LSA-DN Weekly Update

Disability Network News
Friday, February 21, 2020


Register for the LSA-DN Spring Meeting in Washington, D.C.

It's time to register for the LSA-DN Spring Meeting from April 22-24, 2020 in Washington, DC. We will gather together at the United Methodist Building on Capitol Hill, to learn about the most pressing policy issues leading into the 2020 elections. 

We have reserved a courtesy block of rooms at the Fairfax Hotel on Embassy Row. Rooms will be between $269 and $289 a night. Because April is prime tourist season in Washington, DC, you will need to book your room no later than March 6, 2020 to guarantee the group rate. 

Our group will also be doing visits to Capitol Hill on April 22, starting at around 8:30am. If you wish to do Hill visits, we suggest that you plan to fly in the night of April 21. If your organization is planning to do Hill visits, please reach out to Dania by March 20 and let her know the number of people who will be coming from your organization. 

Questions? Please e-mail Dania Douglas at

Hot Topics in Federal Policy Call: February 25, 2020

Please join the Lutheran Services in America public policy team and your fellow members for an update and discussion of the current hot topics in federal policy and what that means for you. This is part of a recurring series of calls.

Joining us this month is guest speaker Robin Rudowitz, Vice President and Co-Director of the Program on Medicaid and the Uninsured at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Register HERE for our call
Tuesday, February 25 at 2 pm Eastern
**Note the later than usual start time**

More from Lutheran Services in America

New Medicaid Waivers Threaten Healthcare Coverage for Millions

On January 30 CMS Administrator Seema Verma of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a plan that would allow states to use the Medicaid waiver process to fundamentally alter Medicaid as we know it. The CMS proposal would make sweeping, detrimental changes in eligibility, health benefits, drug coverage, and premium costs for people who now receive Medicaid healthcare coverage as part of the program’s expansion which occurred under the Affordable Care Act.

More from Lutheran Services in America


Senators Push FDA To Ban Shock Devices Used On Those With Special Needs

Several U.S. senators are pressuring the Food and Drug Administration to follow through with a ban on devices used to administer electric shocks on people with developmental disabilities.

The FDA indicated in 2018 that it intended to finalize a 2016 proposal to end the use of what are known as electrical stimulation devices.

More from Disability Scoop


U.S. Appeals Court Upholds Ruling Blocking States' Medicaid Work Requirements

A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court decision blocking states' requirements that people must work in order to receive Medicaid.

Residents of Kentucky and Arkansas brought the action against Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, contending that Azar "acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner when he approved Medicaid demonstration requests for Kentucky and Arkansas."

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit agreed, writing in an opinion posted Friday that the secretary's authorization was indeed unlawful.

More from NPR

Accessibility A Big Problem At Iowa Caucus

Reyma McCoy McDeid designed an Iowa caucus precinct that was tailored to voters with disabilities. But it almost got derailed.

While normal Democratic caucuses are standing affairs, every caucusgoer at the Central Iowa Center for Independent Living in Des Moines had a chair in their candidate’s section. When it was time for supporters to give speeches for their candidate, they had a microphone wheeled to them. In an adjacent room, around 20 people with hearing impairment participated in the state’s only all-sign-language caucus.

More from Disability Scoop

Research & Reports

Blocking the Ballot Box: Ending Misuse of the ADA to Close Polling Places

Despite the fact that the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 requires all polling places to be accessible to people with disabilities and the Help America Vote Act of 2002 mandates that all Americans have the right to a private and independent vote, polling places and voting stations across the U.S. remain largely inaccessible.

In this report, Blocking the Ballot Box: Ending Misuse of the ADA to Close Polling Places, the National Disability Rights Network spoke to and visited counties with recent Department of Justice settlements for polling place accessibility. NDRN’s recommendations and suggestions are available in the conclusion section of this report.

More from NDRN

Resources, Opinions & Opportunities

The Americans with Disabilities Act is turning 30. Here's what you should know.

In 1990, Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and President George H.W. Bush signed it into law. Since then, public places have become more accessible to people using wheelchairs. The law also bans discrimination in other areas of life like employment and education.

More from The Hill

Upcoming Events

LSA-DN 2020 Spring Meeting
April 22-24, 2020
Washington, D.C.

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