Disability Integration Act of 2015 (S.2427)

Background:

People with disabilities who require Long Term Services and Support (LTSS) are consistently being forced into institutions where their independence becomes severely restricted rather than being given the option to utilize independent community options as an alternative.

The Disability Integration Act aims to prevent states, local governments, and insurance providers who provide LTSS from placing individuals with disabilities in institutions and denying them access to community-based services. Regardless of whether or not the individual requires LTSS, they must be given the option of utilizing community services that would allow them to live independently and integrated in the community.

The Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services is set to regulate states, governments, and insurance companies to ensure they are providing fair and equal access to community services in an integrated and non-disability specific setting. This would assure that these resources are adequately available to meet the desired need and accessible to the disability community.

 

Status:

This bill was introduced to Congress in December 2015 by Charles “Chuck” Schumer (D-NY) and sent to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. No decision has been made and the bill is still being reviewed by the committee.

 

Key Terms:

Long Term Service and Support – Level of care the requires assistance with everyday tasks such as getting out of bed, getting dressed, fixing meals, and managing chores.

Institutions – Federally funded residential facilities that assume full time care. Many institutions have different Medicaid eligibility requirements and may limit the types of services an individual may be able to receive.

Community Services – Offered through consumers and advocates to provide different levels of person-centered care. Programs are uniquely designed to meet the individual’s needs and give them as much freedom as they want.

 

Supporting Organizations:
ADAPT
ADAPT of Brazoria County
Advance CLASS
Alpha One
American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)
Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL)
Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD)
Autism Women’s Network
Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN)
Disability Rights Education & Defense Funds (DREDF)
Little People of America
Medicare Rights Center (MRC)
National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA)
National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery
National Council on Aging (NCOA)
National Council on Independent Living (NCIL)
National Disability Leadership Alliance (NDLA)
National Down Syndrome Congress
National Organization of Nurses with Disabilities (NOND)
Not Dead Yet (NDY)
Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI)
Parent to Parent USA
Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
TASH
The ADA Legacy Project
The Community Consortium
The Congress of Disabled Persons Against Exploitation
Transverse Myelitis Association
United Spinal Association

 

Cosponsors:
Senate
Bennet, Michael (D-CO)
Casey, Robert (D-PA)
Gillibrand, Kristen (D-NY)
Leahy, Patrick (D-VT)
Markey, Edward (D-MA)
Sanders, Bernard (I-VT)
Warren, Elizabeth (D-MA)