President’s Budget for FY 2021 Released
President Trump has released his Budget Request for the Fiscal Year 2021 (FY 2021). This is the first step in the complex process of funding the federal government and is indicative of the Administration’s policy priorities. The House and Senate budget committees will review the budget and create their own versions, which will need to be passed by all relevant committees and through both chambers of Congress before becoming law. The Autistic Self-Advocacy Network has put together a plain-language toolkit of the budgetary process for those who would like more information about how this complicated process works.
Unfortunately, the President’s budget contains many cuts to programs that support people with disabilities, such as Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security. Our colleagues at the Association of University Centers on Disabilities have put forth an initial analysis of this budget.
It should be noted that this budget is not expected to be adopted by the Democrat-controlled House, which has very different priorities for funding and systemic reforms. We anticipate that the budget ultimately passed by the House will look very different from that proposed by the Administration and will not contain the same drastic cuts to many of the safety-net programs upon which people with disabilities rely.
New HCBS Infrastructure Bill Introduced
The HCBS Infrastructure Improvement Act has been introduced in the Senate by Senator Bob Casey (D-PA). This bill would provide funding for critical infrastructure in states’ Home and Community-Based Settings (HCBS) systems, including around workforce, employment, integrated housing, and transportation. A House version of the bill is also in the works and is expected to be introduced next month. NDSC is supporting this bill and will ramp up advocacy efforts for it in the near future.
Medicaid Waivers for Block Grants Approved
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released a proposal, called Healthy Adult Opportunity (HAO), to invite states to restructure their Medicaid funding into block grants. Currently, Medicaid is financed by a federal-state partnership with an unlimited federal match tied to a state’s needs and funding levels. This new proposal would allow the federal government to cap the amount of funding it provides to states for certain Medicaid beneficiaries, including some people with disabilities, many direct support professionals, and other allies of people with disabilities who obtained Medicaid through the Medicaid expansion in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). We have serious concerns about this new model because states would be allowed to restrict eligibility, provide limited health care benefits, reduce access to prescription drugs, impose burdensome work requirements, and make other changes that could be detrimental to all Medicaid beneficiaries. If a state’s Medicaid needs exceed the federal funding cap, then states would be responsible for shortfalls, causing them to potentially cut other services (including long term services and supports for people with disabilities). For more information about these concerns, please see this brief provided by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The House of Representatives recently passed a resolution (H.R. 826) expressing disapproval of this new Medicaid funding proposal and asking CMS to withdraw this guidance. We anticipate that there will be legal challenges to this guidance as well. In the meantime, we encourage you to contact your state legislature, state Medicaid Directors and Governors to share your concerns about the HAO waiver.
Continue to Take Action on Two Important Bills
NDSC is still advocating for passage of the ABLE Age Adjustment Act (S. 651, H.R. 1814) and the Transformation to Competitive Employment Act (H.R. 873/S.260) and we need your help. Please call and email your Representatives and Senators and ask them to sign on to cosponsor these bills. Even if you have called in the past, keep those calls and emails coming! The cosponsor list for both of these bills has been growing as a result of your advocacy efforts, but we still need more.
· The ABLE Age Adjustment Act (S. 651/HR 1814) would raise the age of onset of disability from 26 to 46 for people with disabilities to have ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) accounts. This change would enable six million more people with disabilities to become eligible to open an ABLE account. It would also greatly enhance the sustainability of all ABLE programs nationwide. Please use our Action Alert to call or email your US Representatives and Senators and ask them to cosponsor this bill.
· The Transformation to Competitive Employment Act (TCEA) will address barriers to employment and expand opportunities for competitive integrated employment for people with disabilities while phasing out subminimum wage certificates under Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act over a six-year period. In addition, for those who choose not to work, work part-time, or for whom their disabilities make it too difficult to maintain work in a competitive integrated setting, the TCEA includes individualized wraparound services that provide them with opportunities for meaningful training and social activities in the community. You can use this NDSC Action Alert.
Join us in March for Advocacy Training & Meet with Your Members of Congress!
NDSC has partnered with The Arc, AUCD, AAIDD, NACDD, SABE, the Autism Society and UCP to host the 2020 Disability Policy Seminar. The Disability Policy Seminar, which will be held March 23 – 25, 2020, features two days of informative sessions led by policy experts and offers opportunities for participants to discuss key issues with others from their same state. On the third day, attendees will meet with their elected officials or their staff to speak about the high-priority issues that affect them most. Registration is now open; we hope to see you in March in Washington DC!
NDSC is a proud cosponsor of the State of the Art Conference on Postsecondary Education and Students with Intellectual Disability that will take place October 7-8 in Syracuse, NY. This conference is a great opportunity to hear from and meet experts in the field, students, families. Are you interested in presenting at the conference? If so, go to the SOTA conference website to find out more.
