Policy Updates

The American Association on Health and Disability plays an important role in disability policy and advocacy at the national level. AAHD strives to ensure that the needs of people with disabilities receive attention and respect on the national legislative agenda. AAHD is involved in numerous disability coalitions and networks that address the needs of people with disabilities. Please visit the Policy site to learn more about our activities in this area. AAHD staff maintain an active role in Washington, DC to ensure that health promotion and wellness for people with disabilities is on the disability and healthcare agenda. AAHD staff have positions on the APHA, Disability Section, Executive Council; the CDC, NCBDDD, Executive Committee; Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities-CCD and serve on the National Health Council; Coalition for Health Funding; Disability Rehabilitation and Research Coaltion; Coalition for Whole Health, Patient Care Primary Care Collaborative; and other coalitions advocating for policy that works towards reducing health disparities between people with disabilities and the general population and reducing the incidence of secondary conditions in children and adults with disabilities.

COVID-19: Congress Begins Consideration of a 4th Legislative Package – Aging and Disability Recommendations

The Disability and Aging Collaboration (DAC) co-chairs have submitted recommendations to Congress for a 4th COVID-19 legislative package. AAHD is a DAC member. The April 2 DAC letter is here: PDF.

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The NIH Strategic Plan – Disability and Rehabilitation Research

The Disability and Rehabilitation Research Coalition (DRRC) has submitted comments to/on the NIH strategic plan framework. AAHD is a DRRC member

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COVID-19: Advocating a Federal Plan and Resource Center on Health and Older Adults

AAHD has joined the Trust for America’s Health requesting the federal government develop a plan and resource center addressing the health of older adults in the context of COVID-19. The March 27 letter to the White House Task Force and Congressional leaders is here: PDF.

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Funding the ACL Falls Prevention Program

AAHD has joined the National Council on Aging led effort requesting Congress to continue to adequately fund the ACL falls prevention program; the March 30 letter is here: PDF.

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COVID-19: Civil Rights and Avoiding Discrimination

Available here is the March 28 HHS Office of Civil Rights bulletin: PDF.

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COVID-19: Using the Defense Production Act To Increase Personal Protective Equipment and Medical Supplies

AAHD has joined 88 disability and health organizations, led by the Assistive Technology Law Center, endorsing calls by leading health professional and provider associations, asking the President to immediately use the Defense Production Act. The March 28 letter and press statement are here: PDF.

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Improving Coordination of Substance Use Disorder-Physical Health Through the COVID-19 Legislation

The Partnership To Amend 42 CFR Part 2, that AAHD belongs to, has issued a statement commending Congress for improving coordination of SUD & physical health medical records in the 3rd COVID-19 legislative package. The March 27 statement is here: PDF.

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Promoting Accessible and Available Transportation for Persons with Disabilities During the COVID-19 Crisis

The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) Task Force on Transportation has sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation; the March 24 letter is available here: PDF.

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Lifting Restrictions on Tele-Behavioral Health During the COVID-19 Crisis

AAHD has joined the Mental Health Liaison Group (MHLG) in requesting the US Congress, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and each state and territorial governor and insurance commissioner to temporarily lift restrictions on tele-behavioral health. The March 25 MHLG letters are here: NAIC; House and Senate

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Protecting Against Disability Discrimination on the COVID-19 Response – 5 US senators, 27 House Members – Bipartisan

Led by U.S. Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Jim Langevin (D-RI), 5 US Senators and 27 House members have written HHS and DOJ requesting affirmative actions to prevent disability discrimination in any medical rationing decisions responding to COVID-19. The March 25 letter is here: PDF.  

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