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AbilityPath empowers people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) to achieve their full potential through innovative, inclusive programs, and community partnerships. Our vision is a world where people of all abilities are fully accepted, respected, and included.

AbilityPath has been a cornerstone of the community since 1920. While our services expanded through the years to meet evolving needs, throughout the organization’s 100+ year history, our commitment has remained to improve the lives of people with IDD in the Bay Area. Our comprehensive lifespan of services ensures every individual, from infants to seniors, can lead a fulfilling life as independently as possible. In addition to direct services, we lead and participate in advocacy efforts to amplify the voices of individuals with IDD.

Through our Public Policy and Advocacy priorities, we envision:

A sustainable funding structure

The state has begun the process of making much-needed investment in disability services. Those investments must be protected with measures in place for long-term viability. Without a broad and sustainable service network, individuals and families who rely on certain supports will eventually be left behind.

Stability and recognition for the workforce

Person-centered, high-quality services require a skilled professional workforce. For too long, rates have not allowed for appropriate wages and support for the workforce serving people with IDD. The result is a worsening staff shortage as service providers fall behind in a highly competitive job market.

Person-centered, accessible, flexible reforms

The regional center system has a rare opportunity to modernize disability services. Reforms must offer clarity for all stakeholders, consistency between agencies, and flexibility for adapting to meet the changing needs of the people we serve.

To sign up for AbilityPath’s advocacy alerts please visit https://p2a.co/wmc4jfa

AbilityPath’s current advocacy campaigns

  1. In July 2023, Representative Jimmy Panetta of California’s 19th congressional district, which includes portions of Santa Clara County, reintroduced The Marriage Equality for Disabled Adults Act. 

    Under current law, adults with disabilities lose federal benefits if they marry a non-disabled person, with few exceptions. 

    AbilityPath’s Adult Services Healthy Relationships Class has been working on a grassroots advocacy campaign to support the legislation, which according to Rep. Panetta he authored “to allow individuals with lifelong disabilities to marry without compromising their benefits and wellbeing.  Every American, no matter who they are and without being penalized, should be able to marry who they love.” 

    The class has:

  • Written letters to their Congressional representatives asking them to support Rep. Panetta’s legislation.
  • Written letters of thanks to Rep. Panetta for authoring the legislation.
  • Created a campaign so that our friends and family can contact their congressional representatives with one click.Please TAKE ACTION NOW and share our campaign with your friends and family.  This is just one example of outdated legislation that needs to be updated to fully realize our vision of a world where people of all abilities are fully accepted, respected, and included.

 

  1. On October 26, 2023 Representatives Glenn “GT” Thompson (PA-15) and Joe Courtney (CT-02) introduced the bipartisan Access to Inpatient Rehabilitation Therapy Act.This legislation expands access to skilled rehabilitation therapies for Medicare patients and provides American seniors with patient-centered, well rounded treatment options.”Access to quality rehabilitation therapy services is a fundamental right, not a privilege, and should be the choice of a patient and their physician. H.R.6110 – the Access to Inpatient Rehabilitation Therapy Act of 2023 – paves the way for equitable healthcare, ensuring every individual has the opportunity to reclaim their strength, independence, and quality of life through comprehensive rehabilitation services.” – Bryan Neider, CEO of AbilityPath

    Please TAKE ACTION NOW and share our campaign with your friends and family.  This important bipartisan legislation will help to ensure that patients at an inpatient rehabilitation hospital or unit have the rehabilitative services to meet their needs by returning authority to the physician and rehabilitation team to determine the right mix of therapy modalities, including recreational therapy for a patient.

Legislative Priorities

Person-centered, accessible, flexible reforms

Sustainable funding structure

Pursue recognition for the Direct Support Professional Workforce

AbilityPath Auxiliary Advocacy Committee

The Advocacy Committee shall identify opportunities to advocate for those with special needs and developmental disabilities via public forums and social media in order to further our shared message of acceptance, respect, and inclusion. Additionally, the Advocacy Committee will inform our community and supporters about important legislative issues impacting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities at the local, state and national levels, enabling interested parties to take appropriate action.

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