TIES Center Update-NEW Inclusive IEP Brief
Ricki Sabia, NDSC’s Senior Education Policy Advisor, continues to work with the federally funded TIES Center on Inclusive Practices and Policies, which is focused on students with significant cognitive disabilities. Ricki focuses primarily on the universal technical assistance component of the project, which is aimed at parents, educators, administrators, and others across the country. This component involves the development of publications and other means of sharing best practices and information so that the work in the intensive and targeted technical assistance states can be scaled up everywhere.
Ricki has co-authored three publications, called “briefs.” The most recent brief (#3) is titled Developing IEPS that Support Inclusive Education for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities.
Brief #1-Ten Reasons to Support Inclusive School Communities for All Students.
Brief #2- An Alternate Assessment Does NOT Mean a Separate Setting.
Each of the briefs mentioned can be downloaded by clicking the links. You can explore all the TIES resources including TIPS for educators. To find out the most recent information from the TIES Center, Like them on Facebook.
After Nick Harmon made news with the “UCCS student with Down syndrome and others with intellectual disabilities will get to walk at graduation” story, we got to chat with him and ask a few questions.
Q: In your own works, why was this topic so important to you?
Nick: It is important for me to be a part of my college graduation because I have been a part of college for four years and this is important to me like everyone else.
Q: How did you prepare your speech to the committee?
Nick: I worked with Jon to prepare my presentation to the student government at UCCS. Me, Jon, and two other students presented our resolution
Q: What was the most important part in your opinion?
Nick: It was important to have the support of all the students at UCCS
Q: What advice do you have for other self-advocates who want to make a change in their communities?
Nick: Stand up, speak out and believe you can make a difference
Q: What is your favorite part about the program at UCCS?
Nick: I love my classes, my friends. learning new things
NDSC will hold our second College Fair on June 26, at the 48th Annual NDSC Convention in New Orleans. This event is a collaboration with Think College and will be a great opportunity for self-advocates and families to meet college representatives to learn more about postsecondary programs for students with intellectual disability.
Colleges, community colleges, and universities may register to participate. A flyer with all the details of the event can be downloaded and shared.
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Click on the file below to read the Newsletter
When: Fri, February 7, 6pm – 9pm
Where: Mill Creek Caterers, 17 NY-376, Hopewell Junction, NY 12533, USA
October event also features Walk a Mile in Her Shoes - a Family Services fundraiser, interactive mural and park bench paintings, cannoli-eating and Halloween costume contests
Poughkeepsie, NY - On Friday, Oct. 4, 5-8:30 p.m., join First Friday Poughkeepsie for San Gennaro, a festival for the ages! The event also features Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, a fundraiser to benefit Family Services and its domestic violence programs, as well as the famous cannoli eating contest, Halloween contest and more.
“First Friday Poughkeepsie is proud to bring back San Gennaro to Little Italy, and also support Family Services and popular Walk a Mile in Her Shoes fundraiser to draw attention to domestic violence,” said First Friday Co-chair Michelle Barone-Lepore. Fellow Co-chair Amanda Baxter added, “It’s partnerships like these that continue to show the collaborative, supportive spirit here in Poughkeepsie.”
The 9th Annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is an international event held to stand up against sexual assault and gender and domestic violence. Originally held to challenge men to walk a mile in high-heeled shoes in solidarity with victims, this family-friendly event invites everyone in the community who wants to help save a life and raise awareness. To start a team, visit www.tinyurl.com/FirstFridayWalkaMile
In typical First Friday Poughkeepsie ‘Food Art Music’ fashion, those attending San Gennaro can try a variety of dishes and drinks from around Italy and other cultures from more than 30 vendors. Help paint the themed mural and park benches, play in the bounce house, and enjoy a magician and a face painter. And back by popular demand, the Costume Contest (and trick-or-treat with vendors) and Cannoli Eating Contest!
Entertainment includes live music by RockSteady and a special guest appearance from Italian sensation Giorgio who will be performing the international hit “We No Speak Americano.” As always, DJ Smitty will be spinning beats in between sets, emceed by our very own Michelle Barone-Lepore with a guest appearance from Mayor Rob Rolison and 1st Ward Councilmember Chris Petsas.
Closest parking will be available at the paid MTA garage at the Poughkeepsie Train Station just one block away from Little Italy, and FREE parking is available at Financial Plaza Parking Deck Downtown, just a short 10-minute walk down Mill Street to the event.
Join us for the official First Friday Poughkeepsie After Party at Mill House Brewing Company, 289 Mill Street, in collaboration with Dutchess Beer Distributors, for food and drink specials all night.
Don Minichino, First Friday Poughkeepsie co-chair, added, “2019 has brought us our first fireworks show, and record-breaking attendance and vendor participation to all corners of the City of Poughkeepsie. Welcome back to Little Italy for our biggest, best Primo Venerdì San Gennaro yet!”
