The Lutheran Services in America Disability Network (LSA-DN) has reached out to Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) to personally thank him for his tireless advocacy on and support for the civil rights of Americans with disabilities. After more than 25 years in the Senate, Senator Harkin is now retiring. Senator Harkin is the Chair of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee in the Senate and author of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The Senator's long-time commitment to equality for people with disabilities has not just resulted in more physically accessible buildings but has ignited the movement for access to the middle class and beyond for people with disabilities through economic self-sufficiency, affordable housing, special education and other areas.
LSA-DN is focused on advancing public policy that preserves and strengthens long-term services and supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities through policy, advocacy and partnership with government. Current policy priorities include:
Person-Centered Medicaid Reform: Advancing innovative, consumer-driven reform, promoting reforms that enable all persons to access the services and supports they need and encouraging policies that allow consumers to design services and supports;
Protect and Strengthen LTSS: Addressing HCBS waiting lists and the growing need of those not presently receiving services, incorporating solutions into Medicaid that are grounded in the lives of consumers and coordinating Medicaid with other federal and state programs that facilitate community living; and
Restructuring LTSS Funding: Supporting new HCBS options and their implementation; advocating for shifting funding and service delivery from state institutions to HCBS and encouraging enforcement of the Olmstead decision.
To read the full text of the letter to Senator Harkin, click here.
To learn more about the work of the LSA Disability Network and how you can get involved on behalf of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities, click here: http://lutheranservices.org/lsadn.