LSA-DN Weekly Update

Disability Network News
Friday, November 22, 2019


LSA-DN Policy and Advocacy Team Visits Washington, DC: Advocacy Opportunity Builds Relationships

Blog by Lisa Morgan of Lutheran Family Services of Virginia

Knowing that you have the opportunity to influence public policy on behalf of the individuals you serve is a powerful feeling. The week of November 4, I joined fellow advocates from Minnesota, New York, and Pennsylvania to speak up on behalf of the Lutheran Services in America – Disability Network (LSA-DN) in Washington, D.C. We arrived at the table with stories and shared best practices, outcomes, and challenges, which allowed us to advocate for the people we serve, the people we employ, and for our industry.

More from Lutheran Services of America

Register Now for the LSA-DN Winter Meeting

Take a break from winter and join your colleagues for an invigorating meeting in sunny Florida from January 29-January 31, 2020. Our winter meeting will focus on data, outcomes, and building and sustaining a direct service workforce in a challenging Medicaid landscape. We look forward to welcoming dynamic speakers including Kezia Scales of PHI and Joe Macbeth of the National Association of Direct Service Providers. Register now. 

Click here to make reservations at One Ocean Resort and Spa

*Note If you are attending CEO Summit, you should register for your hotel room through the CEO Summit link. See article below. 

More from Lutheran Services of America

Register Now for Lutheran Services in America CEO Summit

Join us January 26–29 in Atlantic Beach, Florida, for the Lutheran Services in America CEO Summit 2020, where we’ll explore concrete ways successful CEOs are designing the future so their organizations can grow, thrive and respond to evolving needs.

* Note CEO Summit will be followed immediately by our LSA-DN Winter Meeting. If you are attending both CEO Summit and the DN Winter Meeting, you should be able to extend your hotel reservation through the CEO Summit Link. If you have any problems with this, please alert Dania Douglas at

More from Lutheran Services of America


The health care system isn't ready to replace aging caregivers

The first generation of developmentally disabled adults who grew up at home, not in an institution, are now middle-aged and facing a health care system that’s largely unprepared to take care of them as their baby boomer parents age out of that role.

Numbering in the tens of thousands, they were the test case for deinstitutionalization. Now they are test cases for an ill-defined, underfinanced future. Most have never spent much time away from their parents and are on long waitlists for state services, which may be out of reach until an emergency strikes.

More from Politico


California school workers charged with manslaughter as autistic student dies after being restrained

A Northern California school and three of its employees have been charged after an autistic student died as a result of being restrained.

Guiding Hands School, a former private school in El Dorado Hills, California, and three of its ex-employees were charged with felony involuntary manslaughter on Tuesday, nearly a year after 13-year-old Max Benson died while in the school's care, authorities said.

More from ABC News

The Quiet Rooms: Children are being locked away, alone and terrified, in schools across Illinois. Often it's against the law

The spaces have gentle names: The reflection room. The cool-down room. The calming room. The quiet room.

But shut inside them, in public schools across the state, children as young as 5 wail for their parents, scream in anger and beg to be let out.

The students, most of them with disabilities, scratch the windows or tear at the padded walls. They throw their bodies against locked doors. They wet their pants. Some children spend hours inside these rooms, missing class time. Through it all, adults stay outside the door, writing down what happens.

More from the Chicago Tribune

Research & Reports

Bioethics and Report Series: Medical Futility and Disability Bias

Over the past three decades, medical futility decisions by healthcare providers—decisions to withhold or withdraw medical care deemed “futile” or “nonbeneficial”—have increasingly become a subject of bioethical debate and faced heavy scrutiny from members of the disability community. Negative biases and inaccurate assumptions about the quality of life of a person with a disability are pervasive in US society and can result in the devaluation and disparate treatment of people with disabilities. Health care providers are not exempt from these deficitbased perspectives, and when they influence a critical care decision, the results can be a deadly form of discrimination.

More from National Council on Disability

Resources, Opinions & Opportunities

Disabled People Cannot Be “Expected Losses” in the Climate Crisis

Disabled people face disproportionate risks from climate change. Consider the impact of floods, hurricanes and other extreme weather events that are intensified by the climate crisis. The structural barriers that disability communities face every day — inaccessible infrastructure, subpar public transportation systems, refusals to provide communication access, endemic poverty and a limited voice in civic governance — become a matter of life or death during disaster.

Public failures to address disability during disaster are getting more attention, thanks to the work of leaders like Marcie Roth at the Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies, who has built a coalition of disability leaders, emergency management professionals and public health experts committed to disability inclusive disaster response.

More from Teen Vogue

Upcoming Events

LSA-DN 2020 Winter Meeting
January 26-29, 2020
Atlantic Beach, Florida

LSA-DN 2020 Summer Meeting
August 5-7, 2020
Cincinnati, Ohio


For more information on our topic specific work groups, please email Dania Douglas at

  • Policy & Advocacy Team
  • Culture and Engagement Workgroup
  • Administrative Cost Survey Working Group

Keep in Touch

Bill Kallestad

Lisa Morgan

Dania Douglas 
Director of Public Policy
LSA Disability Network
Lutheran Services in America