ADAPT of Texas joins National ADAPT and Jumps into Action in Washington DC

Thirty five stalwart ADAPT of Texas members traveled to Washington DC to join with National ADAPT to call attention to the attack on people with disabilities currently taking place in Congress and Trump administration.  While Health and Human Services Secretary Price jet sets around the country in private planes burning up federal funds faster than you can say “jack robinson”, ADAPTers schlepped to DC from around the nation to put themselves on the line in defense of people with disabilities.  Due to the speed and strength of the attack on people with disabilities ADAPT sprang into action with a double header this afternoon.

Prong #1:

Disability Advocates Petition Attorney General Sessions 
for Olmstead & Civil Rights Enforcement

Sunday 9/24/17 – Washington, D.C.— Activists from the disability rights organization ADAPT are gathering at Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions’ apartment in DC to demand that he make the integration and civil rights of disabled Americans a priority at the Department of Justice.

“Attorney General Sessions is in a unique position to advocate for disabled people,” said Jennifer McPhail. “Millions of Americans are forced into institutions simply because they are disabled. Disabled Americans have fewer due process protections before being locked in institutions than people who have been accused of crimes. ADAPT has petitioned the Justice Department under Obama but did not see deinstitutionalization being made a priority. We are demanding that the new Administration be responsive to the Disability Community.”

ADAPT issued a list of demands for the Justice Department, including:
•    Acknowledge that unwanted institutionalization denies Disabled Americans their Constitutional right to Liberty;
•    Work with ADAPT and the Disability Rights community to pursue high-profile Olmstead/ADA enforcement actions in every state to address the institutionalization of thousands of people with disabilities – of all ages – in nursing facilities;
•    Work with ADAPT and Autistic advocates to stop the torture of Disabled Americans in the Judge Rotenberg Center who are subjected to electric shocks and other painful aversives; and
•    Work with ADAPT and the National Council on Independent Living to ensure that the ADA is enforced in such a way that Americans with Disabilities are not discriminated against or institutionalized in the event of a natural disaster.

“There’s no asterisk on the Constitution that says you are too disabled to enjoy life, liberty, and property free of government interference,” said Bruce Darling, an organizer for ADAPT. “Yet that’s what people with disabilities experience every day in this country. The Attorney General can help secure the Constitutional rights of millions of disabled Americans by working with our community on these priorities.”

Prong #2:

Disability Advocates Bring the Fight for Deinstitutionalization Home for Union Boss

9/24/17 – Washington, D.C. Activists from the disability rights organization ADAPT are gathering at AFSCME President Lee Saunders’ home in DC to demand that the largest public service employees union support the integration and civil rights of disabled Americans by endorsing the Disability Integration Act.

“ADAPT leadership has worked with AFSCME – even seeking their support crafting DIA’s legislative language before a bill was ever introduced in Congress.  We appreciate the efforts to help ensure that we have the strongest bill possible, however, AFSCME’s behind-the-scenes support is no longer sufficient”, said Mike Oxford, organizer with Kansas ADAPT.

The Disability Integration Act is bipartisan civil rights legislation, introduced by Senator Schumer and Representative Sensenbrenner, that ensures that people with disabilities have the right to live in the community. “This Bill is vital to ensuring disabled people’s freedom is no longer at constant risk to a system that is biased towards our institutionalization.” said Anita Cameron. “I have been a lifelong union supporter, but while our life and liberty are under threat AFSCME remains silent. Their silence as we are being attacked lends support to our oppression.”

ADAPT hopes that in making our appeal directly to Saunders, the union will promptly declare its support for the legislation. “We have a long history of working with unions to promote the rights of disabled people.” said ADAPT community organizer Bruce Darling. “SEIU is a vocal and public supporter of our legislation and AFSCME needs to follow suit and endorse this legislation.”

This just starts the week, ADAPT will be in DC till Thursday Sept 28th so keep your eyes peeled for more stories, pictures and more.

ADAPT’s history, the issues it is fighting for, and its activities can be found at, the NationalADAPT Facebook page and on Twitter under the hashtag #ADAPTandRESIST.


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