Disability Advocates Lay out Priorities for Trump Administration and Congress

letterhead of Consortium of Citizens with Disabilities

by Andy Jones
January 25, 2017

The nation’s largest coalition of disability rights organizations has released its list of recommendations for the new administration.

In the memo, the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, which consists of the National Disability Rights Network and dozens of other advocacy groups, highlighted three top priorities.

First, it stressed opposition to attempts to cut “benefits, insurance coverage or support” for health care and benefit programs.

Next, it drew a hard line in opposition to any changes to these programs financing structures, echoing recent letters opposing proposed changes to Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, and other programs.

“Strong federal requirements are necessary to ensure that individuals with disabilities across the United States have equal access to the opportunities they need to live independently and maximize their economic security and self-sufficiency,” the memo states. “Specifically, the current access to health care provided through the Affordable Care Act and the current financing structures of Medicaid and Medicare must be maintained (CCD strongly opposes block grants, per capita caps, and vouchers or premium support)."

Third, it urged the inclusion of people with disabilities in leadership programs, highlighting in particular the need for the Trump Administration to appoint a designated disability liaison to the White House Office of Public Engagement and a disability policy advisor to the Domestic Policy Council.

“Individuals selected for leadership positions in the Administration should embrace a disability perspective,” the memo states. “Such individuals should embrace as guiding principles in the development of national policy the full inclusion, independence, empowerment, and integration of children and adults with disabilities into every sector of our society.”

The 40-page memo details the priorities for each of the CCD’s task forces: developmental disabilities and family support; education; employment and training; financial security; fiscal policy; health; housing; long-term services and supports; rights; Social Security; technology and telecommunications; transportation and; veterans and families.

The full paper can be read here.

Disability Rights Washington is the designated protection and advocacy agency in Washington and a member of the National Disability Rights Network.