♿ ASAN July Update ♿

ASAN July Newsletter

This has been a busy month for ASAN, full of advocacy and new resources to share. We celebrated the 33rd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a landmark civil rights bill for the disability community. We were also reminded of how far we still have to go to achieve true equality, safety and justice for disabled people. As we head into fall, we’re determined to make the promise of the ADA a reality. Here are some of the issues we’ve been taking on this month.

This has been a month of nonstop advocacy on countless fronts. In addition to hosting our Autism Campus Inclusion Leadership Academy this month, we’ve been fighting for a better world for our community in so many different ways. One big focus has been the proposed Access Rule. On May 3, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule on Ensuring Access to Medicaid Services. The Rule is supposed to help more people access home- and community based services (HCBS) and make HCBS better. ASAN is grateful for many provisions in the proposed Rule. We are excited to note that the Access Rule addresses many concerns that HCBS stakeholders have raised about accountability, quality monitoring, and grievance processes. You can read our full comments on the Rule here. We also submitted further comments as members of the Consortium of Citizens with Disabilities and signed onto the comments submitted by the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law.

Additionally, we joined a roundtable hosted by CMS’ Office of Minority Health in recognition of Americans with Disabilities Act’s 33rd Anniversary. Deputy Director of Public Policy Greg Robinson represented ASAN. He shared our organization’s ongoing work, provided recommendations for where we’d like to see CMS provide additional support, including on the Access Rule, and more.

We also released new resources! The pandemic is not over, and things are still changing. One thing that remains the same is the need for accessible information about staying safe and adapting to the changes brought by COVID-19. That’s why we have released videos and fact sheets about new parts of our lives with COVID-19, like Long Covid, vaccine cards, and vaccine mandates. These are available in English and Spanish. You can check out the new resources here, or all of our accessible COVID-19 resources here!

As members of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, we denounced the discriminatory attacks on LGBTQI+ rights and called for expanded non-discrimination, care, and access for all members of the LGBTQI+ community. Read the full statement here. If you are looking to learn more about LGBTQI+ identity and your rights, check out our Proud and Supported toolkit series!

There are many things on the horizon that we’ll need your continued support and advocacy for – stick around as we keep working for change together! 

The Team at ASAN

Not all policy work has big wins every month. Here’s some of the behind-the-scenes work from this month that will one day lead to bigger victories!

  • We endorsed the Health Equity and Access Under the Law (HEAL) for Immigrant Families Act, which would lift the ban on Medicaid and other vital programs for everyone regardless of immigration status.
  • We joined a letter as part of the Consortium of Citizens with Disabilities opposing budget cuts proposed by the House. These cuts were exactly what we feared would happen with the debt ceiling deal and we are disheartened to see them come true so soon after the deal.
  • We encouraged the swift passing of the SSI Savings Penalty Elimination Act, which would greatly raise the amount of money that people on SSI can have from $2,000 per individual and $3,000 per couple to $10,000 individual and $20,000 per couple, eliminating part of the marriage penalty, where disabled people are punished with strict asset limits for being married, meaning many lose benefits through marriage.
  • We endorsed the Reproductive Health Care Accessibility Act, which would lower barriers to sexual and reproductive care and help ensure disabled people get timely access to culturally competent health care

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