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So, Now What?

Barbara Merrill, Esq.
Dear members, colleagues and friends,
To put it mildly, I am guessing most of us were quite surprised by the election results, regardless of our political leanings. I am guessing most of us share a sense of great relief this Presidential campaign is over, but many are also very uncertain about what comes next, especially as it relates to our services and supports and the individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities that rely on them.
To begin with, it’s important to correct some misinformation that has been shared on social media. Although Mr. Trump did not originally provide responses to the RespectAbility and Rev Up questionnaires regarding disability issues, he did in fact respond to the Rev Up questionnaire later in the campaign. Do take the time to read his response, it provides insight into how his Administration will approach disability issues. I also encourage you to read Mr. Trump’s speech regarding his plan for the first 100 days of his Administration.
ANCOR will be reaching out to the incoming Administration, as well as its transition team, as we always do. We will share as much as we know as soon as we know it. We will continue to be the thoughtful voice of private service providers in Washington DC, and we will continue do it in a bipartisan way. These things don’t change.
Your national association has a history and a reputation of defining and representing the constructive center – a trait which may frustrate some of you from time to time – but this positioning allows us to stay balanced in turbulent times and to offer solutions and a path forward that aren’t reliant on changing administrations, because they are based on our mission – which is to advance the ability of our members in supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to fully participate in their communities.
This presidential campaign brought disability issues to the forefront in an unprecedented way. People with disabilities participated in and were recognized in the Presidential election as never before. Our job now is to mobilize our nationwide network of members to help the incoming administration find a responsible middle ground that leads forward and articulates a vision that thoughtfully reflects the diversity among our own ranks. We are ready for that charge.
As your association, we will continue to shine the light on people with disabilities, the services, supports and direct support staff that enable and empower them to live the lives they are promised. We wish the incoming administration great success and stand ready to serve as a resource. This is our promise to you.
Barbara Merrill
Barbara Merrill is CEO of ANCOR. She can be reached at [email protected].