Friday, January 18, 2019

Straw bans: Not effective and they discriminate

Public efforts to reduce plastic waste in the ocean need to be thoughtful and have impact. A state legislative proposal to ban the sale and distribution of all plastic and compostable beverage straws is neither.



Dear Senators,

We are writing to express our strong concerns with SB 5077, which would prohibit the sale and distribution of plastic straws (including compostable straws) anywhere in the state.

Many disabled people rely on plastic straws to hydrate. Other materials do not offer the combination of strength, flexibility, and safety that plastic straws do. For instance, metal straws conduct heat and are an injury risk for people who can’t control biting down with their jaw. For that same person, biting down turns a paper straw into a choking hazard. There are similar issues with all other types of materials. 

A non-disabled person who goes to a restaurant or coffee shop can expect to receive everything they 
need to consume a product—they don’t have to bring their own cup. Refusing to provide plastic straws for disabled patrons is a failure in equity, which is why disability organizations have opposed these bills across the state and nation. This bill goes much further than local proposals, though. By banning the sale and distribution of beverage straws across the state, without exemption, disabled people who rely on straws would not be able to hydrate themselves and could be forced onto feeding tubes and more costly attendant care. This affects their basic right to live in the community.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Winter class lineup


 

Creating Connections in South, East and North King County ... Plus advocacy training in Seattle


We have great winter workshops coming up on SSI, SSDI, Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security in SeaTac ... We have a Hot Topic! legislative preview and long-term planning workshops in Bellevue ... We we are hosting our housing series in North Seattle… Plus, some just in time advocacy training at our offices in Seattle. ... Advocacy Days in Olympia also kick off in January and run Wednesdays through March. 
Our winter lineup is organized by location, below, then by date at the bottom.

Bellevue - Highland Community Center


January 8, 2019
7 to 8:30 pm
Highland Community Center, 14224 Bel-Red Road, Bellevue, WA 98007

  • Hot Topic! Legislative session overview with Donna Patrick of the Washington State Developmental Disabilities Council and Cathy Murahashi of the King County Parent and Family Coalition. Add to your calendar

February 12, 2019
7 to 8:30 pm
Highland Community Center, 14224 Bel-Red Road, Bellevue, WA 98007

  • Silver Tsunami - What's Your Plan? PART 1. Things to think about for the Golden Years and beyond, for both you and your loved one with a disability. Add to your calendar

March 12
7 to 8:30 pm
Highland Community Center, 14224 Bel-Red Road, Bellevue, WA 98007

  • Silver Tsunami - What's Your Plan? PART 2. Workshop to put your Long-term Plan Packet together. Add to your calendar

SeaTac - Angle Lake Family Resource Center


January 10
7-8:30 pm
Angle Lake Family Resource Center, 4040 S 188th Street, SeaTac, WA 98188

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) - How to apply; how income impacts benefits; how to build wealth; and Medicaid and Medicare programs.
    Add to your calendar

February 7
7-8:30 pm
Angle Lake Family Resource Center, 4040 S 188th Street, SeaTac, WA 98188

  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) - What is it, and how does it work? Add to your calendar


March 7
7-8:30 pm
Angle Lake Family Resource Center, 4040 S 188th Street, SeaTac, WA 98188

  • Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security - A workshop to learn how the programs intersect and how they change over time. Add to your calendar

North Seattle - Ryther


January 19
10 - 11:30 am
Ryther, 2400 NE 95th St Seattle, WA 98115

  • Overview of housing models: Adult Family Homes, Shared Living, and Supported Living. Add to your calendar
February 16
10 - 11:30 am
Ryther, 2400 NE 95th St Seattle, WA 98115

  • Affordable Housing for the DD Community: Public Housing, Section 8, Low Income Housing, etc. Add to your calendar
March 9
10-11:30 am
Ryther, 2400 NE 95th St Seattle, WA 98115

 

ENGAGE! Classes for People Who Want to Advocate

January 19
9 am - 12 pm
The Arc of King County, 233 6th Avenue N, Seattle, WA 98109

