DISABILITY INTEGRATION ACT
Thanks Senator Schumer!
The Disability Integration Act (DIA)
has been INTRODUCED!
On December 18, 2015, a day that will live in the pages of disability civil rights history, saw Senator Schumer (D-NY) introducing the Disability Integration Act! This legislation (S.2427) is intended to assure that people with disabilities can live in the community rather than be forced into nursing facilities and other institutions.
This ground-breaking legislation establishes statutory civil rights language - comparable to the ADA - which requires public entities and Long Term Service and Supports insurance providers to change their policies, provide community-based services first, and offer HCBS to people currently in institutions.
You have questions? The OLMSTEAD NETWORK MISSIONS and ADAPT have the answers. Here is everything you need to understand the legislation and advocate to FREE OUR PEOPLE from institutions!
The Disability Integration Act (DIA) is civil rights legislation, introduced by Senator Schumer to address the fundamental issue that people who need Long Term Services and Supports (LTSS) are forced into institutions and losing their basic civil rights. The legislation (S.2427) builds on the 25 years of work that ADAPT has done to end the institutional bias and provide seniors and people with disabilities home and community-based services (HCBS) as an alternative to institutionalization. It is the next step in our national advocacy after securing the Community First Choice (CFC) option.
The legislation, when enacted, establishes new federal law - similar in structure to the ADA - that requires states and insurance providers that pay for LTSS to change their policies, provide community-based services first, and offer HCBS to people currently in institutions. DIA operates alongside CFC, but these two laws work very differently. CFC is an option which states can choose. Even though CFC provides money for states to support
The proposed legislation establishes new federal law - structured like the ADA - that says “No public entity or LTSS insurance provider shall deny an individual with an LTSS disability who is eligible for institutional placement, or otherwise discriminate against that individual in the provision of, community-based long-term services and supports that enable the individual to live in the community and lead an independent life.”
DIA makes it illegal for a state and insurance providers that pay for LTSS to fail to provide HCBS by using waiting lists, screening people out, capping services, paying workers too little for services, or the other excuses that have been used to keep people with disabilities from living in freedom. DIA requires each state to offer community-based services and supports to any individual who is eligible to go into an institution. It also requires states to take active steps to make sure that there is enough affordable, accessible, integrated housing.
The legislation requires states and LTSS insurance providers to
1. Public Entities and Insurance Providers that Pay for LTSS Cannot Discriminate Against People With Disabilities When Providing HCBS
· Public entities and insurance providers that pay for LTSS cannot use eligibility criteria that prevent an individual or class of individuals from receiving HCBS;
· Public entities and insurance providers that pay for LTSS cannot limit the availability of services to individuals who need such services based on cost or service caps;
· Public entities and insurance providers that pay for LTSS cannot refuse to pay for a specific service needed by an individual or class of individuals and must also provide services and supports that are needed on an intermittent, short-term or emergent basis;
· Eligible individuals must be provided with services in a HCBS without unnecessary delay or restriction of services;
· Public entities and insurance providers that pay for LTSS cannot require people to use informal supports;
· Public entities and
· Public entities and insurance providers that pay for LTSS must make reasonable modifications to policies, practices and procedures.
2. Public Entities and Insurance Providers that Pay for LTSS Must Establish Adequate Payment Structures for HCBS services.
· Public entities and insurance providers that pay for LTSS must create payment structures that will maintain a sufficient
3. Public Entities and Insurance Providers that Pay for LTSS Must Inform People with Disabilities of Their Right to Receive Services and Supports in the Community.
· Individuals in institutional settings must be regularly provided with information to help them understand that they have the right to choose to receive services and supports in the community; and
· Individuals at risk of institutionalization must be provided with information to help them understand that they have the right to choose to receive services and supports in the community before they are placed in an institutional setting.
4. Public Entities Must Increase Affordable and Accessible Housing Options.
· Public entities must develop plans to increase the availability of affordable and accessible private and
The Disability Integration Act (S.2427) and the civil rights approach to address this critical civil rights issue is supported by a broad coalition of national organizations:
· Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living
· Association of University Centers on Disabilities
· Autistic Self Advocacy Network
· Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund
· Medicare Rights Center
· National Council on Independent Living
· Not Dead Yet
· National Organization of Nurses with Disabilities
· Olmstead Missions Network
· Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute
· United Spinal