Don't Cut Our Lifeline Medicaid and Social Security Toolkit – Summer 2015

What individuals, parents, family members, and other advocates can do.

When Congress is not in session (often called “recess”), Members of Congress go back to their home states and look for ways to connect with their constituents. People with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), their families, friends, direct support professionals, teachers, co-workers, and others make up a large portion of a Member of Congress’ constituency – that’s why it is important that Members are aware of our issues!

Each year, disability advocates from across the country assemble in Washington, DC for the Disability Policy Seminar. This annual event is a way for us to invigorate our grassroots and get connected on the key policy issues facing the disability community, and then meet with Members of Congress and their staff in Washington, DC.

While those visits are meaningful and important, they are only one part of our year-round advocacy efforts. Congress is in session all year, and that means we need to be advocating for our issues 12 months a year!

There are several upcoming Congressional recesses when you can be making your voices heard by your Members of Congress, talking about the issues facing people with I/DD and advocating for the lifeline programs – Medicaid and Social Security in particular - which face serious threats in the coming months.

The window of time is short. This toolkit explains why it is important to engage with your Members of Congress, and provides information to share in your calls, e-mails, or in person. Remember, we are advocates 365 days a year, so while Congress might be in recess, we are still advocating for the rights of people with I/DD!

If you are with a chapter of The Arc and are looking for more resources, go to the For Chapters section for more materials.

Dates to Remember:

House of Representatives:

August Recess July 31 - September 7


August Recess August 10 - September 7

Legislative Contact Report Form

Submit your contact report

Need more information?

Questions? Need more guidance? Contact Kristen McKiernan, Senior Executive Officer, Communications at or Julie Ward, The Arc's Director of Health Policy at