Action Alert

Money Follows the Person Days of Actions Planned this Week

Call Congress now to continue the Money Follows the Person Program
The Arc and other disability organizations are hosting a national call-in day and social media day this week to push for passage of the EMPOWER Care Act (S. 2227). This legislation reauthorizes the Money Follows the Person program which provides grants to states to transition people from institutions to community based settings. The program has allowed 75,000 people to transition from institutions back into the community since 2015. The National Call-In Day is Wednesday, March 7. The National Social Media Day is Thursday, March 8. 

Major Events Ahead

Social Security – House Committee to Hold Hearing on SSA Leadership 

On March 7 at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, the House Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security will hold a hearing on “Lacking a Leader: Challenges Facing the SSA after over 5 Years of Acting Commissioners.” As stated in the Committee’s announcement “The hearing will focus on the need for a Senate-confirmed Commissioner to lead the Social Security Administration (SSA), the challenges and limitations faced by the SSA when it is led by an Acting Commissioner, and the legal framework that governs a vacancy at the SSA.” Visit the Committee web site for more information or to access live video the day of the hearing.


Criminal Justice – The Arc to Host Facebook Live with NPR’s Joe Schapiro

On March 9th at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, The Arc will be hosting a Facebook Live with Joe Shapiro, the reporter behind NPR’s powerful series on sexual assault and disability. Joe will be joined by Leigh Ann Davis, Director of Criminal Justice Initiatives for The Arc, for a conversation about this serious problem facing individuals with disabilities. There will be time for questions and answers during this Facebook Live event. Tune in and please share with your networks. Find the event on The Arc’s Facebook page.

Miscellaneous – Register Today: Disability Policy Seminar on April 23-25!

Registration for the premier policy event of the year is officially open! Join other advocates and professionals from all over the country to get up-to-date on the latest policy issues and legislation. It is an excellent opportunity to advance our grassroots movement, meet with your Members of Congress, and educate them on the needs of people with disabilities. 2017 was a tumultuous year in Washington for disability rights. Congress repeatedly attempted to cut and cap Medicaid and repeal the Affordable Care Act, but was met with resistance from the disability community at every turn. We won those battles together, thanks to your advocacy, energy, and persistence! But the fight isn’t over. We need you in Washington, DC to advocate for the programs that people with disabilities rely on to make a life in their communities possible. The Disability Policy Seminar is your chance to make an impact! Register today at

Education – NCD Releases Five-Part Report Series on IDEA Implementation

The National Council on Disability (NCD) released a five-part report series on implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The last major report on IDEA Implementation from NCD was released in 2002, prior to the 2004 reauthorization. The five parts of the series are:

NCD is an independent federal agency charged with advising the President, Congress, and other federal agencies regarding policies, programs, practices, and procedures that affect people with disabilities.

Direct Support Professionals – PCPID Releases Report on DSP Workforce Crisis

The President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID) recently released a report titled America’s Direct Support Workforce Crisis: Effects on People with Intellectual Disabilities, Families, Communities and the U.S. Economy. The report notes that direct support professionals (DSPs) provide services that allow people with intellectual disability to live in their communities and enable family members to work. Additionally, the report indicates that the average hourly DSP wage is $10.72, most DSPs work two or three jobs, and the average annual turnover rate is 45%. For more information, see The Arc’s statement on the report. A plain-language version of the report can be found here.

Meg Cooch Signature
Meg Cooch
Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423
815-464-1832 (OFFICE)