On August 18, the North Carolina Council for Developmental Disabilities awarded a four year, $600,000 grant to energize the long fight to reduce the wait for the Innovation Waiver. LAND (Leadership Alliance for Neurodiverse Disabilities) was awarded first-year funding to research, educate, and engage policy makers, self-advocates and all who embrace our fight.
Our NC Waiver Action Team is central to the grassroots effort and will partner with other stakeholders in statewide programs identified in the grant. An Advisory Council bringing all of North Carolina’s disability advocates together offers the first of its kind thrust to reduce the tragic wait of nearly 16,000 people with I/DD.
The grant originates from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services and owns the lengthy title “The Unmet Needs Initiative: A Coordinated Campaign to Impact the Registry of Unmet Needs.” The work will officially begin October 1 under the leadership of Beth Fields, Program Director for the Mental Health Transformation Alliance (MHTA).
Our Waiver Action Team learned of the award as we addressed 800 special education teachers and therapists during Forsyth County’s new school orientation. Calling for every IEP to include Registry for Unmet Needs (RUN) information and improved community awareness, we enjoyed enthusiastic support across the three-day orientation. The timely grant announcement offered a powerful drumbeat for the school year and more engagement across all of North Carolina.