Top Headlines:Register Now for The 2017 Disability Policy SeminarUCP of West Central Alabama Named Recipient of $35,000 GrantMinnesota Man Receives Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis After 80 Years


Improved Airline Accessibility in the Works


How Virtual Reality Could Help Children with Cerebral Palsy


UPCOMING EVENTS:January 26: Volunteer Quarterly Call: “New Administration, New Congress – What’s on the Horizon for Health Care and Disability?” with UCP Board Member Jeanne De Sa. 12:00 PM EST. Details to To Be Announced.March 12-14: 2017 Annual Meeting, Embassy Suites Airport Hotel,  Nashville, TN. Please RSVP to confirm your attendance and room block.
March 15: Affiliate Topical Call. 3:00 PM EST. Details To Be Announced.



UCP Remembers Jack Schillinger

On January 4, 2017, UCP lost a great friend, volunteer, supporter, leader and advisor with the passing of Jack Schillinger at the age of 96. Jack was the “face” of the Bellows Committee that he Chaired until recently, was Chair of the UCP Board of Directors in 1991, and was member of the Finance Committee for many years. In 2015, UCP honored Jack with the Chair Award at the Annual Conference in Chicago.

Jack was a huge part of UCP, since 1955 and we can never thank him enough for his dedication to UCP and to the lives of people with disabilities.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this difficult time. Jack’s obituary can be found within his guest book. To add a note of sympathy, give your condolences to the family, and to share your memories of Jack, please visit the Guest Book.

Movement on the Strategic Plan

We hope that all of you had safe and happy holidays, and are preparing for a busy and prosperous 2017. UCP is moving forward with several elements of the draft strategic plan that was shared with affiliates by Interim CEO, Rick Forkosh. Shaping the future of UCP in 2017 will take all of us working together, and we look forward to achieving great outcomes.

2017 Annual Meeting Location and Dates Announced
The annual meeting of the members will be held March 12-14, 2017 at the Embassy Suites Airport Hotel in Nashville, TN. A timeline for activities is forthcoming and will be announced. If you have not responded yet, your completion of the short, 4-question survey indicating your attendance and number of rooms needed is appreciated.

ANCOR Membership
UCP is pleased to be able to offer membership in the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) as part of your affiliation dues with UCP. All of you should have received a welcome letter and press release from ANCOR announcing the formal membership. View the full statement here.

Volunteer Quarterly Call
The quarterly call for volunteers will be held on January 26, 2017 at 12:00 PM EST. The call will feature a presentation by Jeanne DeSa, Board Member, UCP National Board of Trustees, and Principal at Healthsperien. With more than two decades of experience in health care policy, data analysis and strategy, Jeanne helps organizations respond to challenges and opportunities in the changing health care policy environment. She previously worked at UnitedHealth Group as Senior Vice President for Policy and Strategy, and at the Congressional Budget Office prior to joining Healthsperien.
The topic will be: “New Administration, New Congress – What’s on the Horizon for Health Care and Disability?”

Please RSVP to Anita Porco at

Marketing Sub-Committee

In preparation for the work of the Marketing sub-committee (as defined in the draft strategic plan), we are reviewing YouTube videos from affiliates that showcase your work in your communities. If you have incorporated “we are more than our name” or “life without limits” into your messaging, we would be interested in seeing those videos as well. The subcommittee will include executive directors and volunteers from affiliates, with experts pulled in as we go forward. Once the sub committee has the subject matter more clear, we will issue a call for materials. If you have questions, please contact Anita Porco, Vice President of Affiliate Network, at

Washington Update

Our primary concern in public policy right now is the future trajectory of the repeal of Affordable Care Act, and the timing and structure of any repeal or reform efforts made by President-Elect Trump and the Republican-controlled chambers of Congress. A summary of the areas of concern for people with disabilities can be found here. UCP has signed onto several sign on letters generated by the disability policy community.

UCP continues to engage in the Trump Administration transition too. We signed onto a memo from the National Respite Coalition.

