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Policy Positions & Sign-On Letters

Learn more about the principles and priorities that guide AAPD’s policy positions and view sign-on letters that we’ve supported.

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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.

2023 Action Alerts and Advocacy

2023 Sign-On Letters

2022 Action Alerts and Advocacy

2022 Sign-On Letters

2021 Action Alerts and Advocacy

Previous Action Alerts 

2021 Sign-On Letters

  • Letter Supporting the Cloture Vote on the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act – November 03, 2021
    AAPD joined over a hundred other organizations, led by the Leadership Conference on Human and Civil Rights, in urging Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and prevent further discriminatory practices.
  • Letter to Secretary Becerra – September 17, 2021
    After meeting with Secretary Becerra of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, several disability rights organizations, including AAPD, sent a follow-up letter that outlines the priorities of the disability community and emphasizes the fact that every policy is a disability policy.
  • LIFT the BAR Sign-On Letter – September 13, 2021
    AAPD joined organizations from across the country in urging congressional leadership to advance the Lifting Immigrant Families Through Benefits Access Restoration (LIFT the BAR) Act. The new bill would reverse policies that restrict eligibility for federal assistance programs for those who are lawfully present in the United States and provide millions of immigrant families, including those with disabilities, critical healthcare and social services.
  • Letter Supporting the ABLE Age Adjustment Act – September 03, 2021
    AAPD signed on to a letter as part of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities that urges Congress to pass the ABLE Age Adjustment Act, which would allow people who obtained their disabilities up until age 46 to open ABLE
    accounts – as it currently stands the age limit is 26 years old. This Act would expand access to resources and services for many people with disabilities who were excluded simply because of their age.
  • Letter to Philips Respironics Regarding Recalled Devices – August 25, 2021
    AAPD joined Philips devices users and disability and civil rights organizations in a letter to Philips Respironics requesting them to repair, replace, and offer guidance to medical professionals on recalled devices relied upon by many users for life-sustaining care.
  • Letter Supporting the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act – August 23, 2021
    AAPD signed on to a letter with the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and over 220 organizations to express strong support for the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, or H.R.4, and to urge Congress to pass the bill in order to protect the right to vote and the democratic process.
  • An Open Letter on Behalf of the Disability and Aging Communities – August 17, 2021
    A letter to Congress from over 40 disability and aging organizations that urges them to fully fund home and community-based services (HCBS) at the proposed $400 billion level and provides information on why this funding is necessary and how it would impact communities.
  • Letter on Medications Access in Emergencies – July 27, 2021
    AAPD signed on to this letter with multiple organizations to urge Congress’s HELP committee to include provisions improving medications access in emergencies in their upcoming pandemic preparedness legislation. The letter emphasizes the need to build on the provisions made for the COVID-19 public health emergency and address medications access in future emergencies.
  • Letter Requesting Full $400 Billion HCBS Investment – July 19, 2021
    AAPD joined numerous organizations in a letter to Congress expressing the need for the full $400 billion Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) investment that was initially laid out in the American Jobs Plan. The letter details the flaws within the system and the impacts on both people with disabilities and the workforce serving them.
  • Broadband Equity for All Letter – July 16, 2021
    The Broadband Equity For All coalition sent a letter to the New Democrat Coalition regarding Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program. The program is currently temporary and this letter emphasizes the need to make it permanent and how it can help close the digital divide for all communities.
  • Letter Addressing Technology’s Role in Hiring Discrimination – July 13, 2021
    AAPD joined seven other organizations in a letter to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Labor, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, and the Department of Justice that offers proposals to the Biden-Harris administration for addressing discrimination arising from the use of new technologies in the hiring process.
  • Disability and Labor Joint Submission on Advancing Rights of Workers with Disabilities in Federal Procurement and Contracting – July 6, 2021
    This letter provides feedback on OMB’s recent Request for Information (Methods and Leading Practices for Advancing Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through Government, OMB-2021-0005). Specifically, it presents a shared agenda for disability-inclusive federal procurement and contracting on behalf of both disability and labor advocates.
  • Senate Voting Rights Appropriation Request – June 18, 2021
    A letter requesting Congress to increase funding for the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division in order to add positions in the Voting Section and enforce the Voting Rights Act’s protections against discrimination in elections.
  • Disability Organizations Warn the For the People Act’s Paper Ballot Mandate will Disenfranchise People with Disabilities – June 15, 2021
    AAPD joins over 20 other disability organizations expressing support for the vast majority of the For the People Act, while warning about the paper ballot mandate included in the act and how it will disenfranchise voters with print disabilities.
  • Support Letter for the Counseling Not Criminalization in Schools Act – June 15, 2021
    AAPD and over 400 other organizations support this act which diverts federal funding away from police in schools, and toward evidence-based and trauma-informed services that create culturally-sustaining and positive learning environments.
  • Coalition for Smart Safety’s Letter to Congress – June 11, 2021
    This letter is in strong opposition to the Behavioral Intervention Guidelines Act (S.1383/H.R.2877) or the “BIG Act”. Specifically the letter rejects the use of threat assessments, violence risk assessments, and the preemptive use of law enforcement in efforts to reduce gun violence.
  • Comments on the FY 22 Skilled Nursing Facility Prospective Payment System Proposed Rule – June 7, 2021
