Join us at the 2013 Disability Policy Seminar

Disability Policy Seminar 2013Does what happens in Washington, D.C. really matter? Can you make a difference? You bet! Every day millions of Americans with intellectual and developmental disabilities are impacted by the public policy decisions – big and small — made by their representatives in Congress.

And each year, hundreds of advocates attend the Disability Policy Seminar in Washington, D.C. to learn more about and discuss the hottest topics in disability public policy. We invite you to join us April 15-17 for an opportunity to advance the grassroots movement for people with I/DD and make sure your elected officials know what’s important to you.

Monday and Tuesday, April 15 and 16, are filled with informative in-depth sessions from disability policy experts and opportunities to network with others from your state. And, we’ll have a “newcomers” track with sessions designed for people who are new to federal public policy advocacy to answer questions and give you the background you need. Then the event culminates on Wednesday, April 17 with a breakfast on Capitol Hill before you personally meet with your elected representatives and make a case for their cause supported by information about the issues provided during the Seminar.

Register now and book your room at the Grand Hyatt in downtown Washington D.C. for a special early registration rate at www.disabilitypolicyseminar.org and find out more details about the stimulating program on tap for this year’s event. But act soon – special rates on rooms ends March 12.

DPS Partners

Hosted by: The Arc, United Cerebral Palsy (UCP), Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD), National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD), and Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE)

Sponsored by: Autism Society and NADD, an association for persons with developmental disabilities and mental health needs

Top Five Reasons to Attend the 2012 Disability Policy Seminar

American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Self Advocates Becoming Empowered, Association of University Centers on Disabilities, United Cerebral Palsy, National Association of Council on Developmental Disabilities, The ArcAre you joining us at the 2012 Disability Policy Seminar in Washington, D.C.? If you haven’t made up your mind yet, here are some great reasons to register. We don’t want you to miss your single best opportunity to connect with the intellectual and developmental disability movement this year, but if you’re still on the fence, consider this:

Top Five Reasons to Attend the 2012 Disability Policy Seminar:

  1. Meet face-to-face with your elected representatives and take advantage of a unique opportunity to let them know in person what’s important to you and what they can do to earn your vote. On the 3rd day of the Seminar, we’ll visit Capitol Hill for scheduled meetings with Congressional representatives and their staff.
  2. Learn how to be an effective advocate, not just in Washington, but in your community once you return home. The information provided at the Disability Policy Seminar will give you a broader and better understanding of the role public policy plays in the day-to-day lives of people with I/DD and what you can do to create change. You can event attend a pre-event Seminar Trainee Orientation webinar hosted by AUCD.
  3. Make your mark on an important election. The focus of the Seminar is giving you the tools you need to educate elected officials and candidates running for office on I/DD community’s most crucial issues. The Seminar should inspire you to engage in the political process and give you the information you need to understand exactly how public policy impacts people with I/DD.
  4. Network. Meet with other from your state and across the country who share your passion. If you’re a self advocate or a sibling of someone with I/DD, attend special breakfast meet & greets to find out more about how you can get involved in The Arc’s new National Council of Self Advocates or our The Arc’s National Sibling Council.
  5. Visit Washington D.C.’s famous Cherry Blossom Festival! There’s no reason you can’t have a little fun while you’re here. Explore D.C. from your convenient downtown base at the Grand Hyatt where restaurants, entertainment, shopping, public transportation and the historic National Mall where the cherry blossoms bloom is close by.

Get the best rates and availability – special early registration rates until March 20. Get more information or register and book your room now at www.disabilitypolicyseminar.org.

The annual Disability Policy Seminar is hosted by: The Arc, United Cerebral Palsy (UCP), Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD), National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD), and Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE).

Sponsored by Hammer Travel – a unique travel planning resource for people with disabilities. www.hammertravel.org.

Make Your Mark This Election Year

American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Self Advocates Becoming Empowered, Association of University Centers on Disabilities, United Cerebral Palsy, National Association of Council on Developmental Disabilities, The ArcEach year, hundreds of advocates attend the Disability Policy Seminar in Washington, D.C. to learn more about and discuss the hottest topics in disability public policy. We invite you to join us April 23-25 for your biggest and best opportunity to advance the grassroots movement for people with I/DD. This year it is even more important to attend the Seminar and have your voice heard as we approach a pivotal presidential election in November.

