The annual Disability Policy Seminar (DPS) virtual visits were held on March 30. The goals of the Disability Policy Seminar are to speak directly with federal elected officials and staff to advocate for policy changes that can improve services and self-direction for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
The Arc Minnesota collaborated with the Institute on Community Integration (ICI) and MN LEND, and The Arc’s national partners for the Disability Policy Seminar were the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACCD), the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD), the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), and the Autism Society.
There was a discussion of issues related to programs like Medicaid, Social Security, Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Education issues included a lack of support systems for students with disabilities and mistreatment of students with disabilities in some schools. Another issue discussed was the unfairness of SSI limitations that leave millions of people with disabilities impoverished.
Staff and volunteers of The Arc Minnesota including Capitol Connectors teams, self-advocates, and MN LEND Fellows met virtually with the staff of Minnesota’s seven House members and the staff of Sen. Klobuchar and Sen. Smith. Rep. Dean Phillips (MN-3) briefly addressed those attending the meeting with the staff from his office.
The Arc Minnesota will continue to build relationships with staff from these congressional offices.
Written by Tim Schnell, Grassroots Organizing and Community Engagement Intern