  • Public Policy Basics. So how does a bill become a law? If legislators make laws, what does the governor do? Join us for a public policy basics class that will help you understand how local, state and federal government work.
    Add to our calendar
January 26
9 am - 12 pm
The Arc of King County, 233 6th Avenue N, Seattle, WA 98109

  • Advocacy Tips and Tools: Do you know how to comment on a bill? How about researching what your legislator is working on? Join us for an advocacy tips and tools class and learn how to use online resources to track and engage with the state legislature. Bring your laptop if you have one.
    Coffee, tea and light breakfast will be served.
    Add to your calendar
February 2
9 am - 12 pm
The Arc of King County, 233 6th Avenue N, Seattle, WA 98109

  • Legislative Overview & Communication Strategies: What are the big issues this legislative session? We’ll review who is working on what, and how you can weigh in.
    Add to your calendar

     

Our Winter Lineup - By Date
January 8, 2019
7 to 8:30 pm
Highland Community Center, 14224 Bel-Red Road, Bellevue, WA 98007

  • Hot Topic! Legislative session overview with Donna Patrick of the Washington State Developmental Disabilities Council and Cathy Murahashi of the King County Parent and Family Coalition. Add to your calendar

January 10
7-8:30 pm
Angle Lake Family Resource Center, 4040 S 188th Street, SeaTac, WA 98188

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) - How to apply; how income impacts benefits; how to build wealth; and Medicaid and Medicare programs. Add to your calendar

January 19
10 - 11:30 am
Ryther, 2400 NE 95th St Seattle, WA 98115

  • Overview of housing models: Adult Family Homes, Shared Living, and Supported Living. Add to your calendar

January 19
9 am - 12 pm
The Arc of King County, 233 6th Avenue N, Seattle, WA 98109

  • Public Policy Basics. So how does a bill become a law? If legislators make laws, what does the governor do? Join us for a public policy basics class that will help you understand how local, state and federal government work. Add to our calendar
January 26
9 am - 12 pm
The Arc of King County, 233 6th Avenue N, Seattle, WA 98109

  • Advocacy Tips and Tools: Do you know how to comment on a bill? How about researching what your legislator is working on? Join us for an advocacy tips and tools class and learn how to use online resources to track and engage with the state legislature. Bring your laptop if you have one.
    Coffee, tea and light breakfast will be served.
    Add to your calendar
February 2
9 am - 12 pm
The Arc of King County, 233 6th Avenue N, Seattle, WA 98109

  • Legislative Overview & Communication Strategies: What are the big issues this legislative session? We’ll review who is working on what, and how you can weigh in. Add to your calendar

February 7
7-8:30 pm
Angle Lake Family Resource Center, 4040 S 188th Street, SeaTac, WA 98188

  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) - What is it, and how does it work? Add to your calendar
February 12, 2019
7 to 8:30 pm
Highland Community Center, 14224 Bel-Red Road, Bellevue, WA 98007

  • Silver Tsunami - What's Your Plan? PART 1. Things to think about for the Golden Years and beyond, for both you and your loved one with a disability. Add to your calendar

February 16
10 - 11:30 am
Ryther, 2400 NE 95th St Seattle, WA 98115

  • Affordable Housing for the DD Community: Public Housing, Section 8, Low Income Housing, etc. Add to your calendar

March 7
7-8:30 pm
Angle Lake Family Resource Center, 4040 S 188th Street, SeaTac, WA 98188

  • Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security - A workshop to learn how the programs intersect and how they change over time. Add to your calendar
March 9
10-11:30 am
Ryther, 2400 NE 95th St Seattle, WA 98115

March 12
7 to 8:30 pm
Highland Community Center, 14224 Bel-Red Road, Bellevue, WA 98007

  • Silver Tsunami - What's Your Plan? PART 2. Workshop to put your Long-term Plan Packet together. Add to your calendar

 

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Tell Congress: Fund the Money Follows the Person Program


UPDATE: November 12, 2018
Great news! The IMPROVE Act (H.R. 7217) - which funds the Money Follows the Person program - passed the U.S. House of Representatives. Calls are still needed for the Senate. If funds to move out of institutional care are priorities for you, you should call the Capitol Switchboard at: (202) 224-3121 (voice) or (202) 224-3091(tty) and ask to be connected to your senators.

