🎢 ASAN August Update 🎢

People riding a rollercoaster

ASAN August Newsletter

Dear friend,

Just like a rollercoaster, the quintessential summer fun, advocacy has its highs and lows, twists and turns. While we may not be as fun as an amusement park, here are some updates on the advocacy work we took on this month.

We were disappointed when, despite sustained advocacy by our community, Congress left our priorities out of the Inflation Reduction Act. While the bill contains some small investments that will tangentially benefit the disability community, almost every disability-related policy from the Build Back Better Act was stripped out. These cuts were made for political reasons that do not reflect the realities and needs of disabled people and so many other communities. While this is a disappointing setback, our fight is not over. We will keep working alongside you for a world where everyone has what they need to thrive in their community.

We joined a letter encouraging the department of Health and Human Services to support the needs of the disabled community when it comes to COVID-19, accessibility, and discrimination. This letter is part of our work to make sure that crisis standards of care don’t discriminate against disabled people. Our lives are worth living, and worth saving.

The SAFE Initiative seeks to help autistic young people access emergency care without experiencing trauma by establishing guidelines for health care providers. These guidelines must be centered on the rights, dignity, and humanity of children with disabilities and deliberately designed to protect their rights and reduce their suffering. ASAN submitted comments about this important initiative.

Earlier this month, a representative for the group Moms for Liberty appeared to imply that LGBTQ+ children should be educated in separate classrooms from other children. These disturbing comments are not okay – not only are they an attack on LGBTQ+ students, they also inaccurately portray segregated classrooms as necessary for disabled students. All children deserve access to education alongside their peers, in safe and inclusive classrooms. This also includes safety from gun violence. We joined hundreds of other civil rights organizations in demanding Attorney General Garland, Secretary Becerra, Secretary Cardona, and Secretary Mayorkas invest in evidence-based programs through the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. Violence against children requires action and serious investments in evidence-based policies and practices that keep students and staff safe and do not directly undermine academic success and criminalize children. Marginalized children, particularly children of color and children with disabilities, are disproportionately impacted by policies and investments that harden schools and promote criminalization.

Our Action Center is always growing and changing to reflect the most important issues facing the disability community. Following this tough and important summer of change, we’ve added a section on reproductive rights, because reproductive rights are disability rights! Check it out here, along with all of the issues covered.

Finally, when we vote, we can make change for the better. September 12 through 16 is Disability Voting Rights Week! Let’s register, educate, vote, and use our power! Be sure to check your registration or get registered to vote.

Your continued support makes our work this month — and every month — possible. Thank you for everything you do to make sure that when it comes to the policies that affect our lives, there will be nothing about us, without us!

The Team at ASAN

There are many different parts of policy that go unrecognized! Here’s some of the smaller, but no less important, things our policy team has been up to this month:

  • Signed onto a disability community letter about the American Data Privacy and Protection Act, which helps protect people – including people with disabilities – from the misuse of personal information and data.
  • Urged Speaker Pelosi and the chair of the Employment & Labor committee to discuss and vote on the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights.
  • Joined a letter from the National Women’s Law Center encouraging the Biden administration to expand protections against sex-based harassment through Title IX and not solely address discrimination.
  • Signed on to a letter about Money Follows the Person with the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities.

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The Capitol Building
Congress Leaves Disability Community
Priorities Out of Inflation Reduction Act
A hand writing a statement
All Kids Deserve Inclusive Classrooms
An "I Voted" sticker
Get registered to vote!
a microphone
ASAN Comments on SAFE Initiative