“The notion that any one person is the single cause of any significant social change.. is a devastating stereotype which robs individuals of responsibility and credit, and actually inhibits social change. You can be a revolution of one. In your living room, in your family, in your community.”

Justin Dart, 1998.

black and white photo of two women with their arms around eachother smiling

Justin Dart was a leader of the international disability rights movement and a renowned human rights activist. Widely recognized as “the father of the Americans with Disabilities Act” and “the godfather of the disability rights movement.”

Through increased advocacy by staff, businesses and volunteers, Community Options is working to make a difference in the lives of people with disabilities. Please add your voice and fight for the rights of people with disabilities. Together our voices can help make a difference!

Caregiver Funding

Community Options is proud to advocate to Federal and state policymakers to increase funding for home and community-based services (HCBS). HCBS funding is critical to improve wages for direct support professionals. We applaud Senator Bob Casey (recipient Community Options’ Betty Pendler Award in 2020) and the 30 other United States Senators that called on President Joe Biden to make significant investments into HCBS. View the HCBS letter here.

In a letter to the Biden administration, Community Options, Inc. CEO Robert Stack called for Medicaid reimbursement rates to be addressed before raising the federal minimum wage to $15. Raising the minimum wage without an adjustment to the Medicaid rate would result in “multi-million dollar losses” for many nonprofits who provide care and housing support for people with disabilities throughout country. View the letter here.

Transition

Currently hundreds of thousands of people with disabilities continue to be housed in state-run or state-contracted institutions, or nursing homes, making them very vulnerable to the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Centers Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently issued a 66-page toolkit to encourage and help states rebalance long-term care offerings for people with disabilities to favor home and community-based services over large institutions.  We need federal and state authorities to act quickly on these guidelines to protect countless lives of people with disabilities

Community Options CEO Robert Stack sent a to letter calling on further action from CMS

He also sent a letter to states with the worst problems of warehousing people with disabilities in institutions or nursing homes, urging them to take action to quickly transition their residents out of these facilities. The letters went to NJ, NY, PA, SC, NC, TX and IL.

Subminimum Wage

Thirty years after the Americans with Disabilities Act, people with disabilities can be still legally be paid below the minimum wage. These workers with disabilities continue to face institutionalized discrimination – a national disgrace that has been codified by law under the ironically titled Fair labor Standards Act. So far only six states have ended or are in the process of phasing out subminimum wage for people with disabilities: New Hampshire, Maryland, Alaska, Texas, Oregon and Nevada.

We support the Biden’s administration’s current efforts to end subminimum wage for people with disabilities, but also urge individual states to follow the example of the states that have sought to address the injustice.

You can read a recent statement by our CEO Robert Stack on this issue here.

Communicating with Congress

To contact your Congressional representative on these topics and other issues involving people with disabilities, click on the link above and follow the instructions Make your voice heard today!

Public Policy Issues

Use these links to learn about the public policy issues facing our nation today.