APRIL 2020
In this edition, remembering April Dunn, COVID-19 related activities, DICLC strategies from GA Council, Areas of Emphasis Definitions, MD DD Council COVID-19 Highlight and more...

Questions/comments or to submit content for consideration, contact
Angela Castillo-Epps   or call 202-506-5813, ext. 100.
Adding COVID-19 related activities to the FY 2020 approved Annual Work plan

When considering adding activities to the approved State plan and annual work plan, please remember all activities must be supported by goals and/or objectives that were submitted with the FY 2020 State plan update (or amendment). 
When adding COVID-19 related activities, Council staff should review the approved goals and objectives of the state plan and determine where the new activities will align and be reported – as a reminder, the FY 2020 Annual work plan populates the FY 2020 PPR. 
If the current State plan does not have an approved current objective that will support the COVID-related activity/activities but has a 5-year goal that will support the COVID-19 related activity/activities, Council staff will need to report the outcomes in Section IV: State Plan Implementation Progress Report in the field that calls for a Council to describe overall progress being made in achieving the intended outcomes of the goal for the year.
If you need additional support or information, please contact the ITACC staff .
NACDD Mourns a "Life Well Lived"
NACDD mourns the passing of Ms. April Dunn, Chair of the Louisiana Council on Developmental Disabilities. April passed away on Saturday March 28 due to complications from COVID-19, the disease caused by the Coronavirus. April was only 33 years old. Many of you knew April as she has been extremely active as an advocate and leader not only in her home state of Louisiana but across the country. In fact, NACDD presented an award to her at the Annual Conference in her home state last July for her incredible advocacy journey. During that award ceremony she received commendations from Members of Congress and President Trump who also remembered in his letter to wish her a happy birthday which occurred during the NACDD conference.

In her state, April served as the Chair of the Council and also as a Senior Coordinator for the Governor's Office of Disability Affairs. In that role she worked with state and local businesses helping to make their workforces more inclusive. April also served on several committees for NACDD including the Annual Conference Planning Committee and the Diversity, Inclusion and Cultural and Linguistic Competence (DICLC) workgroup.

While April's life was ended way too early, she was a true example of a "life well lived" as she engaged fully in her community which included her family, many friends, and her work with both the Governor's Office and the DD Council. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said, "She worked hard as an advocate for herself and for others in the disability community." April found her purpose in life and served as a true advocate with distinction.

She will be deeply missed by all of us and especially by her mother Joanette and grandmother Gloria, pictured below on the left. Our collective hearts go out to April's family.    
2019 NACDD Champions of Equal Opportunity (CEO) Awards Luncheon,
New Orleans, Louisiana. Website Updates
TAI and Other Resources Page

The Five Year State Plan page is being revamped for the new State Plan cycle. If you are looking for a resource and cannot find it on the page, contact Angela at or call 202-506-5813, ext. 100.
2022-2026 State Plan Development
SAVE-THE-DATE: May 21, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. or 4 p.m. Eastern for the Five Year State Plan Goals, Objectives and Expected Outcomes webinar. The same content will be covered at each webinar. This webinar will provide guidance for DD Council staff to develop goals, objectives and expected outcomes, guidance for developing the rationale element and more. 10:00 a.m. Webinar Link | 4:00 p.m. Webinar Link
Call in numbers for both webinars: 800-832-0736, room# 2680372
Things to keep in mind for the next 5-Year State Plan
The plan is due on August 15, 2021 in the ACL reporting system for all DD Councils.

Strategies for Implementation
After priority areas are identified by the Council and goals are being developed, keep in mind the various strategies for implementing the 5-Year State Plan. Think about which strategies your DD Council is best positioned to implement. DD Councils may also consider using a combination of strategies to meet its goals. For example, a goal around employment may encompass training, technical assistance and demonstration of new approaches to services and supports. In addition, think about your outcomes. What strategies will best meet the overall expected goal outcomes for the DD Council?

STRATEGIES (Section 125 (c))
(A) IN GENERAL. -The Council shall implement the State plan by conducting and supporting advocacy, capacity building, and systemic change activities such as those described in subparagraphs (B) through (L).
(J) INFORMING POLICY MAKERS (Additional guidance)
(L) OTHER ACTIVITIES: The Council may support and conduct other advocacy, capacity building, and systemic change activities to promote the development of a coordinated, consumer- and family-centered, consumer- and family-directed, comprehensive system of community services, individualized supports, and other forms of assistance that contribute to the achievement of the purpose of this subtitle.

For the full DD Act definitions for each of the strategies listed above and more information about this crucial planning component of the 5-Year State Plan, click below on the State Plan Development Resource and reference figure 10, pages 27-29.
Council Member Education
Getting everyone on board with CLC

As Councils continue to embed cultural and linguistic competencies in all the work that they do, it is important to ensure Council membership is educated on its concepts. Through this education, Councils obtain buy-in from members and staff on the philosophies related to CLC and how they relate to everything from the mission statement to initiatives to policy work. To this end, read below about the strategy used by the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities. How could you incorporate your own state/territory data and information to create something similar for your Council members, staff, sub-grantees and others?

During a Council meeting, staff member Maria Pinkelton gave a presentation titled, Bringing Cultural Diversity and Linguistic Competency to our Work . Pinkelton, a member of the 2019 Georgetown University Leadership Academy, provided Council members with the needed tools to begin DICLC work in their own communities. 

