LSA-DN Weekly Update

Disability Network News
Friday, October 9, 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 returned this year and kicked off the series on September 24 by discussing how CEOs can lead effectively through crises. 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.

HHS Announces $20 billion in New Phase 3 Provider Relief Funding

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), has announced $20 billion in New Phase 3 Provider Relief funding for providers on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic. Under this Phase 3 General Distribution allocation, providers that have already received Provider Relief Fund payments may apply, as of October 5, 2020, for additional funding that considers financial losses and changes in operating expenses caused by the coronavirus. Previously ineligible providers, such as those who began practicing in 2020 will also be invited to apply, and an expanded group of behavioral health providers confronting the emergence of increased mental health and substance use issues exacerbated by the pandemic will also be eligible for relief payments. Providers can begin applying for funds on Monday, October 5, 2020.

HHS is making a large number of providers eligible for Phase 3 General Distribution funding, including providers who previously received, rejected or accepted a General Distribution Provider Relief Fund payment. Providers that have already received payments of approximately 2% of annual revenue from patient care may submit more information to become eligible for an additional payment.

CMS Announces $165 million in New Funding for Money Follows the Person Demonstration Programs

On September 23rd the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the availability of up to $165 million in supplemental funding to states currently operating Money Follows the Person (MFP) demonstration programs. This funding is being provided to help state Medicaid programs jump-start efforts to transition individuals with disabilities and older adults from institutions and nursing facilities to home and community-based settings of their choosing.

According to CMS, this action delivers on the Administration’s commitment to transform Medicaid by fostering increased state flexibility and innovation and to ensure safety and quality for beneficiaries.

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

No COVID-19 relief in sight until after the November election

President Trump shut down Congressional COVID-19 relief legislation on Tuesday in a tweet indicating that the White House would stop negotiating until after the November election.  Hours later the president reversed course, urging relief for small businesses under the Paycheck Protection Program, help for the airline industry and a new round the $1,200 stimulus checks.  President Trump's mixed signals only dampened already stalled talks.  House and Senate leadership remain far apart on how to move forward with major differences remaining over state and local government relief, provider liability protection and the overall cost of the package.  With the House adjourned and the Senate focused on confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, a relief package is unlikely until November, at the earliest.  Lutheran Services in America continues to call on lawmakers to return to the negotiating table with tweets this week to Senators urging them to support nonprofit provider needs in a package now.

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

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.


Months into pandemic, PPE shortage persists

Back in March as the pandemic took hold, Atlanta pediatrician Joy Maxey’s two-year supply of high-filtering N95s masks was gone in weeks. Other critically needed equipment was quickly depleted, too. She couldn’t just pick up the phone and order more; her regular vendors didn’t have it. She had to spend hours daily trying to find the precious gear.

Now, seven months after Georgia confirmed its first coronavirus cases, Dr. Maxey is still spending triple the time she used to getting her office enough protective equipment.

Nationwide, that desperate shortage of personal protective equipment has ebbed some, and the headlines have faded. But the shortage isn’t over. Health care providers from hospitals to doctors' offices to nursing homes are still having to search for PPE and ration its use.

More from Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Trump Sends Mixed Messages Over Covid-19 Stimulus

President Trump pulled the plug on ongoing bipartisan coronavirus relief talks in an abrupt move that jolted Wall Street and surprised lawmakers of both parties, but hours later called on Congress to approve a bill providing another direct check to many Americans.

“I have instructed my representatives to stop negotiating until after the election when, immediately after I win, we will pass a major Stimulus Bill,” Mr. Trump wrote Tuesday on Twitter.

Mr. Trump’s tweets appeared to end the long-running effort between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to negotiate an agreement on another trillion-dollar-plus coronavirus relief deal.

But late Tuesday Mr. Trump appeared to backtrack, calling on Congress to approve some additional assistance for airlines and a small-business aid program. He also tweeted that Congress should pass a bill providing another direct check to many Americans.

More from The Wall Street Journal

Ed Department Reminds Schools Of IDEA Obligations During Pandemic

With an unprecedented school year underway, federal officials are weighing in yet again on how educators ought to be serving students with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The U.S. Department of Education issued two question-and-answer documents last week offering further clarification on how the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and other laws should be implemented while the nation grapples with the coronavirus.

The agency has now offered guidance at least a half-dozen times since March on how services for those with disabilities should proceed amid the pandemic. The Education Department said the latest information comes in response to inquiries it has received.

More from Disability Scoop


Utah: Some members raise concerns about proposed Amendment G, but State School Board takes no action

Some members of the Utah State Board of Education raised concerns about proposed Constitutional Amendment G Thursday, but the board took no position on the proposal.

The proposed amendment, which is on the statewide ballot this election cycle, asks voters if they support expanding the use of state income tax to also support children and people with disabilities.

More from Deseret News

Portlanders with disabilities still fighting for rights

When President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law on July 26, 1990, he famously announced: "Let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down."

The ADA was life-changing legislation. It required cities, restaurants, and other public places to become more accessible. Curb cuts, elevators, automatic door openers — all made ubiquitous because of the ADA.

But the ADA did not end exclusionary practices. Though the ADA revolutionized accessibility in the United States, people in the disability rights movement are still fighting for recognition and equal rights.

"We say the ADA is the floor, and a lot of people still haven't gotten out of the basement," said Leila Haile, a community organizer and ADA Title II coordinator for the city of Portland.

More from Portland Tribune

Research & Reports

Nation’s Cities Ranked On Disability Friendliness

Which cities offer the best places to live for people with disabilities? A new ranking factors everything from cost of living to access to support services in an attempt to answer that question.

At the top of the list are Scottsdale, Ariz., St. Louis, South Burlington, Vt., Huntington Beach, Calif. and Bismarck, N.D.

That’s according to an annual analysis from the personal-finance website WalletHub, which assessed data on 182 cities across the country.

More from Disability Scoop

‘Significant Portion’ Of Cerebral Palsy Cases Genetic, Study Suggests

Long thought to be associated with problems at birth, new research indicates that a substantial number of cerebral palsy cases may be genetically based.

A study funded by the National Institutes of Health finds that about 14 percent of cerebral palsy cases may be linked to genetics. The findings published late last month in the journal Nature Genetics come from the largest genetic study of cerebral palsy ever.

More from Disability Scoop

Resources, Opinions & Opportunities

Covid-19 long-haulers and the experience of ‘hidden’ disabilities

As important as it is to advocate for and support the physical accessibility of public and private spaces, an unintended consequence of these events is that disabilities that have nothing to do with mobility are often overlooked in discussions of disabilities and disability accommodation. This extends to medicine, where symptoms are often dismissed or underestimated because they are vague and difficult to characterize, leaving patients without adequate medical or social support. The Covid-19 pandemic is exposing this lack of widespread understanding and accommodation for individuals with nonmobility disabilities. More from Stat

Meet the Black woman advocating for greater disability visibility

Andraéa LaVant wants you to know that she’s many things, a living snapshot of humanity’s vast kaleidoscope. She’s a Black woman. A native Midwesterner. A college graduate and business owner. A daughter, sister and friend.

LaVant is also among the estimated 61 million people in the U.S., according to federal data, living with a disability — in her case, a form of muscular dystrophy called spinal muscular atrophy, or SMA for short. The 37-year-old was diagnosed at age 2 with a genetic disease that, among other things, affects the central nervous system and voluntary muscle movement. More from NBC News

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