ACTION: Resist attack on the disability community

by betteridaho

An Idaho organization which provides vital support for Idahoans with intellectual and developmental disabilities is under attack by the Trump administration. Your help is needed to save the Idaho Council on Developmental Disabilities (ICDD), and similar organizations nationwide. The administration is only accepting public comment for a very narrow window of time: through Friday, August 11.

Here’s the breakdown: the Trump administration is considering a proposal called Partnerships for Innovation, Inclusion, and Independence, or P3I. What this proposal would do is eliminate developmental disability councils, state independent living councils, and traumatic brain injury programs. All of these important programs would be replaced by a single state grant program, P3I, and $57 million would be cut from the combined budget. We can only speculate where that money would go (tax cuts for the wealthy? funding Trump’s border wall?).

Undoing the infrastructure and accountability of existing developmental disability councils like ICDD would compromise the opportunities of people with developmental and intellectual disabilities to advocate for and participate in projects that provide direct, proven improvement to their quality of life. Developmental disability councils like ICDD are required to support self-advocacy–meaning they facilitate training and leadership opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families, encouraging and supporting engagement in public policy discussions. These councils are also deeply involved in educating policymakers at the local, state, and federal levels about how best to improve the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. You can learn more about ICDD at their website, www.icdd.idaho.gov.

ACTION: before Friday, August 11, submit a public comment to the Administration on Community Living (part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). Ask them to slow this process down; those who depend upon these programs deserve more time than a week to be able to submit comments. Tell them that these programs matter, and the lives of real people are impacted by them.

Send your comments to this email address: P3I-comments@acl.hhs.gov. Additionally, please send your comments to the executive director of ICDD here: Christine.Pisani@icdd.Idaho.gov.

Submitting a public comment may seem like a small thing, but we know that it has an impact. Just a few weeks ago Idaho’s Craters of the Moon National Monument was taken off of a list of national monuments under review for possible changes, because Idahoans submitted public comments making it clear that we value the monument and want it to remain protected. Let’s mobilize again to protect these important resources for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.

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