NDSC's Day on the Hill a Big Success!
Legislative Priorities Presentation in DC
Day on the Hill Advocates Have an Amazing Experience
Since last week, when over 400 NDSC Day on the Hill advocates descended on Capitol Hill, the ABLE Act has three new co-sponsors in the Senate and eleven in the House of Representatives. We also added co-sponsors for the Keeping Students Safe Act (prohibiting the use of restraint and seclusion in schools) and the two Trisomy 21 research bills. What a fantastic outcome for people with Down syndrome and all disabilities!
The day started with advocates being greeted by Representatives Pete Sessions (R.TX) and Cathy McMorris Rogers (R.WA) as they made their way to the floor of the House of Representatives. The Representatives spoke briefly as advocates sat in this magnificent chamber. After a picture of the group on the steps of the Capitol, advocates spent the day visiting the Senators and Representatives of their states.
Hopefully, advocates will be empowered by this experience and will build on the relationships they have established with their Senators and Representatives. When your Members of Congress are back home, make sure to go to an occasional event, or schedule an appointment from time-to-time, to keep your name and face - and the needs of your family - fresh in the minds of your elected officials. Change happens when people get involved!
NDSC Legislative Priorities Stressed at Conference Presentation
A room full of family members and self-advocates heard Susan Goodman (NDSC Director of Governmental Affairs), Steve Beck (Down Syndrome Association of Northern Virginia and NDSS Board Member) and Allison Wohl (Collaboration to Promote Self-Determination) discuss issues vital to the future of people with Down syndrome.
Of utmost importance, is the threat to all adult services as states cut Medicaid services and move to a managed care model of providing medical and other important services, particularly long-term support services that enable individuals with disabilities to live and work in the community. Medicaid is currently the funding source for these services.
Also discussed was access to quality education services through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and the ABLE Act, which enables people with Down syndrome and other disabilities to have a savings account without risking the loss of much needed public benefits such as Social Security, SSI and Medicaid.
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