Principles and Policy Priorities
Principle 1: Community Integration
People with disabilities have the right to live independently in the community in the most integrated setting of their choice.
Community Integration policy priorities:
- AAPD will advocate for policies that ensure people with disabilities have access to affordable home and community based long-term services and supports that enable people to be integrated into the community, including the expansion of the availability of home and community based services to end the institutional bias in the Medicaid program;
- AAPD will advocate for policies to ensure people with disabilities have access to affordable accessible housing, including non-provider owned scattered site housing, and will advocate against the use of institutional or congregate “clustered” models that segregate people with disabilities from their communities;
- AAPD will advocate for policies that ensure that people with disabilities have access to accessible and affordable transportation; and
- AAPD will advocate for policies that promote the development of universally designed technology, and that ensure affordable access to that technology, to support people with disabilities to live independently.
Principle 2: Equal Opportunity and Economic Self-Sufficiency
People with disabilities have the right to equal opportunity, to be economically self-sufficient, and to earn and save without jeopardizing access to the services and supports that allow them to live and work independently.
Equal Opportunity and Economic Self-Sufficiency policy priorities:
- AAPD will advocate for policies that support individuals with disabilities to work in integrated competitive settings in which they are paid competitive wages and for policies that end segregated subminimum wage work;
- AAPD will advocate for policies that provide individuals with disabilities the opportunities to earn and save without losing access to services and supports through expansion of employment based services, including supported and customized employment, and improving Medicaid Buy In and other Medicaid options that provide access to home and community based services;
- AAPD will advocate for policies that improve and enhance inclusive workplaces in both the public and private sectors; and
- AAPD will advocate for policies that provide young people with disabilities opportunities to achieve economic independence, including through education, internships, and mentoring.
Principle 3: Equal Rights and Political Participation
Discrimination against people with disabilities that produces barriers to community integration, independent living, equal opportunity, economic self-sufficiency, and political and civic participation must be eliminated. Strong civil rights laws and enforcement of those laws are essential to ending discrimination.
Equal Rights and Political Participation policy priorities:
- AAPD will advocate for strong enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and other laws that guarantee the rights and full participation of people with disabilities and for improvements in those laws when necessary;
- AAPD will advocate for policies that allow people with disabilities to fully participate in the political process, including ensuring the accessibility of polling locations and through promoting the availability of accessible voting technology; and
- AAPD will promote the ideals of the Americans with Disabilities Act around the world to increase the ability of individuals with disabilities to travel, work, and live abroad.
Principle 4: People with disabilities have a right to Quality, Comprehensive, Affordable Health Care
Health Care policy priorities:
- AAPD will advocate for policies that ensure people with disabilities have access to quality, affordable, and comprehensive health care;
- AAPD will advocate for policies that ensure that individuals with disabilities have control over their health care decisions through the promotion of individual choice, person centered planning, and consumer self-direction; and
- AAPD will advocate for policies that ensure the accessibility of health care facilities and medical devices and equipment.
2020 Action Alerts and Advocacy
- AAPD Condemns Congress’s Exclusion of People with Disabilities from Coronavirus Relief Bill – December 23, 2020
- National and Texas-Based Disability and Civil Rights Organizations Speak Out on Lawsuit Challenging Drive-Thru Voting – November 1, 2020
- Action Alert! Tell Your Senators to Vote No on Amy Coney Barrett – October 24, 2020
- AAPD Report with Recommendations on Voting Accessibility and Safety During the Pandemic – September 30, 2020
- AAPD Comments on Vaccine Allocation Framework – September 8, 2020
- The Implications of Referencing Foreign Prices for Importing Discrimination: AAPD, NCD, and NCIL Webinar – August 25, 2020
- AAPD and NCIL Letter to the House Regarding Impact of U.S. Postal Service Disruptions – August 24, 2020
- AAPD 2020 Auto Accessibility Scorecard Progress Report. – July 27, 2020.
- AAPD Statement on Recent SCOTUS Rulings. – June 30, 2020.
- AAPD Statement in Solidarity with Racial Justice Organizers. – June 4, 2020.
- Oklahoma QALY Ban Support Statement. – May 21, 2020.
- AAPD Letter to Senate Majority and Minority Leaders: COVID-19 Response Package. – March 18, 2020.
