LSA-DN Update

Disability Network News
Friday, September 10, 2021


CEO Summit 2022 Registration Opening in September

Registration for CEO Summit 2022: A Future Reimagined will open next week. 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, Both Chambers Move Forward with Drafting “Human Infrastructure” Package

Congressional committees have moved forward with crafting legislative language for the broad “human infrastructure” package. A highlight for our network in the legislation in its current form is $1.48 billion to fund strategies to recruit and retain direct care workers, including raising wages and creating training opportunities to help address the direct care workforce shortage. An investment in home- and community-based services is also included, although we will continue to advocate for a higher dollar amount. Democratic party leaders are optimistic that the House will vote on a package the last week of September, with relatively quick Senate approval to follow, but the process remains complicated.

Read our latest advocacy update for more information.

National News

School policing falls hardest on Black students and those with disabilities, study shows

A Center for Public Integrity analysis of U.S. Department of Education data found that school policing disproportionately affects students with disabilities, Black children, and in some states, Native American and Latino children. Nationwide, Black students and students with disabilities were referred to law enforcement at nearly twice their share of the overall student population.

More from USA Today

People with Disabilities, Older People at Risk after Hurricane Ida

Hurricane Ida made landfall in the southern US state of Louisiana last week, leaving thousands of people displaced and millions without power or access to other resources. Among those most at risk during the storm and in its aftermath have been people with disabilities and older people.

More from Human Rights Watch

Hybrid working will now allow more people with disabilities to enter labor force, Ted Kennedy Jr. says

Ted Kennedy Jr., co-chair of the Disability Equality Index and board member of the American Association of People with Disabilities, told CNBC that companies’ changing views toward remote-working and hybrid-working following the Covid-19 pandemic will allow more people with disabilities to enter the labor force.

More from CNBC

A Disabled Physician Works To Minimize The Healthcare Gap For People With Disabilities

People with disabilities often face an uphill battle when it comes to the medical system. It’s been well documented that they’re taken less seriously and experience worse care and health outcomes than people without disabilities. In medical schools, training on how to work with patients who have disabilities is rare. That’s starting to change for a new generation of medical students. Stanford's medical school is a hub for disability awareness and education in the field. In part that's thanks to the efforts of Dr. Peter Poullos, a radiologist who leads the Stanford Medical Abilities Coalition. A disabled physician himself, he and his students are working to increase disability awareness in medicine.

More from KALW

State News

'We have rights': Disabled workers file federal lawsuit against Wisconsin over denial of unemployment benefits

A class action lawsuit is aiming to overturn a state law prohibiting disabled Wisconsinites from accessing unemployment benefits after losing their job. The lawsuit was filed Tuesday by a group of nine residents who have been denied unemployment benefits since 2015 because they receive Social Security Disability Insurance payments as well. Some of the residents have also been forced to repay benefits given to them by the Department of Workforce Development, which contended the payments were made in error.

More from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Programs Like ECF Choices Help Tennesseans With Disabilities Be Part of Their Communities

Bill and Sam Gage of Selmer, Tenn., were part of a group called People First, which advocated to close institutions for people with disabilities. And they were successful — Tennessee closed its last institution in 2017. Over the past 30 years, things have completely flipped when it comes to state care for people with disabilities. Data from the Administration for Community Living shows that in 1987, 9 out of 10 disabled people who received government-funded support lived in an institution; in 2017, 9 out of 10 disabled people who received support through the government were getting that in the community.

More from Nashville Scene

Research & Reports

How Have States Used Medicaid Emergency Authorities During COVID-19 and What Can We Learn?

In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, states and the federal government took a range of actions in Medicaid to enhance capacity to respond to the public health and economic crises. The COVID-19 pandemic had a disproportionate impact on nursing homes, congregate settings, and other LTSS providers and services. In response, states expanded eligibility criteria for seniors and people with disabilities, reduced premium and/or cost-sharing requirements for these populations, and provided new LTSS benefits to meet enrollee needs during the emergency.

More from Kaiser Family Foundation

Opportunity gap for students with disabilities begins early and can limit lifetime career possibilities

A new report from the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario is reiterating what people with disabilities have been saying for years: job opportunities are slim, and the opportunity gap between disabled students and their peers that starts immediately after graduation is growing too large. The report looked at data from postsecondary students in Ontario, using two self-reported data sets from 2016 Statistics Canada surveys. Disabled students were less likely to attend postsecondary school, and less likely to attain higher degrees. When new graduates hit the job market, they will have a more difficult time finding a job and will be less satisfied with their salary and benefits than their non-disabled peers.

More from University Affairs

Resources, Opinions & Opportunities

Disability Information and Access Line (DIAL): Partners in COVID-19 Vaccine Access Webinar

September 14, 2021
2–3 p.m. ET

Join the Administration for Community Living (ACL) for a webinar focused on COVID-19 vaccine access resources, and how disability organizations can partner to improve vaccine access for people with disabilities. ACL’s new Disability Information and Access Line (DIAL) will be one of the highlighted resources, as well as ACL’s disability network, and other disability organizations that provide critical assistance to a diverse range of people.

Register for the webinar

CDC Launches Covid-19 Resources For People With Intellectual And Developmental Disabilities

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created a COVID-19 toolkit with communication resources explaining in plain language how people with disabilities and caregivers can protect themselves from the virus. The toolkit contains social stories, videos, posters, and interactive activities that focus on five topics: getting a COVID-19 vaccine, wearing a mask, social distancing, hand washing, and getting a COVID-19 test.

More from WJZ (CBS Baltimore)

Bad websites shouldn’t keep people with disabilities from accessing vaccines

Nearly 50 million Americans live with a disability, and a huge percentage of them struggle with online access and digital accessibility. A joint study by Kaiser Health News and Web AIM examined 94 state web pages that held information about the vaccine, as well as sign-up sites and provider locations, and found accessibility barriers in all but 13 of them. Americans living with disabilities deserve equal access to every resource we have for fighting this virus.

More from Fast Company

Upcoming Events

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


For more information on our topic specific work groups, please email Sarah Dobson at

  • 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