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NCD Roundtable: Strengthening the Home- and Community-based Ecosystem

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Join the National Council on Disability January 26, 12-3 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) for a virtual, two-part policy roundtable on strengthening the home- and community-based ecosystem, with focus on the direct care workforce and affordable, accessible housing.

Registration via our Eventbrite page is appreciated but not required.

NCD is hosting this roundtable to provide a briefing of the major findings and recommendations from the agency’s recent Strengthening the HCBS Ecosystem: Responding to Dangers of Congregate Settings during COVID-19 report and to share its vision for a “community living bias” in place of an institutional bias. The roundtable will be hosted virtually and includes invited perspectives from consumers, advocates, litigators, and senators of state and federal government. 


The roundtable will take place via Zoom webinar. To Join:

Passcode: 209855

For joining by telephone, dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location): US: +1 301 715 8592 or +1 305 224 1968 or +1 309 205 3325 or +1 312 626 6799 or +1 646 876 9923 or +1 646 931 3860 or +1 507 473 4847 or +1 564 217 2000 or +1 669 444 9171 or +1 669 900 6833 or +1 689 278 1000 or +1 719 359 4580 or +1 253 205 0468 or +1 253 215 8782 or +1 346 248 7799 or +1 360 209 5623 or +1 386 347 5053 or +1 408 638 0968

Webinar ID: 824 9323 6278 Passcode: 209855

International numbers available:

ASL and CART will be available.


  • Welcome: Andrés Gallegos, Chairman NCD
  • Report Overview: Ana Torres-Davis, Senior Attorney Advisor NCD


  • Moderator: Theo Braddy, NCD Council Member
  • Lydia Dawson, J.D. , Director of Policy, Regulatory and Legal Analysis, ANCOR
  • Gayle King and Ryan Holmquist, relatives of the late Dennis Prothero
  • Alice Burns, Ph.D., Associate Director, Program on Medicaid and the Uninsured, Kaiser Family Foundation
  • Minnesota State Senator Carla Nelson
  • Q&A


  • Moderator: Ana Torres-Davis, NCD Senior Attorney Advisor
  • Andrew Aurand, Vice President for Research, National Low Income Housing Coalition
  • Lillibeth Navarro, Executive Director of CALIF – Los Angeles Independent Living Center
  • U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (Virginia)
  • Michael Allen, Esq., Partner, Relman Colfax PLLC
  • Kenneth M. Walden, Managing Attorney, Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago
  • Q&A
  • Closing remarks: Andrés Gallegos, Chairman NCD

Presenter Biographies

Alice Burns PhD is an Associate Director with the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Program on Medicaid and the Uninsured where she focuses on overseeing the team’s quantitative research. Prior to joining KFF in 2022, Dr. Burns served as a Principal Analyst at the Congressional Budget Office, where she led the agency’s research with the Medicaid claims data and worked on issues related to long-term services and supports, managed care, Medicaid claims data, Medicare-Medicaid enrollees, private health insurance, single-payer health care, special needs populations, and surprise medical bills. Before her time at the CBO, she was a consultant with the Lewin Group and a research scientist at the George Washington University Center for Health Policy Research. Alice received her PhD in Public Policy and Public Administration 2012 from George Washington University.

Lydia Dawson JD is ANCOR’s Director of Policy, Regulatory & Legal Analysis. She formerly served as the executive director for the Maine Association for Community Service Providers and the Idaho Association of Community Providers, representing agencies supporting individuals with behavioral health and developmental disabilities. Prior to her work as a state association executive, Lydia served as a staff attorney with Maine’s protection and advocacy agency, representing individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Lydia obtained her Juris Doctor from Roger Williams University School of Law with a concentration in public interest and her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Maine. She has been engaged statewide and nationally as a speaker and trainer on topics related to guardianship and supported decision-making, access and rate reimbursement methodology, and due process in Medicaid.

