Advocacy & Policy Newsline ~ October 2020

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Update on COVID-19 Relief Bills

With the election just weeks away, the Senate is unlikely to pass another broad COVID-19 relief package in the near future. On October 1, the House passed the $2.2 trillion stimulus bill known as HEROES 2.0 Act, which included many of NDSC’s top priorities, including dedicated funding for Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS). Negotiations around another COVID-19 relief bill have been on and off, but it is unlikely that an additional, comprehensive plan like HEROES 2.0 will to progress in the Senate. It is most likely that any future COVID-19 relief will come as Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) pushes for a very limited and targeted smaller “skinny” COVID-19 bill to assist small businesses. Such a “skinny” COVID-19 relief bill would likely not address most priorities of the disability community. To see a comparison of the various proposed COVID-19 relief bills, as they relate to disability priorities, you can visit the Center for Public Representation website.

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RSVP for NDSC’s Event of the Year!

Soiree of Stars - Event of the Year

We hope you will join us as Tim Tebow, Dale Murphy, Coach Dabo Swinney, Ludacris, Rita Harvey, and Neil Berg welcome you to the NDSC Soiree of Stars Virtual Gala.  This event will honor the individuals, organizations, corporations, and 3 amazing Everyday Heroes, self-advocates who have worked in essential positions through the COVID-19 pandemic.

We will also be joined by Felicia Patti from the Netflix hit show Away the cast of Born This Way as we catch up on all that they have been doing in 2020.

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Policy & Advocacy Newsline ~ September 2020

Update on COVID-19 Relief Bills

Congressional negotiations in the Senate on the next major COVID-19 relief package have hit a standstill, but we are hopeful that increased pressure from the White House on the House leadership to move on a COVID-19 bill will reinvigorate the discussions. As the days pass, the chances for a standalone COVID-19 Relief bill grow slimmer.

In May, the House passed its 4th COVID-19 Relief Package and the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act (H.R.6800), which contained many positive provisions for people with disabilities, but the Senate has not taken up this bill. In late July, the Senate proposed its own COVID-19 relief package known as the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection, and Schools (HEALS) Act.

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NDSC Soiree of Stars Gala Invite

The National Down Syndrome Congress Soiree of Stars Gala Benefit Committee is proud to invite you to join us on October 22, 2020,  for our inaugural Soiree of Stars Virtual Gala. The Gala will stream live as we will bring together thousands of guests to shine the light on individuals, organizations, and corporations, making a difference in the lives of individuals with Down syndrome.

NDSC is the country’s oldest and largest national organization serving people with Down syndrome. For more than four decades, NDSC has worked tirelessly to foster networks of local and regional groups across the country and globe to connect with and embrace people with Down syndrome, their families, friends, and the professionals who support them. Recent world and national events have pushed us to work harder than ever before.

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Policy & Advocacy Newsline ~ August 2020

Next COVID-19 Relief Package Stalled

Congressional negotiations on the next major COVID-19 relief package have stalled, and we do not expect them to resume until September. Senate Republicans have just released a new “skinny” COVID-19 relief proposal, the Delivering Immediate Relief to America’s Families, Schools and Small Businesses Act, which fails to address the disability community’s most urgent priorities.

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NDSC E-News ~ August 2020

Mission Moment

Over the last few months, our staff has been working harder than ever to support your family with the critical informationDavid Tolleson, NDSC Executive Director and advocacy you need. Last week, in conjunction with our national partners, we released the third iteration of our Q&A on COVID-19 and Down syndrome in both English and Spanish. We have increased our virtual learning opportunities to prepare parents for uncertain times – most recently, a webinar to help parents navigate back-to-school options without unintentionally voiding their child’s IDEA rights. We are developing more free webinars, as well as a low-cost Fall Learning Series and virtual Educators Conference. Our Policy Team is working hard on COVID-related issues ranging from financial remedies for self-advocates to educational protections for children with IEPs.

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Policy & Advocacy Newsline ~ July 2020

We Need Your Advocacy Help for 4th COVID-19 Relief Package

After passing three large packages and several smaller bills to address the Coronavirus pandemic, the Senate is negotiating terms for the fourth COVID-19 relief bill. The House passed its 4th COVID-19 Relief Package in May, the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act (H.R.6800), which contained many positive provisions for people with disabilities. Unfortunately, the HEROES Act is considered by the Senate majority to be a very partisan bill, so the Senate will be drafting its own COVID-19 Relief Bill instead of taking up the HEROES Act as a starting point for negotiations.

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NDSC E-News ~ July 2020

Mission Moment 
with Executive Director David Tolleson

Wow – what a great month we’ve had! Our Convention From Your Couch was a tremendous success. I’m very thankful to the staff members and volunteers who produced this incredible six-plus week gift to our community. If you missed any (or all) of the workshops or special sessions (like the Awards Ceremony, Talent Show, or Dance) – or if you just want to watch them again – the viewing deadline has been extended through July 12.  Going forward we’re working on additional programming for the summer and fall in both English and Spanish, and we have also begun planning for next year’s NDSC Annual Convention at the J.W. Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix, Arizona!  We hope to see you there.

You can also view a recording of our Town Hall on race relations. It was a terrific conversation starter – one that will continue on July 16,  at 7:00 PM ET. Please join us then to be part of this important discussion.

David Tolleson, NDSC Executive Director

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Extending Convention From Your Couch Through July 12

It is hard to believe that we are in the final days of the NDSC Convention From Your Couch.  Although nothing can replace attending an NDSC Convention in-person, we hope that you have found the virtual event provided information, resources, and connections that are useful for you and your family. 

If you have not attended Convention From Your Couch and would like access to the private channel with nearly 7 weeks of programming, we are extending the viewing channel access through July 12.  The details to gain access are below. 

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Policy & Advocacy Newsline ~June 2020

Addressing Systemic Racism
In response to the killing of George Floyd and other black individuals in recent weeks and the impact of systemic racism on our society, NDSC released a statement that condemns systemic racism and recognizes that as an organization, we need to do more.  The statement was followed by a video from Executive Director, David Tolleson pledging NDSC’s support of the Black community, stating our commitment to stand by all who are calling for an end to systemic racism in our society, our re-commitment to serve all families that need us, and for our leadership to reflect our community.

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