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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.

2019 Action Alerts

Previous Action Alerts

2019 Sign-On Letter

  • Clemency Letter for Brendan Dassey. (10/24/2019). As leaders and experts in the disability community working to seek justice for those with I/DD who find themselves entangled in the criminal justice system, we write to urge you to grant the executive clemency petition of Brendan Dassey.
  • Letter to Senator Cornyn. (10/23/2019). AAPD joins members of the Coalition for Smart Safety write in response to the introduction of the RESPONSE Act.
  • The Disaster Relief Medicaid Act. (10/22/2019). AAPD joins CCD’s Emergency Management and Long Term Services Task Forces urge you to cosponsor S. 1754/H. R. 3215, the Disaster Relief Medicaid Act (DRMA).
  • Letter Urging Facebook to Protect Civil Rights. (10/21/2019). AAPD joins over 40 civil rights, public interest, labor, faith, and technology organizations to urge Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to consider the “protection of civil rights as a fundamental obligation as serious as any other goal of the company.”
  • Comments for the Access Board about the on board wheelchair. (10/21/2019). AAPD joins a group of organizations in submitting comments in response to an invitation for public comment by the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board) concerning proposed non-binding advisory guidelines for wheelchairs used within aircraft cabins.
  • Support for John F. Stanton for D.C. Superior Court Judgeship. (9/23/2019). AAPD joins a group of organizations to express our support of John F. Stanton’s application to be recommended to the White House for nomination as a judge on
    the District of Columbia Superior Court.
  • Call for USCIS to Fully Restore Deferred Action Adjudications. (9/4/2019). AAPD, with over 150 organizations, calls upon USCIS to immediately and fully restore deferred action adjudications. Their elimination of non-military  Deferred Action places vulnerable individuals at risk of deportation and places lives in jeopardy.
  • Opposition to the HHS notice of proposed rule making on Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act. (8/13/2019). AAPD joins the  Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) opposition letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which would undermine the rights of people with disabilities in healthcare settings.
  • Secure Work Coalition Supports Disability Employment Incentive Act. (8/12/2019). AAPD joins the Secure Work Coalition (SWC) in a statement supporting the Disability Employment Incentive Act, H.R. 3992, introduced by Representatives Brian Fitzpatrick (D-CA-1st) and Josh Harder (R-PA-10th).
  • Response to the mass shootings. (8/6/2019). AAPD joins the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights on a statement in response to the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.
  • Civil Rights Principles for Health Reform. (7/25/2019). The Health Care Task Force of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights has developed the following principles to guide any next steps taken to improve access to health care for all and the health care system, noting that addressing health inequities is inextricably linked to ensuring coverage for all.
  • Self-advocates on the Interagency Autism. (7/11/2019). AAPD joins the Arc, ASAN, and ANCOR to support the greater inclusion of people with autism themselves in the current text of the Autism CARES Act reauthorization (H.R.1058/S.427).
  • Florida Governor Letter with Signatories. (7/8/2019). AAPD joins a coalition of 32 education, disability, privacy, and civil rights advocacy groups writing to highlight substantial risks arising from Florida’s proposed school safety database.
  • Principles for Value Assessment. (6/24/2019). Value Our Health supports assessing the value of any treatment using tools that are consistent with the goals of personalized, patient-centered medicine and do not discriminate against people based on age and/or with disabilities, chronic conditions, and diseases.
  • OMB Poverty Measure Proposal. (6/21/2019). AAPD joins CCD in comments on the consumer inflation measures produced by federal statistical agencies.
  • Letter to NJ Governor on Deaths at Wanaque Center. (6/19/2019). The New Jersey Department of Health proposed new regulations in response to the adenovirus outbreak at the Wanaque Center that claimed the lives of eleven children last fall. AAPD has joined ASAN with a coalition of organizations to demand that the government of New Jersey investigate the neglect at Wanaque and implement enforceable, significant policy changes that reflect the gravity of these deaths.
  • Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act, H.R. 1230. (6/11/2019). POWADA is bipartisan, limited legislation to restore fairness and well-established legal standards on workplace discrimination that were undermined by certain court decisions.  We urge all Committee Members to vote to support H.R. 1230.
  • CCD letter to the ACL Administrator regarding concerns about the proposed reorganization. (6/11/2019). The undersigned members of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) write to express our
    concern over the Notice Statement on the reorganization of the Administration for Community Living (ACL) published in the Federal Register on May 9.
  • Bonamici, Bucshon, Schrier, McMorris Rodgers Introduce Legislation to Help Students with Disabilities Access Support Services (6/6/2019). Representatives Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Larry Bucshon, M.D. (R-IN), Kim Schrier, M.D. (D-WA), and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) introduced legislation to streamline the process for college students with disabilities to access needed support services.
  • CCD Statement on Paid Family and Medical Leave (5/22/2019). AAPD joined the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (“CCD”) in a statement on paid family and medical leave.
  • HAB Coalition Comments on Sale of Insurance Across State Lines (5/6/2019)
    AAPD joined the Habilitation Benefits Coalition (“HAB”) in commenting on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) request for information regarding the sale of individual health insurance across state lines.
  • CPR Comments on Sale of Insurance Across State Lines (5/6/2019)
    AAPD joined the Coalition to Preserve Rehabilitation (“CPR”) in commenting on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) request for information  regarding the sale of individual health insurance across state lines.
  • Person Centered Planning Committee and National Quality Forum (5/2/2019)
    AAPD joined several organizations in addressing the lack of accurate representation at the Person Centered Planning and Practice Committee (PCPPC) convened by the National Quality Forum. This letter has been sent to relevant congressional appropriations staff.
  • 2020 IDEA Part B funding Group letter (4/19/2019)
    AAPD joined the PACER Center and 46 other groups in signing onto the letter of in support of a $1.7 billion increase in IDEA Part B Grants to States funding over FY2019, in order to put us on the path to achieve full funding of IDEA. This letter has been sent to relevant congressional appropriations staff.
  • AAPD SNAP Comments (4/2/2019)
    AAPD submitted the following comments on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposed rule, “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Requirements for Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents.”
  • CCD SNAP NPRM Comments (4/2/2019)
    The undersigned members of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) submit the following comments on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposed rule, “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Requirements for Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents,” (RIN 0584–AE57, 84 Fed. Reg. 980, published February 1, 2019).
  • The State of Texas v. The United States (4/2/2019)
    AAPD served as amicus curiae in The State of Texas v The US. The case challenges the 5th Circuit, Judge Reed O’Connor’s, ruling that strikes down the Affordable Care Act in its entirety.
  • The Parent/Professional Advocacy League v. City of Springfield (3/28/2019)
    AAPD served as amicus curiae in The Parent/Professional Advocacy League v. City of Springfield. The case challenges the City of Springfield’s failure to provide needed services to children with mental health disabilities in their neighborhood schools.
  • CCD Disability Principles for Health Care Reform (3/27/2019)
    AAPD joined other coalition members of the Consortium for Citizen with Disabilities (CCD) to issue updated principles for health care reform efforts.
  • Principles for School Safety, Privacy, and Equity (3/27/2019)
    AAPD joined 39 other education, policy, disability rights, and civil rights organizations to release ten principles to protect all students’ safety, privacy, and right to an equal education.
  • Disability Rights Statement On The Deaths At Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation (3/21/2019)
    AAPD joined a letter calling for action in the wake of the deaths of eleven children at the Wanaque Center in New Jersey.

Previous Sign-On Letters

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