News & Events

NDSC E-News ~ August 2019

Mission Moment
With NDSC Executive Director, David Tolleson 

For most of the country, August means back to school.  Because of that, it’s natural to focus on why inclusion is so important.  Regardless of how many chromosomes we have, we all do better when we’re included – in school, work, faith communities, and social settings.  And it’s not just individuals who benefit.  Our society becomes stronger when everyone is included, when everyone can contribute based on their gifts, and when we can all celebrate both our commonalities and differences.

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Inclusion Resource: Taking the Alternate Assessment Does Not Mean an Education in a Separate Setting

If you have been told, or have concerns, that your child cannot be educated in the general education classroom because he or she takes an alternate assessment a brief published by the TIES Center, which is co-authored by Ricki Sabia, NDSC Senior Education Policy Advisor and TIES Center parent liaison, and Dr. Martha Thurlow, Director of the National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO) and Ties Center Advisor, may be a useful resource to you.  The brief can be downloaded by clicking on the link on the bottom right side of the TIES Center home page https://tiescenter.org/.

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Policy & Advocacy Newsline ~ August 22, 2019

Autism CARES Act: Advocacy Needed Now for Reauthorization!

The Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education and Support Act (also known as the Autism CARES Act) will sunset (expire) on September 30, 2019, if it is not renewed (reauthorized) by Congress by then. The current Autism CARES Act (S. 427/H.R. 1058) provides $260 million annually to autism research, surveillance, and education programs at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). These programs benefit all people with developmental disabilities, including all people with Down syndrome and especially the approximately 18% of people with Down syndrome who have a co-occurrence of autism.

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Policy & Advocacy Newsline ~ July 22, 2019

NDSC is Working Hard to Protect LRE (Least Restrictive Environment)

Last week, NDSC received word that the US Department of Education (ED) was planning to release guidance in the immediate future that would likely make it more difficult than it already is for children with disabilities to be educated in the least restrictive environment (LRE) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Immediately, the NDSC Policy Team and members of the NDSC Policy Council began to take action to protect the legal presumption in IDEA that all children with disabilities will be educated in the general education classroom; except in the rare circumstance that the child cannot get a satisfactory education in that environment even with the provision of supplementary aids and services.

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 NDSC E-News ~ July 2019 Edition

Mission Moment

With NDSC Executive Director, David Tolleson

What a great time we had in Pittsburgh!  It was fantastic to meet so many of you – our team made some wonderful memories with the families in attendance.

Speaking of our team, I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a HUGE shout-out to my NDSC colleagues, our Board of Directors, Convention Planning Committee, the Pittsburgh Host Committee, and the hundreds of volunteers who made our 47th annual convention successful.

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Policy & Advocacy Newsline ~ June 20, 2019

Money Follows the Person (MFP) Program Reauthorization Passes House; Calls to Senate Needed Now!

On June 18, the House passed a bill that included 4.5 years of funding for the Money Follows the Person (MFP) program. This is great news, but it is time for the Senate to act! Please call your Senators and urge them to pass the EMPOWER Care Act (S. 548) to reauthorize MFP. You can use our Action Alert.

The Money Follows the Person (MFP) program is a Medicaid program that has helped more than 75,000 people with disabilities and seniors move from nursing homes and other institutions into the community. First authorized in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 with strong bipartisan support, the MFP Demonstration program was designed to assist states with (1) supporting Medicaid enrollees who want to transition from institutional settings to community-based settings; and (2) developing infrastructure to promote and enhance access to Home and Community Based Services (HCBS). HCBS provides critical supports to people with disabilities to enhance their ability to be included and integrated into their communities instead of receiving care in restrictive, institutional settings. Each state can decide how to use the MFP funds, which they have used to expand or enhance HCBS programs, reduce waiting lists and fund housing supports.

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NDSC E-News ~ June 2019

NDSC’s Mission Moment

with Executive Director David Tolleson 

 

It’s a busy time at the NDSC Center as we put the final touches on this year’s NDSC Annual Convention!  We’re all very excited to see you – old friends and new – when the world’s Down syndrome community comes together in Pittsburgh.  If this is your first time attending an NDSC Convention, I strongly encourage you to attend the First Timer Orientation session Thursday night – it will help you get the most out of your conference experience.  No matter how many times you’ve joined us, it will help to get familiar with the Convention App well before you arrive.  You’ll find instructions on how to download this handy tool below.

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Convention Insider ~ June 3, 2019

 LAST CALL Banner

Tuesday, June 4th is the last day to pre-register for the 2019 NDSC Convention. Registration will re-open onsite at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh Thursday, June 27th at 4:00 PM. Register now and skip the lines on-site. If you have already registered, please review your email confirmation to ensure you have a conference listed for each person in your family attending and have registered or purchased all optional add-ons, such as the Evening of Champions tickets, t-shirts, flash drives, etc. Changes or additions to existing registrations can be done by calling the NDSC Center at 770-604-9500 but must be done by 5:00 PM, June 4th.

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Action Alert – Equal Pay for People with Disabilities

ACTION ALERT:
Comment Today to Support Equal Pay for People with Disabilities!

This week the Department of Labor announced its new website, “the Section 14(c) National Online Dialogue.” The purpose of the website is to collect comments from the public about the impact of paying subminimum wages to people with disabilities under section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Employers with 14(c) certificates can legally pay people with disabilities less than the federal minimum wage, often times pennies on the dollar. Section 14(c) certificates are typically used in “sheltered workshops,” where people with disabilities are segregated from the broader community. The vast majority of disability advocates view Section 14(c) (created in 1938) as outdated, discriminatory, and reinforcing a life of poverty, segregation, and dependency on public support for people with disabilities. It is critical that you make your voice heard!

Input from people with disabilities, families, employment providers and employers is important. Share your perspective online here. COMMENT DEADLINE HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO FRIDAY JUNE 21,

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