    As a part of the Coalition to Preserve Rehabilitation, AAPD signed on to a letter that comments on the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Skilled Nursing Facility Prospective Payment System (SNF PPS) and the implementation of the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM).
  • Letter Calling on Congress to Restore Certainty to the 2020 Census Timeline – June 1, 2021
    AAPD signed on to a letter with The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the Census Project, and many other organizations urging senators to pass the 2020 Census Deadline Extensions Act (S. 1267). S.1267 would extend statutory deadlines for delivering apportionment and redistricting data to May 1, 2021 and October 1, 2021, respectively.
  • Letter Supporting the $400 Billion Committed by the Biden Administration to Home and Community Based Services – May 25, 2021
    AAPD joined over 300 organizations supporting the Biden Administration’s Commitment of $400 Billion towards Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) and the workforce that provides these services. People with disabilities deserve to have full control and autonomy over their lives and their care decisions. That also means they should have multiple, high-quality options for care from which they can make the best decision for themselves and their families. Investing in HCBS will help make that a reality, while also making long-overdue improvements to working conditions for care workers.
  • Letter Regarding Accessibility Innovation in Transit – May 24, 2021
    The letter urges policymakers to consider increasing investment in on-demand microtransit while ensuring accessibility in those and any other future transit services and creating a federal grant program to bring innovation to ADA paratransit services. The letter was sent to the Senate, the House, and the Department of Transportation.
  • Letter Regarding the Seniors Access to Vaccines Ensured (SAVE) Act of 2021 – May 14, 2021
    AAPD signed on to a letter in support of H.R. 3013, the Seniors Access to Vaccines Ensured (SAVE) Act of 2021, which clarifies that non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) is within the scope of the temporary increase to 100% in federal matching payments (FMAP) for administration of COVID-19 vaccines. This legislation would also authorize the Secretary of Health and Human Services to award grants for removing transportation barriers for individuals with disabilities.
  • Disability Rights Organizations Join the National John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Action Day – May 8, 2021
    The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD), the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL), and the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) will participate in the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Day of Action on May 8th, 2021, in support of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.
  • Amicus Brief for Winn-Dixie, Inc v. Juan Carlos Gil – April 22, 2021
    AAPD joined several other civil and disability rights organizations in support of the petition for a rehearing in the Winn-Dixie v. Gil case, which addresses the definition of public accommodations when it comes to the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Letter Calling Policymakers to Reject Health Policies That Discriminate – April 14, 2021
    This is a joint letter with over 90 organizations that strongly urges policymakers to reject policies that discriminate against people with disabilities and chronic conditions, older adults, and reinforce health inequities.
  • Supplementary Letter to Regarding Nasdaq Board Diversity – April 6, 2021
    This is the second letter submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by AAPD and Disability:IN. The letter reiterates and emphasizes the importance of including disability in diversity statistics.
  • HAB Letter to HHS Secretary Becerra – April 6, 2021
    This letter introduces the Habilitation Benefits Coalition to the new Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra. The letter explains the purpose of HAB, what habilitation and habilitative services mean, and the priorities of the coalition.
  • Letter Supporting the Nomination of Vanita Gupta to serve as the Associate Attorney General of the United States in the U.S. Department of Justice – March 8, 2021
    AAPD convened disability and aging organizations in support of Vanita Gupta’s nomination to the role of Associate Attorney General, attesting to her demonstrated commitment to civil and disability rights, as well as her skill as a convener and champion for justice.
  • Letter to Congress on HCBS Funding in Covid Relief Reconciliation Bill – February 23, 2021
    AAPD led a letter of more than 200 disability and civil rights organizations to express strong support for the provision in the COVID relief reconciliation bill (section 3108) adopted by the House Energy and Commerce Committee that will provide life-sustaining support for people with disabilities, older adults, and individuals, predominantly low-income women of color, who make up part of the direct care workforce.
  • Letter to Nasdaq Board on Disability Inclusion – February 17, 2021
    AAPD’s board chair, Ted Kennedy Jr., wrote a letter to Nasdaq in conjunction with Disability:IN, regarding their omission of disability demographics in their proposal for diversity statistics, which would be used to evaluate the make-up of board of directors. The letter emphasizes the importance of corporate engagement in the disability rights movement and offers amendments that can be made to Nasdaq’s proposal to make it truly inclusive.
  • AAPD Joins in on Letter Explaining How a Paper Mandate in H.R.1 and S.R.1 will Make Voting Inaccessible to Many Voters with Disabilities -January 29, 2021
  • AAPD and AUCD Testify Against QALY Bill in Washington State 
    The American Association of People with Disabilities and
    the American Association of University Centers on Disabilities provided testimony to the Washington State Senate to express concern that Washington State Senate Bill SB 5020 explicitly references value assessments that are developed in reliance on the discriminatory quality-adjusted life (QALY) year metric.
  • Communication Equity Call to Action for the Biden-Harris Administration
    AAPD is proud to join with 47 other disability organizations in issuing this Communication Equity Call to Action to the incoming administration. The Call to Action lists 9 key steps we feel are critical to protecting the rights and interests of people with expressive communication disabilities.
  • 2021 Letter to HSS Secretary-Designate Xavier Becerra
    AAPD was proud  to be among the disability advocacy organizations that met with Education Secretary Designate Xavier Becerra to discuss concerns about the response to COVID-19, ending discrimination in healthcare settings, and more. AAPD and other leading disability rights organizations sent a follow-up letter with detailed recommendations on the disability community’s priorities for the first 100 days of the Biden-Harris Administration.
  • 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.

Previous Sign-On Letters

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