2020 Sign-On Letters
- AAPD joins the disability community in opposing the potential nomination of Lily Eskelen Garcia as Secretary of Education
Disability groups oppose Eskelsen Garcia’s potential nomination to serve as Secretary of Ed due to the positions taken by the National Education Association during her tenure as President. Many of the positions taken by the NEW oversaw the development of many positions that stood in direct opposition to those taken by parents and parent advocacy organizations in support of children with disabilities and were detrimental to the success of students with disabilities. Read more details in our letter to the Biden-Harris Transition team.
- Groups Call for a Justice Department Committed to Civil Rights Enforcement – The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
AAPD joined Civil Rights groups in calling for President-elect Joe Biden to name an attorney general of the United States and other senior leadership of the U.S. Department of Justice who have strong records with regard to civil rights enforcement and justice reform.
- AAPD joins the Coalition to Preserve Rehabilitation’s Comments on HHS Proposed SUNSET Rule
AAPD opposes the SUNSET rule on the grounds that the proposed process is overly broad, the requirements on agency staff would be onerous and prevent important, timely regulatory work, and the blanket expiration of regulations could significantly erode the regulatory framework established over decades to protect patients, especially those that our organizations represent. The risk of unintended consequences of this proposal cannot be overstated.
- AAPD joins Every Child Deserves a Family Transition Recommendations
Discrimination is widespread and entrenched in the child welfare system, impacting children, families of origin, kin, and prospective foster and adoptive parents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning and Two Spirit (LGBTQ+2S) and gender nonconforming, who are Black, Indigenous, and other people of color, who live with disabilities, who are religious minorities or secular, who are immigrants or language minorities and those at intersectional identities. Addressing systemic racism, discrimination and disproportionality in the child welfare system is essential for improving outcomes for and the well-being, health, and safety of children and their families. AAPD has joined a coalition of groups in supporting these recommendations to the Biden-Harris transition team.
- AAPD Joins Disability Rights Groups in Supporting H.R. 8581, the “Triple A” Study Act (10/29/2020).
- AAPD Joins Disability Rights Groups in Supporting S. 4343, the “Triple A” Study Act (10/29/2020).
- AAPD Joins Disability Rights Groups to Oppose the Confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the US Supreme Court. (10/23/2020).
- AAPD Joins Over 50 Disability Rights Groups in Opposing Nomination of Jude Amy Coney Barrett (10/5/2020). AAPD joins disability rights groups to express our opposition to the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It is imperative for the disability community that Justice Ginsburg’s replacement be someone who understands and respects the rights of people with disabilities.
- Joint Letter on Forced Sterilizations (9/24/2020). AAPD united with multiple disability, immigrant and reproductive health rights, and justice organizations to condemn the non-consensual hysterectomies being conducted at the Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia.
- Amicus Brief Regarding the Challenge to Section 1557 of the ACA (9/17/2020). AAPD joined multiple civil rights organizations in filing an amicus brief aimed towards emphasizing the importance of ensuring the healthcare nondiscrimination protections provided by Section 1557 of the Affordable Healthcare Act.
- Letter to Congress Regarding Exclusion of Immigrant Families from Covid-19 Relief Packages (7/28/2020). AAPD has joined the National Immigration Law Center and about 800 other organizations in urging Congress to include immigrants and their U.S. citizen spouses and children in the next COVID-19 relief legislation.
- COVID-19 Crisis in America’s Nursing Homes Petition. (6/23/20). ACLU, SEIU, AAPD, and disability rights organizations file petition demanding HHS mitigate the COVID-19 crisis in America’s nursing homes and other congregate setting for people with disabilities.
- Election Assistance Commission Notice (6/2020). AAPD joins the Accessible Voting Working Group on a Comment on the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) Notice: Proposed Voluntary Voting System Guidelines 2.0 Requirements.
- Letter to House and Senate Leadership on Federal Policing Priorities. (6/1/2020). AAPD joins over 220 national organizations to promote and protect civil and human rights in the United States. The letter urge congressional members to take swift and decisive legislative action in response to ongoing fatal police killings and other violence against Black people across our country.
- Letter to the Senate on the HEAL for Immigrant Women and Families Act. (5/29/20). AAPD joins over 250 organizations in support of HEAL for Immigrant Women and Families Act. Health coverage and care are critical for every family. However, the U.S. policy has created unnecessary barriers that make it harder for immigrant women and families to get the care they need. This Act would open up access to the comprehensive health care that is central to our agency and our lives, families, and communities.
