Monday, March 16, 2015

ADAPT Success with AAPD

Disability Community United against DOL rules that institutionalize. 

The ADAPT Community
Mark Peirello of AAPD speaks at an ADAPT rally
In January, the DC District Court voided the Department of Labor companionship rules.  Rather than work with ADAPT, NCIL and the Disability Community to find an approach that wouldn't hurt attendants and cause unwanted institutionalization, DOL simply appealed the ruling.  AAPD filed an amicus brief supporting the rules.

Today, ADAPTers from Rochester and Philly came to Washington, DC.  AAPD met with these ADAPTers and NCIL representatives.  Mark Perriello, AAPD's CEO, heard - firsthand - how the DOL rules would hurt people with disabilities and their attendants.  Attendant service users talked about fearing going into an institution because they lose their attendants, but also feared for how their attendants would manage after losing a significant amount of income because of these rules.  Attendants expressed fear for the people they served and concern for their own future.

We also talked about how the DOL rules would impact people who had the most significant disabilities, but also explained how people with limited hours and "orphan" hours would be impacted.  People sharing the personal impact of these rules was very, very poweful and persuasive.  Thanks to everyone who shared their story.

ADAPT is working with AAPD and NCIL on a formal announcement, but we want to thank AAPD's CEO for deciding to withdraw the brief.  We also want to thank AAPD board members for their support on this issue, as well as acknowledge Kelly Buckland and NCIL for their extensive work.

The message should be clear.  The Disability Community is united and will defend the freedom of ALL our brothers and sisters...  We will continue to support those who support us by fighting for the funding needed to pay our attendants fair and just wages...  We will strenuously oppose ANY policy that undercuts the freedom and rights of even a segment of our community...  And we will put our bodies on the line to defend our freedom and rights!

We may not have the money and influence of those who oppose us, but truth is on our side and we have the unbeatable power of people united in the fight for justice!