ID: Blue and purple background, white text reads, "Take Action! Check out these DDP values aligned calls-to-action from other organizations around Metro Detroit, Michigan and the US.

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Criminal Justice and Public Safety

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ID: Orange background, navy text reads, "END LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE SENTENCES FOR MICHIGAN CHILDREN. SIGN THE ONLINE PETITION ASKING LAWMAKERS TO END THIS INHUMAN PRACTICE TODAY"

Sign the petition & share! Together, let’s end the inhumane practice of juvenile life without parole and make sure there are no more children sentenced to die in prison. If passed, Senate Bills 848-851 and House Bills 5941-5944 will make Michigan the thirty-fifth state to end the inhumane practice of juvenile life without parole. The bills recognize the inherent dignity of young people and emphasize the concepts of redemption and second chances.

Education

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ID: Transparent background, National Disability Rights Network in green and purple and six purple squares interlocked.

Send a letter with the National Disability Rights Network urging Congress to pass the Keeping All Students Safe Act, the Protecting our Students in Schools Act, and the Counseling Not Criminalization Act! Congress has the opportunity to pass three bills that together will put an end to harsh discipline; criminalization of; and the use of law enforcement against students with disabilities and students of color in schools. These bills, if enacted, will help transform schools to promote learning; allow students to form positive and trusting relationships with trained and knowledgeable adults; and encourage the use of evidence-based strategies to promote positive behavior. Students with disabilities and students of color deserve the opportunity to pursue their education free from the fear of trauma and abuse.

Employment and the Economy

Send a letter to increase the average starting wage in the behavioral health system to $18.00 per hour! When a Michigan resident experiences a mental illness or developmental disability, they should be able to hire the help they need to ensure their safety and wellbeing. But right now, they can’t. In today's tight labor market, it is difficult to find a Direct Care Worker, whether you are looking for care for yourself, a loved one, or hiring an employee for your agency. This leaves our state’s most vulnerable residents at risk. Michigan has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to address the long-standing direct care workforce crisis in a meaningful and sustained manner.

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ID: Photo of woman helping an elderly woman put on a shirt.

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ID: Transparent background, MICHIGAN DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES COUNCIL
ACTION CENTER in navy with outline of the state of Michigan.

Send a letter to urge Congress to pass a pair of bills adding Direct Support Professionals to the list of professions tracked and reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This would allow for states and other stakeholders to accurately examine changes such as wages, number of employees, medium age of the workers, etc. Join the Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council to advocate for this vital advancement for Direct Support Professionals and Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS).

Send a letter with The Arc urging Congress to Pass the SSI Savings Penalty Elimination Act! 

The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program provides critical support for millions of people with disabilities and their families to be able to afford necessities like food and rent. 

The SSI asset limits have not been raised since 1989. Currently, SSI recipients are only allowed to have $2,000 in assets ($3,000 for couples) before they become ineligible for SSI benefits. The bill would increase the current asset limits in the SSI program to $10,000 for individuals and $20,000 for couples. This would allow SSI recipients to save for emergencies and maintain their SSI benefits. The bill would also index the limits to inflation so they would be adjusted annually based on data from the Consumer Price Index.

Please contact your U.S. Senators and ask them to support people with disabilities and their families by co-sponsoring the bipartisan SSI Savings Penalty Elimination Act, which would raise SSI asset limits for the first time in over 30 years and significantly improve the lives of people with disabilities who receive SSI.

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ID: The Arc logo, an orange swoosh in the shape of an "A" and "The Arc" in black letters.

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ID: Transparent background, National Disability Rights Network in green and purple and six purple squares interlocked.

Send a letter with the National Disability Rights Network urging Congress to pass the Transformation to Competitive Integrated Employment Act, which phases out the discriminatory practice of paying people with disabilities less than the minimum wage. The bill also provides funding to support employers and states that move toward a business model that supports competitive, integrated employment for people with disabilities.People with disabilities deserve real jobs and fair pay in the workforce. Together, we can help bring an end to this blatant economic and social discrimination.

Send a letter with the National Disability Rights Network urging Congress to pass the Raise the Wage Act. This critical bill would not only raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, but would also phase out the harmful and discriminatory practice of paying individuals with disabilities a subminimum wage. People with disabilities deserve real pay for real work. Together, we can help bring an end to this blatant economic discrimination.

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ID: Transparent background, National Disability Rights Network in green and purple and six purple squares interlocked.

