Policy priorities focus resources and expertise on advancing opportunities, social equity, and disability rights for all people living with a spinal cord injury or disease.
CORE BELIEF 1 – Access to Quality Affordable Healthcare
United Spinal advocates for policies which assure people with disabilities receive quality affordable healthcare that meet their needs.
Medical equipment, therapy and prescription drugs
- Ensure increased access to needed durable medical equipment, medical supplies and related services, prescription drugs and outpatient therapies.
- Support improved coverage for prescription drugs, habilitative and rehabilitative benefits and other consumer protection including insurance coverage for individuals with pre-existing conditions and the prohibition of discrimination based on an individual’s health status or diagnosis.
Medical and scientific data
- Monitor current and emerging medical and scientific information related to the health and well-being of all persons living with SCI/D. Work to ensure that all persons living with SCI/D have access to every opportunity that improves their health and quality of life.
CORE BELIEF 2 – Independent Living, Employment and Self-Sufficiency
United Spinal supports policies that allow adults and young people living with disabilities to maximize their independence and remain active in their communities. Individuals with disabilities must have equal access to affordable, accessible housing and transportation; opportunities for competitive, integrated employment; and self-sufficiency through improved income security.
- Support policies that increase access to affordable, accessible housing for all.
- Support local and federal policies that create affordable, accessible transportation options for all. Support policies that promote compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and continue efforts to promote and ensure pedestrian safety.
Employment, Self-sufficiency and Income Security
- Support increased opportunities for access to competitive, integrated employment, income generation, asset-building and community integration.
- Support and expand coverage for long-term services and supports.
CORE BELIEF 3 – Consumer-Directed Quality Health Care and Community Integration
United Spinal promotes policies that establish consumer-directed quality health care and community integration. Individuals with disabilities must have access to community-based services and supports and customized care that best meets their needs and facilitates their independence and community engagement.
Home and Community-Based Services and Supports
- Advance the use of home and community-based services (HCBS). Provide opportunities for Medicaid beneficiaries to receive services in their own homes or communities.
Delivery of Care
- Promote best practices for delivery of care based on individual choice, person-centered planning, consumer self-direction while enhancing personal financing options.
CORE BELIEF 4 – Preservation of Social Security Benefits
Social Security Disability Benefits/Supplemental Security Income
- Advocate for policies that improve, simplify, and update social security disability (SSDI) benefits for individuals with disabilities and supplemental security income (SSI) to individuals with disabilities with limited income.
- Maximize employment opportunities for current and future beneficiaries.
Disability Benefit Determinations
- Work to ensure that claimants receive their disability benefits as quickly as possible.
Social Security Administration Funding
- Support adequate funding of the Social Security Administration for personnel and service needs.
CORE BELIEF 5 – Protect the Rights of People with Disabilities
United Spinal believes that discrimination against individuals with disabilities that produces barriers to housing, employment, transportation, health care and other programs and services must be eliminated. Without protections provided through the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, the Fair Housing Act, the Air Carriers Access Act, and other similar laws, individuals with disabilities are restricted from participating fully in society and living active, productive, independent lives with access to employment, educational and social opportunities as is their right.
National Disability Rights
Protect and advance the requirements and spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to ensure equal opportunities for people with disabilities to access services and participate in their communities.
International Disability Rights
Promote the ideals of the Americans with Disabilities Act to nations around the world to increase the ability of individuals with disabilities to travel, work, and live abroad thus enhancing their quality of life.