The Friday Fax

August 18, 2000  

No. 199

 Contact Your Senators/Representatives

Take this opportunity to contact your members of Congress while they are in their home states during the August recess.  Share your stories. Let them know how current legislation affects you and your family. In particular, we need more cosponsors on the Family Opportunity Act (Senate, S. 2274 and House, H.R. 4825). This legislation will allow all children with disabilities to receive Medicaid (health insurance) that they so desperately need. It is one of the most important bills introduced since the development of Social Security. Organizations in Washington, D.C. that  work on behalf of families are working together on the Hill to move this legislation forward. Your Senators and Representatives also need to hear from you. Access the  NPND website for more information on current legislation, as well as other important issues.

WeMedia Covers the Conventions

    WeMedia is hot on the campaign trail. On the ground in Los Angeles, WeMedia is reporting on and advocating for    disability issues through its newly launched "Politics & Advocacy" section. Award-winning TV news anchor and
WeMedia spokesperson Bree Walker kicked off the section's ADA anniversary coverage with an exclusive webcast interview with First Lady and New York Senate candidate, Hillary Clinton. WeMedia is continuing to take the lead as the nation's first disability cybervoice. WeMedia is providing comprehensive coverage that mainstream media doesn't capture. This week's coverage includes interviews with policy makers and key activists, including White House Press Secretary Joe Lockhart, Labor Secretary Alexis Herman, Hollywood honcho Rob Reiner, Lt. Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (D-VA), and Gore Advisor On Disability Issues, Becky Ogle. 
    Visit WeMedia's Politics & Advocacy section at  for in-depth interviews, photos and webcasts with disability superstars such as Kyle Glozier, an ADAPT activist and dynamic youth leader who addressed the convention on August 16th. 

Getting Out the Disability Vote

People with disabilities have fought to have a place at America's table--to be present when the big decisions that affect us all are made-but at election time our votes are conspicuously absent. If people with disabilities voted at the same rate as the able-bodied there would be 5 million more votes. Helpful voting information:

  • "How to turn Out Voters with Disabilities" guide: , or call (202) 293-5960. 

  • Vote online:

  • State Election Resources: 

  • Project Vote Smart: 



You're Not Alone

On August 24th, a reception will be held in Washington, D.C. to honor Patty Smith. The theme of the evening is "You're Not Alone." (Seventeen years ago, Patty wrote a paper for parents when they learn that their child has a disability entitled "You Are Not Alone," which is now a permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institute.) The reception will be held at the WVSA Arts Connection Articulate Gallery from 5:30-7:30 PM. (WVSA is located a few blocks from the White House, on the corner of 16th and L Streets at 1100 16th Street NW. The gallery has its own direct entrance on L Street. WVSA is two blocks from both the McPherson Square subway station (Blue/Orange lines) and Farragut North (Red line). If you live in, or will be in the DC area on the 24th, we invite you to join us. Call the NPND offices at 202-463-2299 to RSVP.
    While we know that not everyone will be able to celebrate with Patty in person, we thought that you would still like an opportunity to share your thoughts and best wishes. We are putting together a "Scrapbook of Remembrance Letters" to present to Patty. Please forward  any letters and messages that you would like included in the Scrapbook to NPND via fax: 202-463-9405, e-mail: , or by mail (see below).

Working with Parents and Educators

In the Republic of Georgia

    Patricia McGill Smith, Executive Director, and Linda Shepard, Interim Executive Director of NPND, are traveling for 10 days throughout the Republic of Georgia as part of a group from the Foundation for International Arts and Education, based in Bethesda, MD. Linda has updated  NPND via e-mail on the journey so far. "We have been visiting children in orphanages, boarding schools and others schools. We have also had a number of meetings with the officials of the Georgian government. In all of these experiences, we have been impressed with the number of programs that are working to improve the lives of children and young adults with disabilities.
     The overall situation, however, is still very devastating. The impact of the Soviet years and their ways of keeping children out of "sight and out of mind," continues to leave children in circumstances that American parents would not believe. I guess the best that I can say is Americans need to thank God for all of the opportunities our children have. Many of our traveling experiences have been very fine. The most outstanding is the fact that we are staying in a private home where we have met so many local Georgians and have been treated with extraordinary hospitality. More upon our return on 19 August."

NPND * 1130 17th Street, N.W. Suite 400 * Washington, DC 20036  * (202) 463-2299 *  (202) 463-9403 (fax) * /
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