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ID: Transparent background, National Disability Rights Network in green and purple and six purple squares interlocked.

Send a letter with the National Disability Rights Network urging Congress to pass The Work Without Worry Act, which would allow Americans with disabilities to take on employment opportunities without fear of losing social security benefits, known as disabled adult child (DAC) benefits. This bill is estimated to better the material conditions and lives of nearly 6,000 individuals with disabilities over the next decade; individuals with disabilities will still have the important opportunity to explore employment opportunities without jeopardizing our financial security.

Government Agencies, Departments, Programs and Services

Send a letter to Michigan Lawmakers with CPAN. Current Auto No-Fault policy leaves those who became disabled from auto accidents without what they need to live in their communities. Tell MI Lawmakers to enact a meaningful, long-term solution for victims of auto accidents and their families.

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ID: Transparent background, CPAN in black letters, and stick figures of two adults on each side of a child.

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ID: Transparent background, National Disability Rights Network in green and purple and six purple squares interlocked.

Send a letter with the National Disability Rights Network urging Congress to pass the Disabled Access Credit Expansion Act! Currently, when a small business invests in expanding access for individuals with a disability, they are eligible for a maximum tax credit of $10,250 per year. Under the bill, the tax credit amount will double. Such a tax credit is an effective incentive to motivate small businesses to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and accommodate the accessibility needs of all customers with disabilities. The bill will also expand the definition of a small business” to include businesses with an annual income of up to $2.5 million. This expansion will enable more businesses to become accessible. Additionally, As COVID-19 has expedited the transition into the digital age, access to online businesses is of heightened importance. Recognizing this development, the bill will provide tax credits for increasing digital, internet, and telecommunication accommodations.

Healthcare

Send your letter! Join DDP and 15 Michigan disability organizations as we urge State of Michigan officials to release a statewide COVID-19 preparedness plan to protect people with disabilities by:

  • Increasing vaccine access

  • Creating concrete, easy-to-understand, and transparent metrics for mask mandates and vaccine requirements in public spaces, especially congregate settings

  • Passing laws or changing rules to prevent discriminatory healthcare rationing

  • Capturing disability-related COVID data

  • To read more about these disability community needs, click here.

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ID: Transparent background, Colorful icon, Detroit Disability Power in black and blue text

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ID: Transparent background, National Disability Rights Network in green and purple and six purple squares interlocked.

Sign this petition to oppose MI Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey's Senate Bills 597 & 598 with the Community Mental Health Association of Michigan (CMHA). This legislation would privatize all Medicaid mental health services by giving full financial control and oversight or decision-making to for-profit insurance companies.

Send a letter with The Arc demanding the US Senate fund Home and Community-Based Services! People with disabilities rely on home and community-based services (HCBS) for everyday things like employment supports, getting around the community, dressing, bathing, taking medication, and much more. But there isn’t enough money in the HCBS program to support everyone. 

Nearly 600,000 people are stuck on waiting lists and not getting the services they need. Direct care workers are underpaid, which leads to high turnover, critical staffing shortages, and compromised care for many people with disabilities. All too often, this means unpaid family caregivers are filling in the gaps of care. The Senate must take the next step to fund this critical investment for people with disabilities across the country.

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ID: The Arc logo, an orange swoosh in the shape of an "A" and "The Arc" in black letters.

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ID: NNU logo. Left side of image features lifeline design in white and red. Text at right reads "National Nurses United" in gray letters on white background

Sign the petition with National Nurses United! Health care is a human right, and no one should go bankrupt or die because they can’t afford it. Medicare for All legislation has just been reintroduced to the Senate by Senator Bernie Sanders. Medicare for All is supported by the vast majority of Americans -- the time to pass it is NOW. The COVID pandemic has exposed the failures of linking health insurance to employment. We cannot afford to wait any longer to establish health care as a basic right for all.

Sign the petition with ITEM (Independence Through Enhancement of Medicare and Medicaid Coalition) to get Medicare to cover seat elevation and standing systems in power wheelchairs. ​​Currently, Medicare beneficiaries with mobility impairments are forced to go without medically necessary wheelchair technology if they are not able to afford the costs out of pocket. The Medicare program is currently reviewing a request to provide coverage for these critical systems, known as a "National Coverage Determination" or "NCD Request."

