For many years, I have known that I would someday be responsible for my sister’s long-term care. Alyssa and I have always been best buddies… and I knew that one day that would mean living with her, paying her living expenses, figuring out her medical issues, her long-term care, and anything else that might be required…

Recent US policy changes have made the thought of long-term care of a special needs person even more intimidating, however. Both my own family and many friends who live with special needs individuals are noticing not-so-pleasant changes. New health care laws have caused seizure medications to go up hundreds of dollars, and parents are having to fight for the brand version of those medications (generic brands can cause regression and/or unwanted side effects). Jobs policies result in high unemployment, putting more and more families out of work. Facing the world without health insurance is scary for any family, but for a special needs family, it can make daily living (obtaining medications, attending crucial doctor appointments) nearly impossible. 

These aren’t just stories. These are the real life issues that my family and friends are facing. 

Now, another threat looms on the horizon; the UN Convention on the Rights with Persons with Disabilities.UN Flags

Last fall, I started a guest blog post on the UNCRPD with these words. Go here to read the rest of the article and to learn more about the threats that face special need families through the UNCRPD.

Now, just a few months after the UNCRPD was defeated the first time, we are hearing rumblings that it will be coming back—perhaps as soon as this month.

For the sake of those in our lives with special needs, we cannot afford to have this treaty pass the Senate. Towards that end, I am encouraging you to contact your Senators every chance you get. My goal is to make it easy, so here are three simple steps you can take to make a difference.

  1. Follow Special Need Siblings on Facebook. Each week, I will be giving an update and a short action step you can take to stay up-to-date and engaged on this important issue.
  2. Call or email your Senators! Go here to look up their contact information. Use the script below for an idea of what to say if you call. It can take as little as 5 minutes to contact both your Senators and it makes a difference!
  3. Spread the Word. Send any of the links you find here to friends through social media and email. Share and retweet your Senator’s contact info to get as many people as possible making calls.

Sample Script
“My name is Brittany and I am calling to leave a message for Senator ___ about the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. As a (state) resident and sibling/parent/friend to a person with disabilities, I am strongly opposed to this Convention and urge the Senator to vote against it. This subject is of such importance that I consider it a voting issue and will keep the Senator’s vote in mind come election time.”

It will literally take you 5 minutes to call both Senators and give them this message. If you have more time and want to have a deeper conversation, see my previous blog post on how to discuss the UNCRPD with staffers who answer the phone.

Last year, we worked hard and we made a difference for special needs individuals and their families. Let’s take a few minutes now to prevent this from even coming up for a vote again!  Thank you for taking a stand for special need kids on this important issue.