Tag Archives: AAPD

Stimulus package

AAPD is calling for people to write their congresspeople in support of keeping funding for independent living centers in the stimulus package.

Here’s what I wrote:

Dear Senator/Representative,

I am writing to you to express my support for the Independent Living provisions in the proposed economic stimulus package.

These provisions will create thousands of jobs for caregivers. Creating caregiving jobs is particularly important because these jobs are most often taken by women. While I support greater efforts to encourage women to take jobs traditionally occupied by men, it is nevertheless important to acknowledge that the other, more construction-related jobs created by the stimulus package will primarily primarily benefit men, leaving women’s unemployment relatively unaffected. Women, particularly mothers, suffer disproportionately from economic distress and will need jobs too.

Second, Independent Living Centers will improve the standard of living for America’s disabled population. Not only will they help help many people with disabilities reenter the work force, but also they will enable many family members of people with disabilities return to work, as they will no longer be forced to stay at home with loved ones who need full-time care.

Finally, Centers for Independent Living save state budgets hundreds of millions of dollars a year by helping people stay out of institutions and in the community.

Thank you for your attention, and I hope that a satisfactory stimulus bill can be passed as soon as possible.

Speaking of independent living and the AAPD blog, there’s also a good article here on Hillary Clinton’s approach to disability rights as part of US foreign policy. Clinton compares her approach to disability rights as part of foreign policy to her feelings on women’s rights, “not as an afterthought, not as an adjunct, but in recognition of the fact that we know from a myriad of studies and research that the role of women is directly related to democracy and human rights.”

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Economic stimulus and people with disabilities

AAPD’s JFActivist blog has posted a set of suggestions for making the stimulus package more stimulating for people with disabilities, which cites and builds on truthout.org’s more general list.

Obama and Biden have warned that there should be no earmarks in the stimulus package, but when the economy is made up of diverse people with diverse economic needs, what will be considered an “earmark”? Some of AAPD’s members’ suggestions, like “fund a massive nationwide disability awareness campaign,” may well be seen as interest-group jockeying for earmarks, but others, like “build accessible housing to put the housing industry back to work,” have more direct economy-stimulating applications. Will politicians take the “no earmarks” message and avoid all programs that are aimed at helping distinct minority groups, thus “stimulating” only those with “mainstream” economic needs and behaviors? How can we effectively stimulate the economy while leaving minority groups, such as people with disabilities behind (especially given the sheer number of people in the US who either have a disability or are caring for someone with a disability)?

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