Public Policy

2021 Legislative Priorities

The North Dakota Disabilities Advocacy Consortium (NDDAC) is a statewide association of organizations who advocate for public policies that support people with disabilities. The NDDAC membership includes advocates (1) with lived experience as people with disabilities and family members, and (2) organizations who represent people with disabilities. The NDDAC’s advocacy efforts are not defined by any specific type of disability, age, and/or cultural elements. The NDDAC strives to ensure that service delivery systems and supports are both person-centered and family-centered. Its approach to addressing community needs is to take on environmental, policy, and social barriers that challenge individuals with disabilities to live full lives, rather than considering changing the individual.

 

NDDAC will focus on improving and expanding the voice, rights, equal access to the supports that lead to quality lives in our communities for people with disabilities during the 2021 North Dakota legislative session.

Human Rights

At the core of the NDDAC’s advocacy is assuring that disability rights are human rights. The NDDAC has dedicated their efforts over the last several months to educating the public, including our policymakers and medical community about the rights of people with disabilities. The work to preserve these rights becomes more heightened due to the global pandemic caused by the COVID-19.

 

Policy priorities

Equal access to medical care – Assuring needed accommodations including support personnel during clinic/ER/hospital care.  Assuring that health care rationing guidance does not discriminate against individuals with disabilities.

Decrease or Eliminate the Need for Seclusion and Restraint – In North Dakota’s schools.  According to federal Office of Civil Rights 2017-2018, nationally 80% of physical restraints happen to children with disabilities and 77% of seclusions happen to children with disabilities.

Assure Voting Rights and Accessibility – Those with print disabilities as well as assuring that voting is accessible for all North Dakota citizens who have disabilities and are of voting age.

Improve Health Care Access for Children – Promote the ACES Kids Act at a state level to provide for care coordination for children with complex medical conditions was enacted at the federal level and needs support at the state level. Support easy access to the Children with Disabilities Buy-in Program.

 

Quality Access to Our Home and Communities

Historically individuals with disabilities have been faced with living in institutional settings due to lack of supports in their homes and communities.  Over the years, recognition of helping individuals remain in their homes as gained strength as well as corresponding resources.  A recent Department of Justice investigation has resulted in an agreement with North Dakota to improve access in the state to home and community-based services.

 

Policy priorities

Expand Access to Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Support Across the Lifespan – Protect core program budgets that are critical for funding home and community-based supports for individuals with disabilities across the lifespan.

Implement Settlement Agreements – Assuring state compliance with the recent Department of Justice settlement as well as any additional agreements that may be forth coming.

Ensure Prompt and Equitable Implementation of Medicaid 1915(i) – Assure adequate funding is in place and provider requirements are as streamlined as possible.

Capitol Complex accessibility and public hearings protocols – Assuring physical, technical, and informational accessibility makes public input from everyone possible.

Post-secondary education financial supports – Options for assuring that students with disabilities can attend a post-secondary institution with the needed supports.

Support and Promote Business Tax Credits – Continue tax credit for businesses employing individuals with disabilities.