Council members were introduced to linguistic and cultural representation data for the state of Georgia in support of why this work is imperative to the Council's goal of inclusion and access for all.

In addition, they were introduced to small tangible ways in which their organizations can make changes to be more culturally and linguistically inclusive. To download the presentation to possibly use as a model for your Council, click below.
DD Act Education
What does the DD Act say?
Definitions for areas of emphasis

Section 102. DEFINITIONS
(2) AREAS OF EMPHASIS.—The term ‘‘areas of emphasis’’ means the areas related to quality assurance activities, education activities and early intervention activities, child care related activities, health-related activities, employment-related activities, housing-related activities, transportation-related activities, recreation-related activities, and other services available or offered to individuals in a community, including formal and informal community supports, that affect their quality of life.

As DD Councils are obtaining public input, preparing language for requests for proposals or other activities, it may be helpful to have official definitions for he areas of emphasis listed above. The definitions can be used to clarify life areas that DD Councils support, explain acceptable activities to be taken up by Council staff or sub-grantees or for other educational needs, such as new DD Council member orientation.

For a full list of areas of emphasis definitions, including other important definitions such as Assisted Technology Devices/Services,Culturally Competent, Self-Determination activities, Quality Assurance, Supportive Employment Services and more, familiarize yourself with Section 102. DEFINITIONS, linked below or visit the Code of Federal Regulations, §1325.3 Definitions .
Data Brief ~ NCI Aging and People with I/DD
Aging people with I/DD: Research and Advocacy More Important now than Ever
National Core Indicators  is a collaborative effort between the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities and the Human Services Research Institute.

In January, Field Notes featured a data "nugget"(shortened version) brief from NCI on aging. The brief was a one-pager and included links to additional information. NCI is now releasing a full length brief on aging and people with I/DD, which is particularly relevant given older people’s susceptibility to COVID-19.

Starting on page four, this brief includes an extensive list of data graphs that cover the following categories.
  • Demographics (race and ethnicity)
  • Co-occurring disabilities
  • Living arrangements
  • Medication
  • Mobility - Employment - Transportation
  • Friendships
  • Community participation

Things to think about:
  • As your Council works on advocacy around disability service providers and family caregivers, use the data in this brief to highlight issues related to aging. E.g. Caregivers are also aging: 64% of caregivers who responded to the 2018- 19 NCI Adult Family Survey were between the ages of 55 and 74, and 11% were 75 years and over. In two states, 13% of the respondents were caregivers over 75.
  • We have seen with the COVID-19 pandemic that advance planning is crucial. Think about what your Council can begin to implement now to improve the community's ability to support this population in the future. E.g. collect stories of older adults and their families to demonstrate gaps in services supports and needed policies.
  • Best practices for supporting the health of aging people with I/DD point to preventative care and health promotion activities. Think about how your Council can support initiatives that increase access to these practices for this at risk population.

Want to know more? Click below to download the extended brief on aging and people with I/DD, including information on policy implications.
The MD DD Council Quickly Responds to COVID-19
Rachel London, Executive Director

There are many DD Councils across the States and Territories doing amazing work to support people with developmental disabilities and their families in this pandemic. Everything from videos and materials developed in partnership with Statewide self-advocacy organizations to ensuring the DD community is fairly represented on Governor's task forces and ethics committees. If you have a DD Council highlight to share, contact Angela or 202-506-5813 ext. 100.

Read below for an example of how the MD DD Council was able to move quickly regarding the needs of people with I/DD during the COVID-19 pandemic.

" Thank you  The Arc Maryland  and  Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council  for funding our Small Grant Application: Engagement and Comfort during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Items were purchased locally, to provide positive socialization for the people supported by  The Arc of Washington County, Inc.  in their residential homes...Hats off to our staff that have been delivering the activity boxes to our 60 residential homes throughout Washington County! Thank you to ALL of our amazing staff for ALL you are doing during this time of crisis!"

The Maryland DD Council worked fast to respond to the emerging needs of people with developmental disabilities and their families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

To build and maintain community capacity to support the short and long-term needs, the Council released funds for small grants to help purchase items that people can use to stay engaged and comfortable while quarantined or social distancing.

The Council awarded The Arc Maryland $85,000 for the Engagement and Comfort during the COVID-19 Pandemic project. This time-limited demonstration project provided funds to community-based provider organizations statewide to implement projects that fill gaps in services, for people with developmental disabilities and their families, due to COVID-19.

As a result, 47 organizations supported nearly 3,000 people with developmental disabilities, and will identify effective strategies to ensure people with developmental disabilities and their families continue to remain engaged during this required period of social distancing and isolation, remain as calm as possible, and alleviate anxiety.

The information learned will inform systems change efforts for future disaster preparedness and emergency response in Maryland and other states.

For more information: The Council developed a one-page public summary that outlines its community supports goal, objective, overview, strategies and activities and outcomes. To access the summary, click below for the COMMUNITY SUPPORTS: Engagement and Comfort during the COVID-19 Pandemic - The Arc Maryland.
To reach NACDD/ITACC staff, please feel free to contact:

Sheryl Matney Director of Technical Assistance
202-506-5813 ext. 148,

Angela Castillo-Epps Technical Assistance Specialist 
202-506-5813 ext. 100,