Thanks to Founding Sponsors: Rhinebeck Bank and R.L Baxter Building Corporation
Thanks to Annual Sponsors: The Chamber Foundation, Inc., MINI of Dutchess County, Prime Print, ABC Supply, Bonura Hospitality Group, Levine & Levine PLLC,Veith Electric, Fit Social, Petro Home Services, Angelino Law, Royal Carting, The Irwin/Burlingame Group (Merrill Lynch), M&O Sanitation
Thanks to Media Partners: iHeart Radio of the Hudson Valley, PKGO, Poughkeepsie Journal
Thanks to October Sponsors: Dingee’s Towing, Ready Coffee
Thanks to October After-Party Sponsor: Mill House Brewing Company in collaboration with Dutchess Beer Distributors
Interested in getting involved in First Friday Poughkeepsie in 2020? For vendor, performer or sponsor info, email FirstFridayPK@gmail.com, and for volunteer info, contact Chris Grant, VolunteerFirstFridayPK@gmail.com
About First Friday Poughkeepsie
First Friday Poughkeepsie is a monthly city-wide celebration from May thru October in neighborhoods throughout the City of Poughkeepsie. Referred to as a “movement” for the City, it features local food, art, and music, while highlighting the City as an attractive place to live, work and play. First Friday Poughkeepsie is proudly supported by Founding Sponsors R.L. Baxter Building Corporation and Rhinebeck Bank. For more info, visit www.FirstFridayPK.com, and follow us on Facebook atwww.Facebook.com/FirstFridayPoughkeepsie and Instagram atwww.Instagram.com/FirstFridayPK
Be a part of the NEA Big Read and join us for a special needs book club led by education majors from Marist College using adaptive text.
Meets Thursdays October 17—November 21 at 5:30pm
(skipping Halloween) Charwat Room at Adriance Memorial Library
For ages 14 and up, with a caregiver.
Register by calling 485-3445 x 3707; limited to 8
NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. It is designed to broaden our under- standing of our world, our community, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book.
Saturday, September 7, 2019
10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Bring your family and friends – and a picnic lunch, games and/or sporting equipment.
All are invited to this inclusive day of fun with accessible activities for people
with and without disabilities.
Long Island - Sunken Meadow State Park, 25A and Sunken Meadow Parkway, Kings Park, NY. Meet at Field 1/Main Bathhouse area for nature programs, a Special Olympics New York bocce experience and more. Guarded swimming will be available at the beach.
New York City - Denny Farrell Riverbank State Park, 679 Riverside Drive, New York City. Meet at the Main Stage for park tours and a Special Olympics New York bocce experience.
Hudson Valley - Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park, 2957 Crompond Road, Yorktown Heights. Meet at Picnic Area 1 for nature programs, park tours and health and ﬁtness activities with Special Olympics New York.
Capital District - John Boyd Thacher State Park, 830 Thacher Park Road, Voorheesville. Meet at the Visitor Center for tours and activities. A hawk watch and Birds of Prey program will be held from 10-2 p.m. in the Upper Overlook area.
Central New York - Green Lakes State Park, 7900 Green Lakes Road, Fayetteville.
Meet at the Environmental Education Center for nature programs and a demonstration of the accessible kayak launch.
Genesee Region (Rochester area) - Letchworth State Park, 1 Letchworth State Park, Castile.
Please Note: the event begins at 11:00. Meet at the Humphrey Nature Center for activities.
The September Nature Walk will take place at 1 p.m. A butterﬂy garden walk will take place at 3:00 p.m. followed by a butterﬂy release at 3:30 p.m. Please present Access Pass or sign-in for Get Together Day at park’s entrance gate.
Western New York - Buﬀalo Harbor State Park, 1111 Fuhrmann Boulevard, Buﬀalo.
Meet at Shelter 4 for park activities, nature programs and health and ﬁtness activities with Special Olympics New York.
Visit parks.ny.gov or opwdd.ny.gov for details.
Let’s get together, meet new people and enjoy all that New York State has to oﬀer!
This workshop will provide information about protecting our children’s health and safety now and in the future.
Legal and Advocacy experts will cover topics including
SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and Medicaid, Guardianship and Special Needs Trusts and NYABLE Program.
There is no cost to attend, Space is limited, please register
Karen Lynch@ 845-452 3913 x112 firstname.lastname@example.org
These workshops are sponsored by the Dutchess County Transition Network. Members include Arlington Central School District, The ARC of Dutchess, Down Syndrome Association, Dutchess BOCES RSE-TASC, Dutchess Community College, Dutchess County Department of Behavioral and Community Health, HV Special Education Parent Center, Hyde Park Central Schools, Pine Plains Central Schools, Poughkeepsie City School District, Red Hook Central School District, Rhinebeck Central School District, Spackenkill Union Free School District, Taconic Developmental Disabilities Planning Office, Taconic Resources for Independence, ACCES - VR and Wappingers Central School District.
DSAHV families and friends are welcome to come and enjoy great food and great company. This is a great chance to meet other families and raise awareness for DSAHV. You may bring in the printed flyer or a digital copy on your phone will also be acceptable.
Get direction (click here.)