"Disability Organizations Respond to SABE's Letter"

Steve Eidelman of The Arc, eidelman@thearc.org, writes the
following in reaction to JFA's posting of Chester Finn's
letters:

[Below] is the response sent to SABE. Chester Finn has
assured us that SABE will not encourage people to boycott
the meeting. We are redoubling our efforts to make certain
that self advocates, as well as family members and direct
support professionals, can attend the conference.

===========================

February 7, 2005

Dear Chester,

The Steering Committee of the Alliance for Full
Participation would like to respond to your January 24
letter notifying us that Self Advocates Becoming Empowered
has decided to withdraw participation as a Founder in the
Alliance for Full Participation's 2005 Summit, "Many
Voices, One Vision."


The partners of the
Alliance for Full Participation (AFP)
deeply regret this decision. We regret that the AFP
partners did not have the opportunity to respond and
address SABE's concerns prior to the decision being made.
The AFP partners will continue to extend an invitation to
the SABE leadership to meet face to face to discuss and
work together to resolve SABE's concerns. It is our hope
that this invitation will be accepted so that our
organizations can work together to determine a solution to
these challenges and still continue to move forward to
achieve the goals of the
Summit. We regret any
miscommunications or misunderstandings, and we hope that
our partnership can begin again.

The leadership of the
Alliance for Full Participation is
absolutely hopeful that reconciliation with SABE can be
reached, and we will continue to work to achieve this
outcome. Should this not occur, the AFP is committed to
ensuring that the voice of self advocates is heard at this
Summit. We have and will continue to actively seek funding
streams to provide scholarships for self advocates and
family members to attend the meeting; we continue to
encourage self advocates and family members to participate
in the state teams and at the national conference; and we
are committed to ensuring self advocate and family member
leadership and representation in breakout sessions and our
Town Hall meeting.

Chester, please feel free to contact any one of us so that
we can work together to resolve SABE's concerns.

Sincerely,

Renee L. Pietrangelo
American Network of Community Options and Resources

M. Doreen Croser, Executive Director
American Association on Mental Retardation, Inc.


Steven M. Eidelman, Executive Director
The Arc of the United States

George Jesien, PhD, Executive Director
Association of University Centers on Disabilities, Inc.

James F. Gardner Ph.D, President and CEO
The Council on Quality and Leadership in Supports for
People with Disabilities, Inc.

Robert M. Gettings, Executive Director
National Association of State Directors of Developmental
Disabilities Services, Inc.

Karen F. Flippo, Executive Director
National Association of Councils on Developmental
Disabilities

Curt Decker, Executive Director
National Association of Protection and Advocacy Systems,
Inc.

Stephen Bennett, President and CEO
United Cerebral Palsy

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