National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities Releases New Report Detailing Role of Developmental Disabilities Councils in Supporting People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities During COVID-19
Washington, DC – National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD), through its Information and Technical Assistance Center for Councils on Developmental Disabilities (ITACC) released a new report, “State Councils on Developmental Disabilities COVID-19 Report: Council Activities, Initiatives, and Impact.” This report highlights how the nation’s State and Territorial Developmental Disabilities Councils used resources and connections to provide critical support to individuals and families with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) to stay safe, healthy, and connected to community during this ongoing pandemic.
“The 56 State and Territorial Developmental Disabilities Councils are in a unique position to support individuals with I/DD during this pandemic,” said Donna Meltzer, CEO of NACDD. “Councils can work swiftly to create change through policy and service delivery and many jumped in quickly to make sure that people received accessible information, had access to personal protection equipment (PPE), and technology to stay connected with others.”
The paper, written by Brian Cox, former Executive Director of the Maryland Council on Developmental Disabilities, provides data with charts and graphs as well as brief highlights and examples from many states and territories explaining how they determined critical needs in their state and how they responded with innovative solutions. “By leveraging relationships, investing funding where needed most, and advocating for state policies and practices that effectively address the needs of individuals with I/DD, Councils have had a direct and significant impact on the lives of our fellow citizens with disabilities. This consequential work continues and will be needed for quite some time,” said Cox, author of the report.
To read the full report click here.
This paper was made possible through a contract funded by the Administration on Community Living, Office of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
NACDD on Learning Disabilities Awareness Month
October is Learning Disabilities Awareness Month. Learning Disabilities Awareness Month aims to educate, raise awareness, and celebrate the unique differences of various learning disabilities including dyslexia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), dysgraphia, dyscalculia, and other executive functioning difficulties. According to the U.S. Department of Education, approximately 2.5 million students have dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia and approximately 6 million students have ADHD. Often a student has several or more of these disabilities.
LDAM was established in 1985 when Congress created House Joint Resolution 287 requesting the designation of the month of October to be “Learning Disabilities Awareness Month”. On October 11, 1985, President Ronald Reagan signed Proclamation 5385 officially honoring Learning Disabilities Awareness Month. In his proclamation he articulately states, “Awareness of learning disabilities is one of the most important advances in education in recent years. As more and more Americans become aware, our citizens with learning disabilities will have even greater opportunity to lead full and productive lives and to make a contribution to our society”.
NACDD is joining in marking Learning Disabilities Awareness Month to better inform educators, students, parents, and the greater American community about the diversity of learning processes and the potential that those with learning disabilities hold.
“As a parent of a now young adult who struggled in school with learning disabilities, I know how important it is that educators, parents and learning specialists take these disabilities seriously and act early. With early intervention and the right supports, these students can succeed in their education and become adults who will equally succeed in the workplace,” said Donna Meltzer, CEO of the NACDD.
To learn more about learning disabilities please visit the Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. To check out all events held this month, click here.
NACDD on National Disability Employment Awareness Month
October 1st commemorates the start of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). The purpose of National Disability Employment Awareness Month is to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the various contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. 2020 is an exciting year, as it marks the 75th anniversary of NDEAM and the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The roots of this month date back to 1945 when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October to be “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week”. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to “National Disability Employment Awareness Month.” Since then, the US Department of Labor has created the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) to ensure that people with disabilities are seen as valued members of the labor force and have the resources necessary to be outstanding employees.
NACDD celebrates NDEAM as it brings people with disabilities into the forefront of the workforce conversation, ensuring that their voices are heard. “We truly believe that this celebration sheds light on the wonderful accomplishments our nation has made in its ability to support a fully inclusive workforce, said Donna Meltzer, CEO of NACDD. “We still have much work to do but we are making progress every day and will continue to focus on the employment of people with disabilities well beyond the month-long celebration.”
To celebrate the milestones and month, the DOL has created various events and activities with the theme “Increasing Access and Opportunity.” To check out all events held this month, click here.
NACDD STATEMENT ON THE PASSING OF JUSTICE RUTH BADER GINSBURG
“We the people” lost a larger-than-life champion for equality on the Supreme Court this weekend. For 27 years, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg helped move the Supreme Court into a new century of jurisprudence with thoughtful and contemporary decisions and dissents. While she will be remembered primarily for her work on gender equity, many of her decisions and dissents were particularly focused on expanding individual rights and equality to other groups. Most significant for the disability rights movement was her majority opinion in the 1999 decision Olmstead v. LC.
It is fitting that Ruth Bader Ginsburg would author the majority opinion for Olmstead. Justice Ginsburg was a master of statutory interpretation and using congressional intent to inform decisions. Her lifetime experience as an advocate certainly influenced her strong defense of individual rights and liberty. In Olmstead, she explained how the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act provided clear proof of Congress’ intent for people with disabilities to live in the community. Furthermore, she made it crystal clear that the Americans with Disabilities Act established that unjustified institutional isolation of persons with disabilities is a form of discrimination. With these important decisions, the disability rights movement gained a foothold to advance the struggle for full participation and right to live in the community.
Justice Ginsburg also made Supreme Court decisions more accessible. Her fervent prose protecting individual rights and equality was the subject of countless memes, quotes and other social media content that often went “viral.” Her life inspired a full-length feature movie and several documentaries and she became revered and a role model for a generation of you people, primarily women, who understood that she paved the way for all the opportunities that women have today. An entire generation of Americans reverently referred to her as “The Notorious RBG” for her scathing oratory aimed at anyone who would deny individual rights. She held nothing back while moving our country forward to a more contemporary and expansive definition of equality for all.
Resources for this election season!
With election season underway, One Vote Now has put together a resource list with all of the organizations that have provided information on everything you may need to make an informed decision this November. This information has been collected from the websites listed, so please refer to each website for more detailed information.
To read through all our resources, click here!
One Vote Now
This National Disability Voter Registration Week, we are so excited to re-launch One Vote Now, our resource website on voting and the Presidential Election. OneVoteNow.org is here to help make sure you can exercise your right to vote because nothing should block your ability to participate in our democracy. Elections should be equally accessible for all Americans—including the disability community. Elections are more fair when they represent all of us.
Black Lives Matter
“NACDD stands with the disability community in demanding justice for Black Americans killed by unjustified use of force by law enforcement,” said Donna Meltzer, CEO, NACDD. “We pledge to continue our work to fight discrimination, hate and racism that disproportionately affects people of color, and in particular people of color with disabilities.”
Statement from the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities Board of Directors