LSA-DN Weekly Update

Disability Network News
Friday, September 18, 2020


Registration for CEO Summit Series: 2020–2021 Now Open

CEO Summit is going virtual this year, and while we will miss seeing you in person, our new format offers the opportunity for additional CEOs to participate nationwide, and for us to engage an even broader, strong lineup of thought leaders. With your direct feedback, we’ve developed a series of four virtual leadership seminars designed to strengthen, inspire and enrich leaders across our network with a focus on emerging stronger.

Renowned corporate strategist and advisor to Fortune 500 executives David Morey returns this year to kick off the series on September 24 to discuss how CEOs can lead effectively through crises. Then on November 10, Dr. Garth Graham, vice president and chief community health officer at CVS Health, will guide us through some of the most innovative partnerships in the health and human services sector. In 2021, Carolyn Cawley, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, will examine the broader trends of the workforce and its recovery. Carolyn will be followed shortly thereafter by Advocate Aurora Health president and CEO Jim Skogsbergh and others to share their visions for 2022 and beyond.

Join us in crafting the answers to the biggest questions now facing our entire network. Register for this timely series today!

The Lutheran Services in America Strength & Service Series

Upcoming Series Webinars

Becoming an Antiracist Organization
Date: Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Time: 1:00-2:00 EDT

Hear from three peer leaders as they continue addressing their organization’s role in systemic racism, explore efforts to engage community partners to dismantle racism, and discuss the importance in recognizing and naming the pain that racism causes.  Join Damyn Kelly, President and CEO, Lutheran Social Services of New York, Michael Bertrand, President and CEO & Beverly Jones, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois and Paulo Pina, Pediatric Medical Director, Assistant Clinical Professor, NYU Robert I. Grossman School of Medicine, Family Health Centers at NYU Langone.  For more information and to register click here.

Engagement Technology — What Happens When You Pair Technology and Creative Leadership
Date: Thursday, October 29, 2020
Time: 1–2 p.m. EDT

The COVID-19 crisis has brought to the forefront the importance of staying connected, and the consequences of being isolated. Come see how the pairing of technology and creative leadership can lead to successful outcomes and improve the quality of life for everyone involved. Hosted by Jack York, President and CEO of iN2L, Dave Gehm, President and CEO of Wellspring Lutheran Services, and Kevin McFeely, President and CEO of Tacoma Lutheran, will share their own experiences and expertise on creative ways they have kept their residents, families and staff connected and engaged through the pandemic. For more information and to register click here.

Honoring Our Front Line Heros

Lutheran Services in America is proud to honor the incredibly brave front line workers serving during this historic time in our national network. This week we are launching a new digital booklet that offers every inspiring entry to date in our Front Line Heroes series. Our Summer 2020 issue highlights the courageous efforts of our members dating back to March, and is just the first collection in what will be a continuing campaign to lift up the impact our members are making on their communities across the country. You can find the summer issue and an overview video on our new Front Line Heroes page. Please feel free to share these resources on your own social media pages, and to email Caitlyn Gudmundsen ( with stories from your organization you would like to see included in our upcoming issues.

Millions of Individuals Have Yet to Claim Their CARES Act Stimulus Payments

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), many people have not yet received their stimulus payment (Economic Impact Payment or EIP) available under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the COVID-19 legislation Congress enacted in March.  Millions of individuals who do not normally file income taxes are entitled to this payment, and to receive it they must enter their information into the IRS Non-Filers Tool by October 15, 2020.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau just released the guide Helping Consumers Claim the Economic Impact Payment: A guide for intermediary organizations. The guide is free and contains step-by-step information for direct service and community organizations frontline staff on how to: discuss the EIP with clients, determine if clients need to take action, and support clients with what to expect and how to troubleshoot common issues or address scenarios such as not having a permanent address.  If you have questions about the guide, contact

Advocacy Update

A Congressional COVID-19 Relief Package Looks Unlikely Until After the November Election

Despite growing pressure this week within their parties, House and Senate Leadership continue to disagree on how to move forward with COVID-19 relief.  House Democrats in close races are calling on Speaker Nancy Pelosi to compromise with the Senate, but she has indicated that she has already offered to reduce the size of the $3 trillion House package passed in May by $1 trillion.  President Trump this week in a tweet urged Senate Republicans to increase their relief spending but apparently with little effect on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and senators who voted for a modest relief bill last week.  While Speaker Pelosi has indicated that she will bring the House back for a vote should the negotiations logjam break, the window to pass a bill is closing with the House is scheduled to adjourn on October 2nd to allow members to return home to campaign.

