As I write this, we have hit 39 Senate Co-Sponsors on the ABLE Act of 2013. If you have been living under a rock for the past few years, you may not know that the ABLE act is Achieving a Better Life Experience. This act will allow individuals with disabilities and their families to save for their futures like all other Americans. Currently, outdated laws relegate individuals with disabilities to disability welfare with a ridiculous $2,000 ASSET limits or they risk forfeiture of any government supports.
Rachel has decided it’s not just a pink house she wants to live in. She wants to live in New York City. Or course she would. Broadway. The theater. She stood up in a legislative update session at the recent National Down Syndrome Congress and declared that everyone needed to support the ABLE Act because she wanted to live in her pink house. She went on to say, “Don’t freak out but I want to live in NYC.” We weren’t in the session and she was not prompted to do this. All on her own. Seems she gets the importance of the ABLE Act. It seems that many of our congressional leaders and families in the disability community and beyond don’t get the ABLE Act. My home state of Arkansas has no senators signed on as co-sponsors. Rachel’s birth state of Tennessee has no senate co-sponsors on the ABLE Act. What is with this people? Let’s not hide behind balanced budgets and sequestration. This is a bi-partisan bill that is the right thing to do to give individuals with disabilities a better shot at independent living and the respect and dignity they deserve.
Rachel’s hopes of living in NYC or living in a pink house or even being able to have a post-secondary experience or apartment of her own may very well hinge on the passage of this bill. Please help us by reaching out to your senators and congressman and asking them to co-sponsor the ABLE Act. Just log in here and it will walk you through the email process. A phone call or two wouldn’t hurt either.
Now you know how I really feel. Let’s get this bill passed so I can give it a rest.