Self-Advocates of Indiana Newsletter
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From The President

As 2017 heads into the last quarter, Self-Advocates of Indiana can look back on a busy year thus far.  

On July 14 SAI hosted over 600 self-advocates from around the state at the 2017 Self Advocates of Indiana Annual Picnic at Hummel Park in Plainfield, IN. Overall, we heard great things about this year’s new picnic location. We hope everyone that attending enjoyed themselves and plans to return next year. We also presented our annual SAI Awards at the picnic. Marie Dausch, Executive Director at New Horizons Rehabilitation was the winner of the 2017 Professional Award. Julie Kyle-Lee, a DSP from Sycamore Services was given the 2017 Ally Award, and I am very honored to have been selected as this year's Self-Advocate of the Year.

We have continued to be involved in important state and legislative initiatives. We provided testimony to a study committee on Supported Decision Making as an alternative to guardianship and have been working closely with the state on the DDRS case management redesign focusing on the LifeCourse Framework.  
Looking forward, we are excited to send three SAI officers to the 2017 National Convention of The Arc in San Diego, CA. The conference is taking place November 1-4 and will give our officers the opportunity to gain knowledge and leadership skills and network with other disability advocates from around the country.  

Also, please make sure to join us for our annual conference on November 15 at 502 East Event Centre in Carmel, IN. This year we are partnering with The Arc of Indiana for The Arc of Indiana & SAI Conference, Impact Awards Luncheon and Annual Meetings. SAI’s annual meeting and board elections will take place on this day as well, so please attend and represent your region and SAI chapter. 

We are also still closely following changes and updates regarding healthcare reform. We are very concerned about the latest proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The Graham-Cassidy bill and the previous repeal bills have proposed significant cuts to crucial services like Medicaid, which is crucial for the independence and health of people with disabilities. Again, we've included more information below on how to take action, but we need your voices more than ever!

We hope to see you at the conference!

--Kelsey Cowley

Registration open!

The Arc of Indiana and SAI Annual Conference 

Registration is now open for The Arc of Indiana & Self-Advocates of Indiana Conference & Impact Awards Luncheon, Wednesday, November 15, 2017 at 502 East Event Center in Carmel, IN. The Self-Advocates of Indiana Annual Meeting and Board Elections will also take place on this day following the Impact Awards Luncheon. 

The conference will feature Sharon Lewis, a nationally lauded expert in disability policy spanning home and community-based services, education, employment, independent living supports, and person-centered services. Sharon is also a mom to three daughters, including one with developmental disabilities.

You do not want to miss our keynote speaker at the Impact Awards Luncheon, comedian Zach Anner – author of If at Birth You Don’t Succeed YouTube star and guest star of ABC’s hit comedy, Speechless.

Breakout Sessions

  • Sharing Your Story - Learn from chapters of The Arc and family members how individuals and organizations can make an impact by sharing your story through social media, video, and direct communication
  • Getting to Work - Explore avenues to employment, from VR and beyond
  • Community Action and Advocacy - Gain hands on knowledge from veteran self-advocates on advocating at the local level in your community
  • Sexual Abuse and Prevention - Receive critical information on best practices for providers, and knowledge for families and self-advocates on identifying, preventing and approaching the topic of sexual abuse and prevention
  • The Critical Health Care Debate - Be informed and get up to date on the critical health care debate and health care topics
  • Preparing for Life’s Transitions - Equip yourself with information on options and steps to plan for your or your loved one’s future, including guardianship, supported decision making, special needs trusts, and ABLE accounts
  • Recruiting and Keeping Direct Support Professionals- Join a discussion on the important issue of innovative ways to hire and maintain quality direct support professionals
  • Connecting to Community - Delve into person first, LifeCourse planning – known by many names, with the goal to make real life community connections
Learn More & Register Here

Time to renew your SAI membership!

With the 2017 SAI Conference right around the corner on Wednesday, November 15, it is time again for chapters and independent members of SAI to pay dues to renew their chapter membership for the upcoming year. With these dues, your membership will be effective November 15, 2017-November 1, 2018.
Your $20 chapter dues or $5 independent member dues help support the work of Self-Advocates of Indiana throughout the year, as well as provide your group access to a self-advocacy network that is 46 chapters strong and growing.
To help us keep more accurate annual records about our chapters, all chapters and individual members must complete the SAI Annual Members Form online or by mail.

To complete the form online or to print a copy of the mail-in form click here.
Chapter dues must be paid by Wednesday, November 15 in order for your chapter members to be eligible to vote or run in this year’s SAI Board of Directors election taking place at the SAI Annual Meeting. Chapters whose dues are not received by January 1, 2018 will be listed as inactive. 

