From the University of Montana. Original PDF can be found here.
From NCIL and edited for WV voters:
We need to immediately secure members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee as co-sponsors on the Disability Integration Act – DIA (H.R. 555) in order to achieve movement on this bill in the 116th Congress.
Rep. McKinley sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, so please reach out to them right away. Tell them, “Please co-sponsor DIA (H.R. 555) today!” Then ask your family, friends, co-workers, and other community members to call and email as well.
This is the committee that will work the DIA in the House. They are in charge of the first part of the process of eventually bringing this bill to a full vote in the House of Representatives.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee has 55 members: 31 Democrats (we need 19 more) and 24 Republicans (we need 23 more).
Contacting Your Legislators
Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask for Representative McKinley’s office or contact your Representative’s office directly at (202) 225-4172.
Once connected, ask to speak with a staff member who handles civil rights. Make sure you give them your name and identify that you are a constituent. Tell the staff member, “Please tell Representative McKinley that I want them to co-sponsor the Disability Integration Act (H.R. 555) today!”
You can tell your story and use the talking points provided. Tell them to contact Amy Bos in Representative Jim Sensenbrenner’s office at 202-225-5101 or firstname.lastname@example.org to sign on as a co-sponsor today! This may take multiple calls and emails.
A wonderful event hosted by Marion County Public Library System!
At 10:30 AM they will be hosting the “Count Me IN” puppet program by the Puppeteers from M.T. Pockets Theatre in Morgantown. This presentation introduces children to the importance of disability awareness and inclusion. After all, everyone wants to play, learn, have friends and be included. We hope you will join us!
An introduction to disability awareness and inclusion:
Everyone wants to play, learn, have friends, and be included. The COUNT ME IN puppet program helps children understand that people with disabilities are much like they are. This age-appropriate introduction to disability awareness and inclusion is for grades 1 to 4 with a shorter preschool/kindergarten program. The cast includes Gina, who is blind and uses a cane; Jay, who is deaf or hard of hearing; Sally, who has a physical disability and uses a wheelchair; and their friends, Carmen and Mitch.
For more information, please visit the Marion County Public Library System.
Remembering a pioneer of disability rights on Ed Roberts’ Day.
Ed Roberts (1939-1995) was an American activist and a pioneering leader in the disability rights movement. He was the first student with severe disabilities to attend the University of Berkeley, California. In 1976, newly elected Governor Jerry Brown appointed Roberts Director of the California Department of Vocational Rehabilitation — the same agency that had once labelled him too severely disabled to work. Later, he helped found the World Institute on Disability. The following is a compilation of several of Roberts’ most famous speeches. As you read, take notes on Roberts’ tone, use of humor, and central ideas.
I contracted polio when I was fourteen. I had a serious fever, and within 24 hours, I was paralyzed and in an iron lung.1 Within earshot, my mother asked the doctor whether I would live or die.“You should hope he dies, because if he lives, he’ll be no more than a vegetable for the rest of his life. How would you like to live in an iron lung 24 hours a day?” So I decided to be an artichoke… a little prickly on the outside but with a big heart. You know, the vegetables of the world are uniting, and we’re not going away!
The transition was hard. I was on oxygen for a while. I had terrible acne and nobody could understand why it was so bad; when they stopped the oxygen my acne went away. I was so young… I had to deal with heavy-duty issues at a young age. I remember one night, it was a war going on in my body. I was making all kinds of noises, guns, explosions, planes, tanks… a nurse came in and asked me what was wrong. “It’s a war,” I told her. I was fighting for my own life. At that time, portable ventilators had not been invented.Everyone made the outlook bleak.
I decided that I wanted to die. I was fourteen years old. Now, it’s very hard to kill yourself in a hospital with everything set up to save your life. But the mind is a powerful thing. I stopped eating.They started to force feed me. It was really demeaning. I dropped to 54 pounds.
My last special duty nurse left, and the next day I decided I wanted to live. You see, that was a big turning point. Up until then, these nurses were available and doing things for me around the clock — I didn’t have to make any decisions for myself because they were always there. When they all finally left, that’s when I realized that I could have a life, despite what everyone was saying. I could make choices, and that is freedom. I started to eat again.
To read more, please visit CommonLit.org
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) this week released information to help West Virginians impacted by the government shutdown. The list of resources includes information about how to obtain unemployment benefits, food assistance, loans, as well as information on how to work with utility, cell phone, and other companies to accommodate incoming bills.
“I remain committed to finding a solution that reopens the federal government and funds our border security to keep Americans safe. I believe that federal workers should not pay the price for Congressional inaction, which is why I worked with my colleagues to introduce legislation – which was signed by the President and passed into law on Jan. 16 – that guarantees back pay as soon as possible for federal workers who are furloughed or working without pay during the shutdown. I know that does not help in the moment, though, so please see below for some resources available to you during this difficult time. We will continue to update this list as we hear from other organizations,” said Senator Manchin.
For a complete list, please visit The Fayette Tribune.
Reminder: IMPROVE Act Passed the House – Now Call Your Senators!
The House of Representatives has passed the IMPROVE Act (H.R. 7217) with a vote of 400-11. Now the bill moves to the Senate where a vote is expected as early as this week!
Call your Senators today and tell them to vote YES on the IMPROVE Act! It is critical they hear that extending Money Follows the Person (MFP) by passing this bill is a priority to their constituents! All Senators can be reached by calling the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or (202) 224-3091 (TTY).
About the IMPROVE Act (H.R. 7217): MFP has helped free over 88,000 people from institutions, and its 3-month renewal is a key provision in the IMPROVE Act. In addition, H.R. 7217 also includes an extension of protections for Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) recipients against spousal impoverishment, a permanent exemption from competitive bidding for CRT manual wheelchairs, and an 18-month suspension in Medicare’s application of competitive bidding rates to CRT manual wheelchair accessories.