I hope that you, your families and friends are looking forward to a happy and healthy 4th tomorrow. In the holiday spirit, I’m keeping this new blog post brief, with just a few important announcements:
· First, the sad news that Erin Leveton will be leaving DDS on July 19. She will become a consultant on systems change to the state of Maryland’s disability services. D.C.’s loss will be Maryland’s gain. I hope that Andy Reese will select someone who is equally focused on innovative systems change in D.C. and outreach to the full D.C. community.
· Congratulations to Molly Whalen, co-chair of the DDS Family Support Council, for this opinion piece in the new online newspaper DC Line (https://thedcline.org/) on dwindling education options for D.C. students with disabilities: https://tinyurl.com/y5hyqpc3
· MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR THREE IMPORTANT EVENTS DURING THE WEEK OF JULY 22!
o On July 24 there will be a hearing on D.C. statehood in the U.S. House of Representatives. It will take place in the Rayburn House Office Building, and as soon as I have the exact time and room number I will share those. (If you know, please leave a comment on this post!) I am hoping to gather a dedicated band of D.C. folks from the disability community to show up in force – WE NEED TO MAKE OUR NATIONAL REPRESENTATIVES SEE REAL PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN D.C. AND WANT OUR RIGHTS! (note the 51 stars!)
o On July 25, 12:30-2:30 (location TBD), the Family Support Council will hold a public meeting focused on recent developments with HSCSN (https://hschealth.org/health-plan) that affect Medicaid services for those 26 and under. This is a great opportunity to get up to speed on what the recent changes mean, and the Department of Health Care Finance (DHCF), which oversees all Medicaid waiver programming, will also be present.
o On Saturday, July 27, 5:30 onward, Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities will hold its annual Summer Breeze gala (https://tinyurl.com/yydzdxdv), at the Ronald Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Please come and support QT – I serve on its board and know better than most all the essential contributions it makes behind the scenes on behalf of people with developmental disabilities in D.C. as well as on the national scene. Buy your tickets and be there!