If you are interested in joining Self-Advocates of Indiana as an independent member or by starting a new self-advocate group in your area, please contact

Act now to oppose Graham-Cassidy bill


The Graham-Cassidy bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would make huge cuts to and place caps on Medicaid, end the Medicaid expansion and marketplace subsidies in the ACA, and allow states to waive protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
This bill would be devastating to people with disabilities and their families, women and children, seniors, low-income Americans, and threaten access to community living, employment opportunities, and educational supports.

The Senate may still vote this week on the Graham-Cassidy bill. As of this writing it seems the bill is currently lacking the votes it would need to pass; however, it is still crucial to continue to act and make your voices heard! Senators John McCain (AZ) and Susan Collins (ME) have confirmed they will be voting no. While the media is reporting that Senator Rand Paul (KY) will vote no, he has changed his vote from a no to a yes on previous repeal and replace legislation. We need to keep up the advocacy until we get a 3rd definitive no. Even if this bill fails, there may be future threats to the ACA and Medicaid, so we must continue to speak up.

Call Senator Todd Young
Ask him to vote NO on the Graham-Cassidy bill. Let him know how this bill and any future legislation that would impose caps on Medicaid and cut protections for people with pre-existing conditions would impact you, your loved one, family, people you support or advocate for, etc.
  • Phone (Indianapolis): 317-226-6700
  • Phone (Washington, D.C.): 202-224-5623
Contact Senator Joe Donnelly
Thank him for speaking out against the Graham-Cassidy bill.
  • Email
  • Phone (Indianapolis): 317-226-5555
  • Phone (Washington, D.C.): 202-224-4814
Share Your Story with Governor Holcomb
Governor Holcomb has joined other governors in supporting the Graham-Cassidy bill. Share your story to let him know how this bill would impact  you, your loved one, family, people you support or advocate for, etc.   Share on Social Media
If you use social media, share your concerns on Facebook and Twitter.  Ask your family and friends to contact Senator Young and thank Senator Donnelly.

Thank you for all you have done to protect Medicaid and thank you for stepping up once again.  

Want to be on the SAI Board of Directors?

Are you interested in representing your chapter and region by serving on the Self-Advocates of Indiana Board of Directors? Sitting on the SAI Board of Directors helps take your advocacy efforts a step further, by helping guide and direct the organization of Self-Advocates of Indiana and providing leadership opportunities at the State level. 

Requirements to serve on the SAI Board of Directors:
  • Must be an individual with a disability who lives in Indiana
  • Be a member of a Self-Advocacy Chapter or an Independent At-Large Member of SAI
  • Must have two (2) years experience in self-advocacy or in some type of leadership role
  • Represent your region and the values of Self-Advocates of Indiana
  • Attend quarterly Board Meetings in Indianapolis. Meetings typically last from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm on a weekday. The September meeting is a two-day event.
    • We cannot provide transportation, but we are able to reimburse mileage or transportation costs for self-advocates or the staff bringing them to and from board meetings
  • Attend quarterly Statewide Meetings
  • Serve on at least one committee and participate in monthly conference calls for this committee
Elections for the SAI Board of Directors will take place at the Annual Meeting on Wednesday, November 15 at 2:15 PM. Applications to serve on The SAI Board of Directors must be submitted by Wednesday, November 1. 
Click Here to Complete SAI Board Application

Congratulations, Mark Hublar!

Southern Indiana self-advocate, Mark Hublar, was featured on the cover of Southern Indiana Business magazine. Mark is a professional speaker and shares his story across the country. He is also a member of The Self-Advocates of Indiana Speakers Bureau and works for The Arc of Indiana's My Life My Choice program and Career Counseling Information and Referral (CCIR) program. You can see Mark's cover and read his feature story by clicking here.

To book Mark or another Speakers Bureau member to speak to your organization or group, visit SAI's Speakers Bureau Page here.

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

This year’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) theme is “Inclusion Drives Innovation.” NDEAM celebrates the contributions of workers with disabilities and educates about the value of a workforce inclusive of their skills and talents.

Just as we do with Disability Awareness Month in March, we are encouraging all of our chapters to help raise awareness about the importance of an inclusive workforce and access to employment for people with disabilities. 

For more information on how you can be involved and ideas to raise awareness, visit The Office of Disability Employment Policy.
Self-Advocates of Indiana
107 N. Pennsylvania Street, Suite 800
Indianapolis, IN  46204
317-977-2385 — Fax

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Self-Advocates of Indiana · 143 W Market Street · Suite 200 · Indianapolis, IN 46204 · USA

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