Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Call to Action from the NDSC

Action Need NOW!

The Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD) is a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  ADD is responsible for implementing the state Protection and Advocacy agencies, the state Developmental Disabilities Councils, and the University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities and Projects of National Significance.  ADD is a small but important program that helps sets the agenda for individuals with developmental disabilities throughout the United States

ADD recently held listening sessions across the country in order to listen to those with developmental disabilities and their families and their vision for the future. They have also asked that self-advocates, family members, allies, and professionals across the country send them comments in order to insure representation to all. 

In response to ADD’s actions the Voice of the Retarded (VOR) a group of advocates in favor of large institutional programs sent out a request to their membership asking them to submit comments telling ADD to preserve these programs.  To date, most of the responses to ADD (which can be viewed on their website) have come from those supporting the institutions. 

Please submit a comment stating that the integrated community living is the policy that the federal government should support. If you can get others to write comments, please do so.  It is important to add that the Justice Department, Civil Rights Division has made it very clear that the community is the preference of this administration and is supported by both Olmstead and the ADA. People’s basic rights to live in the community should never be subjected to a vote.

Sample Message:
I am the parent of a son/daughter with a developmental disability.  I believe that the right to live and work in the community, basic human rights in our society should be given to all people with disabilities.  (Add a personal story, if possible).  The Olmstead decision says that individuals with disabilities have a right to community living and this has been reinforced by the Justice Department. 

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