Getting Rolling on Advocacy
This post will be brief, and is mainly to alert folks that the DDS-sponsored Supporting Families Community of Practice is beginning to be a more active and promising forum (firstname.lastname@example.org for information). I attended much of the session on September 17, at which the main focus was on getting parents to organize on disability issues and to advocate with local authorities on shared concerns. Laura Nuss, Director of DDS (see my August 11 post) was there, and she spoke about possibilities for advocacy around future legislation with respect to support for people with developmental disabilities, such as alternatives to the current court-commitment process for most D.C. Medicaid waiver recipients and funding an expansion of coverage beyond those with intellectual disabilities. There was also a very good presentation on advocating for system change in D.C. by Diane Lewis of Alta Consulting. Based on the turnout and the substantive focus of this session, it’s clear that things are starting to bubble and there are people ready to get more active, but efforts need to be focused in order to make a difference. With the number of people in D.C. who are not being served currently, for reasons having to do with the history of service provision in D.C. (more about this in upcoming posts), I believe this deserves a major push from all of us, with our council members as well as the new mayor, so that a broader array of people with developmental disabilities and their families get the support they need.
I’m developing questions to send to the three mayoral candidates with respect to their perspectives on issues of developmental disability in D.C. If you have thoughts you believe should be reflected in the questions I submit, feel free to weigh in – click below on “No comments,” and make it one, two, three and more comments. I’m proceeding, but will welcome your ideas.
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