An action alert from The Arc's national office:

Congress may vote this week on the future of the Money Follows the Person program. Money Follows the Person has helped more than 88,000 seniors and individuals with disabilities move out of nursing homes and institutions.


Please call Congress:
  • Senator Maria Cantwell: 206-220-6400 (Thank her! She co-sponsored an earlier version of the bill)
  • Senator Patty Murray: 206-553-5545
  • House switchboard (they can connect you to your Congressional district representative): (202) 224-3121 
Background: Money Follows the Person significantly improves the lives of older adults and people with disabilities by assisting them to transition out of institutional settings. By favoring community-based services, states save money and see better outcomes. That's why nearly every state has participated in the program.

Money Follows the Person expired September 30, 2016, and states are running out of funding. Seven states are already out of funding and ALL programs will end by the end of 2018.

Talking points: 
  • Please protect our Medicaid. The IMPROVE Act - which funds the Money Follows the Person Program - helps get individuals with disabilities and seniors back home.
  • It is about quality of life: Money Follows the Person Program brings people with disabilities and older adults back home to their communities and gives people greater control over the lives.
  • It is fiscally responsible. Money Follows the Person improves the quality of life for individuals and reduces the Medicaid and Medicare costs of participants by about 23 percent. That saves states and the federal government money.
Unfortunately, states have already stopped transitions to the community and are scaling back their programs, reducing dedicated staff and crucial resources. Without action now, more people will be stuck in institutions.

Act now: Ask your Members of Congress to vote yes on the IMPROVE Act (H.R. 7217), which includes funding for Money Follows the Person for one year.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Transportation: What do you need?

Do you face challenges finding transportation options that suit your needs?

The King County Mobility Coalition is gathering information to improve the customer experience of finding and securing transportation in King County. Specifically, they want to hear from people with disabilities, caretakers and older adults


The survey is available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Somali, and Vietnamese.

The mobility coalition facilitates the coordination of King County special needs transportation to better serve the community.

Members include special needs transportation service providers, clients and funders, from both the governmental, non-profit, and for-profit sectors from rural and urban areas throughout King County.

The coalition brings together individuals and organizations to share information; assess the needs of the local community and current transportation network; provide recommendations to improve the system; and educate decision-makers, community groups, and the general public.


"Achieving inclusivity means every person is valued and the each person’s mobility needs receive customer-focused service."


Monday, October 29, 2018

Act Now to Support Immigrants with Disabilities

Following is an action alert from The Arc's national office about a proposed rule change at the federal level that would negatively impact people with disabilities.

  • You can read more about public charge here.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently proposed a change to the "public charge" rule which would discriminate against people with disabilities - and we need your help to stop it!

Background

The public charge rule is used to prevent people from coming into the United States for work, to live, or to visit if the government thinks they might depend on government services like Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the Children's Health Insurance Program, etc., to meet their needs. In other words, the government believes that because of the use of these services and benefits, the individual has become a public charge. This proposed change expands existing policy and rules. It would allow the U.S. to discriminate against more people by expanding the services and programs that are counted when deciding whether a person is or will be a "public charge," that stop them from entering the U.S. (getting a visa) or getting a green card (becoming a permanent resident)

The proposed rule would exclude people from this country simply because they have a disability and may need supports. You can learn more about the rule here.

Take Action Now

There is still time to stop this rule. Until December 10, DHS is taking public comments that the government must read and respond to before it makes the rule final. It is critical that the disability community sends in as many comments as possible explaining why this rule is dangerous and discriminatory to stop it from being implemented

Fill in your information here to see draft comments that you can personalize and submit directly to DHS. It's very important for you to add your own words. If you don't add your own words, the government may not count your comment.