Join Us in Urging Lawmakers to Provide Additional Nonprofit Relief NOW by clicking here

As mentioned, Congress is scheduled to adjourn by early October and not to return until after the election—but lawmakers have still not passed an additional COVID-19 relief package that addresses the ongoing needs most important to our members, as outlined in our key priorities. We are asking lawmakers to address the urgent remaining needs of nonprofit health and human services providers NOW.  Your participation will be vital: join us again in writing to your lawmakers.

Coronavirus Resources

Lutheran Services in America has compiled a list of COVID-19 news and resources that is regularly updated. In particular, we are tracking philanthropic and federal funding opportunities and requirements for our members and compiling a list of upcoming webinars, meetings, and events. Be sure to check out these pages and feel free to reach out to or with any related questions you have.


Congress starts its weekend no closer to a coronavirus deal

Democrats and Republicans appeared even further away from a coronavirus relief deal on Thursday, despite mounting calls from rank-and-file lawmakers — and even President Donald Trump — for action.

With no mood for deal-making in either party, the House and Senate are leaving for the weekend with no progress on an agreement, casting further doubt that Congress can muster the political will to adopt another massive economic stimulus measure before the November election.

More from Politico

Hopes Fade For Coronavirus Relief For People With Disabilities

Another round of stimulus checks for people with disabilities and long-sought funding to ease the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic on home- and community-based services are looking increasingly uncertain.

Disability advocates have been pressing lawmakers in Washington since the start of the pandemic to address the needs of people with disabilities, who have been especially hard hit. Advocates were optimistic when the U.S. House of Representatives passed a wide-ranging relief bill in May, but since that time, negotiations between Democrats and Republicans have dragged.

More from Disability Scoop

For Kids With Special Needs, Online Schooling Divides Haves And Have-Nots

It’s Tuesday morning, and teacher Tamya Daly has her online class playing an alphabet game. The students are writing quickly and intently, with occasional whoops of excitement, on the little whiteboards she dropped off at their homes the day before along with coloring books, markers, Silly Putty and other learning props — all of which she created or paid for with her own money.

Two of the seven children in her combined third and fifth grade class weren’t home when Daly came by with the gift bags. One of the two managed to find her own writing tablet, thanks to an older brother, but the other can’t find a piece of paper in her dad’s house. She sits quietly watching her classmates on Zoom for half an hour while Daly tries futilely to get the father’s attention. Maybe the student is wearing earphones; maybe the father is out of the room.

As children head back to school online across California and much of the nation, some of the disparities that plague education are growing wider. Instead of attending the same school with similar access to supplies and teacher time, children are directly dependent on their home resources, from Wi-Fi and computers to study space and parental guidance. Parents who work, are poor or have less education are at a disadvantage, as are their kids.

More from Disability Scoop

Commission on Civil Rights calls for end to subminimum wage for disabled people

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights on Thursday called for an end to a program that allows employers to pay disabled workers less than the minimum wage.

The commission made the recommendation in a report Thursday on the Section 14(c) waiver program, which exempts employers of disabled workers from a section of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The commission said both the Labor Department and the Justice Department have failed to regulate the program and let it fall short of meeting the needs of disabled people.

Overall, the commission said, the program has been “inconsistent with the civil rights protections to which people with disabilities are entitled.”

More from The Hill


Lawmakers, advocacy groups look to eliminate subminimum wage jobs for SC workers with disabilities

In South Carolina, thousands of people with disabilities can work a job and only make a fraction of the minimum wage.

This is due to a provision in the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, which makes it legal for people with disabilities who work for certain nonprofits, training centers, and sheltered workshops to make below $7.25/hour.

“Now what happens is people with disabilities stay in these training centers for years and years and years, and really all their lives and are paid literally pennies,” said Kimberly Tissot, the Executive Director of Able SC, an organization that aims to empower people with disabilities to live self-determined lives.

Several states, including Alaska, Maine, New Hampshire, Oregon, Texas, and Vermont, have passed laws that have outlawed subminimum wage positions. California and Minnesota are among the states that don’t allow subminimum wages for tipped positions.

Sen. Katrina Shealy (R-Lexington County) says South Carolina should become the first Southeastern state to make a change.

