Recognizing the Power of Your Voice
Over the past months you've been hearing a lot from us about issues that impact the paralysis community. We've asked you to reach out and call your Members of Congress to support funding for the Paralysis Resource Center, asked you to get involved to prevent cuts to Medicare Therapy Caps, and asked for your support for increased funding for the National Institutes of Health. We've asked, and you've responded with calls and emails. There has been a lot of activity and at times it may feel that your voice isn't being heard. But don't worry -- your advocacy does have power, and it has been recognized in full force this month.
On December 3, 2012, President Obama released a proclamation declaring the 3rd the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD). Proclaimed in 1992 by the United Nations General Assembly 47/3, the Day promotes understanding of disability issues and mobilizes political, social, economic and cultural support for the dignity, rights and well-being of those living with disabilities. The country's recognition of this day brings even greater attention to the issues that you are facing, and the President's proclamation marks a tremendous step forward in getting disability issues on the table.
In honor of IDPD, and to further engage advocates like you, the Reeve Foundation and other groups -- including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), United Nations Enable, American Public Health Association, the Lakeshore Fund and the National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability -- led a live Twitter chat focused on removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for everyone. Disability groups, government agencies and advocates like you from around the country all took part in the lively discussion. This is a fantastic example of how we can bring attention to the issues that are important to you. Your voice is being heard, loud and clear. The President has heard it, and so have we.
While we've seen some success over the past months, there are still going to be rough times ahead when it comes to protecting the programs and policies that impact the paralysis community. We will always need your voice. We will continue to update you as issues develop and work to keep your message heard here in DC and around the country.
Thank you for all that you do.