When I first began this blog back in 2014, I felt I was all alone in confronting problems I saw in the support system for my son and others like him. In the years since, I’ve discovered many other individuals and organizations who were in the fight before I was, and who continue to try to advance disability rights in D.C. and ensure that supports reach those most in need of them.
Even with two extremely important holidays on the calendar, this coming week is going to bring several opportunities for you to expand your knowledge about how the D.C. system of disability supports works now, and how you can help us make further progress in both the near and longer term:
· On Tuesday, January 19 at 10:00, there will be another session in the series I mentioned in my last blog post, on “Assuring Rights During Covid-19.” This presentation, on which I’m co-presenter, clarifies the rights that people who are getting supports under the DDS-administered IDD waiver have, even during a pandemic like the one we’re experiencing. You can find more at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1bR8EUxD_CrFs5C4fmj56fGD4u9xWmxFI/view?usp=sharing. To sign up, contact Emily Ornstein (firstname.lastname@example.org).
· On Thursday, January 21, at 10:00 and at 1:00, the Developmental Disabilities Council (https://ddc.dc.gov/page/about-ddc) will hold two more community forums to get your input on where the DDC should focus its efforts during the 2022-2026 state plan. As a reminder, the DD council is federally mandated and federally funded, and exists ”to strengthen the voice of people with developmental disabilities and their families in DC in support of greater independence, inclusion, empowerment and the pursuit of life as they choose.” Here’s all the information, along with how to register: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1p6Zkht2AsAbyiS30v2klj5J3DT98Dv1o/view?usp=sharing.
· Also on Thursday, January 21, at 7:00 p.m. (and again on Wednesday, January 27 at 1:00 p.m.) families with children still in the school system, as well as others who may be interested, can join a community forum focused on the limitations on eligibility for the current D.C. system of supports for adults with developmental disabilities, and the work that’s being done to build a more equitable system. Find further information and how to register at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1hfU2ACv07RUUETPSIBDHEWXGK8WODUfI/view?usp=sharing
All of these sessions are well worth your effort, but we know your time is limited. Reach out to organizers even if you’re unable to attend, since there will be further opportunities to learn and get involved on all three of these important topics. I’ll look forward to seeing you there -