Millions of Americans deal with the impact of public policy related to I/DD every day. From self-advocates to their family members and caregivers to people working for organizations serving individuals with I/DD, there is a large bloc of voters who have the potential to change how our government views and interacts with people with disabilities. The Seminar gives you a platform to come together with other advocates, become educated on the issues, and take the initiative to speak with your elected officials about what is important to you.

Monday and Tuesday, April 23-24, are filled with informative sessions from disability policy experts and opportunities to network with others from your state. Then the event culminates on Wednesday, April 25, with attendees organizing on Capitol Hill to personally meet with their elected representative and make a case for their cause supported by information about the issues provided during the Seminar. You can also attend a special Webinar hosted by AUCD on March 28 to help prepare you to make the most of the event with an overview and orientation for the Seminar (Visit www.aucd.org for Webinar registration and details).

You can register now and book your room at the Grand Hyatt in downtown Washington D.C. for a special early registration rate at www.disabilitypolicyseminar.org and find out more details about the stimulating program on tap for this year’s event. But act soon – special rates on rooms ends March 20.

Hosted by: The Arc, United Cerebral Palsy (UCP), Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD), National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NADD), and Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE).

Disability Policy Seminar: Speaking Truth to Power

Disability Policy Seminar 2011 Barbara Mikulski Wins Distinguished Leadership in Disability Policy Award

The Distinguished Leadership in Disability Policy Award was awarded to the Honorable Barbara Mikulski, pictured here with The Arc's CEO Peter Berns and SABE's Betty Williams.

The 2011 Disability Policy Seminar (DPS) – Cultivating New Champions on Capitol Hill – educated and empowered attendees to fight for our issues on Capitol Hill in mid-February.

Attendees were emboldened and inspired at the gathering, especially with the awarding of the Distinguished Leadership in Disability Policy Award to the Honorable Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), United States Senate. The award was presented to Sen. Mikulski by Betty Williams, President, Self Advocates Becoming Empowered.

Sen. Mikulski told a cheering audience of hundreds of advocates: “We all have to stand up together for the disability advocacy community adding that the Distinguished Leadership in Disability Policy Award is “a challenge for the future.”

Peter V. Berns, CEO of The Arc said “we are honoring Sen. Mikulski as a long-standing champion of disabilities issues and for her outstanding role in the passage of Rosa’s Law which is a great step forward in full inclusion.” Rosa’s Law is legislation that substitutes the term “intellectual disabilities” for the term “mental retardation” in many federal laws.

The stakes are high this year with disability programs facing serious budgetary and political challenges. This year’s record number of participants was spurred to action in this current climate and was briefed on the ‘hot’ issues facing people with disabilities, including the Affordable Care Act, Developmental Disabilities Act, Employment, Housing, Medicaid/Medicare and more.

Colleagues and friends gathered to honor and celebrate the career of Paul Marchand, who for 38 years has been one of the most ardent and successful disability policy advocates working on behalf of The Arc, United Cerebral Palsy and the entire intellectual and developmental disability community. The event kicked-off The Paul Marchand Internship Fund to support the next generation of difference-makers in the world of public policy and advocacy for the intellectual and developmental disability community.

The 2011 Disability Policy Seminar was presented by The Arc, United Cerebral Palsy the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, the Association of University Centers on Disabilities, the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities and Self Advocates Becoming Empowered.

Does Speaking Up Make a Difference?

In the current political climate, it’s easy to become frustrated and start thinking that your voice doesn’t count. But we’re here to tell you that when you advocate for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, your voice is heard. It does count. And, we have proof.

Every year hundreds of advocates like you come together on Capitol Hill for the annual Disability Policy Seminar for three days. For the first two days of the seminar, you hear from disability policy experts and other advocates about the most pressing issues facing the I/DD community this year. Then, on the third day, you take the Hill by storm with your fellow advocates and personally meet with your Senators and Representatives, including members of key committees that control the legislation you want to see passed or defeated. We have done some research and discovered that at least for the past few years, Congressional sponsorship of crucial bills important to the I/DD community increased in the months immediately following the annual seminar.

So, what issues were discussed during those meetings? What bills were pushed? That was up to you. All we know is, after your visits, many of those Senators and Representatives seemed to suddenly decide to co-sponsor bills to positively impact the lives of people with I/DD.  And, many of those bills were subsequently passed into law. Maybe it was coincidence. We think it was because of you.

The 2011 Disability Policy Seminar is February 14-16 and early registration ends January 11. Are you registered yet?