It’s imperative we let Congress know they can’t ignore the voices of the paralysis community

Earlier this week, the President released his Fiscal Year 2018 budget titled, “A New Foundation for American Greatness.” While the proposed budget serves as a set of recommendations to Congress, key pillars of the plan will have a devastating impact on the 5.4 million Americans living with paralysis which is why all supporters must take action now.

By cutting over a trillion dollars from programs like Medicaid and Social Security, this budget not only ignores the needs of our community, it threatens the health, quality of life and independence for millions of individuals living with disabilities. Many of the proposals outlined in the budget will unravel decades of progress and create roadblocks for people to secure employment, proper health care, and the ability to live an active life within their community.

The President’s proposed budget also eliminates all funding for the Reeve Foundation’s Paralysis Resource Center (PRC), which serves as a lifeline for families impacted by paralysis.

The PRC is the only program of its kind that directly serves individuals living with spinal cord injury, MS, ALS, stroke, spina bifida, cerebral palsy and other forms of paralysis by providing a wealth of critical services and resources.

  • Information Specialists have assisted over 82,000 families living with paralysis by providing personalized guidance and support with the ability to respond in 170 languages.
  • 250 peer mentors across 40 states have helped over 5,700 people navigate the long-term challenges of living with paralysis.
  • Over $22 million in grants have been awarded through the Quality of Life Grants Program to fellow nonprofits that promote greater care, health and independence.
  • More than 190,000 copies of the Paralysis Resource Guide have been distributed.
  • Each year upwards of three million users visit ChristopherReeve.org to access life-saving information.
  • The Military and Veterans Program supports current service members and veterans regardless of when they served, or how their injury was sustained.
  • The NeuroRecovery Network (NRN) develops and provides cutting-edge therapies to adults and children living with paralysis. All NRN participants have experienced improvements that range from enhanced health and quality of life, to stepping and standing.

Since 2002, the Reeve Foundation has been awarded funds from the federal government through a competitive grant process to operate the Paralysis Resource Center. Eliminating the PRC from the federal budget may very well end this vital program and there is no other resource that can replicate its level of service, expertise and outreach.

Contact your Senators and Representatives TODAY and tell them to restore full funding for the Paralysis Resource Center and other programs that serve Americans living with disabilities. The process will take you just two minutes, but it will have a huge impact.

Despite the fact that Americans living with disabilities represents 19 percent of the U.S. population—larger than any ethnic, age or religious minority—our needs have become increasingly invisible to many legislators and political leaders.

We are not the invisible minority!

Our rights cannot be sidelined or overlooked and our vital resources cannot be cut. That is why we must come together to communicate why this proposed budget will significantly harm millions of individuals if the PRC and other critical federal programs are eliminated. As the budget process continues, please keep an eye out for more information on how you can help and share your unique story with legislators.

#JoinReeve today and remind Congress that programs like the PRC are not just benefits or basic resources, they are lifelines that protect and help millions of Americans.