Contact Your Senators Today and Tell Them to Include Disabled People in their COVID-19 Response!
Congress returns to DC next week, and the Senate is already negotiating the next COVID-19 relief package. They are expected to release their bill shortly after returning to DC, but our Senators are home all this week. It is critical they hear from their constituents about the things that are most important to their disabled constituents!
Disabled people are disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of us are at risk of severe symptoms and complications if exposed to the virus. We face significantly increased barriers and discrimination that are threatening our health, safety, and lives. It is unacceptable that our needs have not been addressed in the COVID-19 response!
The House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act ( https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/6800 ) back in May. This bill includes a lot of key disability community priorities, but the Senate will not be working from this to create their package. That makes it even more critical for them to hear from us about what needs to be included.
The Senate needs to hear from us again! They need to hear about the importance of including the needs of the disability community in their COVID-response. They need to hear about all the things that are important to include, but they especially need to hear why including additional funding for home and community based services (HCBS) is important. HCBS funding is critical to ensuring disabled people can stay in their own homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Congregate settings have always been dangerous, but during the pandemic, they have become more dangerous than ever. HCBS funding is literally a matter of life and death, and our Senators need to hear that from us.
You can see a full list of priorities in this letter from CCD – PDF of which NCIL is a member. NCIL also worked with other disability organizations to highlight our most critical priorities for Congressional leadership – PDF
Call your Senators today! Even if you have called your Senators before, they need to hear from you again. Make sure to tell your Senators why HCBS funding is critical. And make sure to ask them to tell Senate leadership to include HCBS funding in the next COVID-19 package!
- You can find your Senators’ contact forms at senate.gov
- You can use Resistbot to turn texts into faxes, mail, or hand-delivered letters by texting “RESIST” to 50409.
- You can find your Senators’ phone numbers, Twitter handles, Facebook pages, and other contact information on Contacting Congress
- You can also tweet at Senate leadership – Mitch McConnell (@SenateMajLdr) and Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer).
Here is a sample script. Please personalize it and put it in your own words if you can:
Hi, my name is (NAME), and I’m from (CITY, STATE).
As your constituent, I urge you to support your disabled constituents by including funding for home and community based services in the next COVID-19 relief bill.
The need for HCBS funding is more urgent than ever. We have seen rampant rates of infection and death in nursing facilities and other large congregate settings. Many disabled people rely on HCBS to live in their own homes, but people are struggling to stay in the community. Without more funding, many more people will be forced into large congregate settings, where they will be at much greater risk of catching COVID-19. HCBS funding is desperately needed to ensure we can stay safe in our own homes
Thank you for your time, and I hope I can count on you to ensure your disabled constituents have what we need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Published on 07/15/2020