In the hit musical Les Miserables, the song "One Day More!" highlights the imminent nature of social change, as characters with conflicting views each sing about how tomorrow's events will change the course of history. Although we're not in revolutionary France, what you do in the next day can still have historic impact for people with disabilities and our families. As you may have heard, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is trying to put in place real new standards to make sure that providers can't use Home and Community Based Services dollars to fund institutions in all but name. The usual suspects in the institution and nursing home industry are fighting back, trying to prevent any minimum standards on how they do business. Tomorrow at 5 PM Eastern Standard Time, the opportunity for public comment on CMS' proposed rulemaking will close. This is our very last chance to be heard - our very last chance to speak up in support of some basic rules of the road to make sure funding for community living can't be stolen by the institutions industry.
Here's what you can do:
1. Write in to CMS and tell them that you SUPPORT the proposed rulemaking by going to: http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=CMS-2009-0071-0302
2. Don't hesitate to add in your thoughts about what Community should mean and make suggestions about things that CMS could add to their proposed rulemaking. If you're looking for ideas, don't hesitate to use ASAN's comments as an example. You can feel free to use our language if it makes it easier. Our comments are available here: http://www.autisticadvocacy.org/modules/smartsection/item.php?itemid=153
3. Send a copy of this advocacy alert to your friends and colleagues encouraging them to write in too - the more people who write in - be they people with disabilities, parents, professionals or just supportive allies - the stronger our position will be. Help us get the word out! You can use the social media tools at the top of this e-mail to help tell people to write in before the deadline through facebook, twitter and more!
Remember that tomorrow (Tuesday, the 14th) at 5 PM EST is the very last chance to speak up! This is a critical opportunity to have our voices heard and we shouldn't let it pass us by. Remember, Nothing About Us, Without Us!