability to immigrants with disabilities — but more action is needed. We call on Congress to repeal the Immigration and Naturalization Act, which established the public charge rule.

We released a new toolkit this month! It’s been in progress for a long time, so we’re so excited to be able to share it with you. For our toolkit “Who’s In Control?,” ASAN talked to a group of self-advocates who get HCBS. We asked about how we can tell who is in control of someone’s services — the people receiving services, or their staff? This toolkit is the result! It talks about quality measures, what questions to ask to make sure we stay in control of our supports, and more.

Join us for a webinar featuring legal director Sam Crane and two guests to discuss medical discrimination during COVID-19!  In the webinar, we will talk about how the U.S. medical system discriminates against people with disabilities, people of color, and elderly people, how ASAN and other organizations have been fighting against this discrimination, and how you can fight against discrimination in your local community! This webinar is open to everyone, but we especially want to invite self-advocates and allies to attend.

Mark your calendars and join us for this year’s virtual Gala! This month was Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) Acceptance Month, the perfect time to announce our Gala film screenings centering the perspectives and advocacy of AAC users. We’ll be screening This Is Not About Me, LISTEN, and People Like Me. The gala will be held from Wednesday, November 17th to Friday, November 19th. We’ll be announcing more honorees and speakers soon. Register now to reserve your spot, and let everyone know you’ll be coming by RSVPing on Facebook!

This is no trick — advocating with you is a treat! Wishing you the best in this spooky season,

The Team at ASAN

Last month, we debuted our new newsletter feature about policy. Policy work often takes place behind the scenes and in coalitions, and is not always highly visible. This new feature gives you more information about that work by sharing some of the less visible policy work we’ve been supporting. Here’s some of what is on the policy agenda this month:

  • Signed on to a letter urging the Biden administration to stop the expansion of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
  • Advised on new principles for assisted reproduction for the National Health Law program
  • Opposed the Biden administration’s attempts to make classwide scheduling of Fentanyl permanent. Many disabled people need access to Fentanyl, and restricting it like this is not a solution to the abuse of it and related substances.
  • Sought further clarification on COVID-19 vaccine booster guidance in order to best advise our grassroots partners and community members

Are you liking our new policy feature? Let us know! We’re so excited to be keeping you up to date on work that happens behind the scenes.

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Action Alert: Make HCBS a priority! #CareCantWait

New toolkit about services: “Who’s In Control?”

ticket for the ASAN Gala Express

Get your tickets for the 2021 Annual Gala!

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Written Testimony at Senate Guardianship Hearing

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Comments for October 13-14th IACC Meeting