Saturday, July 26, 2008

Happy Birthday, ADA :: Disability Rights Protestors Force Bush Admin Meeting..

NCIL Protestors In Washington, DC

Another one of those Eleventh Hour kinds of deals where I've been pondering today being the 18th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the ADA.. Beyond that I've noticed I received barely anything about it all week long even as my inbox swelled yet again by several more thousand, no topics off the top of my head seemed to be celebratory enough..... Either..

Ah, but then..

In late this evening comes something from a fellow advocate I've met out on one of our wonderful disability advocacy listservs on the Net.. This piece he forwarded to his own emailing list more than qualifies as speaking out on how strongly we, as a Community, feel about retaining and improving upon the basic Human Rights so many others take for granted each waking moment..

And speaking of incredible Unity, thank you so much to the wonderful disability advocates I know have been sharing still more information regarding the situation revolving around talk show personality Michael Savage taking disabilistic pot shots at children with autism.. I can only hope you all could feel the Love Vibes coming back in your direction from one very tired little Soul.. In the next day or so, I hope to be able to bring your shared information and opinions to the forefront here along with continuing to further connect the dots all across the World Wide Web as everyone strives so hard to preserve Dignity, Rights, and Respect for all persons with disabilities..

Peace, Hope, and Social Justice For Us All..

For more information:

  • Kelly Buckland (208) 869-4135
  • Shannon Jones (913) 486-4565
  • Brad Williams (518) 424-8121

Disability rights protestors force meeting with Bush Administration
WASHINGTON, DC (July 23, 2008)

Over 200 disability rights advocates from across the country protested outside the U.S. Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) located at Potomac Center Plaza.

The boisterous group chanted until the Assistant Secretary of OSERS [ 1 ], Tracy Justesen, came down and agreed to meet with a delegation from the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL). The NCIL delegation presented the membership's demands to the Assistant Secretary.

Specifically at issue is RSA's recent interpretation of the Rehabilitation Act and the negative impact it will have on the operation of Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILCs). Despite years of accepted operation, RSA has limited the scope of councils so that they function according to minimum statutory duties.

In Kansas, by advocating for public policy issues, we have increased the employment rate for people with disabilities by 20%, stated Shannon Jones of Topeka, Kansas. These types of advocacy efforts are being thwarted by RSA's narrow interpretation of SILCs duties. Once again, people with disabilities will be marginalized because of bureaucratic nonsense.

After meeting for more than an hour, RSA agreed to respond in writing to NCIL's demands. While NCIL looks forward to their response, they are concerned about how these restrictions will continue to impede policy related to people with disabilities.

Image Description: This post's image (above) depicts multiple NCIL advocate and self-advocates protesting.. Some are holding signs that say things like "Free Our People Now", "Let Our SILCs Be Free", and "Back Off Our SILCs Or Set Us Free".. Others nearby are visibly in the act of vocalizing.. One gentleman up front is actively using a blowhorn to lead the chants that have been described as occurring during this event earlier this past week..

Related Link(s):

Additional contact information for NCIL:

  • National Council on Independent Living (NCIL)
    1710 Rhode Island Avenue, NW, 5th Floor
    Washington, DC 20036
    Voice: (202) 207-0334
    TTY: (202) 207-0340
    FAX: (202) 207-0341

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