LSA-DN Weekly Update

Disability Network News
Friday, August 28, 2020


Registration for CEO Summit Series: 2020–2021 Now Open

CEO Summit is going virtual this year, and while we will miss seeing you in person, our new format offers the opportunity for additional CEOs to participate nationwide, and for us to engage an even broader, strong lineup of thought leaders. With your direct feedback, we’ve developed a series of four virtual leadership seminars designed to strengthen, inspire and enrich leaders across our network with a focus on emerging stronger.

Renowned corporate strategist and advisor to Fortune 500 executives David Morey returns this year to kick off the series on September 24 to discuss how CEOs can lead effectively through crises. Then on November 10, Dr. Garth Graham, vice president and chief community health officer at CVS Health, will guide us through some of the most innovative partnerships in the health and human services sector. In 2021, Carolyn Cawley, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, will examine the broader trends of the workforce and its recovery. Carolyn will be followed shortly thereafter by Advocate Aurora Health president and CEO Jim Skogsbergh and others to share their visions for 2022 and beyond.

Join us in crafting the answers to the biggest questions now facing our entire network. Register for this timely series today!

The Lutheran Services in America Strength & Service Series

Upcoming Series Webinars

A Conversation About the Future of Our Not-for-Profit Senior Living & Care Sector
Date: Tuesday, September 1, 2020
Time: 1:00-2:00 EDT
Hosts: Dan Hermann, President and CEO of Ziegler, Lisa McCracken, Director of Senior Living Research of Ziegler

Ziegler, a longtime sponsor of LSA, will outline the key considerations for not-for-profit senior living providers to help balance the demands of the pandemic while staying focused on the big-picture/strategic direction of an organization. In addition, member CEO’s David Trost of St. John’s United and Larry Bradshaw of National Lutheran Communities & Services, will be present to respond to key discussion points as well as detail how their organizations are positioning for future, long-term viability in spite of COVID-19.   This session is designed for CEOs, CFOs, COOs and Board Members. Register here.

Honoring Our Front Line Heros

Lutheran Services in America is proud to honor the incredibly brave front line workers serving during this historic time in our national network. This week we are launching a new digital booklet that offers every inspiring entry to date in our Front Line Heroes series. Our Summer 2020 issue highlights the courageous efforts of our members dating back to March, and is just the first collection in what will be a continuing campaign to lift up the impact our members are making on their communities across the country. You can find the summer issue and an overview video on our new Front Line Heroes page. Please feel free to share these resources on your own social media pages, and to email Caitlyn Gudmundsen ( with stories from your organization you would like to see included in our upcoming issues.

Millions of Individuals Have Yet to Claim Their CARES Act Stimulus Payments

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), many people have not yet received their stimulus payment (Economic Impact Payment or EIP) available under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the COVID-19 legislation Congress enacted in March.  Millions of individuals who do not normally file income taxes are entitled to this payment, and to receive it they must enter their information into the IRS Non-Filers Tool by October 15, 2020.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau just released the guide Helping Consumers Claim the Economic Impact Payment: A guide for intermediary organizations. The guide is free and contains step-by-step information for direct service and community organizations frontline staff on how to: discuss the EIP with clients, determine if clients need to take action, and support clients with what to expect and how to troubleshoot common issues or address scenarios such as not having a permanent address.

More information is available through CFPB's blog, and CFPB will offer two webinars, walking through the guide and answering questions from attendees. Register now for the date that works best for you:

Thursday, September 3, 2020, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM EST. Register here:

Thursday, September 8, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM EST. Register here:

If you have questions about the guide, contact

Advocacy Update

COVID-19 Relief Legislation Unlikely Until After Labor Day

With the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate in adjournment until after Labor Day and the Democrat and Republican parties focusing this month on their national conventions, negotiations on a new COVID-19 relief package are unlikely to resume until well into September.  Leadership from both parties have said that they would reconvene Congress before Labor Day if some agreement could be reached on major issues, particularly regarding continued enhanced unemployment benefits, but no agreement is in sight.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi remain fundamentally at odds with the size of the package.  The House voted for a $3 trillion relief bill in May, while Senate leadership has recently been floating proposals for $500 billion in legislative relief.  We continue to urge that the legislation address needs most important to health and human services nonprofits or our country’s most vulnerable people as outlined in our key priorities, including forgivable loans for nonprofits of all sizes and additional targeted financial resources for nonprofit front line health and human services providers.  We ask that you continue to make our voices heard as negotiations continue.  Please join us in sending a message to your Senators by clicking here to use our advocacy tool.

Coronavirus Resources

Lutheran Services in America has compiled a list of COVID-19 news and resources that is regularly updated. In particular, we are tracking philanthropic and federal funding opportunities and requirements for our members and compiling a list of upcoming webinars, meetings, and events. Be sure to check out these pages and feel free to reach out to or with any related questions you have.


COVID-19 May Shut Many Disability Programs For Good

Disability service providers across the country are closing programs as the coronavirus pandemic wears on and many are unlikely to reopen.

In a survey of 191 organizations serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities nationally, 77 percent said they shut down or discontinued programs as a result of challenges related to COVID-19 and 16 percent of those indicated that the programs are not expected to reopen.

More from Disability Scoop

Pandemic Hitting Families Of Those With Disabilities Harder

Family caregivers of people with disabilities are experiencing isolation, anxiety and other ill-effects from the coronavirus pandemic in far greater numbers than others, according to new research.

Findings from a handful of new surveys are trickling out looking at how families of those with disabilities across the country are faring during these unprecedented times and by and large, the picture isn’t pretty.

More from Disability Scoop

GOP set to propose smaller coronavirus stimulus bill

Republicans are working on a more narrow coronavirus stimulus bill that they could release to members of Congress as soon as this week, two senior administration officials and three people briefed on the matter told CNBC.