If successful, Medicare will recognize for the first time that these systems are "primarily medical in nature," and, therefore, covered durable medical equipment benefits - not convenience or luxury items for wheelchair users. These systems help wheelchair users carry out important daily activities more independently, such as cooking, eating, and toileting. They also provide numerous health benefits, such as decreased risk of falls or injuries when moving in and out of wheelchairs, improved heart and lung functions, increased bone strength, and improved joint mobility, bladder function, and muscle strength. For more information and to find out how you can help further this cause, please visit www.rise4access.org.

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ID: logo features a blue circle with white text reading "ITEM" next to blue text on white background that reads "Independence Through Enhancement of Medicare and Medicaid Coalition"

Housing

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ID: Transparent background, National Disability Rights Network in green and purple and six purple squares interlocked.

Send a letter with the National Disability Rights Network urging Congress to pass The Housing is Infrastructure Act. The bill will inject 600 billion dollars into accessible and affordable housing projects across the country, so that people with disabilities can remain in our communities.

It also allows for the creation of grant programs that can be used to help people with existing homes and older buildings make improvements to their dwellings and buildings to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations and other applicable standards so all people can access them.

Mobility and Transportation

Send a letter with the National Disability Rights Network urging Congress to pass the Ending Passenger Rail Forced Arbitration Act!

Background

Following two prominent crashes in 2015 and 2017, Amtrak faced multiple lawsuits and paid out over $60 million in settlements. In 2019, Amtrak instituted an arbitration clause that limits passengers’ legal recourse only to arbitration. This policy safeguards Amtrak by prohibiting passengers from filing lawsuits in response to “gross negligence, physical impairment, pain and suffering, and mental anguish”. In addition, forced arbitration institutes high fees and long timelines that disincentive passengers from filing claims.

The Ending Passenger Rail Forced Arbitration Act will restore passengers their full legal rights by eliminating the forced arbitration clause. This policy is especially important to people with disabilities because Amtrak has over 78 inaccessible stations that obstruct the right to travel.) The elimination of the arbitration clause will enable people with disabilities to hold Amtrak accountable for safety, discrimination, and ADA violations.

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ID: Transparent background, National Disability Rights Network in green and purple and six purple squares interlocked.

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ID: Transparent background, National Disability Rights Network in green and purple and six purple squares interlocked.

Send a letter with the National Disability Rights Network urging Congress to pass the Air Carrier Access Amendments Act. The original Air Carrier Access Act made great strides in allowing people with disabilities to access air travel. However, even after thirty-five years, numerous barriers to air travel remain.

The Air Carrier Access Amendments Act would require new aircrafts to be fully accessible for travelers with disabilities. This will be carried-out by a set of standards for all aircrafts. Aircrafts that are currently in use must make changes to allow for access as long as those changes are readily achievable, easily accomplishable, and may be done without much difficulty or expense. These changes will enable passengers with disabilities to safely board the plane, use plane lavatories, stow assistive devices, and receive audio announcements visually.

Finally, the bill will strengthen administrative and legal recourse for travelers who experience discrimination. The bill calls for a private right of action and a stronger involvement with the Department of Justice in administrative procedures.

Send a letter with the National Disability Rights Network urging Congress to pass the Ending Passenger Rail Forced Arbitration Act!

Background

Following two prominent crashes in 2015 and 2017, Amtrak faced multiple lawsuits and paid out over $60 million in settlements. In 2019, Amtrak instituted an arbitration clause that limits passengers’ legal recourse only to arbitration. This policy safeguards Amtrak by prohibiting passengers from filing lawsuits in response to “gross negligence, physical impairment, pain and suffering, and mental anguish”. In addition, forced arbitration institutes high fees and long timelines that disincentive passengers from filing claims.

The Ending Passenger Rail Forced Arbitration Act will restore passengers their full legal rights by eliminating the forced arbitration clause. This policy is especially important to people with disabilities because Amtrak has over 78 inaccessible stations that obstruct the right to travel.) The elimination of the arbitration clause will enable people with disabilities to hold Amtrak accountable for safety, discrimination, and ADA violations.

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ID: Transparent background, National Disability Rights Network in green and purple and six purple squares interlocked.

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ID: Transparent background, National Disability Rights Network in green and purple and six purple squares interlocked.

Send a letter with the National Disability Rights Network urging Congress to pass the Air Carrier Access Amendments Act. The original Air Carrier Access Act made great strides in allowing people with disabilities to access air travel. However, even after thirty-five years, numerous barriers to air travel remain.

