Advocating for those affected by Ataxia is an important part of our mission at NAF. We are providing community members with more opportunities to get involved. Advocacy activities will expand our partnerships with other organizations and policy makers to help make a difference for people affected by Ataxia. Involvement in advocacy gives us a way to get your stories to policy makers and pharmaceutical companies to grow awareness, accelerate drug development, and ensure access to care and treatment services
Want to stay in-the-know about advocacy issues? We send a quarterly advocacy newsletter and periodic emails to those on our advocacy email list about current legislative issues and things you can do to get involved. To join, become a member of NAF or update your membership information at www.ataxia.org/JoinNAF. Make sure to select “Advocacy” in the Member Interests section.
Check out our previous Advocacy newsletters.
Your voice matters. Patients, their families, and their caregivers have the power to help change public policy to improve the lives of people living with Ataxia. Knowing where to start to get involved with advocacy work can be hard. NAF is here to help! Our United Against Ataxia Hill Day Training video is a great start!
Our advocacy partner, EveryLife Foundation for Rare Diseases, also offers a great resource for learning about the legislative process and how to contact your representatives. Check out their advocacy toolkit.
You can help us get International Ataxia Awareness Day (IAAD) declared across the country. Contact your mayor or governor to issue an IAAD Proclamation or your state legislators to pass an IAAD Resolution. The Advocacy Toolkit provides an example proclamation, resolution, and letter to your representative. Contact NAF if you pursue a resolution or proclamation so that we can coordinate individual efforts and highlight those that are obtained.
2022 United Against Ataxia Hill Day – September 21st – www.ataxia.org/2022-hill-day/
International Ataxia Awareness Day – www.ataxia.org/international-ataxia-awareness-day/
Rare on the Road Leadership Tour – everylifefoundation.org/rare-on-the-road/
Rare Disease Day – rarediseases.org/rare-disease-day/
Abilities Expo – www.abilities.com/expos/
Rare Across America – rareadvocates.org/voter-voice
Global Genes RARE Patient Advocacy Summit – globalgenes.org/event/patient-summit/
NORD Rare Diseases Summit – rarediseases.org/summit-overview/
Rare Disease Week on Capitol Hill – rarediseases.org/rare-disease-day/
Undiagnosed Day – rareundiagnosed.org/april-29th-is-undiagnosed-rare-disease-day/
The following are issues that NAF is following. Click the title of any issue to learn more.
National Ataxia Awareness Day Senate Resolution (S.Res. 339) (2022 Reauthorization)
National Ataxia Awareness Day Resolution
NAF and FARA jointly advocate for a Senate Resolution recognizing September 25 as “National Ataxia Awareness Day.” Designating a National Ataxia Awareness Day highlights the impact of ataxia on individuals and their families within the United States and helps accelerate funding, development, and access to effective treatments. This designation occurs yearly. Prior co-sponsors for the resolution: Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) (2021, 2020); Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) (2021); Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) (2020).
Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP)
Friedreich’s Ataxia has been added as an eligible condition under the Peer Review Medical Research Program (PRMRP), a category of the CDMRP, which will allow FA researchers access to a new funding opportunity. This year our goal is to secure continued funding and expand the language to include all Hereditary Ataxias.
Let’s show the world the incredible people and families that are a part of the Ataxia community! Please share your story with us to add to our Member Stories page. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can help us with our efforts by letting us know about legislative issues that you would like us to be aware of. You can also inform us about national or state legislators that you are in regular contact with or know personally. Email NAF’s Community Program and Services Director, Lori Shogren, at email@example.com.