Client- Facing Issues

Supreme Court Hearing Arguments in IDEA Case:

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments tomorrow in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, a case focused on an autistic student and a Colorado school district’s implementation of IDEA. A helpful rundown on the issues in the case is available here. The amicus brief that UCP joined is here.

Employment and Medicaid Expansion:

An article in the American Journal of Public Health at the end of December demonstrates that the workforce participation rate for people with disabilities is significantly higher in states where Medicaid has been expanded v. states where it has not been expanded. Read more here.


As Congress revisits the Affordable Care Act, this helpful primer from the Kaiser Family Foundation runs through what Medicaid is, who is eligible, and how it is funded.

Organizational Issues

Funding Opportunity:

ACL’s National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research has several active funding opportunities under code NIDILRR or 93.433 at In particular, a development grant is available to CBOs to plan and conduct research, demonstration projects, training, and related activities that develop methods, procedures, and rehabilitation technology which support people with severe disabilities. Learn more here, and apply by February 21st.

Fellowship Opportunity:

The CDC is accepting applications from organizations to host a two-year public health fellow (fully funded by CDC). To learn more about the program, and to apply to host by January 29th, click here.

Twitter Chat About Employment:

On January 12th, The Campaign for Disability Employment will be hosting a Twitter Chat about Mentorship. If your affiliate would like to participate, write to Kaitlyn Meuser, UCP’s Marketing Specialist, at for more information.


Managed Care:

NASUAD has launched a Medicaid Managed Care 101 course. It outlines important differences between the Medicaid fee-for-service and Medicaid managed care delivery systems, and also explains types of managed care plans, how states can implement managed care programs, and key requirements that must be followed. Click here to create a free account to access.


1)On December 30th, CMS issued guidance to states on the implementation of the Community First Choice State Plan Option. Read the letter here.

2) Justice in Aging is hosting a free webinar tomorrow on the topic of addressing dementia care in HCBS settings. The material presented will be useful for advocates, service providers, and others with an interest in HCBS and dementia care. Click here to register.

NASUAD is producing a webinar tomorrow on state Medicaid Managed LTSS programs.  The webinar will cover basic information about the current status and future directions of state Medicaid Managed LTSS programs; key policy and operational considerations for professionals working with older adults enrolled in these programs; and future directions for these programs. Click here to view details and register.


1) ICYMI: DOL released a Final Rule for Section 188 of WIOA. The Final Rule does not impose any significant new obligations on recipients. The LEAD Center’s summary is here, and the Final Rule is here.

2) The EEOC recently published the final rule on Section 501 dealing with affirmative action for individuals with disabilities in federal employment. To view the final rule, click here.

3) JAN (the Job Accommodation Network) has released their upcoming 2017 schedule of webinars on various workplace topics. Find it here.

4) PEAT is hosting a webinar on January 19th with Harvard and Perkins School for the Blind to discuss the role educational institutions can play in helping recruiters engage in more inclusive practices. Click here to register.


On December 28th, Ed issued guidance on the civil rights of students with disabilities. The three sets of guidance are intended to “assist the public in understanding how the Department interprets and enforces federal civil rights laws protecting the rights of students with disabilities.” Click here for the fact sheet and other resources.
The AbleData project published Is Your AT Considered Durable Medical Equipment?, a fact sheet comparing the definitions of durable medical equipment (DME) and assistive technology (AT) and how to determine whether an insurance carrier might consider an AT to be DME (and implications for coverage).

Take Action

CMS Seeks Input on PACE Innovation Act
CMS is seeking public input on potential adaptations of the model of care employed by the Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) for new populations, including individuals with physical disabilities.

The PACE Innovation Act of 2015 (PIA) provides authority to test application of PACE-like models for additional populations, including populations under the age of 55 and those who do not qualify for a nursing home level of care, under Section 1115A of the Social Security Act.

Comments must be received by 5 p.m. EST on February 10, 2017. Read more here about submission process.

Cerebral Palsy Research Participation Opportunity

“Research CP” is an educational series and workshop – with the end result being a research agenda for Cerebral Palsy –  is seeking participation. For more information on the workshop and educational series, please click here.

Congratulations to the Cerebral Palsy Research Network, a member of the CP Collaborative, for securing a grant from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).