Miscellaneous – Senate Democrats Announce New Committee Assignments

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) recently announced new committee assignments for the second session of the 115th Congress. Senate Democrats gained a seat as a result of Alabama’s special election, bringing the partisan balance to 51 Republicans and 49 Democrats and Independents. As a result, Senate Democrats have additional seats on committees, giving them a one-vote margin on all committees except the Joint Economic Committee. Newly-elected Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) will serve on the Committees on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs (Banking); Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP); Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs (HSGAC); and Aging. Newly-appointed Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) will serve on the Committees on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry; Energy and Natural Resources; HELP; and Indian Affairs. Other new assignments on key committees include Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) on the Finance Committee, and Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) on the Judiciary Committee.

Key Committees with new members that have jurisdiction over The Arc’s priority areas include Finance, HELP, and Judiciary. The Finance Committee has jurisdiction over tax laws, Social Security and SSI, Medicare, Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and many other health and human services programs. The HELP Committee has jurisdiction over education policy, employment policy, medical research, public health, the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act, and parts of the ACA. The Judiciary committee has jurisdiction over civil rights laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Miscellaneous – The Arc’s Senior Executive Officer for Public Policy Receives Award

Marty Ford, The Arc’s Senior Executive Officer for Public Policy, received the “Policy Award” from the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) in honor of her advocacy for people with I/DD throughout her career. The award will be given at AAIDD’s convention in June. Learn more about AAIDD’s award recipients here.

Miscellaneous – Kennedy Foundation Accepting Applications for Fellowship Program

The Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation is currently accepting applications for its 2018 Public Policy Fellowship Program. Each year the Foundation brings professionals, family members, and persons experiencing disability to Washington, D.C. for a one-year, full-time, intensive immersion experience. Throughout their time in The District, fellows actively participate in public policy development in the offices of a Member of Congress, Congressional committee, or federal agency. This experience is a unique chance to understand the intersection of public policy, disability advocacy, and the political process. Please see the full announcement for more details. Applications will be accepted until December 15.

Nominate Your Policy Catalyst Today!

We want to hear from you about the change-makers in the policy arena! The Arc’s Catalyst Awards were created to recognize individuals, businesses, and other organizations that are catalysts for achievement in the lives of people with I/DD. Will you help us recognize the next advocacy powerhouse? In 2015 during the inaugural awards, the Stephen Beck, Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act was awarded Public Policy Victory of the Year. In 2016, Patti Saylor received Community Advocate of the Year for her tireless and fearless advocacy at both state and federal levels of government after the death of her son, Ethan. This year’s categories include: community advocate of the year, local government advocate, state government advocate, federal government advocate, and public policy victory of the year (state or national). Know someone who deserves to be recognized?Nominate them todayDeadline: May 26, 2017.

Nominate Your Policy Catalyst Today!

We want to hear from you about the change-makers in the policy arena! The Arc’s Catalyst Awards were created to recognize individuals, businesses, and other organizations that are catalysts for achievement in the lives of people with I/DD. Will you help us recognize the next advocacy powerhouse? In 2015 during the inaugural awards, the Stephen Beck, Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (or ABLE) was awarded Public Policy Victory of the Year. In 2016, Patti Saylor won Community Advocate of the Year for her tireless and fearless advocacy at both state and federal levels of government after the death of her son, Ethan. This year’s categories include: community advocate of the year, local government advocate, state government advocate, federal government advocate, and public policy victory of the year (state or national). Know someone who deserves to be recognized? Nominate them todayDeadline: May 26, 2017.

Miscellaneous – Deadline for Paul Marchand Internship for Fall 2017 Session Extended to May 15

The Paul Marchand Internship Fund will provide $3,000 per semester or summer session to assist interns interested in pursuing careers in public policy advocacy for people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD). For 38 years, Paul Marchand was a dedicated disability policy advocate and recognized leader working on behalf of people with I/DD and the larger disability community. Upon his retirement in 2011, The Arc, with substantial contributions from United Cerebral Palsy, other organizations, and individuals with whom Paul worked during his decades in Washington, D.C. established an internship to honor Paul and to continue to cultivate disability policy advocates. See more information here.

Miscellaneous – Nominate Your Catalyst Today!

Nominations are officially open for The Arc’s 2017 Catalyst Awards! The Catalyst Awards recognize individuals, businesses, and other organizations that are champions for achievement in the lives of people with I/DD. Each awardee illustrates what can be achieved and how we must move forward to create a fully inclusive society. Nomination categories range from education to employment, and include advocacy-both community and government! Know someone who deserves to be honored? Nominate them today! Deadline: Friday, May 26.

Miscellaneous – Paul Marchand Internship Application for Fall 2017 Session – Deadline extended to May 15

The Paul Marchand Internship Fund will provide $3,000 per semester or summer session to assist interns interested in pursuing careers in public policy advocacy for people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD). For 38 years, Paul Marchand was a dedicated disability policy advocate and recognized leader working on behalf of people with I/DD and the larger disability community. Upon his retirement in 2011, The Arc, with substantial contributions from United Cerebral Palsy, other organizations, and individuals with whom Paul worked during his decades in Washington, D.C. established an internship to honor Paul and to continue to cultivate disability policy advocates. See more information here.

Miscellaneous – Paul Marchand Internship Application for Fall 2017 Session – Deadline extended to May 15

The Paul Marchand Internship Fund will provide $3,000 per semester or summer session to assist interns interested in pursuing careers in public policy advocacy for people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD). For 38 years, Paul Marchand was a dedicated disability policy advocate and recognized leader working on behalf of people with I/DD and the larger disability community. Upon his retirement in 2011, The Arc, with substantial contributions from United Cerebral Palsy, other organizations, and individuals with whom Paul worked during his decades in Washington, D.C. established an internship to honor Paul and to continue to cultivate disability policy advocates. See more information here.

Miscellaneous News – FINDS Survey Deadline in One Week!

We need your input and help disseminating this crucial survey! The Research and Training Center on Community Living at the University of Minnesota in collaboration with The Arc, is seeking caregivers to share their perceptions on a range of life-span issues impacting individuals with I/DD. We are inviting family or unrelated caregivers aged 18 years or older who provide frequent primary support to a person with an I/DD to participate. The results of the 2010 Survey provided unique insight into the growing gaps in education, employment, and other life-span activities that exist between persons with disabilities and their non-disabled peers, which has informed further dialogue and policy changes at the Federal and State levels. Take the survey and share it widely in your networksDeadline: April 30.