Senate Covid-19 Action Alert; Texas Complaint; #ADA30 Media Sampling


July 29, 2020 | by Amber Smock

New Covid-19 Relief Bill Introduced in the U.S. Senate

Access Living friends and allies:

We have a few different important updates for you today (including an action alert).

Action Alert, New Covid-19 Relief Bill Introduced in U.S. Senate: Last night, U.S. Senate Republicans released a new Covid-19 relief bill called the HEALS (Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools) Act. See this link for a broad overview. The HEALS Act is currently under analysis by a range of policy analysts right now, but one thing is apparent right away: the HEALS Act does not include any new relief for Medicaid home and community based services (HCBS). Please help take action again TODAY to ask your U.S. Senators to fight for Medicaid HCBS at this link. If you are on Twitter and what to see what people are sharing on this topic, disability advocates are tweeting with the hashtags #WhatWeNeed, #COVID19, and #CripTheVote.

Fighting Medical Rationing in Texas: Eighteen state and national organizations have filed a complaint against the North Central Texas Trauma Regional Advisory Council (North Central Texas Trauma RAC), challenging their critical care guidelines. This complaint was filed as a result of ongoing bias in treating patients such as Michael Hickson, a Black disabled man who died in an Austin hospital last month. The complaint can be found at this link. The organizations contend that the current guidelines “jeopardize the lives of adults and children with disabilities, older adults, individuals from communities of color, prisoners, and others with co-morbid conditions.” Nationwide, as disability advocates fight medical rationing, they are addressing both harmful policies and lack of real enforcement in medical settings.

Quick Roundup of #ADA30 Media: This year, the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act on July 26 was an occasion for serious reflection about the disability movement’s leadership, accomplishments and visibility of various parts of our movement. There were many, many news pieces released over the weekend and we’d like to take a moment to share a sampling of links for your perusal:

  • Access Living President & CEO Karen Tamley in the Chicago Sun Times and with ADA25 Advancing Leadership Executive Director Emily Blum in Chicago Business
  • Imani Barbarin’s piece for her site Crutches and Spice on the ADA, the pandemic, and race
  • NPR’s piece on Judy Heumann in conversation with Imani Barbarin
  • Vilissa Thompson’s piece for Popsugar on how to check your ableism every day
  • Robin L. Wilson-Beattie’s piece for the Disability Visibility Project on how the ADA helped her become a Black Sexpert
  • PBS Newshour carried five ADA stories in its ADA Series
  • And finally, check out all the important stories at #ADA30inColor at this link, focused on essays by multiply marginalized people with disabilities.

Thank you for your advocacy today! We are living through complicated times.