On February 2, nearly 200 professionals and volunteers for Jewish organizations around the country gathered on Capitol Hill for Jewish Disability Advocacy Day (JDAD) – a day filled with insight and ruach. This day of discussion and advocacy was organized by the Jewish Federations of North America and featured talks by inclusion advocates, professionals, and members of the US House of Representatives and Senate.
Our very own, Dr. Matthew Keller kicked off the day with welcoming remarks. Dr. Keller is the chair of JFNA’s Disability Committee and an active volunteer in the Pittsburgh Jewish community. His remarks set the tone for the rest of the day; “your voice matters.”
Citizen advocacy is a key tool to ensure that the rights of persons with disabilities are protected, and in the afternoon, groups of people exercised this right by meeting staff from members of the house and senate. The focus of the discussion was to ask them to oppose H.R. 620: the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Education and Reform Act and advocate for Medicaid reform that does not include a block grant or capping the program’s funds. Staff members were interested, engaged, and will take our concerns to our elected officials.
You don’t have to go to Washington to be a disability advocate, call your representatives and share your concerns!
The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh was a proud sponsor of the event.
This post written by Ilene Rinn, Senior Manager, Planning and Allocations of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh