I like to express opinions in my blog, but sometimes the right thing to do is to make you aware of opportunities to express yours! What follows is information that should help you with your planning in 2020:
- Bill 23-0214, the Direct Support Professional Payment Rate Act of 2019, received its first full (favorable) vote in the D.C. council on Tuesday, January 7, and the second vote will take place at the council’s next regular legislative meeting, on February 4. Take a look at my page entitled “Contacting the D.C. council” (https://www.ddinwdc.com/p/members-of-d.html) and let your representatives know you want to see this bill passed. Then also let deputy mayor Wayne Turnage (firstname.lastname@example.org) know you want the Bowser administration to fund it! If you don’t know what this bill is about, enter “DSP” in the Search box and you’ll find plenty of information.
- On Tuesday, February 11, the D.C. council will hold its performance hearing on the Department on Disability Services (https://dds.dc.gov/). This is the foremost opportunity each year for folks to weigh in on how well the D.C. government is supporting adults with developmental disabilities, so I hope to see (and hear) you there. Here is the information on where and when, and how to sign up to testify: https://dccouncil.us/event/performance-oversight-hearing-committee-on-human-services-3/. (Note: the council calendar still shows Feb. 7 but the date has changed.)
- Project ACTION!, D.C.’s very active self-advocacy group, meets monthly at the Kennedy Institute, 801 Buchanan St. NE. The next meeting is Saturday, February 8, 10:00-12:00. All are welcome, and there’s always great food, great fun, and a lot to learn.
- Ever since last summer’s vigorous discussion around the expiration of the DDA Health Initiative contract with the Georgetown University Center (https://ucedd.georgetown.edu/index.php), there’s been a lot of ferment about improving DDS operations and communications. As part of its follow-up DDS, in collaboration with Quality Trust and others, is launching several workgroups under its Quality Improvement Committee (https://dds.dc.gov/page/quality-improvement-committee-qic), to look at different aspects of its performance. I’m still trying to get a fuller understanding of this exercise and hope to share more information soon.
- The D.C. Developmental Disabilities Council (DDC) will now be holding four public meetings per year (previously there have only been three public meetings annually). The first of these public meetings in 2020 is scheduled for March 19 at 3:00 – watch the DDC website for more information: https://ddc.dc.gov/. We cover a lot of ground in these meetings, and it’s a good place to come to be exposed to the many initiatives affecting people with developmental disabilities in our community.
- The Family Support Council (https://dds.dc.gov/publication/family-support-council-procedures) also holds public meetings, every other month, and the next of these is on March 12, 12:30-2:30. The FSC looks in-depth at issues affecting people with disabilities across a number of different D.C. government agencies, and recently its focus has been on the Department of Health Care Finance. For more information about the FSC and its upcoming business, you can contact Emily Ornstein (formerly Emily Price) at email@example.com.
- Later in the spring, there will also be celebratory and informational events, in March for DD Awareness Month and in April for Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month. I’ll share specific dates as soon as I have them. And while you’re thinking about celebrating, buy your early-bird tickets to Quality Trust’s annual Better Together reception: https://qualitytrustforindividualswithdisabilities.networkforgood.com/events/18345-2020-better-together-reception.
That should be enough to help you plan the next couple of months!