Minnesota State Senator Carla Nelson brings her experience as a community leader, teacher, small businesswoman, wife and mother to her service in the Minnesota Senate, representing the 79,000 residents of district 26 which includes portions of Rochester, Chatfield, Dover, Eyota, Stewartvillle and 14 townships in Olmsted County. She served as the.2021 Chair of the Tax Committee and Chair of the Education Finance and Policy Committee from 2016-2020. Senator Nelson is a. Strong advocate for healthcare initiatives that will preserve patient choice and improve the quality and efficiency of health care. She is an equally strong opponent of healthcare policies that will be harmful to patient care, stifle research and innovation.

Andrew Aurand is Senior Vice President for Research at the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC).  Andrew leads NLIHC’s research team that annually documents the housing needs of low-income renters (published in The Gap and Out of Reach) and conducts policy research to improve federal affordable housing programs to better serve renters with extremely low incomes. NLIHC’s recent research has focused on emergency rental assistance programs in response to COVID-19, affordable housing preservation, and the long-term recovery of affordable rental housing after disasters. The research team also co-manages the National Housing Preservation Database to support the preservation of publicly subsidized affordable housing.

U.S. Senator Tim Kaine Senator Kaine was elected to the Senate in 2012 and serves on the Armed Services; Budget; Foreign Relations; and Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committees. He has made boosting job opportunities for everyone a top priority. As co-chair of the bipartisan Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus, he focuses on expanding access to job-training programs to ensure that students of all ages are prepared with the skills they need for the jobs of the modern economy. He has also led successful efforts in the Senate to reduce unemployment for military families and veterans. He has consistently pushed for reforms to expand access to quality care. This includes legislation to give Americans more options for affordable health insurance and to combat the opioid abuse epidemic. After graduating from the University of Missouri, he started his public service career by running a technical school founded by Jesuit missionaries in Honduras. He trained teenagers to become carpenters and welders, equipping them with skills to lift up themselves and their communities. He was first elected to office in 1994, serving as a city councilmember and then Mayor of Richmond. He became Lieutenant Governor of Virginia in 2002 and was inaugurated as Virginia’s 70th Governor in 2006.

Michael Allen is a Partner at Relman Colfax. is civil rights litigation practice focuses on the Fair Housing Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and related civil rights laws, with an emphasis on dismantling barriers to integration on the basis of disability and of race. Over the past sixteen years, Michael has led the firm’s disability rights practice as it has litigated dozens of housing discrimination cases. Among the most prominent is Independent Living Center v. City of Los Angeles, which challenged the city’s failure to ensure that its 70,000-unit affordable housing program complied with federal and state accessibility requirements. It settled in 2016 and remains one the largest settlement of its kind anywhere in the country. Michael has also used litigation to challenge policies that perpetuate racial and ethnic segregation. U.S. ex rel. Anti-Discrimination Center v. Westchester County, was one of the first private lawsuits to employ the False Claims Act to enforce the federal obligation to “affirmatively further fair housing.” That case established important precedent, and resulted in a $63.5 million remedy, including the construction of 750 units of affordable housing in higher-opportunity neighborhoods. Michael was formerly a senior staff attorney at the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, where he focused on civil rights policy development and litigation involving people with psychiatric disabilities. Before that, he was an attorney with Legal Services of Northern Virginia with a focus on housing litigation and policy advocacy. Michael is a founding Member and the Chair of the Board of Directors of Pathways to Housing in Washington, D.C., and has served on the board since 2004.

Kenneth M. Walden is the Managing Attorney for the Civil Rights Team at Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago.  The Civil Rights Team represents persons with disabilities in civil rights cases under the Fair Housing Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and other laws.  Ken directs the organization’s legal work, which includes: (a) advice, counseling, and representation to persons with disabilities who have civil rights complaints; (b) a disability-specific fair housing testing program; (c) education and outreach to various audiences about disability rights laws; and (d) public policy advocacy. For several years, Ken served as an Adjunct Professor at Loyola University Chicago School of Law.  He taught a course on disability law. Before joining Access Living, Ken served as Director of the Tenant Advocacy Project of the Public Justice Center (PJC) in Baltimore, Maryland.  Prior to the PJC, Ken was a staff attorney for the Legal Aid Bureau in Baltimore. Ken received his law degree, with Honors, from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1990.  He earned his bachelor’s degree, with Highest Honors, from Rutgers College in 1985.