We Are Essential Campaign

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Check out each weeks sample tweets and video prompts:

Week 4/6: Home and Community-Based Services

Week: 4/13: Paid Family Medical Leave

COVID-19 has revealed major disparities throughout the healthcare system in the United States, things we have known for a long time. We know people with ME face unique challenges, vulnerabilities, stigma and neglect from government, healthcare providers, and society as a whole. There are also a lot of challenges from Covid-19 that are shared across other people with a range of diseases and disabilities.

This is an opportunity for us to organize together for our shared needs and show up for each other. For this reason, #MEAction is going to embark on a four week campaign, #WeAreEssential, demanding Congress to recognize that the disability/chronic illness community is ESSENTIAL and must be included in the next Covid-19 packages. This campaign was launched by Center for American Progress, American Association for People for Disabilities, Little Lobbyists, The Arc of the United States, Autisitic Self Advocacy Network, Center for Public Representation, Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies and Matthew Cortland, Esq.

#MEAction is excited to share this campaign and join among these amazing organizations that work tirelessly to support the disability community. Congress is on recess until April 20, and when they return they will be working on drafting the next COVID-19 relief package. The number of ways that COVID 19 impacts our lives is overwhelming. This campaign will focus on a different topic each week. Here is the outline of the four areas of focus:

This image lists the focus for each week, which is repeated below.

04/06: Home and Community Based Services-Funding for a Medicaid HCBS grant Program to support access to home and community-based services (to combat institutionalization) and to support the DSP, home health and personal care attendant workforce. Congress should pass the Coronavirus Relief for Seniors and People with Disabilities Act.04/13: Paid leave for caregivers. As more people with disabilities lose their usual sources of care, family caregivers are scrambling and need access to paid leave and sick days to help their loved ones. Congress should include all family caregivers in the emergency paid leave provisions.

04/20: Making Sure people on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to access Recovery Rebates. People with disabilities on SSI are being asked to file needless paperwork in order to access economic stimulus payments. Congress should tell Federal agencies to use their existing authority to share data and file for people on SSI

04/27: Access to personal medications and supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) for direct support professionals and for people with disabilities.These are critical needs to keep people with disabilities safe and healthy, and protect the health and safety of this workforce.

What You Can Do  Congress needs to hear from you. They need to know why these issues are important and why people with chronic illness/disabilities should NOT be left behind in the next relief package. People with chronic illness/disabilities are not disposable. We are essential, as are those who support us, and Congress needs to understand that. People with ME stories are important and need to be added to this conversation.

Check out this week’s templates NOW When sharing your videos or tweeting, make sure to tag @MEActNet, #WeAreEssential and your members of Congress.

Twitter: Tweet your representatives. If you aren’t sure how to find your Congressperson, this tool will help.

Video: You may also want to record and post video on your cell phone.

Write your Representative: If you don’t know what to say or how to contact them, you can use this great tool here that does all the work for you. Each week #MEAction will post sample tweets and video prompts for you to use to help tell your story!

 

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