Today we pause to take a moment to not only celebrate, but to commemorate the 27th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). On behalf of the ANCOR staff and Board of Directors, we are honored to represent ANCOR during this historical moment, and even prouder to represent our members who make the vision and dream of the ADA a reality.
Over the past several months, this promise of community integration, representing the core American values of independence and equal opportunity, has been deeply challenged as Congress has put forward legislation that demonstrates a shocking insensitivity and/or profound lack of understanding of what it takes to ensure that people with disabilities have the supports and services required to live, work and participate in the community.
Medicaid is that lifeline. It is the foundation of virtually all disability services and true community integration – imperfect, yes, but it has transformed hundreds of thousands of lives, and continues to do so every single day. It has enabled the establishment of an incredibly diverse fabric of supports that ANCOR members have fought for decades to build.
That’s why it is profoundly disappointing that twenty seven years after the passage of one of the greatest pieces of civil rights legislation, we are still fighting to prove that people with disabilities can and will thrive in the community, and that the Medicaid program and disability service providers are a key tool in ensuring that reality.
Yesterday, the Senate voted on a motion to proceed on consideration of the House-passed health care bill, the American Health Care Act (Act). This bill is a direct hit to the core values of the ADA – that people with disabilities are equals and that they deserve the investment of their fellow Americans in their worth and potential. Today, like twenty seven years ago, ANCOR is at the forefront of a fight to stand up for the rights of people with disabilities, their families, and those that know America is a better place when we value each other.
Although we face a tough time ahead, today we celebrate the extraordinary advances that never would have been possible without the ADA becoming the law of the land. We celebrate the wondrous technological, social, architectural and programmatic advancements in our society that the ADA delivered on. We celebrate the work that service providers do on a daily basis to implement the promise of the ADA. We celebrate the direct support professionals who show us the meaning of hard work and dedication every day. And we celebrate people with disabilities that make America whole.
We will continue to relentlessly advocate to protect the legacy and vision of the ADA, but today we pause briefly in that fight to mark this important anniversary which ANCOR and so many others worked hard to achieve. Happy 27th Anniversary of the ADA.
ABCD is a member of ANCOR.