A monthly e-newsletter for the DD Council Network
 FEBRUARY 2017 - Issue 29
For an accessib For an accessible version of Field Notes,  CLICK HERE
Life side by side logo
GET READY for Life Side by Side 2017

DD Awareness month is around the corner and I am getting very excited! NACDD/ITACC recently hosted two AUCD, NACDD and NDRN Logos webinars to help DD Councils get ready for this great event that happens every year. As you may know, we partner each year with the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) and the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) to bring about this social media campaign that highlights the importance of life in the community. This year's campaign is called Life Side by Side and focuses on highlighting great stories, photos and more to show all of the facets of community life across the age span as well as the barriers that people still sometimes face in fully integrating into the community.
I hope that each and every one of you will join NACDD in its observance of DD Awareness Month. In addition to participating in the wealth of opportunities our campaign offers, I encourage each of you to think about how you as an individual can also participate. 
  • Is there an opportunity for you to speak at a civic organization or faith-based institution you belong to? 
  • Can you take time during March to post photos, videos or share a story about your family member, neighbor, or work colleague on your own Facebook page? 
  • Or, take a Saturday afternoon to volunteer to help in a local activity that supports inclusion in the community.
This past week I attended a 21st birthday celebration for a young man who is very important in my life. I remember the day Jacob was born and his mother, a dear friend of mine, explained that he was born with Down syndrome. Today, Jake is an active young man who was just accepted into a great transition program in his local community and he is busy planning his future. Jake's party was lots of fun. The room was filled with young people who are his peers both with and without disabilities. I asked Jake what was best about his recent birthday. His answer: "Going to buy the beer for the party with my mom. They carded me at the store and I got to show them my ID to prove I really am 21." It was a pleasure to see Jake enjoying life side by side with his peers, a beer and hot dog. Rock on Jake!

If you attended the NACDD/ITACC Life Side by Side Webinar, please take the follow-up survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/lifesidebyside.

For more information about Life Side by Side and access to all images and resources, go to http://nacdd.org/ddam.
white house
Policy Updates & Information you Should Know
  • NACDD continues to work with the Administration on Community Living (ACL) to bring you Technical Assistance on Home and Community Based Services (HCBS). Thanks to all who signed up to participate in the first webinar scheduled for the topic - we are so sorry that ACL had to cancel that opportunity. It is currently being rescheduled and we will be alerting you to the new date shortly. NACDD is also preparing more opportunities for technical assistance on HCBS and will be informing you on that soon. If you have immediate needs please let us know!
  • The NACDD Board of Directors made an important decision before the first of the year to sign on to an Amicus Brief (Friend of the Court brief) in the case of Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, 798 F.3d 1329. NACDD chose to sign on to the brief for this case because it will, for the first time since 1982, decide "what is the level of educational benefit that school districts must confer on children with disabilities to provide them with the free appropriate public education guaranteed by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)". Knowing that this case could have a huge impact on the level of education services that children with I/DD receive, NACDD felt that support for its review by the Supreme Court is critically important.  For more information on the case and the materials filed for the Court to consider, visit SCOTUSBLOG. (Supreme Court of the US Blog)
  • NACDD has been paying close attention to the hearings on the nominees for the President's Cabinet. While NACDD has not gotten involved in supporting or opposing any cabinet level nominees, we are watching closely so that we will know what to expect in terms of our policy agenda in the future. At times, NACDD has reached out to DD Councils for help in educating Senators about the needs of individuals with I/DD and how a particular cabinet nominee's current stand on key issues may impact needs in their state. NACDD thanks all who were able to share information from individuals and family members with their Members of Congress. For any who still want more clarification on lobbying vs. educating and informing Members of Congress about the needs of people with I/DD, AIDD's official position is here, ACL.gov.
  • Public Policy staff from NACDD will be visiting with many of the Members of Congress who serve on the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies subcommittees (Labor-HHS) in the coming months. Having your great stories and examples of how your Council creates systems change is very important for us! Please remember to send us your great stories of people whose lives have been impacted because of DD Council efforts so we can share them. Additionally, NACDD continues to collect good stories about how Medicaid and health insurance helps people with I/DD to go to school, be employed, and live in the community. Send your good stories to Cindy Smith at csmith@nacdd.org to be shared with key policymakers. 
Need more details or have questions? Contact Cindy at csmith@nacdd.org .

Home Page
The itacchelp.org website has been updated to meet your needs and now features easier navigation & better organization of content. Other improvements include, Google Translate button, easier to read font and underlined links. For a textual site map of the new navigation, click on Site Map Document from the website's home page. Please contact itacc staff if you need assistance with finding resources. 


The Compendium is a web-based tool that pools disability statistics published by various federal agencies together in one place. When working on legislative and other matters relating to persons with disabilities, the Compendium will make finding and using disability statistics easier. 

For more information, visit the Compendium Website.
culture icon
Resources & Opportunities to support DICLC in all aspects
of DD Council Work
National Center for Cultural Competence 
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Web-based Learning & Reflection Forums

March 16, 2017 -  Register Here
Getting Buy In and Implementing Cultural and Linguistic Competence Organizational Assessments

April 6, 2017 -  Register Here
Developing Organizational Policies that Reflect the Values of Cultural & Linguistic Competence

The Georgetown University National Center for Cultural Competence is now accepting applications for its Community of Practice on Cultural and Linguistic Competence in Developmental Disabilities.  Applications are due for the CoP by March 31, 2017!  To apply, CLICK HERE.
Ohio DD Council
Newsletters  on diversity 

The Ohio DD Council has two publications related to diversity. 
ReachOut e-Diversity News and the SomaliCAN Newsletter. To view archives of both, visit the Ohio DD Council website > publications by topic >  Newsletters
AUCD Leadership Academy
The AUCD Leadership Academy will be held on the downtown GSU campus in Atlanta, Georgia on June 25-30, 2017.
AUCD has created a Leadership Academy designed to enhance the skills of current and emerging leaders in the disability network.  Please disseminate as you deem appropriate.
No-cost informational webinar, February 15, 2017
Applications are due by February 28, 2017 
NACDD 2017 Annual Conference
A Quality Life: Count Me In!  July 11-14
Hotel reservation portal is now open and there are a couple of ways to make your reservation, visit the NACDD website  for more information.  Technical Assistance Institute (TAI) Salt Lake  City, Utah,  July 11-12  more information to come!

ITACC Webinars
ITACC staff is pleased to announce three webinars designed to assist Councils with addressing the most prevalent areas of weakness or compliance concerns cited on the Council State Plan Tier 2 Review reports.  

Targeted Disparity - February 16th at 3:30pm Eastern

Annual Work Plan  - 
February 23rd at 3:30pm Eastern

2017 Disability Policy Seminar
The Disability Policy Seminar (DPS) will be held  March 20-22  at The Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel. 
Register today!


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