As part of National CRT Awareness Week, the National Coalition for Assistive and Rehab Technology (NCART) has released a video entitled "Complex Rehab Technology: 25 Years after the Americans with Disabilities Act".
On July 26, 2015 the country celebrated the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). While the passage of the ADA was a great achievement more work remains to fulfill it's promises, including preserving access to Complex Rehab Technology (CRT).
Access to this specialized equipment is critical to fulfilling the promises of this legislation for people with disabilities. The video calls on Congress and policy makers to remember the principles and objectives of the ADA and to take actions to protect, not compromise, access to CRT for the people with disabilites who rely on it.
The video provides historical footage as well as current commentary from U.S. Senator Tom Harkin. Senator Harkin represented the state of Iowa for 30 years. He is a nationally known disability rights advocate and was one of the authors of the ADA. It also features Melissa Mitchell and Sarah Schwegel, two people who use CRT. They provide their personal perspectives on the importance of CRT and the need for the goals of the ADA to be remembered by Congress and policy makers.
The seven minute video can be viewed here. It will be used as an educational and advocacy tool by CRT stakeholders as they work to promote and protect policies that ensure specialized equipment and related supporting services remain available on the federal and state levels.
Don Clayback, Executive Director of NCART, said "As we battle negative federal and state policy changes that are taking away access to CRT, this video is a great reminder that the ADA was passed in 1990 to promote inclusion and accessibility. Sadly 25 years later people with disabilites are finding it harder to access the specialized equipment they need to realize the benefits of the ADA." He continued "As Melissa Mitchell says in the video "When I was eleven when the ADA passed it meant that I could have the life I wanted...except they forgot to tell me I could only have that life if I could get my equipment." That sums up the importance of CRT and why preserving access is so important."
Melissa Pickering, Executive Vice President of Payer Relations at Numotion said "The video provides an important message supporting the need to protect access to CRT for people with disabilities. We appreciate the commentary from Senator Harkin and Melissa and Sarah. Their voices will help deliver the needed reminder to Congress that the principles of access were embodied in the ADA and Congress must be sure federal and state policies don't undermine those principles and hurt people with disabilites."