So much has happened since I last blogged on May 17. The mayor’s phase 1 reopening on May 29 coincided with the national tsunami of reaction to the George Floyd murder, and now the country’s president is riding roughshod over lawful protesters and the District of Columbia. It’s a time for coming together to combat racial injustice, and coming together as a D.C. community to demand our rights as American citizens. All while we try to keep safe as covid continues to move among us.
It’s a lot. And in the midst of it, I’d like us to remind ourselves (many will not need the reminder) that there are many people served by the Department on Disability Services and the Department of Behavioral Health who are people of color, and who therefore have dual risks in their dealings with law enforcement. In recent days our local spotlight has been more on the misbehavior of federal authorities and not so much on the MPD, but this may be a timely moment for us to regroup as a community around the issue of police interactions at the local level. The DD council, with Project ACTION!, is planning to facilitate a conversation among self-advocates along these lines as a starting point.
I really don’t know what else I want to say. Like many of you, I’m a little in shock, a lot worried, and trying to think which way to turn.
But since our world does continue to turn, and there is work to be done, I’d like to call attention to some upcoming deadlines that deserve your attention:
- DCPS is soliciting feedback from families with school-age children about how to reopen schools in the fall, at this link https://coronavirus.dc.gov/page/our-schools-0, until 10 p.m. on June 8.
- SchoolTalk and the DC Youth Leadership Network are currently recruiting DC youth with IEPs (ages 14-21) to apply for PAID Summer 2020 Virtual Work-Based Learning Experiences, with a deadline for applications of June 12. Here is the application: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScoaeO_uc9QA1OInF5Uvvv09MN9vCGM2KZD8KWVVmrnA2piNg/viewform.
- Comments can be submitted on DDS’ proposed new Individual and Family Services waiver until June 24, and on proposed amendments to the existing IDD waiver until June 25. So far I only have these links: https://www.dcregs.dc.gov/Common/NoticeDetail.aspx?NoticeId=N0093593 and https://www.dcregs.dc.gov/Common/NoticeDetail.aspx?NoticeId=N0093594), but maybe one of my DDS readers can provide the link with fuller details.
Stay safe, stay determined.