Annual Appeal

The right to live full and meaningful lives.
The right to fully participate in the community.
The right to decide where to live…where to work…how to spend one’s day – and with whom.

Access to affordable health care and community-based services to make these rights a reality.

Dear Friend,

With your support over the last four decades, the Center for Public Representation has worked hard to protect and enforce these rights for individuals with disabilities.  But now these rights are under attack.

We have spent the past year fighting Congress’ attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and drastically cut Medicaid.  These cuts would put at risk the lives and liberty of the millions of people with disabilities who depend on Medicaid for critical services like personal care assistance, specialized therapies, nursing services, employment supports, and supports for independent living.  They would also hamstring CPR’s groundbreaking systemic reform initiatives – which have given thousands of people previously institutionalized opportunities to live in the community and work in competitive integrated employment using Medicaid funding.

This year we have also advocated against federal agencies’ attempts to revisit policies and priorities around community integration, employment of people with disabilities, and inclusion of students with disabilities.  Given these changing priorities, it is now up to CPR and our advocacy partners to protect and advance in court the legal precedent around the right to community integration.

CPR needs your help more than ever. Please donate today.

With your support, CPR will continue to mobilize the disability community against Medicaid reductions – by budget or by repeal, and continue to educate people, including members of Congress about the impacts of proposed cuts and caps.  CPR will continue to advocate for work opportunities for people with disabilities, and to collaborate with state-based disability stakeholders to effectively implement the Home and Community-Based Services settings rule to ensure people receive individualized services in the most integrated settings.  We will promote self-determination through an expansion of our successful supported decision-making project.

The constant attacks on the rights of people with disabilities are requiring more resources and more experienced staff.  With your support, CPR can continue to fight these harmful attacks and pursue systemic reform initiatives that address the lack of community-based services and the segregation of adults and children with disabilities.

CPR will continue to use the law to vindicate the civil rights of people with disabilities who are institutionalized and segregated.  For example, CPR is challenging the State of Texas, which segregates 4,000 people with disabilities – including individuals in their 20s and 30s – in nursing facilities where they are denied federally-mandated specialized services and active treatment.

CPR is litigating a similar case in Ohio, which has one of the largest institutional footprints in the nation, as more than 7,000 people languish in institutions and spend their days in segregated day programs or sheltered workshops.  CPR will oversee implementation of its 2015 landmark settlement agreement that requires the State of Oregon to end admissions to sheltered workshops in favor of real jobs with real wages for individuals with disabilities.

Please help us move forward on our legal challenges in both Springfield, Massachusetts and Georgia on behalf of children with behavioral needs who are segregated in separate classrooms, often in separate schools, where they receive inadequate supports and inferior academic instruction.

Your support will also allow us to continue to lead to the fight to save Medicaid.  We have spent nearly every day over the last eight months educating members of Congress and the public about how cuts to Medicaid will gravely harm people with disabilities and their families.  More than 22,000 people have visited our new website (www.protectourmedicaid.org), which has become the hub for disseminating information to the disability community and beyond about the impacts of federal legislation on critical services to people with disabilities.  We know the fight is far from over, and we need your help to keep it up.  CPR will not walk away from cases, class members, or citizens with disabilities whose very lives are threatened by Congressional action. But we cannot do it alone: we need your support.

Thanks to you, CPR has a long history as a staunch defender of disability rights.  Together we will continue to challenge any attacks on the rights of people with disabilities and the vital services on which they rely and to fight for meaningful reforms that protect and enforce the hard-won rights of individuals with disabilities to equality, integration and self-determination.

 

Signature of Cathy CostanzoWith sincere gratitude,

 

 

Cathy E. Costanzo

                                                                                     Executive Director

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