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Contacting the FDA

Thank you for your interest in letting the FDA know that they need to #StoptheShock!

The FDA agency in charge of the ban on electric shock devices is called the Center for Devices and Radiological Health. Here is their contact information:

CDRH-Center for Devices and Radiological Health
Food and Drug Administration
10903 New Hampshire Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20993

1 (800) 638-2041

DICE@fda.hhs.gov

Phone Calls

The quickest way to get in touch with the FDA is by calling their office. Here is a script for asking the FDA to #StoptheShock:

You: Hello, I am calling about the proposed ban of electric shock devices.

Staff member: Certainly. Please go ahead.

You: Thank you. My name is   [your full name]  and I am from  [your city and state] . I’m calling to urge the FDA to ban the GED shock devices used at the Judge Rotenberg Center. As a  [disability rights advocate, disabled person, family member of a disabled person, etc.] , I was relieved to hear in October that the FDA plans to finalize the ban, which they originally proposed in 2016. But people with disabilities are still being tortured at the Judge Rotenberg Center. I want to remind the FDA that this is an urgent issue. We are still waiting for the ban to be enacted. Do you have any information about when that rule will be finalized?

Staff member: Unfortunately, we don’t have that information at this time.

You: Please let the FDA know that the disability community is watching, and hope to see the rule finalized immediately.

Staff member: Thank you for your comments. I will give your message to the FDA.

You: Thank you for your time, good-bye.

Staff Member: Have a good day.

Letters & Email

Sending a letter or email to the FDA is also a good option. The script you can use for a letter or email is pretty similar to a phone call. Here is a template you can use:

CDRH-Center for Devices and Radiological Health
Food and Drug Administration
10903 New Hampshire Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20993

To whom it may concern,

My name is [Name] and I am from [City, State]. I’m writing to urge the FDA to ban the GED shock devices used at the Judge Rotenberg Center. As a [disability rights advocate, disabled person, family member of a disabled person, etc.], I was relieved to hear in December that the FDA plans to finalize the ban, which they originally proposed in 2016. But people with disabilities are still being tortured at the Judge Rotenberg Center. I want to remind the FDA that this is an urgent issue. When will we see the regulation finalized?

Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to my email. We are still waiting for the ban to be enacted and hope to see it finalized immediately.

Sincerely,

[Your full name]
[Address]
[Phone Number]
[Email Address]


Tips for contacting the FDA:

If you can’t talk on the phone, you can use an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) device, like an iPad, to type out what you want to say. Then, use text-to-speech to have your text read out loud while you are on the phone. You might want to start by saying that you are using a text-to-speech device because of your disability. If the staff member has questions for you after you say what you want to say, you can let them know you need some time to answer.

You can also write out your script and have someone else read it for you over the phone. All they have to do is say at the beginning of the call that they are speaking for you by saying

Hi, my name is [their name] and I am calling on behalf of [your name], who can’t speak.

If you are able to speak but get anxious when talking to people, you can also call after the office is closed (usually after 5 p.m. EST, or on the weekends). This way, you will get an answering machine to leave a message instead of having to talk to a person.

Writing a letter is a little more helpful than writing an email. The FDA is more likely to notice a bunch of paper letters than a bunch of emails. So if you have to choose between the two, try writing a letter!

The staff people for the FDA who read the emails and letters usually don’t read the whole thing. Instead, they will skim to find out what law the email or letter is about. So it is important to keep what you write short and sweet, but still show why working to #StopTheShock is so important to you.You don’t have to follow the exact scripts that we wrote here. Adding personal details about why #StopTheShock matters to you can help staff members remember your story.

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