Policy advocacy efforts typically increase in springtime in Washington, DC, and this year is no exception. TASH is a promotional partner of the upcoming Disability Policy Seminar that has adopted a hybrid format this year and includes a virtual policy and programming training day on Monday, April 24 and concludes with a “Fly-In” day for advocates to engage Congressional offices on Thursday, April 27. The training day will include sessions about the new Congress, disability funding and community living, as well as breakout sessions on education and employment, health and family support, and other issues. Please visit www.disabilitypolicyseminar.org to learn more and to register; registration closes on April 19.
TASH is partnering with Self Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE) on a project to increase our organizations’ capacity to engage in grassroots policy advocacy. This includes the creation of a legislative action portal; this web-based tool will provide information on timely issues and a way to easily inform and engage Congressional offices. We hope to launch the action center portal in the very near future.
On March 16, Tia Nelis, who serves on the SABE Board of Directors and as TASH’s Self Advocacy Engagement Coordinator, presented at a briefing held at the Russell Senate Office Building on the Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Settings Rule and urged policymakers and policy advocates to work to assure that the voices and perspectives of self-advocates are heard and heeded as states implement the Settings Rule.
Left: Dr. Karrie Shogren, Director, Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities (and TASH member) testifies before the Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing, Guardianship and Alternatives: Protection and Empowerment, March 30, 2023. Right: Tia Nelis at the HCBS waiver briefing at the Russell Senate Office Building, March 16, 2023.
Lastly, on behalf of the TASH staff, I want to extend a warm welcome to DeVonne Parks, our new Director of Membership and Meetings. You can read more of her biography below.
2023 TASH Conference
Call for Proposals is Now Open!
TASH is now accepting presentation proposals for the 2023 TASH Conference! We strongly encourage proposals that reflect TASH’s values for the full inclusion of individuals with significant disabilities in all aspects of life. The submission deadline is Thursday, June 22, 2023. All proposals will undergo a de-identified peer review; results will be shared in August.
This year’s Conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency Baltimore Inner Harbor, in Baltimore, Maryland, on November 30 – December 2. This year’s conference theme is Opportunity for All!
This year’s Disability Policy Seminar will be a hybrid event, with a virtual training and policy brief on Monday, April 24, followed by an in-person Hill Day on Thursday, April 27. For full details on the training agenda and Hill Day, and to register, visit the Disability Policy Seminar website.
Save the Date: The Outstanding Leadership in Disability Law Symposium and Award Celebration Returns to In-Person in 2023!
TASH’s Outstanding Leadership in Disability Law Symposium and Award Celebration will be back in-person this year at The American University, College of Law, so save the date! It will be on Wednesday, July 19, 2023. We look forward to seeing so many of you there! More details will be coming soon.
Introducing DeVonne Parks, TASH’s New Director of Membership and Meetings
TASH welcomes DeVonne Parks who joined the staff team on March 13 as our new Director of Membership and Meetings. DeVonne has over 20 years of experience in conference and events planning for several nonprofit associations and also as a federal contractor.
DeVonne Parks received her Bachelor’s degree in Business Communication Technology and she holds several professional certifications.
When not planning meetings her hobbies include baking cakes, being the President of her neighborhood community, and being with family and friends.
Cheryl Bates-Harris begins the #TASHcares series of video testimonials on the importance of people with disabilities (self-advocates), family caregivers, and direct support providers receiving the latest COVID-19 vaccines and boosters. She tells about her experience of the lockdowns and her relief at how the vaccine allowed her to resume her normal life. Watch her complete video here and learn more about the #TASHcares vaccine awareness project here.
Stephanie Laird deeply values her independence (even when it entails doing the housework). She discusses the stigma and condescension she faces: people assume that because she uses a walker, she has an intellectual disability as well. Though she says that “Transportation is the biggest barrier of all,” she dedicates the majority of her time talking about the significance of her husband to her and the urgency of eliminating marriage penalty. Watch Stephanie’s video here.
Utilizing Creative Strategies to Increase Employment for Hispanics with Disabilities in Texas April 11, 2023, 3:00 – 4:00 PM Eastern
Come join the DETAC as we showcase a local-level collaboration between Vocational Rehabilitation, a Center for Independent Living, and a Disability Chamber of Commerce in the Rio Grande Valley region of Texas. They collaborate to increase competitive, integrated employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. The region they serve has some of the poorest cities in the nation with a large Hispanic population. In response to this challenge, the partners work together to adopt innovative strategies to transition people with disabilities out of poverty as a central component of the partnership. The panel will highlight how they leverage each other’s resources that results in successful employment outcomes. We will also explore how these strategies include effective relationships with employers and how they work to support job seekers with disabilities in connecting to employment.
Texas Workforce Commission: Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services
Disability Chamber of Commerce RGV
Valley Association for Independent Living
Celebrating Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month: Let’s Partner with Councils on Developmental Disabilities!
DETAC celebrated Developmental Disabilities (DD) Awareness month in March with our partners from the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD). This webinar provided an overview of the role DD Councils play in leading systems change within communities across the country. Additionally, we drilled down to learn more about the innovative employment initiatives from DD Councils in the states of California and South Carolina. Participants learned the value of partnering with a DD Council in your state as we work together to advance employment opportunities and outcomes for people with DD. Watch the webinar as a recording here.
Follow DETAC on social media for news and resources:
Senate Special Committee on Aging Hearing: “Guardianship and Alternatives: Protection and Empowerment”
The first 2023 issue of Inclusive Practices includes two articles on Self-Determination: the first on Self-Determination and Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports in schools, the second on fostering Self-Determination in integrated high school settings. Additional articles cover Universal Design principles to foster literacy among preschoolers and myths versus professional recommendations regarding alternative augmented communication for children.
Accessing RPSD and Inclusive Practices
To access these two TASH journals, you need to be signed-in to your TASH member account, then chose the publication from the “Resources” menu and you will be redirected to the publisher website.
Schools: Participate in a Dissertation Project to Implement Behavioral Supports and Functional Communication Training
For her doctoral dissertation, University of North Carolina Ph.D. candidate Andy Masud plans to support educational teams to develop and implement behavioral supports to teach function-based replacement behaviors (Functional Communication Training) to students with intellectual and developmental disabilities who attend any type of elementary, middle, or high school inclusive school setting. This study has been approved by UNC Charlotte’s IRB and will begin as soon as possible. If you are a school district or teacher who is interested participating in this project, you can learn more and contact Andy Masud via the project flier.
July 19, 2023
TASH Outstanding Leadership in Disability Law Symposium and Award Celebration
November 30–December 2, 2023
2023 TASH Conference
Thank You to Our Donors!
We would like to thank everyone who donated to TASH in March 2023. We are grateful to all of our supporters who help us achieve equity, opportunity, and inclusion for people with disabilities. Thank you!
TASH advances equity, opportunity and inclusion for people with disabilities, with a focus on those with the most significant support needs, in the areas of education, employment and community living through advocacy, research and practice. More information about TASH can be found at www.tashorgstg.wpengine.com.
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