APRIL Advocacy Committee
1st Wednesdays of the month at 4:00pm EST
(3:00pm CST, 2:00pm MST, 1:00pm PST)
Steps to Participate in this Committee
2) Register for the meetings.
3) Join Committee Meetings using the specific link sent to you after registering (step 1 above)
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 system 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 2022: Stand Alone Issue
Build Back Better Framework
The Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living strongly supports President Biden’s Build Back Better framework which lays out substantial investments in Child Care, Home and Community Based Services, Medicare Expansion, access to Broadband, Transit and significant investments in addressing our Climate Crisis.
Investments to Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) will have an immediate impact on the lives of people with disabilities in this country. Nearly 1 Million people with disabilities are currently on Medicaid waiting lists, waiting for essential in home services. The Build Back Better framework will permanently improve Medicaid coverage for these services. This is a transformative investment.
Access to Broadband in Rural America is imperative to bridge the communication gap that currently exists. During the COVID pandemic as schools moved to remote learning, lack of access to quality Broadband in Rural America was exposed and our children bore the brunt of this inequity.
The largest and most comprehensive investment to affordable housing will ensure that people with disabilities have access to affordable, accessible housing. Together, with the investments to HCBS, will ensure that people with disabilities can live independently in the home of their choice and not risk being institutionalized in a congregate setting. They will be able to live with dignity and have access to the supports needed to live independently.
APRIL strongly urges the United States Senate to move swiftly to pass this transformative framework and bring critical lifesaving supports to Americans that are long overdue. Our climate cannot wait any longer for immediate action. This Build Back Better framework has the ability to begin to steer the entire planet in the right direction with serious investments to combat the climate crisis. We must meet this moment. NOW is the time!
See the documents below for more information:
- Build Back Better Talking Points
- Build Back Better Fact Sheet
- Build Back Better Framework
- Updated Build Back Better Framework
APRIL Advocacy Priorities 2022
Complete Community Care (C3):
- Continue implementation of Affordable Care Act/funding affecting rural people with disabilities, and inclusion as a population experiencing “health disparities.”
- Putting the “D” in ADRCs, as the potential portal of entry, and building effective collaborations
- Stop implementation of harmful policies like competitive bidding for durable medical equipment, supplies, prosthetics, and supplies (DMEPOS)
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.
The letter at the link above is for public use in relocating individuals from congregate settings in these COVID unprecedented times.
Continue to advocate for the 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.
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.
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.
Supplemental Information on APRIL Advocacy Committee
- APRIL Advocacy Subcommittee Descriptions
- APRIL Subcommittee Processes
- Processes and Guidance for APRIL Advocacy Subcommittees
- Stand alone and emerging issues will remain the primary responsibility of the full Advocacy Committee.
- Read More
For more information contact Mels Felton at