LSA-DN Weekly Update

Disability Network News
Friday, February 28, 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

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


Senate Passes Bill Expanding Access To Respite Care

Lawmakers are pressing ahead with a plan to increase federal funding to support respite care for families of those with disabilities and other special needs.

The U.S. Senate unanimously approved a bill this week known as the Lifespan Respite Care Reauthorization Act of 2019, or S.995, which would authorize $50 million over the next five years for the Lifespan Respite Care Program, a system of community-based respite care services across the country.

More from Disability Scoop

Disability rights groups say focus on election security hurting voter accessibility

Disability rights advocates on Thursday urged election officials to focus on accessibility alongside security for U.S. elections and pushed for more technological solutions that would allow all Americans to cast secure votes.

“For people with disabilities, our votes aren’t secure now,” Kelly Buckland, the executive director of the National Council for Independent Living, said at an election accessibility summit hosted by the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) on Thursday. “I believe we could make them more secure through technology that is available today.

More from the Hill


Disability advocates say 6,000 families in crisis, getting no help from Georgia

Hundreds of disability advocates rallied at the Capitol on Wednesday to ask lawmakers to reconsider budget cuts that they say would hurt families.

The current budget does not allocate any new Medicaid waivers for home and community care help for families who say they desperately need it.

11Alive was at the Capitol where self-advocates and families met with lawmakers.

More from 11 Alive

Research & Reports

Ed Department: More Students Being Served Under IDEA

The number of American schoolchildren receiving special education services is on the rise and they’re increasingly being served in mainstream classrooms at least part of the day.

More than 6.1 million students across the country ages 6 to 21 — or 9.2 percent of all kids — were served under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act in 2017, the most recent year for which data is available. That’s up from 8.6 percent of children in 2008.

More from Disability Scoop

Resources, Opinions & Opportunities

It’s Time To Explore The Unique And Conflicting Narratives Of Disability Issues

In at least one way, disability issues are the same as any other issue. Facts and details are important, but they don’t explain the full range of debated approaches and priorities. Powerful narratives are also involved … some truthful and drawn from genuine, lived experience of disability, others dishonest or based on fear and prejudice.

The increased prominence of disability issues in the 2020 Election campaign makes understanding these narratives more important than ever.

More from Forbes

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