The Disability Integration Act (DIA) is civil rights legislation, introduced by Senator Schumer to address the fundamental issue that people who need Long Term Services and Supports (LTSS) are forced into institutions and losing their basic civil rights. The legislation (S.2427) builds on the 25 years of work that ADAPT has done to end the institutional bias and provide seniors and people with disabilities home and community-based services (HCBS) as an alternative to institutionalization. It is the next step in our national advocacy after securing the Community First Choice (CFC) option.
The proposed Disability Integration Act (DIA) legislation says “No public entity or LTSS insurance provider shall deny an individual with an LTSS disability who is eligible for institutional placement... community-based long-term services and supports that enable the individual to live in the community and lead an independent life.” The DIA would make it illegal for a state and insurance providers that pay for LTSS to fail to provide HCBS by using waiting lists, screening people out, capping services, paying workers too little for services, or the other excuses which states have used to keep people from living in freedom. DIA would require each state to offer community-based services and supports to any individual who is eligible to go into an institution. It would also require states to take active steps to make sure that there is enough accordable, accessible, and integrated housing. Finally, the legislation would include new enforcement mechanisms to assure that states comply with it when it becomes law.
Action: Thank Senator Charles Schumer (1-202-224-6542) and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (1-202-224-4451) for their support of this civil rights legislation.