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?May ASAN Newsletter ?

?May ASAN Newsletter ?

ASAN May Newsletter

Dear friend,

This month saw a total solar eclipse, some of the strongest auroras in centuries, and plenty of policy work fighting for our community’s rights! Check out what we’ve been working on this month and the opportunities ahead!

This month, we had the opportunity to #StopTheShock at the Judge Rotenberg Center for good! The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a proposed rule to ban electrical stimulation devices for self-injurious or aggressive behavior, and they asked for public comments on the rule. ASAN submitted comments encouraging the FDA to ban the device, and so did many members of our community! After the FDA reads and reviews all the public comments, it will decide whether or not to issue the proposed rule, which means people would have to follow it. We will keep you updated on what happens once the FDA makes a decision. Thank you for taking action to #StopTheShock!

Applications opened for our Teighlor McGee Grassroots Mini Grants Program this month, and we couldn’t be more excited! This program was named after former ASAN staff member and activist, Teighlor McGee. As a tribute to their legacy, these grants honor Teighlor’s grassroots advocacy work, and how they lifted the voices of self advocates of color. These grants are for self-advocates who are interested in changing the world. Mini grant projects should try to make the world better for people with disabilities. Mini grants are best for people or groups who have past experience doing advocacy. Last month, we held a webinar explaining the program, and this month we held an Application Walk Through — check it out here! The deadline for all applications will be July 31, 2024.

Are you interested in getting involved in advocacy, but not sure where to start? Join ASAN on Tuesday, June 18th from 4-6:30pm ET for Advocacy 101! We’ll cover the basics of systems advocacy work, how different kinds of laws and policies impact disabled people, and how everyone can play a part in solving big problems that impact disabled people. The webinar also includes a breakout session where you can choose either Legislative and Regulatory Advocacy or Building Sustainable Organizing Communities. Register today — we look forward to seeing you there!

This month, we were excited to see the Department of Health and Human Services announce its final rule implementing Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. This rulemaking is the first update to the regulations implementing Section 504 in 50 years, and is all the more important due to developments in health care and disability rights over the past five decades. This federal rule does many things to further protect the lives, health and rights of people with disabilities. This rule is very important for making sure that the rights of people with disabilities are protected in health care. The HHS final rule is a very important regulation interpreting Section 504, but it isn’t the only one! There are going to be more rules for Section 504, rules which will cover how the rights of people with disabilities should be protected in education and in housing.

On May 23, we observed the first-ever Disability Reproductive Equity Day alongside many organizations. This day highlighted the critical need for policies that center bodily autonomy and expand access to sexual and reproductive health care for disabled people. In conversations about reproductive justice, abortion, parenting, and more, disabled people are often overlooked. May 2nd marked the 97th anniversary of the Supreme Court of the United States’ decision Buck v. Bell, which upheld a Virginia law authorizing involuntary sterilization of disabled people. This decision was an attack on bodily autonomy rooted in ableism, racism, sexism, and eugenics. Thank you for helping us fight against the sexual and reproductive oppression that people with disabilities face!

Thank you for fighting along with us for all autistic people! We’re grateful to fight by your side, and we’re excited to bring more resources and policy updates next month.

Sincerely,

The Team at ASAN

  • Along with our coalition partners, ASAN strongly urged Congress to allocate robust funding for Election Grants in the FY2025 budget.
  • We supported S.4120 Long-Term Care Workforce Support Act, which helps support and expand the direct care workforce.
  • ASAN joined other organizations to call on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to make Direct File permanent and expand it in the coming years.
  • We signed on to a letter in support of the Recognizing the Role of Direct Support Professionals Act, a bill that would help to create a standard occupational classification (SOC) for direct support professionals (DSPs).
  • We joined The Disability and Aging Collaborative to urge swift action on legislation to improve the functionality of the Medicaid program, to increase access and improve program integrity.
  • We pushed to end the Section 14(c) program, which allows disabled people to be paid subminimum wage, and pushed for disabled voices in conversations about ending the program.
  • ASAN joined the National Taskforce to End Sexual and Domestic Violence in opposing HR7909, would negatively impact immigrant survivors of domestic and sexual violence, and fail to alleviate the primary barriers to safety and stability experienced by survivors seeking relief under the Immigration and Nationality Act.
  • We opposed the Safeguard American Voter Eligibility Act.
  • ASAN, along with many organizations, urged for tax reform to address long-standing problems with our tax code when several tax law provisions expire in 2025.
  • We joined The Disability and Aging Collaborative in supporting S.4120, the Long-Term Care Workforce Support Act, which would address the extreme need for more funding to support direct care workers in all settings where aging adults and people with disabilities are served.
  • ASAN commented on the Office of Minority Health’s Request for Information regarding Development of a Universal Symbol for Language Assistance Services in Health Settings supporting the development of a universal symbol for language assistance services in health settings.
  • We joined the Coalition for Healthier Schools in calling for funding for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to improve Indoor Air Quality.
  • In addition to observing the first-ever Disability Reproductive Equity Day on May 23, we supported the Senate Resolution to establish Disability Reproductive Equity Day.
  • Alongside the National Coalition on Accessible Voting (NCAV) and disability rights organizations from across the United States, we commended the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division’s Disability Rights Section (“DOJ DRS”) for updating their guidance on federal laws that protect voters with disabilities.
  • We supported passing the current House version of the Autism CARES Act.
  • In addition to our own comments in support of the FDA’s proposed ban on electrical stimulation devices for self-injurious or aggressive behavior, we signed onto the Coalition of Constituents with Disabilities’ comments supporting the rule.
  • We opposed the proposed changes to future Thrifty Food Plan (TFP) benefit adjustments outlined in the Farm, Food, and National Security Act of 2024: Discussion Draft (House Farm Bill), which would result in the largest cut to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits in decades.

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Teighlor McGee

The Teighlor McGee Mini Grants Program what are mini grants and how to apply

The Teighlor McGee Mini Grants Program Applications Walk Through

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