Planning is underway for United Spinal Association’s 2013 Roll on Capitol Hill (ROCH) legislative and advocacy conference in Washington, D.C., June 16-19.
For the second year in a row, members of National Spinal Cord Injury Association, United Spinal Association’s Public Policy team, UsersFirst advocates and others will converge on Capitol Hill to speak directly with legislators about the issues that affect members’ daily independence and quality of life.
Our first Roll on Capitol Hill in 2012 was a wakeup call to policymakers about the need for greater access to quality health care, prescription drugs, wheelchairs and assistive technology, and most importantly the inclusion of people with disabilities in the legislative dialogue,” says Paul J. Tobin, president of United Spinal Association.
“If our legislators do not understand how certain policies affect the average person struggling to cope with the challenges of living with a disability, we cannot expect any policy change to take place,” explains Tobin.
United Spinal is currently fighting in the trenches on critical legislative issues that will be the backbone of the advocacy efforts at this year’s ROCH: ensuring the SCI/D community receives the durable medical equipment and related services, prescription drugs and outpatient therapy it needs; advocating for appropriate access to consumer-directed quality health care and community supports and services; promoting employment opportunities for people with disabilities; and preserving disability benefits under social security.
For more information, or if you’re interested in attending ROCH 2013, please visit www.unitedspinal.org/events/roll-on-capitol-hill. United Spinal has gained significant support for this event and a small number of grants are available.
There are numerous ways you can support United Spinal’s efforts to improve legislation that directly impacts wheelchair users and other people living with disabilities. The grassroots advocacy arm of United Spinal, UsersFirst, wants to hear your personal experiences with Medicare, Medicaid, long-term services and supports and civil rights protections. It will bring those experiences in front of legislators to call for changes to public policies. You can share your perspectives on these issues at www.usersfirst.org/submit-your-story.
You can also join United Spinal’s Advocacy List to stay up-to-date on policy efforts and how you can be a part of them.
Another great way to join the cause is by attending our free “Independence Through Advocacy” webinar series (see below) which will not only provide a greater understanding of policies that affect you, but also the tools needed to become a more effective self-advocate. To register for upcoming webinars or view past ones, visit www.spinalcord.org/webinar-archive.