In 2010, NCD celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with its partners by convening the first-ever National Disability Policy Summit in Washington, DC.
A high-energy, diverse group of more than 500 people from U.S. Territories, tribal entities, 48 states, and one foreign country gathered at the multi-day event to launch a national dialogue on disability policies and programs for the 21st century. Attendees were asked to identify emerging opportunities to enhance "Living, Learning and Earning" -- the summit's theme -- for people with disabilities.
The programming for the summit was guided by a conviction that the greatest challenge in making a real difference in the lives of people with disabilities relates to effective cross-silo coordination and collaboration. The goal was to focus on recommendations that feature "how to" steps for change, rather than to reaffirm longstanding well-established problems.
During the summit, NCD announced its intent to host a series of regional forums across the country in alignment with the topics within the theme "Living, Learning, & Earning."
The regional forums were held in the following locations around the country and involved participants from the hosting state as well as neighboring states:
- Detroit, MI ("Earning")
- Portland, OR ("Living")
- Orlando, FL ("Learning")
Participants at each forum included a representation of self-advocates, family members, community allies, state government representatives, non-profit organizations, providers, and Federal Government.
- The goals for each forum were:
- Identify emerging opportunities to enhance the way people with disabilities live, learn, or earn (each forum focused on a single aspect);
- Establish new mechanisms, and build upon existing ones, to improve the coordination of disability policies, programs, and advocacy efforts; and
- Energize collaborative networks to guide future disability policy directions.