As we celebrate 25 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the United States legislature (as well as legislatures at the state level) are moving to disembowel the heart of the ADA. The whole point was so that people with disabilities have access to their work, school, community environments and therefore, become citizens who actively participate in the kinds of lives they want to lead, like go to school, get a real job… and not just lie around all day. Take a look at this video which introduces what complex rehabilitation technology (CRT) is, and why it’s important to real people who use it.
Complex Rehabilitation Technology includes customized power and manual wheelchairs, and other customized positional support systems which may be required in a bed or shower chair. As you can see in the video, these items are very important to a few medically complex disabled individuals, but it literally means the world to them.
You can act right now by contacting your legislative representatives and asking them to act on the following: H.R. 3229 (to protect access to complex wheelchair accessories such as head and leg rests via asking your Representative to co-sponsor the bill) and H.R. 1516/S. 1013 (to distinguish CRT from non-customized durable medical equipment (DME) and therefore provide different policies and standards for its use via requesting both your Representative and Senators to sign onto this legislation.) Click the first link to find out who your Congresspersons are and how to contact them. Or if you want to make it really easy, click the other 2 links to get a pre-fab e-mail sent for you. You don’t even have to think up what to say! (That’s what I did and it literally took 3 minutes.) You can also make a phone call. (The info on how to do that is also on those links) and then you can also send these requests to your Congress people via social media to keep them accountable to the masses!
Go to Access2CRT.org for more information on this issue and to find state level fights going on as well. The State of Texas just reduced Medicaid therapy service funding… again, despite a valiant fight from Texas’ therapists and parents of disabled children. Ugh.
Although it doesn’t fall under CRT, the US legislature is also attempting to cut funds to Medicare recipients of prosthetic limbs. That’s just rude. I mean, those are literally their legs their taking away! Please sign this petition and let your US legislature know that you’d like to keep amputees as productive members of society.