A new voice for CRT


Even if I hadn’t been on vacation Monday, I wouldn’t have been at the Disabilities Caucus CRT briefing. See, these types of events are hosted by congressional offices, for congressional offices. 

So I’ve been calling around to people who were there to come up with a report for you guys for this coming Monday’s Newswire. 

What’d I miss? Well, on center stage were familiar, eloquent advocates, NCART’s Don Clayback (left) and United Spinal’s Paul Tobin (far right), explaining what complex rehab is and what S. 948 and H.R. 942 can do to protect it. There was also a new voice: college professor Adam Lloyd (pictured here between Don Clayback and Paul Tobin), a wheelchair user who spoke to the staffers about what having the right equipment can enable a person to accomplish.

I called Lloyd for my story, and found him to be just as smart and well-spoken as everyone told me he was. 

“I’m a C4 quadriplegic and have been for 30 years,” he told me. “I know this equipment is vital—I have a power wheelchair with a chin control. Knock on wood, I haven’t had a pressure sore for 30 years, and I’ve been able to earn several degrees, teach, and be engaged in my community. I’m able to live the life I want to live.”

He told me he wanted to let the staffers know how important the right equipment is to people with disabilities, and the role the right equipment can play in preventing medical complications. Setting up a separate benefit for CRT will give Medicare and Medicaid a better way to make sure people get the equipment they need, provided by qualified companies, he said. 

This briefing was his first time advocating for CRT, but he sounds like a veteran. Not only does Lloyd have a great story to tell, he seems to completely understand the CRT separate benefit’s purpose. 

He wasn’t too nervous addressing the 100-or-so staffers in DC this week—he’s used to addressing a classroom, after all. The key, he said, is to speak to your expertise.

“I have 30 years of life experience and can help others understand the importance of this equipment,” he said. “It’s not as difficult or intimidating as it seems.”

I saved his best quote for my story—you’ll have to check it out in the Newswire. You’ll see why I don’t think this will be the last we hear from the newest voice in CRT advocacy.