The HCBS Access Act: A Law 70 Years in the Making

The Arc of the United States was founded over 70 years ago by families who wanted their family members with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) included in every aspect of life. Yet, most people with IDD had to leave their families and go live in institutions to receive the daily supports they needed because of their disability.

Our system of services and supports for people with IDD has come a long way since those days, but many people with IDD and their families still struggle to plan for the services needed to live a quality life in the community. Many people with IDD wait years to get off the waiting list for services only to find few direct support professionals available to provide the services they need in the community and even more limited affordable and accessible housing. Even when they do find a home in the community and a trusted professional to meet their needs, they often have to start their search again in six months or a year because the turnover in the field is so high. Or worse, they move to another state to be near family after a parent dies and end up on the waiting list for services all over again.

Congress finally proposed a bill, the Home and Community-Based Services Access Act, to make changes to the system of support for people with disabilities to ensure community-based services are there for all people with disabilities who want to live their lives in the community, with their friends and family.

In this webinar, you will learn about barriers in the current system, the proposed changes, and what you can do to make sure these changes become a reality.

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Speaker Bio: Nicole Jorwic was previously the Senior Director of Public Policy at The Arc of the US. Prior to joining The Arc, Nicole served as Senior Policy Advisor and Manager of the Employment First Initiative in Illinois. Prior to that appointment, Nicole served as the CEO/President of the Institute on Public Policy for People with Disabilities. Nicole is also an accomplished special education attorney and an advocate for students with disabilities and their families. Nicole received her JD and Child and Family Law Certificate from Loyola University and her BS from the University of Illinois. Nicole is also a sibling; her brother, Chris, is 31 and has autism.