The GOP is mulling a roughly $500 billion proposal that addresses only areas of bipartisan support: expanded unemployment insurance, a new authorization of small business loans, and money for schools and Covid-19 testing, treatment and vaccines. The plan would not include another direct payment to Americans. 

More from CNBC

Republicans, Democrats trade blame for stalled U.S. coronavirus aid legislation-19

Top Democrats and Republicans blamed each other for stalled talks on coronavirus aid legislation on Sunday, a day after the House of Representatives approved $25 billion in new funds for the U.S. Postal Service, a bill that Republicans declared dead. But the vote failed to shift a stalemate over the next phase of coronavirus aid since Aug. 6, when talks between the White House and Democratic congressional leaders broke down over funding levels and unemployment benefits. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Republican-controlled chamber would “absolutely not pass” the postal bill.  More from Reuters


States say FEMA may no longer pay for protective gear

State and local governments officials say the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has indicated it might no longer provide reimbursements for personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies needed to fight COVID-19.

FEMA reimburses state and local governments for 75 percent of the costs for PPE and disinfectants, but that arrangement may soon end, according to state and municipal leaders.

“This proposed change to PPE coverage continues a troubling pattern of shifting costs and responsibilities onto states and localities when they can least afford it,” the National Governors Association (NGA), National Conference of State Legislatures and other groups wrote in a letter Tuesday to FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor.

More from The Hill

Arkansas: disability services slots added in state

Governor Asa Hutchinson announced Thursday that 700 additional slots would be made available for Arkansans with developmental disabilities to receive home- and community-based services through a state Medicaid waiver program.

The additional slots take a chunk out of a waitlist for the program that the state for years has tried to reduce to zero. As of Thursday, the developmental disability waiting list stood at about 3,500 people, the governor said.

More from Arkansas Democrat Gazette

New Hampshire lifts mask mandate for 'disability' workers

Employees with a “valid medical condition or disability” will no longer be required to wear a face covering in the workplace, Gov. Chris Sununu said Thursday.

“I think it’s important that if somebody has a medical or physical disability, we shouldn’t prevent them from doing their job. They just want to work,” Sununu said.

 More from New Hampshire Union Leader

N.Y.‘s most vulnerable will suffer if the state cancels funding: disability advocates

Service providers supporting some of the most vulnerable New Yorkers are warning of layoffs and deep cuts if the state doesn’t take action.

New York Disability Advocates, a statewide coalition of providers, is calling on New York to allow providers to use resources that have already been budgeted to meet fixed costs, prevent layoffs and avoid a disruption in services for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

“The system that serves people with I/DD is in jeopardy,” said the group’s president Tom McAlvanah. “We understand the state is under increasing financial stress. However, we are not asking for increased funding.”

More from New York Daily News

Advocates for Iowans with Disabilities Waste No Time on Election Prep

The calendar still says August, but given the many challenges 2020 has seen, those doing outreach efforts ahead of the fall election say time is not a luxury.  That sentiment is being expressed by a key Iowa group that assists residents with disabilities.  In Iowa, Oct. 24 is a key deadline for registering to vote and to request an absentee ballot. Bill Kallestad, public policy manager for the Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council, said because of the pandemic and the vulnerability of their members, they're encouraging them to vote absentee this fall.

More from Public News Service

Research & Reports

Report Release: Failures in COVID-19 Response Harm People With Disabilities and Older Adults

The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies released a report documenting the pandemic over 154 consecutive daily calls with disability and older adult stakeholder across the country. The Report: COVID-19 & Disability Rights Daily Calls: February 23 - July 31, identifies patterns showing the failure of the pandemic response to prioritize the lives of people with disabilities and older adults, despite making up over 42% of COVID-19 deaths. It also shows the disability and older adults  stakeholders’ initiatives to anticipate and mitigate the unfolding crisis.

More from The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies

Did CARES Act benefits reach vulnerable Americans? Evidence from a national survey

By now the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are well known. Either you are one of the tens of millions of Americans who has filed for unemployment in the last six months, or you’ve read about the impact on the stock markethiringbusiness closures, and functionally every other economic indicator there is. In response, the federal government passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in March, which provided an array of financial supports for businesses and households to help them weather the financial impacts of widespread economic shutdowns necessitated by the spread of the virus.

More from Brookings

Resources, Opinions & Opportunities

People with intellectual disabilities need to be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccine | Expert Opinion

The COVID-19 pandemic revealed serious gaps in the systems of care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Two major problems have emerged. First, organizations providing critical services to this vulnerable population are not defined in federal legislation in the way that organizations such as community health centers or skilled nursing facilities are, and consequently they were left out of many funding streams that became available through the CARES Act and other opportunities. Second, the population served by these providers is not well-defined or well understood by government agencies and legislators.

More from The Philadelphia Inquirer

Short-Term Bailouts Won’t Fix Nursing Homes or Medicaid Home-Based Long-Term Care

The illness and death that covid-19 has brought to older adults has created an historic opportunity for the US to rethink the way it delivers and pays for long-term care.  Yet, much of the long-term care industry and even many advocates for older adults and younger people with disabilities are lobbying for short-term fixes, not real reform.

More from Forbes

Upcoming Events

LSA-DN 2021 Winter Meeting
February 2021
Details TBD


For more information on our topic specific work groups, please email Doug Walter at

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

Keep in Touch

Lisa Morgan
DN Convener
Chief Operating Officer, Lutheran Family Services of Virginia

Mary Mulliet
DN Treasurer
Vice President of Community Services, Samaritas

Doug Walter
Director of Policy and Advocacy, Disability Network, Lutheran Services in America