DISABILITY ACTIVISTS SCORE MAJOR VICTORIES IN DAY OF ACTION
ADAPT Hails Renewed Talks with Labor Groups Over Work Rule Affecting the Independence of People with Disabilities; Secures Commitment from HUD to Release Key Guidance to Housing Authorities
Washington, DC - Following a long day of direct action, grassroots disability rights group ADAPT celebrates two major victories. First, a new agreement to seek a compromise that considers the freedom of people with disabilities to direct their own attendant services and the need of organized labor to seek the best possible conditions for those workers was reached with the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).
These two unions have been at the forefront of pushing for a change to work rules for attendants that would limit the ability of people with disabilities to direct their own attendant care due to overtime restrictions.
"This agreement to meet again within two weeks and bring substantive proposals for movement toward compromise was a huge win for ADAPT and people who rely on home-based attendant care today," said Mike Oxford of Kansas ADAPT.
"We don't oppose our attendants receiving improved pay and benefits, in fact, we support it," added David Wittie, an organizer for ADAPT of Texas.
"And today's new agreements will go a long way toward securing higher take-home pay for our workers while also protecting the right of folks with disabilities to control who comes in our homes and assists us with the most intimate activities of daily life, all while ensuring that we stay out of costly institutions."
Earlier in the day, ADAPT activists took direct action at the headquarters of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), demanding that HUD release a letter offering guidance to local housing authorities across the nation on complying with the Supreme Court's Olmstead decision, which affirms that people with disabilities have the civil right to live in the community instead of institutions. HUD officials agreed to release the letter by May 27.
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