New Jersey’s Centers for Independent Living are a vital part of the disability community, yet are consistently underfunded. For this reason, the New Jersey Association of Centers for Independent Living is asking for state funding in the amount of 4 million dollars to be divided amongst the 11 Centers across New Jersey. Please sign our letter endorsing our efforts and showing the Governor the importance of disability-led organizations!
The Disability Integration Act (DIA) was recently reintroduced in the US House of Representatives and US Senate. DIA is a bipartisan, bicameral legislation that ensures that disabled Americans have the right to live and receive services in their own homes. ACI joined other advocacy organizations throughout the country in celebrating the reintroduction of this important legislation. ACI has been contacting our representatives to urge them co-sponsor this legislation. Advocates hope to have it passed the house by July 26, 2019, the anniversary of the ADA. We are happy to announce that US Senator Cory Booker and NJ Representatives Donald Payne and Bonnie Watson-Coleman have signed on as co-sponsors!
If you're interested in learning more about DIA and how you can advocate for its passage, please contact Luke at email@example.com or Maggie at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit disabilityintegrationact.org.
Written by Ethan B. Ellis.
I just completed an online survey asking my priorities for the newly elected majority in the House of Representatives. It was pretty long.
I could have checked off women’s rights and I did.
I could have checked off LGBQ rights and I did.
I could have checked off voting rights and I did.
I could have been for health care for all, campaign finance reform, a living wage, gun control, rebuilding our infrastructure, reducing income inequality, ending war and a whole lot more and I was - and am.
But there was no place check off disability rights on that agenda.
I also got hundreds of fundraising emails before the election. They all wanted my money and many used surveys to get it. I could be for everything good and against everything bad, but I COULDN’T BE FOR DISABILITY RIGHTS, MY OWN RIGHTS!
Written by Ethan B. Ellis.
Everybody’s made up their mind by now. The only question left is how many of us will vote.
I’m 84 but I will. I just got out of the hospital this week but I will. I have cerebral palsy but I will. I use an electric wheelchair but I will. My hands no longer can mark my ballot so my 12 year-old son will mark it for me and I will.
Because I want to keep my health insurance despite my pre-existing condition, because I want to avoid a having a limit put on how much health care my insurance will pay for during my lifetime.
Because I want my wife and son to be able to pay for Social Security and get it like I have.
Because I want them to have Medicare when they retire like I do.
Because I want them to have Medicaid if they need it.
Because I want my friends with disabilities to enjoy the rights I didn’t grow up with but helped win.
Because I want my son to to live in country where everyone is equal.
Because I want him to live in a country where rich people no longer pay politicians to make them richer and make poor people poorer.
Because I want him to live in a country where everyone gets the services they need regardless of what they cost.
Because I want him to live in a world where nobody goes hungry or thirsty and everyone breaths pure air and drinks clean water and no one is displaced or dies because of climate change.
Because I want our democracy back so his vote will count at least as much as mine .
I wasn’t born. yesterday. I know I won’t get these things just by voting this year but that’s the best tool available to me - and you - right now. After the election, we’ll have time to decide what we have to do next to win back our democracy and gain full equality but right now the vote is our best weapon. Let’s use it for ourselves and all who and what we hold dear.
See you at the polls.
DISCLAIMER: The views expressed by this author, are the views of the author only. The views expressed in this article do not represent the views of the Alliance Center for Independence/REV UP New Jersey, its staff or board. ACI and REV UP NJ are non-partisan, not for profit 501 (c) (3) organizations, and do not endorse any candidate for political office or political view point.
The New Jersey Disability Community wholeheartedly opposes efforts by companies, cities, and states to ban single use plastic straws. These policies create barriers to independence, community integration, and daily living for people with disabilities, work counter to our community ideals of universal access, and place an unnecessary burden on people with disabilities to fight for the accommodations we need to live independently.
On July 26th, ACI staff, volunteers and friends gathered at the Edison Township Mayor's office to commemorate the 28th Anniversary of the American's with Disability Act. Mayor Thomas Lankey read a proclamation, which recognizes the significance of the law and to "proclaim, Thursday, July 26, 2018, to be a day of celebration and renewed commitment to the Americans with Disabilities Act." The event also included a ceremonial raising of the disability flag in front of the Edison Municipal Complex and featured speeches by CJ Dodge, Nybil Ghanem and Luke Koppisch. We would like to thank Mayor Lankey and Edison Town Council President, Ajay Patil, who also attended the event.
To watch the full ceremony, please visit: http://220.127.116.11/CablecastPublicSite/show/1110?channel=1
UPDATE (9/26/17): THERE WILL NOT BE A VOTE! thehill.com/policy/healthcare/352503-senate-wont-vote-on-obamacare-repeal-bill
Thank you to the NJ Council on Developmental Disabilities for sponsoring a van trip to Washington DC on September 25th to participate in the hearing opposing the Graham-Cassidy health care bill.
During the trip, the group discussed the implications of the bill and how it could effect the disabled and elderly. We made signs in the van, and once in Washington went inside the Dirksen Senate Office Building and joined ADAPT and other disability organizations in chanting "No cuts to Medicaid! Save our liberty!"
We had the opportunity to speak with other advocates from around the country and catch up with some old friends. The hearing room, hallway and overflow room were packed with people and media from all over. It was an incredible effort by all.
When the hearing ended, we visited Senator Booker's office to express our gratitude for his support of Medicaid. The Senator was not available, but we were able to talk with his staff and write thank you's in his sign in book.
On our way home from Washington, we received word that Senator Collins was voting no! The advocacy in Washington and those who submitted testimony, called their Senators and participated in rallies and events is having an effect. Please keep calling and using social media. The advocacy and fight is not over yet!