August 31, 2016
Wheelchair Accessories Legislation Gains Support
CRT Stakeholders and Friends,
Yesterday Representative Lee Zeldin (R-NY), the House sponsor of our complex wheelchair accessories bill H.R.3229, held a press conference at The Children’s Center at United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) of Long Island, a school for students with developmental disabilities. The purpose of the press conference was to call for Congress to pass H.R.3229 this year, legislation that he labeled as a “must pass” bill to protect access for people with disabilities.
Other CRT stakeholders in attendance also spoke in support. These included Stephen Friedman, President and CEO of UCP of Long Island; Rolf Walter, a 50 year client of UCP who uses a CRT power wheelchair; and Linda Bollinger-Lunger, a physical therapist with Long Island Select Healthcare who has been delivery CRT seating and mobility for 17 years. All three did a very good job in emphasizing the critical need to protect access to CRT and for Congress to pass this bill.
The press conference was well attended and Representative Zeldin was joined by local elected officials, staff of UCP of Long Island, residents from UCP of Long Island’s 31 homes, advocates for individuals with disabilities, and members of the community. You can view the 20 minute press conference here and the related press release can be found here.
In addition to the press conference, national consumer, patient, and clinician organizations have once again communicated in writing to Congress urging passage of H.R.3229/S.2196.
The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) sent a supporting letter signed by 26 national organizations to Congress on August 18th. The ITEM Coalition followed up with a similar letter signed by 37 national organizations on August 25th. Those letters can be found and downloaded here.
We sincerely thank Representative Zeldin and the members of the CCD and the ITEM Coalition for their continued leadership and support.
These positive developments come at an excellent time and let Congress know this legislation must be passed this year. The documents and information can be shared as part of your follow up with the offices of your Representative and Senators. We need all 3 of your Members signed on as co-sponsors to build on this momentum!
Congress will be back in session starting next Tuesday for most of September and next week is the ideal time for follow up. Use the resources at www.access2crt.org to see if your Members have signed on and to make additional outreach as needed.
Donald E. Clayback
Executive Director | NCART
Office 716-839-9728 | Cell 716-913-4754