- Letter to DHS and CDC Urging the Administration to Restore Humanitarian Protections. (5/27/20). AAPD joins over 250 organizations in urging the DHS and CDC to restore humanitarian protections required under U.S. law and treaty obligations and to implement practical, science-based safeguards endorsed by public health experts while processing unaccompanied children and asylum seekers asking for refuge at the border.
- Oklahoma QALY Ban Support Letter. (5/21/20). AAPD with national and state disability organizations writes the governor of Oklahoma to express strong support for the Nondiscrimination in Health Care Coverage Act, which has passed both the House and the Senate and is waiting to be signed.
- National Disability Rights Organizations as Amici Curiae. (5/18/20). AAPD joins an amicus brief related to the Supreme Court case California V Texas. This case challenges the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This brief articulates the importance of the ACA to the disability community.
- Letter to DOL Urging Revised Guidance on Returning to Suitable Work. (5/12/20). AAPD joins NELP in a letter urging the Department of Labor to issue new guidance and FAQs that address the standards that determine when workers remain eligible for regular state Unemployment Insurance or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance if they leave work or refuse to work due to COVID-19 health and safety concerns.
- Joint Statement on Universal Human Rights (5/12/20). AAPD joins ASAN and a group of disability organizations on a joint statement that addresses the universal civil and human rights of people with the most significant developmental disabilities.
- Open Letter to PBS in Response to Mental Health Documentary Bedlam (5/7/20). AAPD joins over 70 organizations in an open letter to PBS on the documentary Bedlam. Our organizations call for the publicly funded media entity to center and uplift the voices of ex-patients, psychiatric survivors, and others diagnosed with mental illness.
- COVID-19 DEMOGRAPHIC DATA SIGN ON LETTER TO HHS (5/4/20). AAPD joins the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum and partners at the Trust for America’s Health in a letter to the HHS about collecting data in communities of color around the impact of COVID-19.
- COVID-19 DEMOGRAPHIC DATA SIGN ON LETTER TO CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS (5/4/20). AAPD joins the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum and partners at the Trust for America’s Health in a letter to congressional leaders about collecting data in communities of color around the impact of COVID-19.
- Letter to to Prohibit Discrimination during Medical Rationing. (4/16/20). AAPD led over 400 organizations in a letter to urge Department of Health and Human Services to issue further guidance ensuring that plans to ration scarce health care resources during the COVID-19 pandemic comply with federal non-discrimination laws.
- OFCCP Waiver Coaition Letter Sign On. (4/8/20). AAPD joins the the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights to express deep concern about the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ March 17, 2020 decision to temporarily exempt and waive certain affirmative action obligations connected to supply, service, and construction federal contracts specifically to provide coronavirus relief.
- Letter requesting full funding for the Assistive Technology Act. (4/1/20). AAPD joins the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities Technology and Telecommunications Task Force to request the inclusion of $45 million in the FY 2021 Assistive Technology Act. Funding provided through the AT Act supports programs that assure people with disabilities have access to and acquisition of the assistive technology devices and services they need to live, work, and attend school in their communities.
- Letter to Congressional Leaders on COVID-19. (3/24/20). AAPD led over 270 organizations in a letter to congressional members on the COVID-19. Our organizations wrote to strongly encourage congress to include address the needs of people with disabilities in the third COVID relief package.
- Lavatories Part I NPRM Comments. (3/2/2020). AAPD joined disability rights organizations on comments to respond to the Department of Transportation’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking concerning Accessible Lavatories on Single-Aisle Aircraft.
- HAB Coalition Comments on 2021 NBPP. (3/2/2020). AAPD, as a member of the Habilitation Benefits (HAB) Coalition, submitted comments on the Department of Health and Human Services’ proposed rule Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act regarding Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2021 for individuals with disabilities who utilize habilitative services.
- Coalition to Preserve Rehabilitation Comments on 2021 NBPP. (3/2/2020). AAPD, as a member of the Coalition to Preserve Rehabilitation (CPR), contributed to comments regarding the Department of Health and Human Services’ proposed rule Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act regarding Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2021 for individuals with disabilities who utilize habilitative services.