Post-Election Results: What the Next Administration Can Do to Support Americans with Disabilities

Collage of 3 photos: staff member Alex presents on ABLE, staff members Tom and Kat meet with a visiting Swedish Delegation, staff members Loretta and Elizabeth pose in front of WID's Disability Concierge DeskAs with many Americans, we at the World Institute on Disability (WID) are concerned with how the 2016 election results will impact the disability community and all diverse communities. Over the past several decades, the progress around the rights of people with disabilities—including increased accessibility of services, improved public accommodations, and recent legislation, such as the ABLE Act, which helps young people with disabilities gain true financial independence and saves taxpayer dollars—has boasted significant milestones for our community nationwide.

We are committed to continuing this progress, and we recognize that there is still much more to be done.  However, we also see that there is constant pressure to roll back many of these advances in disability rights under the assumption that to do so would save money.

Reduction of services, resulting in exclusion of people with disabilities, is extremely costly in financial and human terms. Certain healthcare and benefits proposals can endanger the health, independence, and financial security of people with disabilities. Some broader issues, such as climate change, will have a drastic impact on our community unless people with disabilities are included in the planning and preparation.

We are committed to working with the next administration to support disability rights in all its forms and to prevent any changes that would negatively affect people with disabilities across the U.S. and around the world.

Collage of 3 photos: staff member Bryon presents on DB101, four staff members pose in front of registration desk at Policy Summit, staff member Marsha presents on Disability FEAST website

High priority areas for attention include:

Benefits reform that enables people with disabilities to work while still maintaining benefits to offset the high cost of disability;

Expanded employment opportunities with special attention to ensuring that employees with disabilities are appropriately accommodated and welcomed in the workplace;

Healthcare and personal assistant services that fully support people with disabilities’ health needs, including access to quality affordable medical care; medication and durable medical equipment; and fitness and nutrition resources, all equal to that of other Americans;

Disability discrimination, which must be combated in all its forms, including employment, education, and housing;

Climate change policies that include people with disabilities in planning and preparation; and

Representation by people with disabilities in all aspects of government.

Collage of 3 photos: WID's youngest service dog Alabama, staff member Tom shows two international fellows Muir Woods, WID's retired service dog Carrera

Now more than ever, we hope you will consider supporting our efforts — you can donate via Network for Good as a one-time donation or schedule monthly/quarterly donations.

Also, consider adding WID as your AmazonSmile Charity. Amazon will donate 0.5% to WID on your behalf as you do your holiday shopping this season and all year round. Every gift counts!

Wishing you a a joyful, healthy holiday season and a happy New Year from the WID family!

Nine people with various disabilities stand in front of a disability painting

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Anita Aaron speaks at the 13th Annual Ever Widening Circle event

Save the Date: Critical Issues Forum & Ever Widening Circle Reception 2016

WID is excited to welcome one and all to our annual event, the Critical Issues Forum, at the Ed Roberts Campus October 28, 2016! The topic of the day: ABLE Accounts.

The ABLE Act is the new tax-advantaged savings opportunity that allows eligible persons with disabilities to save up to $100,000 without risking federal disability benefits. Read more about WID’s work with the ABLE Act here.

After the Critical Issues Forum, we will have the Ever Widening Circle Reception, during which we will network and enjoy light refreshments.

If you’d like to join us, RSVP!

Critical Issues Forum

  • ABLE Accounts Informative Session: Learn the nuts and bolts of the 3 currently available national ABLE programs, as well as hear from the director of California’s ABLE and provide your input to help shape the program.
  • ABLE Accounts Interactive Session: With guidance from WID staff members, go through the process of opening an ABLE account in real time and learn about how you can help advocate to improve the ABLE Act through important pending legislation.

Ever Widening Circle Reception

The Ever Widening Circle Reception will allow WID to connect with our supporters and disability community leaders and will create a space for continuing the discussions begun during the forum presentations in a more casual environment.

Be sure to RSVP to WID’s annual event today!

Schedule at a Glance

  • 9:00am-9:30am: registration/check-in (Osher Rooms)
  • 9:30am-11:30am: ABLE Accounts Informative Session
  • 11:30am-1:00pm: Lunch (catered for those who RSVP)
  • 1:00pm-3:30pm: ABLE Accounts Interactive Session
  • 3:30pm-5:00pm: Reception (Ramp Circle)

Recap

  • What: Policy Summit and Ever Widening Circle reception
  • When: Friday, October 28, 2016; 9:00am-5:00pm
  • Where: Osher Boardrooms in the Ed Roberts Campus (3075 Adeline Street, Berkeley, CA 94703; above Ashby BART station)

Don’t forget to RSVP!

Thank you to our generous sponsors for their support of this event: AT&T, Chevron, IBM, JPMorgan Chase & Co., PG&E, and Stanley Yarnell & Victor Rowley (listed in alphabetical order).

AT&T logo Chevron logoIBM logo JPMC logoPG&E logoStanley Yarnell and Victor Rowley logo

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