More from ABC Columbia

Ensuring Voting Access for Coloradans with Disabilities

With the Nov. 3 presidential election just around the corner, Colorado's disability community is working to make sure all eligible voters will be able to cast ballots. Jennifer Levin, senior attorney for Disability Law Colorado said the safest way to vote during the health crisis is by mail, but all options are on the table for people with disabilities. Levin said concerns about potential voter fraud for mail-in ballots are unfounded, and noted Colorado has been voting by mail without incident for years, in part because the state sets strict security practices. 

More from Public News Service

Disability Rights Ohio turns to video visits to monitor facilities, and finds there are some benefits

When the coronavirus pandemic restricted visits to facilities like nursing homes and psychiatric hospitals, the Ohio nonprofit that advocates for people with disabilities faced a dilemma: How do you keep tabs to make sure they’re protecting residents and patients if you can’t enter the building?

The Columbus-based Disability Rights Ohio decided to move its monitoring visits online, meeting with administrators over Skype or Zoom and getting guided tours from an employee walking around with a laptop or tablet.

More from

Research & Reports

Sociologists Examine Grandparenting Children With Disabilities

In their new book, “Grandparenting Children with Disabilities” (Springer Publishing, 2020), professors Madonna Harrington Meyer of the Maxwell School and alumna Ynesse Abdul-Malak ’13 (M.A., sociology), Ph.D. ’17 (sociology) of Colgate University explore the complex dynamics of how U.S. grandparents, though often invisible, play a vital role in caring for children with disabilities, often placing their physical and financial well-being at increased risk.

Childcare in the U.S. is broadly unsupported by social programs and society at large. Grandparents of children, including those with disabilities, are often asked to assist with childcare in the U.S. due to greater schedule flexibility and at lower costs than private daycare. In their book, professors Harrington Meyer and Abdul-Malak examine the varied experiences of 50 grandparents raising children with disabilities, most of whom are women. These in-depth interviews reveal both the joys and the challenges of grandparenting children with disabilities, which can affect older Americans’ health, social, emotional and financial security. In some instances, grandparents are not able to exercise; in other instances, they incur debt to care for the children, or skip important medical care. Harrington Meyer and Abdul-Malak use cumulative inequality theory to analyze how a lack of social programs in the U.S. relates to increased demand for grandparent care work.

More from Syracuse University News

Resources, Opinions & Opportunities

Why the U.S. Still Has a Severe Shortage of Medical Supplies

It may be hard to believe after all these months, but the shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other critical health care supplies for dealing with the pandemic in the United States still haven’t been solved. Instead, they continue and some have gotten worse. Hospitals, nursing homes, and medical practices routinely have to waste time and heighten their disease exposure by decontaminating disposable masks and gloves for reuse. Many organizations must still forage for critically needed equipment through back channels and black markets. And while the supply of ventilators is no longer an issue, shortages of ICU medications and test-kit reagents remain.

The reason is that a slew of glaring supply-chain deficiencies have yet to be fixed. Our team, which was involved in efforts by the federal government’s Supply Chain Task Force to understand and address the problems, found that the deficiencies are very solvable — if the federal government gives the Strategic National Stockpile agency greater clout, provides it with access to better information and technology, and beefs up its expertise.

More from Harvard Business Review

Opinion: Telehealth advanced by a decade in just one month of the coronavirus

The COVID-19 pandemic has complicated every aspect of life and business.

Providing health care for Arizonans has been no exception. Between office closures, stay-at-home mandates and individuals’ understandable reluctance to attend in-person appointments, health-care and insurance providers have had to adapt with extraordinary quickness.

The coronavirus pandemic has pushed our joint venture between Banner Health and CVS Aetna to shift our telehealth initiatives into overdrive. It’s no exaggeration to say that in terms of adoption by doctors and patients, telehealth advanced by about a decade in less than one month’s time this spring at the height of the pandemic.

More from azcentral

Upcoming Events

LSA-DN 2021 Winter Meeting
February 3–4, 2021
Details TBD


For more information on our topic specific work groups, please email Doug Walter at

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

Keep in Touch

Lisa Morgan
DN Convener
Chief Operating Officer, Lutheran Family Services of Virginia

Mary Mulliet
DN Treasurer
Vice President of Community Services, Samaritas

Doug Walter
Director of Policy and Advocacy, Disability Network, Lutheran Services in America