The Air Carrier Access Amendments Act would require new aircrafts to be fully accessible for travelers with disabilities. This will be carried-out by a set of standards for all aircrafts. Aircrafts that are currently in use must make changes to allow for access as long as those changes are readily achievable, easily accomplishable, and may be done without much difficulty or expense. These changes will enable passengers with disabilities to safely board the plane, use plane lavatories, stow assistive devices, and receive audio announcements visually.

Finally, the bill will strengthen administrative and legal recourse for travelers who experience discrimination. The bill calls for a private right of action and a stronger involvement with the Department of Justice in administrative procedures.

Send a letter with the National Disability Rights Network urging Congress to pass the Intercity Passenger Rail Trust Fund Act, which ensures the continuity of safe, sustainable, and convenient transportation by creating a stable funding source for Amtrak. Currently, Amtrak's budget is appropriated on a discretionary, annual basis. This leaves Amtrak unsure of what funding it may have in the future for ongoing projects and maintenance. The Intercity Passenger Rail Trust Fund Act will establish a fund to assist Amtrak with stable funding to make long-needed updates, which in turn will help passengers with disabilities by allowing Amtrak to address critical accessibility needs at stations and on trains. People with disabilities depend on Amtrak.

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ID: Transparent background, National Disability Rights Network in green and purple and six purple squares interlocked.

Voting Rights and Access

Climate and the Environment

Sign Detroit Hamtramck Coalition for Advancing Healthy Environments’ petition to tell the City of Detroit to create a Host Community Agreement (HCA) between the City of Detroit and U.S. Ecology Detroit South to protect residents. An HCA is a legal agreement between the City and a polluting facility that establishes specific community guidelines and regulations that are tailored to the needs of the community. HCAs have been used successfully across the county since the 1990s to lift up the voices of impacted communities. 

We are planting a vegetative buffer between us and the hazardous waste facility in an effort to keep our air clean. But, U.S. Ecology should be doing the work to protect the neighborhood from their odors and pollution. 

Help protect the air we breathe. Tell the City of Detroit to create a host community agreement with U.S. Ecology.

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ID: Detroit Hamtramck Coalition for Advancing Healthy Environments logo. Gray background with dark green text and graphics. Text reads "Detroit Hamtramck Coalition for Advancing Healthy Environments," with a roof and leaves above.

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Send a letter with the National Disability Rights Network urging Congress to pass the Disaster Relief Medicaid Act to ensure individuals with disabilities who are forced to move out of state because of disasters are able to keep their critical Medicaid services.

ID: Transparent background, National Disability Rights Network in green and purple and six purple squares interlocked.

Send a letter with the National Disability Rights Network urging Congress to pass the REAADI Act to protect the health, safety and independence of people with disabilities during a disaster. The Real Emergency Access for Aging and Disability Inclusion for Disasters (REAADI) Act provides solutions to accommodate persons with disabilities during the ever-increasing number of natural disasters in the United States. The bill will enable persons to maintain their health, safety, and independence before, during, and after disasters.

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ID: Transparent background, National Disability Rights Network in green and purple and six purple squares interlocked.

Technology

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ID: Transparent background, National Disability Rights Network in green and purple and six purple squares interlocked.

Send a letter with the National Disability Rights Network urging Congress NOT to pass the Online Accessibility Act (OAA), which would amend the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to include website and mobile application accessibility guidelines. The bill amendment would establish accessibility standards for such platforms that are operated by a private owner and are consumer facing sites. However, one significant exception would be created for small businesses that utilize online platforms. A user with a disability would be required to notify the business of the inaccessibility of the website. In turn, the company would then have ninety days to remedy the problem. If the accessibility problem was then not fixed, the user would then have the right to file a complaint with the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Two significant problems exist with this legislation. 

  1. A specific amendment to the ADA to require the accessibility of websites is not necessary. The DOJ, on more than one occasion, has stated that website accessibility falls under the parameters of the ADA. Federal courts have even required respondents to apply currently existing standards in rulings. An amendment to the law simply is not necessary.

  2. A policy that puts the onus of reporting the violation on the person who experiences the inaccessibility is inappropriate. The law has been in effect since 1990, so website or mobile app developers must know that they must fulfill several accessibility requirements. The requirements have existed for over thirty years, extra time to comply is not needed. Additionally, there are numerous situations where a person simply cannot wait ninety days to use a website or mobile app.