The Advocacy and public policy team works on many pieces of key legislation. Marriage Access for People with Special Abilities (MAPSA), the Organ Transplantation bill and the Transformations bill. The MAPSA bill allows individuals to get married and not lose our benefits. If we got married the couple would lose those benefits because their incomes will become combined. This was introduced by my local Congressman John Katko as well as Congressman Keating from Massachusetts.
The Organ Transplantation bill is to stop doctors and hospitals from discriminating against individuals that are Differently Abled that need an organ transplant. Others may refuse to approve transplants for people with disabilities based on a belief when deciding who should receive an organ transplant, people without a disability should have a higher priority. Personally I find this offensive and discriminatory. One of my co-workers Charlotte Woodward received a heart transplant in 2012. Charlotte was one in three people with Down syndrome to ever have had a heart transplant. She was grateful to her donor and their family. This opportunity should be offered to everyone who needs an organ transplant disability or not.
These are the main three pieces of important legislation that NDSS is focused on pushing and we will continue to advocate. These are the issues that we put forth when we talked to Senator Bob Casey at our meeting with him. We also thanked him for his continued support on the Transformation bill and we always look forward to collaborating with him and his team.