Monday, March 18, 2019

Housing Events and More during Developmental Disabilities Month

The next two weeks provide opportunities to celebrate as well as opportunities to advocate.  Do both!

Wednesday evenings this week and next present important opportunities to celebrate Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month (  From the event website at

March 20: Loving -- Heartbreak, Happily Ever-Afters, and Everything In-between; 6 – 8 pm @True Reformer Bldg/Lankford Aud., 1200 U St., NW
A lively discussion is sure to happen as panelists with disabilities share their experiences about building and maintaining healthy, intimate relationships. Clips of Profoundly Normal will be shown to spark conversation. Based on the life of Ricardo and Donna Thornton, this made-for-television movie tells the story of their journey from Forest Haven, the District's former institution for people with developmental disabilities, to husband and wife, to parenthood. Hosted by DDS and the Developmental Disabilities Council (DDC) this event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact

March 27: Celebrating 30 Years of Self-Advocacy
4 – 7 pm @ the Department on Disability Services, 250 E St., SW

This event highlights the work and honors the members of Project ACTION! for their commitment and dedication to disability rights. Project ACTION! is a coalition of self-advocates and advocacy organizations throughout the DC metropolitan region. It started in 1989 when a small group of people with developmental disabilities began meeting monthly at the Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Institute to discuss issues impacting their lives and goals they wished to achieve. It is now an independent 501 (c) 3, supporting people with disabilities to become national self-advocates with members serving on various disability organization boards and committees. For more information, contact

But in between those two celebratory events, take in one of these important follow-up sessions on the proposed DDS housing policies that I’ve covered in several recent blog posts (, search “housing”):

Monday, March 25: HCBS (D.C. Medicaid waiver) meeting
2-4 pm @ the Department on Disability Services, 250 E St, SW
(with pre-meeting for self-advocates from 1-2 pm) OR

Wednesday, March 27: Special Session on Housing Policies
1-3 pm, Ora Glover Meeting Room #3
1800 Good Hope Road, S.E.

Make sure you come to at least one of these because these policies are going to affect greatly people with disabilities who receive residential supports in D.C.  DDS has hosted a number of “listening sessions,” at Family Support Council (, Supporting Families (, Project Action! ( and other meetings.  Now I hope we’ll be getting answers from DDS to the many questions advocates have raised in earlier sessions.

Finally, what a great time we had at Quality Trust’s Better Together reception last week!  Thanks to Phyllis Holton for arranging such a great gathering, and thanks to everyone who came out and supported this essential organization.  We’ll see you at the summer gala!

And stay tuned for Autism Awareness/Acceptance Month ( in April!

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