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ACT NOW: Tell Congress we need HCBS funding in the next COVID-19 relief bill!

Join us in a disability community day of action today to encourage your members of Congress to include dedicated funding for home and community-based services (HCBS) in the next COVID relief bill! The budget reconciliation bill the House is working on does include this important funding, but we need to make sure that funding remains in the final bill.

The disability community has been fighting for additional HCBS funding since the start of the pandemic. HCBS funding is urgently needed to help disabled people and older adults live safely in their homes rather than being forced into nursing homes and other congregate settings where COVID-19 is rampant.

There has been pressure to remove this much needed funding from the bill, so we need to urge members of Congress support HCBS funding and work to ensure it stays in the bill.

Please take a moment now to contact your members of Congress! It's important that they hear from us about why this funding matters! You can also find more information about contacting your members of Congress, including an email and call script and sample tweets, on our advocacy page.

You can find more information on passed and proposed COVID-19 bills on our legislation page. For more on HCBS and why dedicated HCBS funding is so important to the fight against COVID-19, check out our HCBS COVID-19 fact sheet.

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The Colorado Developmental Disabilities Council urges the Governor to include people with intellectual and developmental disabilities as an explicit high-risk medical condition, prioritized within Phase 1B. To view the Case for Prioritizing Coloradoans with IDD for the COVID-19 Vaccine click here.

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Prioritize people with intellectual and developmental disabilities NOW to receive the COVID-19 vaccine!

People with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) should be immediately prioritized within Phase 1B of Colorado's COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan AND a person's physician should be able to individually provide the vaccine to a person under their care on the basis of medical judgement of a person's vulnerability to severe illness and/or death from COVID-19 infection. Please find complete details and action steps here

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COVID-19 Vaccination Plan

The Colorado Developmental Disabilities Council believes that Colorado's COVID-19 vaccination plan should prioritize people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).  The Council submitted a letter to Governor Polis, Lieutenant Governor Primavera, and the Governor's Expert Emergency Epidemic Response Committee on December 22nd.  Twenty-five disability advocacy groups from across Colorado joined the Council in explaining that people with IDD and other disabilities should be prioritized due to the higher mortality rate found for these individuals following COVID-19 infection. The letter can be found here.

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The Colorado DD Council is asking you to advise, inform and educate your Congressional senators on the need to include the interests of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) within the COVID-19 legislation currently being considered.  Our interests include:

 1. Dedicated Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) funding.  This is the source for funding for Colorado's IDD service system.

 2. Adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) for direct support professionals (who provide services to Colorado citizens with IDD).

 3. Paid leave for caregivers, including family caregivers.

 4. Economic impact payments for all people with disabilities.

 Our friends at the Arc of the US have a super-easy to use tool to get this information to Senators Bennet and Gardner, which can be found here.

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 ABLE and Employment Report

The Council is excited to share a recent report authored by NACDD-ITACC on ABLE and Employment. This report is a deep dive into how DD Councils across the nation are supporting and leading efforts to engage people with I/DD and their families to utilize ABLE accounts and how we are working to improve and expand employment opportunities and outcomes for meaningful, competitive employment.

 

Please feel free to share with your networks!