Arizona Represented at the 2014 Disability Policy Seminar

Larry Clausen, Executive Director
Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council

DDNN Summer 2014

2014 Disability Policy Seminar

The 2014 Disability Policy Seminar was held in Washington, D.C. April 7th through the 9th.  The annual Seminar brings people from all across the U.S. and represents a mixture of self-advocates, family members and professionals, all drawn together to meet with elected officials at the climax of the 3-day event.  The “Day on the Hill” provides a great opportunity for citizens to meet their state Congressional delegation and discuss important topics.

This year, Arizona fielded a team of five persons to attend the Seminar and included Ray Morris (Council member/ Dads for Special Kids) and wife Kelly; Juliana Huerena, Southwest Institute for Families & Children/Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered; Jon Meyers, Executive Director, the ARC of Arizona.  Also in attendance was Leslie Cohen, Executive Director, Sonoran University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, University of Arizona and students from the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) program.

Seven policy issues topics were identified during the first 2 days of the seminar with ongoing presentations designed to bring attendants up to speed on the important points.  By Wednesday, the Arizona Team had narrowed the topic areas for discussion on the Hill to the following:

Early Wednesday morning, April 9th the Arizona team headed for the Hill and by 5:00 P.M. had wrapped up 8 visits, including two on the Senate side (McCain, Flake) and six on the House side (Sinema, Salmon, Barber, Kirkpatrick, Gosar and Grijalva).  While most of the visits involved one on ones with legislative aides, Representatives Sinema and Barber met in person and spent time engaging in serious discussion.  The team finished the Hill visit with a sense that issues had been listened to, and with commitments from several offices to review recommendations made.

This year’s program and powerpoint presentations from the Seminar are available at http://www.thearc.org/page.aspx?pid=2173.

2015 Disability Policy Seminar > April 13-15
Washington, DC

Arizona Team Members at the 2014 Disability Policy Seminar in Washinton, DC

Members of Arizona team met with AZ Representative Barber (from left): Jon Meyers, Congressman Ron Barber, Juliana Huerena, and Larry Clausen