LSA-DN Weekly Update

Disability Network News
Friday, March 26, 2021


Strength & Service Series

Apr. 16: 1-2pm EDT – Understanding the Impact of Systemic Racism on Black Families

We know children thrive when they are raised in loving, stable families. Yet throughout American history there have been many forces that have actively destabilized black and brown families. Slavery, mass incarceration, the school to prison pipeline, and poverty are some of the many examples of policies and practices that have actively separated children from their families. Please join us for this captivating, original presentation by Dr. Harry Singleton, theologian, author, and one of the most passionate and informed voices on race and religion in America as he elevates the historical and cyclical impact that systemic racism has on children, families, and communities of color, and the considerations we as faith-based organizations must make if we are to disrupt its cycle. Register here.

NEW Application Forms and Extended Deadline for Paycheck Protection Program and Further Expanded Eligibility for Second Draw Loans

Thanks in part to advocacy from our network and the broader nonprofit community, Congress passed yesterday the PPP Extension Act, which extends the deadline for Paycheck Protection Program forgivable loan applications to May 31.  The program had been set to expire on March 31.  This expansion is still pending President Biden's signature, but since he is expected to sign it shortly, we are providing application details. The Small Business Administration (SBA) has also released the NEW application forms Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) borrowers must submit to apply for first-time loans or “second draw” loans, as well as indicating expanded eligibility for those second draw loans.   First Draw loan information

  • Loans are now available for nonprofit organizations:
    • with fewer than 500 employees total who have not already received funding
    • with 500 or more employees across multiple locations, but with no more than 500 employees at a single one of those locations. This group of nonprofits only became eligible to apply when the American Rescue Plan became law on March 11, 2021.

Second Draw loan information

  • Loans are now available for nonprofit organizations that:
    • have already received and spent an initial PPP loan AND
    • can demonstrate a 25% reduction in gross receipts AND
    • have one location with fewer than 300 employees, OR more than 300 employees across multiple locations BUT NO MORE THAN 300 IN ANY ONE LOCATION (this is new information per the updated application form for this type of loan)
  • Application form

More information is available on our website and on the SBA website, and from your lender. 

Free Online Consumer CV19 CheckUp

CV19 CheckUp is an online system developed to help Americans be safer, healthier, and ensure their individual needs are met during the pandemic. CV19 CheckUp asks users to complete an easy, quick, confidential questionnaire. A personalized report is immediately provided, outlining the user’s level of risk and offering recommendations and resources to reduce those risks. CV19 CheckUp employs artificial intelligence and data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Share it with your consumers and residents at

Our COVID-19 Vaccine Resources Hub

Lutheran Services in America network in peer guidance & resources on developing COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution and Communication plans for your organizations.    Lutheran Services in America has created a COVID-19 Vaccine Resources Hub, which we are continuously updating, to assist with vaccine distribution and communications plans of our member organizations. Check out these latest resources including:

If you have any resources or strategies your organization would recommend to increase access and reduce barriers to the COVID-19 Vaccine, please share with with us at

Honoring Our Front Line Heroes

Lutheran Services in America is proud to honor the incredibly brave front line workers serving during this historic time in our national network. We proudly offer digital booklets to recognize this extraordinary work with our Front Line Heroes series. Our Summer and Fall 2020 issues highlight the courageous efforts of our members dating back to March, as part of a continuing campaign to lift up the impact our members are making on their communities across the country. You can find these issues 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 Chris Findlay ( with stories from your organization you would like to see included in our upcoming issues.

Advocacy Update

By a 92-7 vote yesterday, the U.S. Senate extended the Paycheck Protection Program by two months to May 31 for applications and an additional 30-day period for the Small Business Administration, which administers the program, to process applications.  The House passed the measure on March 16, and President Biden is expected to sign it shortly. President Biden and Congressional Democrat leadership are considering employing budget reconciliation two more times this year to pass $3 trillion in spending for infrastructure, climate change, education, and possibly health care, among other priorities.  The reconciliation process does not require Republican votes in the Senate to be enacted into law with Democrats having just enough votes, 50, with Vice President Kamala Harris providing the 51st vote to pass the legislation.  The president indicated in his first press conference yesterday that he would continue to pursue his agenda under the reconciliation process moving forward. This week the Senate also confirmed two more appointees to lead the health care agenda for the Biden administration.  Former Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine has been confirmed as Assistant Secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services, and Dr. Vivek Murthy has been confirmed as U.S. Surgeon General, a position he held late in President Obama’s administration.

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.


COVID-19 law sparks dialogue on nursing home alternatives

With the memory of the pandemic's toll in nursing homes still raw, the COVID-19 relief law is offering states a generous funding boost for home- and community-based care as an alternative to institutionalizing disabled people.

Advocates hope the estimated $12.7 billion will accelerate what has been a steady shift to supporting elderly and disabled people and their overwhelmed families in everyday settings. But the money for state Medicaid programs, long in coming, will only be available over four calendar quarters this year and next. That's raising concerns it will have just fleeting impact, and prompting calls for permanent legislation.

"What we really want is that when our loved ones need support, we are going to be able reach out and get that support without another battle," said Maura Sullivan of Lexington, Massachusetts, who has two sons with autism. "We don't want to have our kids cut out just because the potholes need to be fixed in the states."

More from Modern Healthcare

Waiting Lists May Be Eliminated For Disability Services Provided By Medicaid

Work is underway on legislation that could fundamentally transform the nation’s system of home- and community-based services, eliminating waiting lists and allowing people with disabilities to move across state lines without forfeiting critical services and supports.

draft bill unveiled this month known as the HCBS Access Act would require Medicaid to provide home- and community-based services to everyone who is eligible and establish a minimum set of services that states must offer. The bill is also designed to help states create a network of providers and workers to deliver such supports.

