Policy advocacy remains at the heart of TASH’s mission to advance equity, opportunity and inclusion for people with disabilities. With this in mind, TASH has recently produced a series of three extensive position statements with policy recommendation on three key issue areas:
- Our position statement on Inclusive Education emphasizes the right of students with disabilities, including those with the most significant support needs, to be educated in general education classrooms alongside their nondisabled peers. TASH calls for policymakers to build upon the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to advance integrated education where all schools have high expectations for ALL students.
- Our position statement on Employment recognizes the dignity of work and that people with disabilities, including those with the most significant support needs, do contribute as part of the workforce. We call upon policymakers to advance competitive, integrated employment by investing in Employment First programs, eliminating subminimum wages and reforming AbilityOne, among other things.
- Our position statement on Community Living notes that all people have the right to live and participate in communities. TASH calls upon policymakers to support person-centered planning, self-direction and supported decision making, including through implementation of the Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) waiver, which should be used to strengthen true community-based services that advance self-determination and choice.
I want to thank our Public Policy Committee, including chairperson Allan Bergman, as well as our senior advisor, Serena Lowe, and the many TASH Community of Practice members who participated in the drafting and editing of these three position statements which will guide our policy advocacy work going forward.