News & Events

NDSC E-News ~ April 2021

Mission Moment 
with Executive Director David Tolleson

David Tolleson, NDSC Executive DirectorNow more than ever, it’s important that individuals with Down syndrome, their family members, and the educators and medical professionals who work with them have access to the best, most up-to-date information on a wide variety of issues impacting life with Down syndrome. Whether it’s early intervention, virtual and in-person classroom strategies, post-secondary education, transition to adulthood, independent living, employment, mental health issues, or something else, NDSC’s Annual Convention remains the biggest, best, and most important source of accurate, up-to-date information in our community. This year’s conference is no different. Because it’s virtual, you’ll be able to attend “live” or watch later at a time that works for you. And, unlike an in-person event, you don’t have to pick between workshops – you can watch them all. If you have a young adult, you’ll both want to attend our College Fair, co-sponsored by Think College. As with all exhibitors, you’ll be able to have your questions asked and answered through real-time video chats. You can also enjoy social interactions to whet your appetite for next year’s in-person Convention in New Orleans.

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Policy & Advocacy Newsline ~ April 2021

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Increased COVID-19 Vaccine Access for People with Disabilities

On March 29, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced $100 million in state and local grants to facilitate access to COVID-19 vaccines for people with disabilities. This funding will be used to deal with the significant barriers to vaccination that people with disabilities are facing and will be used to provide assistance with scheduling vaccination appointments, direct support services to attend these appointments, education about the importance of receiving the vaccine, transportation to vaccination sites, and connecting people with disabilities to in-home vaccination options, and a national hotline. For vaccine resources relating to people with disabilities, see ACL’s COVID webpages as well as the Center for Dignity in Healthcare for People with Disabilities.

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NDSC E-News ~ March 2021

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Mission Moment 
with Executive Director David Tolleson

David Tolleson, NDSC Executive DirectorThis month marks a year since we entered lockdown. While it’s too early to declare victory over the virus, as safe, effective vaccines are distributed, brighter days are in sight. Looking back, I’m proud of our work over the last year. NDSC’s Programs and Convention staff produced high-quality virtual educational and social programming in English and Spanish. We have hosted three Town Hall meetings on race relations in our community, most recently to discuss how both NDSC and our local and regional affiliates can do a better job of engaging families who haven’t traditionally felt welcome in our organizations.

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Policy & Advocacy Newsline ~ March 2021

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Update on COVID-19 Relief Legislation

Great news! Congress passed, and President Biden has signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, a new $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package that finally addresses the major priorities of the disability community. Thank you for your calls, tweets, and emails; for responding to our Action Alerts, sharing your personal stories, and all other actions taken over the past year to educate lawmakers about the devastating effect that the pandemic has had on people with disabilities.  Your work was imperative for the inclusion of our concerns in COVID-19 relief funding and supports. Advocacy works!

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Policy & Advocacy Newsline ~ February 2021

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Update on COVID-19 Relief Legislation

Congress is currently negotiating a new COVID-19 relief package through the budget reconciliation process, allowing lawmakers to pass a relief package with only a simple majority. This process does not allow for policy changes but does allow increases to existing funding lines. We were pleased to see a 7.35% Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) bump for Medicaid to support HCBS included in the House Energy & Commerce Committee mark-up of the COVID-19 relief budget reconciliation bill; the House Budget Committee is completing their own markup now, and then the entire budget package will be brought to the House floor for a vote.

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NDSC E-News ~ January 2021

Mission Moment 
with Executive Director David Tolleson

David Tolleson, NDSC Executive DirectorChange is in the air as we begin a new year! The long-awaited COVID-19 vaccines are finally being distributed – albeit not as fast as we’d like – offering the hope of future hugs, joyful reunions, and a world getting back to work. Along with our valued national partners, NDSC is working on comprehensive, updated COVID-19 information for you and your family. In the meantime, because so many of you are calling with questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, we have prioritized the development of a COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ sheet. Look for it to release early next week.

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Policy & Advocacy Newsline ~ January 2021

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The Biden Administration Begins

On January 20, 2021, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will be inaugurated, marking the official beginning of the Biden Administration. The Biden Transition Team has been preparing for months, putting forth a comprehensive list of nominees for key cabinet and appointee posts, some of whom now need to be confirmed by the Senate in order to officially begin working. NDSC has been engaged with some of the Biden transition teams to help set policy priorities and plan for the Administration change.

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Policy & Advocacy Newsline ~ December 2020

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COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccinations for immediate, emergency use. Vaccines are now being shipped across the country and given to essential health care workers, with other high-risk individuals such as those in nursing homes to follow.

NDSC has been advocating for all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), their caregivers, and support personnel to be given priority in vaccine allocation and ensure that vaccine allocation is done in an equitable, accessible way.

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NDSC E-News ~ December 2020

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Mission Moment 
with Executive Director David Tolleson

I’ve never been so glad to see a year end! 2020 has been challenging for all of us, but now a new year is just a couple ofDavid Tolleson, NDSC Executive Director weeks away, bringing hope and promise. At the NDSC, we continue to develop and execute programs and resources that meet the changing needs of families like yours. Early in the new year, we will launch our Ages & Stages learning programs with both free and premium options to serve everyone, wherever they are. Soon after, we will host the third discussion on race relations centering on how NDSC and our affiliates can work together to better engage all families in our community.

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Policy & Advocacy Newsline ~ November 2020

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Administration Transition
The presidential election results will not be confirmed until the Electoral College votes in December, and any lawsuits are settled. However, as is traditional, President-elect Joe Biden is quickly naming individuals, to start on January 20, 2021, to serve as senior White House officials, and is moving forward with transition efforts regarding other political appointments and policy priorities.

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