skip navigation Direct Action

DIRECT Action stands for Disabled Individuals for Real Empowerment and Community Training.

The majority of people active in DIRECT Action are people with disabilities who require attendant care services. We have struggled to get these services in order for us to remain at home and now offer expertise to train others to work together to change the system on the policy, legislative, and service delivery requirements of community-based programs. Through ADAPT, many consumers are also engaged in advocacy work on access issues in transportation, ADA implementation, and in some cases, in professional careers in government, law, social work, education and home health provider networks.

DIRECT Action was formed as an organization separate from Capital Area ADAPT in order to focus its efforts specifically on organizing and advocacy with and on behalf of people with disabilities in the District of Columbia to change the Medicaid long-term care system to allow them to receive services in their own homes rather than in nursing homes. Many of the organizers of DIRECT Action are active in Capital Area ADAPT, and played an integral part in winning a lawsuit against the DC Housing Authority to require the renovation and construction of 565 fully wheelchair accessible public housing units in the District.

DIRECT Action was instrumental in getting DC Medicaid to expand the Medicaid Home and Community-based Waiver to all adults aged 18 and older. The waiver is now called the Elderly and Physical Disabilities (EPD) Waiver Program. It allows eligible people with disabilities to get up to 16 hours of attendant services per day. The average cost of providing waiver services and supports per person per year at home in DC is less than half the average annual per person cost of nursing home placement in 2005.

Consumer choice is a win-win equation for people with disabilities and for DC Medicaid. Consumer directed services will be implemented in the District in the near future to allow people with disabilities the choice to hire and manage their own attendants without the need to rely on home health agencies. DIRECT Action will continue to voice the need for consumer choice in the District, and to fight for integration for all people with disabilities.

[ top ]