The plan is being put forth by U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., along with Sens. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.

More from Disability Scoop

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Getting Down to Work at HHS

As questions swirl about the covid vaccine made by AstraZeneca, public health experts are worried the confusion could create more doubts among people already hesitant to get a vaccine.

Meanwhile, the first Senate-confirmed officials are settling into their offices at the Department of Health and Human Services, starting with new Secretary Xavier Becerra, who was confirmed on a 50-49 vote. Becerra, at least at first, appears focused on the rollout of new benefits for the Affordable Care Act passed as part of the recent covid relief bill.

And with the big covid bill behind them, members of Congress are looking to their next big package, which could include another effort to address the high costs of prescription drugs.

More from KHN

U.S. on pace to clear Biden’s new goal of 200 million coronavirus shots in his first 100 days

President Biden’s first vaccine promise — 100 million shots in his first 100 days — was met 42 days early. So on Thursday he doubled it, saying 200 million doses will have been administered under his presidency by April 30.

The nation is already poised to meet the revised target, as the seven-day average of daily vaccinations surpasses 2.5 million. Vaccine supply is also expected to expand in April, prompting numerous states to throw open eligibility to everyone 16 and older.

The new goal, then, is similar to the original. It sounds ambitious, but is premised on the United States just keeping pace with its current rate of immunizations. The approach is consistent with the president’s strategy of under-promising and over-delivering after the previous administration tied itself in knots with unrealistic estimates of vaccine availability. More from The Washington Post


Maryland COVID vaccine eligibility expands next week to include all with CDC underlying conditions, disabilities

Starting next week, people with a range of underlying medical conditions identified by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as risk factors for severe cases of the coronavirus will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination appointments, state officials said Tuesday.

Currently, cancer patients, people with end-stage renal disease on hemodialysis, sickle-cell disease patients, people with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and solid organ transplant recipients qualify for vaccines in the state, though they have to be receiving inpatient or outpatient treatment in a hospital setting.

More from The Baltimore Sun

Disability Rights Advocates Question Kentucky Policy On COVID Vaccines

Nathan French signed up for a COVID-19 vaccination and is waiting for an appointment. The 22-year-old Transylvania University senior has had COVID-19 twice. 

“The first time it was asymptomatic, and I was thankful,” French said. “But the second time, I was stricken with lung issues, and it felt like my heart rate was faster than normal. I was horrified for my safety because I just didn’t know what was going to happen to me.”

French has a developmental disability, a form of the neuromuscular disease called Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, which affects his diaphragm and his nerves. French also has a heart condition. 

The second coronavirus infection made French feel like he couldn’t breathe, and it landed him in the hospital for a day where he said he didn’t feel like his treatment was a priority. 

More from WFPL News

Arizona: People with disabilities having trouble getting vaccinated

People with disabilities have faced a number of challenges during the pandemic, not the least of which is the ability to get vaccinated. We talked about it with Mark Botterbusch, Vice President of Operations at Gompers.

Gompers is an agency that supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities with a private school and an employment program. Like many others, Gompers had to close due to the pandemic. Currently, the agency is working at a third of capacity, which Botterbusch has said is a challenge. “Revenue wise has been a struggle, but we’re glad that we can have the people coming that we do,” Botterbusch said.

At the beginning of the state’s vaccination efforts, people with disabilities were not included on the list of high-risk individuals. Therefore, people with disabilities were not able to get vaccinated early on. “Certainly, people with developmental disabilities have a lot of other complicating factors, which puts them at a high risk with COVID,” Botterbusch said.

According to Botterbusch, people with disabilities who were in congregate settings were able to get vaccinated, but the challenge was getting them there. Most vaccines in the state are administered through a drive-thru. Therefore, accessible vans weren’t the easiest to get through a drive-thru vaccine administration. However, Gompers is in the process of scheduling mobile clinics to come out and make the process easier.

More from Arizona PBS

Research & Reports

A lockdown silver lining for workers with disabilities

The pandemic normalized working from home, and that could open doors for America’s workers with disabilities.

The big picture: All sorts of hurdles — like getting to work if you’re in a wheelchair or adjusting to office environments if you’re a person with autism — are eliminated by remote work. This new future could be a more inclusive one for all Americans.

The backdrop: Just four in ten working-age adults with one or more disabilities are employed, per Brookings.

  • Education isn't a factor. The employment rate among college-educated adults with disabilities is 59%, compared with 69% for college-educated adults without disabilities.

What's happening: Drivers of this troubling trend include rampant discrimination in the hiring process as well as the fact that most cities' central business districts – where all the jobs are — are very inaccessible.

More from Axios

Resources, Opinions & Opportunities

'I'm not OK but I'm doing the best I can': Caregivers face impossible challenges during COVID

According to The National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP one in five Americans are a caregiver for an ill or disabled family member. Being a caregiver isn't easy and during the pandemic "isn't easy" is an understatement.

I've been one for the past six years since my husband had an aortic valve replacement. They fixed his heart but it didn't go as planned. He takes his nutrition via a feeding tube and is dependent on oxygen. Going on vacations, dinners at restaurants, bicycle rides around Manhattan ended for us long before the pandemic. 

Up until recently, we hunkered down in our vacation home in upstate New York – binging TV. Steve cooked several dinners for me surprising me with his culinary skills. When a major health crisis hit, we weren't prepared.

More from USA Today

Upcoming Events

LSA-DN 2021 Spring Meeting (virtual)
April 8, 2021
1:00-3:30 p.m. Eastern


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, enCircle

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

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