NCART Members and Friends,
While the National Multiple Sclerosis Society has been a long-time supporter of our federal CRT legislation, they recently took their support to a much higher level. Thank you National MS Society!
At their annual Public Policy Conference in Washington, DC the MS Society adopted passage of the “Ensuring Access To Quality Complex Rehabilitation Technology Act” as one of their federal legislative priorities for 2014. As a result, the Conference program included a 90 minute CRT Panel Discussion covering what CRT is, the access issues being encountered, and the details of the CRT bill. In the audience were over 300 MS Activists from across the country!
The CRT Panel was moderated by Weyman Johnson, Chairman of the Society’s International Board of Directors. I served as one of the panelists and was joined by Alex Bennewith, Vice President of Government Relations at United Spinal Association, Jennifer Digmann, an MS Activist from Michigan who uses a CRT power wheelchair, and Laura Weidner, Director of Federal Government Relations at the Society. The panel discussion went very well and generated many good questions from the attendees.
The even better news is the following day the 300 plus MS Activists took the CRT message to their Congressional representatives on Capitol Hill seeking support for S-948/HR-942. And as they return home, they will be taking the CRT information back to their local and state MS Society chapter members. This is another encouraging step in creating greater awareness and recognition of the importance of CRT and the actions needed to protect access.
Special thanks to Alex Bennewith for working with MS Society leadership last year regarding making our CRT legislation a priority. They agreed to take this action in recognition of the important role CRT plays in the lives of people with MS who require specialized mobility and seating, along with other types of assistive technology.
As to our legislative scorecard, we stand today at 107 House Representatives signed on to HR-942 and 12 Senators signed on to S-948. Visit www.access2crt.org and review the co-sponsor list (arranged by state) to see which Members from your state have signed on and, more importantly, who has not. They need to hear from you and others in your state! To help in your advocacy you can download and distribute the “CRT Legislation Information Pack” that contains the key details and documents relating to our bills.
Thanks for your continued participation and support!
Donald E. Clayback
Executive Director | N.C.A.R.T.
Release Date: 14-Mar-2014