LSA-DN Update

Disability Network News
Friday, August 27, 2021

LSA-DN News

CEO Summit 2022 Registration Opening Soon

Registration for CEO Summit 2022: A Future Reimagined will open in early September. CEO Summit, which will be held in person in Tampa, Florida, January 23–26, will explore how leaders are reimagining the health and human services sector and guiding their organizations, partners, and key stakeholders in the post-pandemic world. The LSA-DN Winter Meeting will take place immediately thereafter.

Learn about our speakers and the topics they’ll cover at CEO Summit, and book your room at the Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk Hotel in Tampa, Florida.

Advocacy Update

House Passes Budget Resolution, Moves Forward with Writing “Human Infrastructure” Package

The House approved the budget resolution that will enable lawmakers to move forward with writing the broad “human infrastructure” package to enact much of President Biden’s American Jobs and American Families Plans. The 220–212 party-line vote came after days of delays, with a small group of moderate Democrats threatening to vote against the budget resolution if the House did not first vote on the traditional infrastructure package passed by the Senate. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) ultimately brokered a compromise including a commitment that the House would consider the infrastructure bill by September 27, following passage of the budget resolution and substantive work on the human infrastructure package itself. That legislative package is expected to include the proposed expansion of home- and community-based services.

We continue to advocate in support of key provisions of the President’s proposals, particularly the $400 billion HCBS investment and a provision for $213 billion for affordable housing and homelessness services, and are urging the inclusion of the WORK NOW Act legislation to provide nonprofit health and human services organizations funding to pay wages, salaries, and benefits to retain staff and meet services’ demand. Please join us in this effort through our advocacy alert calling for inclusion of these key initiatives in the package.

Read our latest advocacy update for more information.

National News

The Era of Easier Voting for Disabled People Is Over

It’s long been difficult for Americans with disabilities to vote. But last year, something different happened: As states passed pandemic-driven reforms to make voting easier for everyone, they inadvertently made voting a lot easier for most people with disabilities. Now state policy makers want to turn back the clock. Are the authors of these bills intentionally attempting to disenfranchise disabled voters? The truth is more nuanced, and perhaps grimmer: People with disabilities are, for the most part, omitted from the conversation altogether.

More from The Atlantic

U.S. to erase student debt for those with severe disabilities

The Biden administration announced it will automatically erase student loan debt for more than 300,000 Americans with severe disabilities that leave them unable to earn significant incomes. The federal government offers student debt relief for people who are “totally and permanently disabled” and have limited incomes. But the current rules require them to submit documentation of their disability and undergo a three-year monitoring period to prove they’re earning little pay.

More from PBS Newshour

COVID-19 Vaccinations Lag Among Those With Disabilities, Census Finds

Amid heightened concerns about COVID-19 as the delta variant spreads across the nation, new federal data indicates that adults with disabilities are less likely than others to be vaccinated. About 79% of adults with disabilities have received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine compared to nearly 84% of those without a disability.

More from Disability Scoop

State News

Tennessee launches crisis response teams for people with intellectual & developmental disabilities

The Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities has launched five teams statewide to expand support for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who have complex behavioral or mental health needs. The Tennessee START Assessment and Stabilization Teams will be based in Memphis, Jackson, Chattanooga, Nashville and Knoxville, and cover multiple counties in each region.

More from WATE

Texans with disabilities fear voting bill will add more barriers to the ballot box

Chase Bearden and Bob Kafka were among several people with disabilities who testified in opposition to the measure known as Senate Bill 1. They said proposed new standards in the bill for signature verification and restrictions on mail-in and curbside voting would make it harder, and in some cases impossible, for people like them to safely and conveniently cast their ballots. Kafka said people in wheelchairs or who are blind or hearing-impaired often must rely on mail-in or curbside-cast ballots or on personal assistants at voting locations.

More from the Corpus Christi Caller Times

Research & Reports

Environmental injustice and disability: Where is the research?

Despite a revived national focus on environmental injustice, one group remains largely ignored: disabled people, who make up more than 25% of the U.S population. Even the definition of environmental justice provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) doesn't currently include disability. Yet, a recent study suggests that disability status—especially in combination with race, ethnicity, and income—can determine how much environmental harm one could be exposed to.

More from Environmental Health News

Resources, Opinions & Opportunities

Children With Disabilities Need Sex Ed Too

In 2018, an N.P.R. investigation sent shock waves through the community of people with intellectual or developmental disabilities, their families and their care providers: according to Department of Justice data, these people are at least seven times as likely to be the victims of sexual abuse as their nondisabled peers. Currently, only three states in the country explicitly include special ed students in their sex-ed requirements. Over the last six years, a handful of bills have made their way through state legislatures mandating more comprehensive sex education. A glance at a radically different approach taken in Britain shows us that it is possible to do better for all our children.

More from the New York Times

Global Movement Aims To Improve Lives Of People With Disabilities

An ambitious campaign involving groups ranging from the Paralympics to the United Nations is kicking off with a goal of ending discrimination and promoting inclusion of the world’s 1.2 billion people with disabilities. The effort known as WeThe15 — named to honor the estimated 15% of the world’s population living with disabilities — plans to work with governments, businesses and the public to increase disability visibility and acceptance.

More from Disability Scoop

Upcoming Events

LSA-DN 2022 Winter Meeting
January 27–28, 2022
Tampa, Florida

Groups

For more information on our topic specific work groups, please email Sarah Dobson at sdobson@lutheranservices.org.

  • Policy & Advocacy Team
  • Culture and Engagement Workgroup
  • Administrative Cost Survey Working Group

Keep in Touch

Lisa Morgan
DN Convener
Chief Operating Officer, enCircle

Myra Griffie
Interim DN Treasurer
Chief Operating Officer, Lutheran Services Carolinas

Sarah Dobson
Director of Policy and Advocacy, Lutheran Services in America