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This will be a quick ACCSES Matters because we can hear New Jersey calling!  We are excited to be heading to the Garden State tomorrow for the ACCSES New Jersey Star Conference.  It will be fantastic to see old friends (and make new ones), and we are especially looking forward to Wednesday evening’s dinner honoring the fabulous Peggy Englebert, former CEO of The Arc of Camden County, and our wonderful never-to-be-forgotten friend, the late Floyd Nesse.  This will be the first ACCSES New Jersey conference we have attended since before the COVID pandemic began; what a great catch-up it will be!  Being out of town will not stop us from launching our new website, which we look forward to highlighting in our next ACCSES Matters.  When the site launches, registration for the ACCSES Summit in Phoenix, which begins January 15, 2023, will open.  We will notify you when it does.  Until then, let’s take a look at the news.
 
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Congratulations to Dante Allen on his recent nomination to be Rehabilitation Services Administration Commissioner.  Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona stated, “Mr. Allen is eminently qualified to lead the Rehabilitation Services Administration and will be a welcome addition to our incredible team at the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.  I am hopeful the Senate will act quickly on Mr. Allen's confirmation, so that he can get to work advancing our efforts to provide children and adults with disabilities—and especially those in our underserved communities—with access to the educational and training opportunities they need to lead healthy, independent, and fulfilling lives.”   We look forward to meeting with Mr. Allen when he is confirmed.
 
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Today is the tenth anniversary of Congress.gov, a valued resource for many of us who track legislation.  Congress.gov is a product of the Library of Congress, and we reached out recently to ask the Library to include “Disability” among Congress.gov’s  “Subject—Policy Area” filters.  Disability issues fall into so many discrete policy areas from health care to employment to civil rights to transportation to education to technology that it deserves its own Subject—Policy Area filter. Please join us in this effort!  Provide feedback here

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At ACCSES’s recent Summer Conference, we presented on the topic of Long COVID, something that is impacting a significant percentage of individuals who have had COVID.  Last week, The Atlantic published an interesting article on Long COVID and brain fog.  We would be interested in what you are experiencing and, if you are a provider, whether you are seeing Long COVID symptoms among the individuals you serve.  Reach out to Kate at kmcsweeny@accses.org

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Our friends at United Cerebral Palsy are hosting its 2022 Conference on Latinos with Disabilities this week.  The two-day virtual event takes place September 21 and 22 from 12:00NOON to 4:00PM EASTERN each day.  Admission is free, but you must register to participate.  This conference, which will be of interest to everyone in the disability community, will highlight the distinct ways that Latinos with disabilities, their families, and service providers shape the community.  One in six Latinos lives with a disability in the United States.  Nearly one of five people in the U.S. today is Latino, therefore, the question of how well this fast-growing community is served by our healthcare system is of vital importance to our nation's future.  For more information, contact UCP Communications Coordinator James Garcia at jgarcia@ucp.org.
 
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The AADMD is hosting a webinar on “Healthcare for Ukrainians with IDD: A Country in Crisis,” tomorrow, Tuesday, September 20.  The webinar begins at 12:00NOON EASTERN.  Register here
 
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ACCSES is a proud member of the Coalition to Preserve Rehabilitation, and last week, the Coalition’s efforts in supporting H.R. 3173, the Improving Seniors' Timely Access to Care Act paid off with passage by the House.  The bill now goes to the Senate.  It had 320 cosponsors in the House and more than 500 sponsoring organizations.  If passed, this bill would “modernize the antiquated ‘prior authorization’ process in Medicare Advantage.”  A special note of appreciation goes to the law firm of Powers Pyles Sutter and Verville for its leadership! 
 
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If you have been moved by coverage of the Queen’s passing to visit London, you might be interested in learning about the disability policy of the Royal Collection Trust.  (The RTC handles the bookings for the myriad royal properties that provide opportunities for touring, including Buckingham Palace.)  The property accessibility pages are quite specific and include information for individuals on the spectrum as to where there might be loud noises, where the carpets are heavily patterned, how the light changes from one part of the tour to another, and how to enter without being caught in a crowd.  For individuals with mobility issues, there is a guide as to exactly how many steps are involved in each section of the tour, where the handrails are, and how to book disability access.  The RTC offers manual wheelchairs, walkers, portable seating, and other assistance, including free admission for a needed companion.  Dementia care specialists are on duty, and the RTC offers tours for individuals who might have difficulty in more crowded conditions.  They also provide services for individuals who are visually or hearing impaired.  More public buildings should adopt such an inclusive and informative approach to accessibility! 
 
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Before we go, a reminder!  Don’t forget to sign up for the DSP Magnet Retention & Culture Workshop this Wednesday, September 21 from 1:00 to 4:30PM EASTERN.  This hugely popular Workshop will provide excellent suggestions for on-boarding and retaining staff and it is not to be missed!  The Workshop will be led by Scott de Fasselle, co-author of Heart, Hope, & Honesty.   The cost is $69.00 for ACCSES members and $139.00 for non-members.  Register here.  We hope to see you on Wednesday!
 
Have a great week,
 
Kate and Sarah
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