SPAN The Bridge Newsletter pictorial graphic.  Your weekly access to SPAN news, resources and events.

January 3, 2024 | Issue 111 (View newsletter as webpage) Para leer este boletín en Español, haga clic aquí

Important News

ACA and HHS logo

Enrollment for 2024 ACA Health Plans 33% Higher Than Last Year

More than 15.3 million Americans have signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for 2024, a 33% increase from this time last year, according to data released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Dec. 20.

The Biden-Harris Administration said preliminary data also projects that over 19 million people will enroll in 2024 through the ACA marketplace.

People who want to choose a healthcare plan for 2024 under the ACA, also known as Obamacare, can enroll before the deadline of Jan. 16, 2024.

A statement released by President Biden on Dec. 20 read, "More Americans have signed up for health coverage through the Affordable Care Act marketplaces than ever before. With nearly a month left in open enrollment, more than 19 million people have signed up for coverage, breaking all previous records."

To learn more, including why this record increase is so important, click here.


Image of a college student

College is Possible for Students with Intellectual Disability!

Students with intellectual disability can go to college. Learn more at the “Think Higher. Think College.” public awareness campaign website ( There’s a new video and extensive resources to support and expand college options for students with ID.

The “Think Higher. Think College.” campaign is part of the Think College Inclusive Higher Education Network’s work to promote inclusive postsecondary education (IPSE) opportunities for students with intellectual disability. The goals of the campaign are to increase knowledge of inclusive college options, share information about the benefits and outcomes of students with intellectual disability attending college, and offer people ways to spread the message:

“Think Higher. Think College.”

You can also find more information on education after high school on the SPAN website by clicking here.

Video: Family Leaders, Forging Pathways for Systems Change

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The National Genetics Education and Family Center (NGEFSC) hosted a Family Leadership Workshop in 2023. The aim of the Workshop was two-fold: to continue the work of assessing the measurement of family engagement in the genetics healthcare delivery system as well as understanding the family experience within this system. The 36 Family Leader participants from 29 US States/Territories were asked about their families' journey in genetics, what family leadership means to them, and what they need to be effective family leaders engaged in healthcare systems change.

Their family leadership stories are moving and powerful.

SPAN's own Cindy Weber was one of the workshop participants and she is included in the video.

To see the moving video, click here.

Upcoming Events

SPAN offers a variety of learning opportunities for families and the professionals who work with them.

Highlighted Event This Week

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Reframing Possibilities: Using a Strengths-Based Approach to an Inclusive Education

Wednesday, January 17, 7:00PM ET


We might think it makes more sense to address challenges in order to improve outcomes, but, what if we focus on what students do well instead?

In this workshop, we will:

  • Define strengths-based learning
  • Discuss how strengths-based learning can unlock the potential in your child and maximize opportunities for inclusion
  • Provide tips & strategies on what parents can do

This workshop will be presented in both English and Spanish.

To register, click here.

See all of SPAN's upcoming events with details and registration links here 

Para recibir la edición en Español de este boletín semanalmente en su correo electrónico 

haga clic aquí para suscribirse
SPAN Youth Hub image of a family enjoying holiday time together

Holiday Memories

Read our latest youth blog post, "Holiday Memories," on creating long-term memories with loved ones or from holiday activities. 

To access the post, click here.

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