Advocacy

Preamble to APRIL’s National Advocacy Strategy

 APRIL is a national membership organization dedicated to advancing the rights and responsibilities of people with disabilities in rural America.

APRIL is committed to an aggressive and culturally-appropriate advocacy strategy tied to our Vision statement: “APRIL is the unified voice of independent living in rural America.” In furtherance of that Vision, APRIL has engaged hundreds of members and dedicated many hours aimed at developing a mission-focused systems change agenda to further the civil rights of all people with disabilities regardless of age, disability, income, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion or nationality.

Equally as important to us, is ensuring that young people with disabilities are integrated into all facets of program development and delivery. We are truly committed to the mantra: Nothing About Us, Without Us.  

APRIL Advocacy Priorities 2017

Stand Alone Issues
   •IL Funding
   •Implementation of the reauthorized Rehab Act (WIOA)

Advocacy Policy Priorities
   •Complete Community Care (C3):

Integrated Health Services:

  1. Continue implementation of Affordable Care Act/funding affecting rural people with disabilities, and inclusion as a population experiencing “health disparities.”
  2. Putting the “D” in ADRCs, as the potential portal of entry, and building effective collaborations
  3. Stop implementation of harmful policies like competitive biding for durable medical equipment, supplies, prosthetics, and supplies (DMEPOS)

Community-based services:

Eliminate the institutional bias once and for all; revise Medicaid rules to mandate a national buy-in program and allow greater flexibility for states to widen eligibility and raise asset limits and asset exemptions.

• Transportation:
Participate in rule-making and implementation of the 2015 full multi-year reauthorization of the federal Highway bill (FAST Act) to increase funding/flexibility for rural transit systems in line with APRILs Policy Paper and feedback during conference sessions; and impacting access to and availability of transportation options for rural veterans.

• Veterans:
Explore with APRIL members the roles centers can play in impacting the lives of veterans in our communities and educate members through the joint APRIL/NCIL Veterans subcommittee.

The issues below previously identified by members as important systems change initiatives will be addressed through task forces, and cooperative efforts with other national partners and stakeholders.

Employment:
Fight to eliminate the “special” or sub-minimum wage in federal law; and work to revise the Social Security Act to permanently eliminate work disincentives and “cash cliff” for those employed.
Mental Health:
Implement, develop and support the delivery of rural consumer-controlled, recovery, peer models.
Violence and abuse against PWD:
Increase access and services for women with disabilities. 

 

APRIL Advocacy Subcommittee Descriptions

APRIL Subcommittee Processes