NEW YORK, May 18th, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- United Spinal Association and over 100 disability advocates and wheelchair users from its national chapter network will gather in Washington, D.C. on June 11-14 for the 6th Annual Roll on Capitol Hill to meet with congressional leaders and highlight health, independence, community, and quality of life issues vital to people with spinal cord injury/disease (SCI/D).
Roll on Capitol Hill is United Spinal's annual signature policy event that addresses key advocacy priorities for its membership and the broader disability community to ensure that legislators include wheelchair users and all people with disabilities in policy debates on Capitol Hill.
"Our advocacy efforts have never been more critical than they are this year, as people with spinal cord injuries and diseases and 130 million other Americans living with pre-existing conditions face uncertainty with their health insurance," said James Weisman, United Spinal's president and CEO.
"As we join voices at Roll on Capitol Hill we must remain vigilant to ensure that all people with disabilities, including wheelchair users and our veterans, have access to quality health care, independence and equal rights," added Weisman.
While attending United Spinal Association's 6th Annual Roll on Capitol Hill, advocates will talk to Congress about the following:
Protecting health care benefits and services for the SCI/D community, such as pushing back against all efforts to remove our community's consumer protections for health care coverage and pre-existing conditions.
Advocating for improved access to complex rehab technology that our community and wheelchair users rely on to live active and healthy lifestyles.
Safeguarding the provision of accessible transportation for individuals with disabilities across the country.
Ensuring people with disabilities and wheelchair users are not barred from entering public accommodations at the federal and state levels.
Strengthening the provision of home- and community-based services and supports so that individuals can live and participate in their communities.
Ensuring robust funding for agencies from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to the Department of Labor so that our community's benefits and services are maintained.
On the evening of June 13th, United Spinal will host a Congressional Awards Reception to recognize members of Congress for their outstanding service to people with disabilities and veterans:
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) - 2017 James J. Peters Disability Rights Champion Award
Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN) – 2017VetsFirst Congressional Bronze Star Award
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) - 2017 Junius A. Kellogg Congressional Outstanding Leadership Award
United Spinal will also honor disability advocates who have shown advocacy leadership and dedication to, and success in, state and/or federal policy issue or issues impacting the SCI/D or broader disability community. This year Frances M. Ozur Cole, President, United Spinal's New Mexico Chapter will receive the 2017 Finn Bullers Advocate of the Year Award. Jenn Wolff, formerly United Spinal's Advocacy Alliance Manager, will receive the 2017 Grassroots Advocacy Award.
United Spinal's VetsFirst program will also host educational and advocacy sessions on legislation to improve employment benefits and access to health care services for veterans at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
United Spinal Association builds on its strong advocacy work all year-round through participation in coalitions and partnerships across a broad spectrum of issues important to its 50-plus chapters, 200 support groups and over 1 million individuals impacted by SCI/D across the country.
About United Spinal Association United Spinal is a national 501(c) (3) nonprofit membership organization celebrating its 70th Anniversary. Formed in 1946 by paralyzed veterans, United Spinal is dedicated to improving the quality of life for all Americans with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D), including multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, ALS and post-polio. It played a significant role in writing the Americans with Disabilities Act, and made important contributions to the Fair Housing Amendments Act and the Air Carrier Access Act. Membership is free and is open to all individuals with SCI/D. United Spinal was instrumental in getting New York City to create sidewalk curb ramps and accessible public transportation that has been used as a model for many United States cities.
Media contact: Ahvi Spindell Spindell Media Relations, LLC United Spinal Association (212) 580-4567 [email protected] Twitter @ahvispin