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Advancing rights and enhancing lives of people with disabilities

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Mission and position statements

Mission Statement
On national, state, and local levels, the Council for Disability Rights advances the rights of people with disabilities. The Council promotes public policy and legislation, public awareness through education, and provides information and referral services.

Position Statements
The Council for Disability Rights believes . . .

  • that regardless of their disability, people should be encouraged and accommodated to live independently and to participate fully in community life;
  • that the independent living movement must be led and defined by disabled people and their families on their own behalf; and
  • that both understanding and enforcement of disability rights are required to remove barriers that still remain in the community.

Based on these beliefs, the Council has adopted the following positions which will be reviewed periodically.

Assisted suicide. The Council for Disability Rights opposes the legalization of assisted suicide. We believe that the interests of the few people who would benefit from legalizing physician-assisted suicide are outweighed by the danger that the law could be misapplied to prematurely end the lives of people with disabilities.

Attendant care services. The Council supports the provision of attendant care services to provide options for people with disabilities in determining their lifestyle and their involvement in the activities of their community. The provision of attendant care services is vital: it promotes community living as opposed to institutionalization. Attendant care services are defined as "any action to assist a person with a mental and/or physical disability in accomplishing activities of daily living (personal care services), instrumental daily living (household services, cognitive services, mobility services), and health-related tasks." (Medicaid Community Attendant Services Act [MiCASA], HR 2020).

Employment. Employers and people with disabilities bear equal responsibility for incorporating people with disabilities into the workforce. People with disabilities and disability service providers must be better equipped to give employers/ potential employers information and resources to facilitate workplace accommodation. Employers must be better informed about the ability of people with disabilities to perform specific jobs and to become assets to their organizations.

Health Insurance. We support in principle a health insurance consumer bill of rights. We oppose discrimination against people with disabilities, including chronic illness or potential health problems, in obtaining health insurance and medical care. Everyone should have access to basic health care. Steps should be taken in a private/public partnership to drastically reduce the number of uninsured people in this country. Benefit structures should be altered to enable people to go to work without losing Medicaid benefits or having unduly burdensome Medicaid spend-downs.

Housing. All people have the right to affordable, accessible housing which facilitates their needs for living as independently as possible. These needs include being able to get to and from home with packages, prepare and serve meals, bathe and perform sanitary functions, sleep, recreate, and have the freedom and flexibility to make choices about how and where they live.

Inclusion. No person should be deprived of opportunities to achieve his/her maximum potential. A truly inclusive society is one which advocates for each individual to live and grow in an environment — physical, economic, social — which will allow him/her to achieve his/her maximum potential.

Transportation. People with disabilities should have full and equal access to all public transportation services. Door to door and other forms of publicly supported transportation services should be provided. Transportation services and facilities must be designed to accommodate all users, regardless of disability.

WRITE We welcome your comments and reactions.


Council for Disability Rights

Knowing your rights is the easy part. Exercising them can be a bit trickier.

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