The New American Movement for People with Disabilities is a movement committed to changing the social, political and economic structure of our society so that all of us can live in it with pride as equals regardless of our class, race, sex, gender orientation, religion, income or disability status.
Its members and supporters have three simple points:
1. No decisions about us without us.
a) We must be a central part of the decision-making process at every step in creating and approving our supports; we must have input into every program and funding allocation that affects us;
b) We will not be used as pawns to promote the pet projects that benefit others in our names, be they state officials, private providers or even our families, if they claim to speak for us because ‘we can’t speak for ourselves’.
2. All institutions for people with disabilities must close.
a) No person with a disability can be held prisoner by the state simply because he or she has a disability.
b) Government must create and fund a plan to provide for the thousands of people in developmental and psychiatric institutions with homes in the community and adequate services so that they can live there safely, healthily and productively;
c) The plan must redirect current funding to accomplish those goals
d) Any funds saved through that plan must be used to serve those on waiting lists.
3. People with disabilities must be funded to engage in independent advocacy.
a) Currently all public funding for disability advocacy goes to state agencies or private providers who claim to represent us while advancing their own interests or fund their own members while claiming to represent ours; that must stop;
b) Funds must be made available to establish independent private non-profit agencies controlled and led by people with disabilities who independently determine the public policies they will advance;
c) We must have that funding so we can compete with the well-funded lobbying groups who claim to speak for us while making their living by keeping us dependent on them.
d) We believe that all citizens must have an equal chance for the American Dream; that one group suppressed, suppresses us all
• Advance progressive public policies in support of people with disabilities and others.
• Bring leadership and participation to a community inclusive social movement that achieves all people being productive, independent citizens living real lives integrated into a real community.
• Educate to develop a broad, diverse network of people and organizations firmly grounded in a system of shared values.
• Develop an evolving agenda of short and long-term issues and outcomes.
• Cultivate democratic participation and collaboration that cultivates solidarity, reciprocity and mutual responsibility.
• Increase inclusion with professional organizations and linkage with other groups.
• Build the capacity to catalyze the activism of others.
The end result is a self-sustaining base of people with the collective knowledge and power who successfully leverage progressive change toward full social, political and economic equality by:
1. Influencing important issues, decisions and policies.
2. Creating power centers that are independently funded, controlled and managed by people with disabilities.
3. Expanding resources for community based, non-institutional social services.
4. Continually regenerating social movement connectivity and leadership.