A monthly e-newsletter for the DD Council Network
 MARCH 2017 - Issue 30
For an accessib For an accessible version of Field Notes,  CLICK HERE
DD Network News
As I write this piece, DD Awareness Month 2017, #DD Awareness17 , is in full swing! I am so happy to see the volume of posts, resources and activities being shared across the DD network and beyond to mark this special month when we strive to help raise awareness about how people with DD live, learn, work and play side by side with non-disabled peers. 

More than ever, individuals with DD are living included lives in the community thanks to strong policies and regulations as well as creative programming - some of which was developed through the Community of Practice Supporting Families Across the Life Course, and civic engagement projects aimed at creating welcoming communities.  Councils on Developmental Disabilities have developed so many exciting and innovative programs, often in partnership with others. 

NACDD is currently developing the agenda for this summer's Annual Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah where we will showcase many of these innovative programs during our plenary and concurrent sessions. I hope that you will join us there so that we can learn and grow together.
DD Awareness Month also happens to coincide this year with a time when our voices really need to be heard loudly and strongly by policymakers at all levels. Educating and informing policymakers is a hallmark of what Councils on Developmental Disabilities do. At a time when critical programs that are often the lifeline for people with DD are under attack, we must do our job to educate others about the repercussions of such changes to programs like Medicaid that helps 10 million Americans with disabilities learn, work and live in the community. If you need resources or information to join us in speaking out, just ask - we are always here to help. 

Happy DD Awareness Month!

white house
Informing & Educating Policymakers and the ACA 

NACDD has visited with many of the offices of the Members of Congress who serve on the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies subcommittees (Labor-HHS) ( http://appropriations.house.gov/subcommittees/subcommittee/?IssueID=34777) in the last two weeks. The information you have provided has been invaluable in educating offices about the important work of the Councils and making our request for increased funding to 76 million dollars. 

Please continue to share stories of people whose lives have been impacted because of DD Council efforts so that we can share them. Congress still needs to decide how it will complete funding for FY 17. The current continuing resolution expires on April 28th. Given that they still need to complete funding for FY 17, they have not yet started making plans for FY 18, but the House will start the process with a hearing in the Labor-HHS subcommittee on March 8th.
On March 6th, the House Republicans introduced their plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the American Health Care Act. The bill will be marked-up in the Energy & Commerce and Ways & Means Committees of the House of Representatives and then send to the House floor for a vote, followed by being sent to the Senate. Over the next few weeks, we need everyone to engage with their Members of Congress to educate and inform about what repeal of the ACA, and changing the structure of Medicaid will mean for persons with IDD. 

Given this bill is on a fast track to move through Congress before the Easter recess, we have limited time to ensure that every Member of Congress knows the serious negative impact it will have on persons with IDD! The bill places caps on the federal funding states would receive for the Medicaid program, to pay for the repeal and replacement of the ACA, and guts the Medicaid expansion. The bill has not yet had a score for cost attached to it, so it is not known how much it will actually cost for the federal government and states to implement it should it pass. The Energy & Commerce Committee legislation can be read here and the Ways & Means Committee legislation can be read here.  

NACDD is reviewing the legislation, and is working in collaboration with multiple coalitions to educate about the impact of the this legislation on persons with IDD. To help in our efforts, NACDD continues to collect good stories about how Medicaid and health insurance helps people with IDD be able to go to school, be employed, and live in the community. Send your good stories to Cindy Smith at csmith@nacdd.org.

  • DD Awareness Month Campaign, Life Side by Side (2017)It's Here! - use this link to post on websites and social media and distribute to all list serves. Reminder Email

Five Year State Plan Page (New Webinars)

NEW Information - The 2017 FINDS Survey is Here!
Stanley and family
Stanley and Family

The Research and Training Center on Community Living at the University of Minnesota in collaboration with The Arc, is seeking caregivers to share their perceptions on a range of life-span issues impacting individuals with I/DD. The Arc is inviting people aged 18 years or older who provide frequent primary paid/unpaid support to a person with an I/DD to participate.
The results of the 2010 Survey provided unique insight into the growing gaps in education, employment, and other life-span activities that exist between persons with disabilities and their non-disabled peers, which has informed further dialogue and policy changes at the Federal and State levels.
Take the survey and share it widely in your networks! http://www.thearc.org/finds
The deadline is March 30th
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Resources & Opportunities to support DICLC in all aspects
of DD Council Work
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Advancing LGBT Health &
Well-Being Report
This sixth annual report of the HHS LGBT Policy Coordinating Committee highlights some of the most noteworthy HHS accomplishments in this area over the past six years, as well as steps the Department will continue to take in addressing LGBT health disparities moving forward. LGBT Report. For additional resources and data, see the Appendix (pages 12-16)

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. 

ITACC  Technical Assistance Institute (TAI)
Salt Lake 
City, Utah,  July 11-12. 
The 2017 TAI will feature three topical strands beginning the afternoon of July 11th through Wednesday, July 12th. Special sessions will feature diversity, inclusion, cultural and linguistic competency topics, self-advocacy, and data collection, reporting, and a featured speaker on leadership. More details to come in the near future!

2017 Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month 
Campaign, Life Side by Side is HERE!!
We are now halfway through Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month! Keep sharing resources, stories and photos across social media and make sure to use the hashtag #DDAwareness17! 

If you haven't done so already, visit nacdd.org/DDAM for images, resources and information about our DD Awareness Month campaign. Send any resources, stories and images to dhartzman@nacdd.org

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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