For decades now, consumer organizations and the larger consumer movement have been advocating for the rights of individuals with mental health needs. Many strong advocates have worked to end stigma, increase opportunities to live and work in the community, and put individuals with mental illnesses in control of their own care.
At the same time, individuals and organizations representing the full range of disabilities have been working in the same vein, promoting inclusion, seeking to expand rights and accommodations, and espousing the idea that individuals with disabilities deserve to be treated as full citizens and appreciated for their abilities and contributions to society.
For a number of reason, however, these groups have not traditionally worked together toward common goals. Why is that? And what can be done to leverage the voices of the entire disability community to make our healthcare and treatment systems more responsive to those they serve?
To begin to answer those questions, The CAFE TA Center has created its newest product, Looking at Cross-Disability Collaboration. It details the findings of a survey of consumers representing a range of disabilities, examines the historical barriers to collaboration and explores the opportunities that can arise from cooperation across segments of the disability community. With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, pressure on government budgets, and a culture shifting toward inclusion and acceptance, now is the time for consumer organizations to identify new partners and find common ground for their advocacy. To learn more, check out Looking at Cross-Disability Collaboration!