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"Our lives begin to end
the day we become silent
 about things that matter."
   -- Martin Luther King Jr.

Advocates For People With Developmental Disabilities

Only with your help
can we ensure that people
with developmental disabilities
have access to a full continuum of care

Action DD is the only disabilities advocacy licensed in Washington state that receives no government money. Therefore, we are free to represent the best interests of people with developmental disabilities.  Action DD leaders and volunteers receive no compensation.

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The Case for Designating People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities as a Medically Underserved Population
April 8, 2014
Autistic Self Advocacy Network

There are still more than 54 million Americans with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD), including individuals with physical, mental health, sensory, environmental, and cognitive disabilities lacking adequate health care because of a lack of primary care providers who are properly trained to treat them. In 2000, the website Healthy People 2010 cautioned that “as a potentially underserved group, people with disabilities would be expected to experience disadvantages in health and well-being compared with the general population.” Unfortunately, that statement continues to be correct as people with I/DD remain subject to significant health care disparities.
       Right now, people with ID/DD are not included in the federal government’s definition of Medically Underserved Populations (MUP). That is why it is very important that awareness of this issue be spread so that the Health Resources Services Administration will take action to include people with ID/DD in the MUP definition. Failing that, Congress should act to ensure this community’s inclusion in the official definition. By including people with I/DD in the federal definition of a Medically Underserved Population, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities will have access to better quality health care and better quality of life.

Time running out for parents of disabled adults to claim retroactive tax refund
April 9, 2014
The Olympian

Parents who provide home care for disabled adult children are eligible for retroactive tax refunds dating back to 2010 — but time is running out to claim some of that money.
       A new IRS ruling allows these parents to claim state assistance as nontaxable income. These “difficulty of care” payments will now be treated the same as foster care payments. With the 2014 ruling, the parents are eligible to amend tax returns that date back to 2010. However, the deadline to amend 2010 tax returns is April 15.
       This year, Yelm resident Laurie Armendarez will receive an extra $5,600 on her tax returns — including $1,700 from 2010. Her 25-year-old daughter, Javincia, requires round-the-clock care because of physical and developmental disabilities. Over the years, the caregiver payments she received from the state had steadily declined, and with previous tax returns, Armendarez said she was grateful for any refund.
       “It’s been such a blessing. It was so unexpected,” Armendarez said of the new tax break. “I just feel blessed being able to get some help.”
       AARP Tax Aide program volunteers had prepared tax returns for Armendarez. However, those volunteers learned this week that they need specific training by the IRS before they can legally amend more r eturns under the new ruling, said Kirsten Kline, district coordinator for Thurston County.
       As of Tuesday, at least 20 local residents had inquired about the new tax break, Kline said.
       “Until we get training on how to specifically do it, we technically can’t do it, but people
       can still do it themselves,” said Kline, noting that AARP tax volunteers will receive training in January 2015. “We want to help these people, but we want to do it correctly.”
       The IRS ruling was made possible by a local group of parents who provide home-based care for their children. Olympia residents Loren Freeman and Eugene St. John had led a two-year effort to change the tax structure for families in similar situations. The IRS approved the change in December.
       Freeman uses state Medicaid payments to cover daily living expenses for his daughter, Faith, who requires full-time care. Freeman said he is gratified to learn that perhaps thousands of caregivers nationwide may benefit from the financial boost that comes with the new tax ruling.
       “This is a breakthrough for so many people,” Freeman said. “It will have a tremendous impact for those teetering on the edge.”
       In Washington, about 81,000 people have a developmental disability. A majority of the disabled live at home with parents or relatives, and about 23,000 receive state services, according to The Arc of Washington State.
       Home-based caregivers save the state money by reducing the population of institutions. The state’s Medicaid payments assist individuals who would otherwise require full-time care in a hospital or nursing home.


Why isn’t there more respite care?

Why must people linger on waiting lists?

Why are people turned away?

Why must there be an age limit at our RHCs?

A biased audit and Action DD's response.  Click here

From Our President
febuary 9, 2014

We can do it. We can can keep Yakima Valley School open.  Using the recommendations of the 2011 DD Task Force, Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside, said that he believes there is greater support in Olympia this year to keep Yakima Valley School open open. 
     We must get our own legislators to support senator Honeyford on this bill. 
Autism news feed
Statement 1 No savings to close
Statement 1 Part of continuum
Statement 1 Efficient services
Statement 1 Respite care 
Statement 1
Safety net

Take ACTION to fight legislation that would harm our most vulnerable citizens.

Take ACTION to keep a full continuum of care in Washington State. 

Speaker of the House Frank Chopp told us, “We need a full continuum of services for people with developmental       disabilities.”

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