I hope this message finds you and your family safe, healthy, and well.
As we approach primary election day on Tuesday, August 4, one item on this year's ballot that might interest you is the initiative on Medicaid Expansion. Medicaid Expansion marks the first time the board of directors of Easterseals Midwest has taken a position on a ballot initiative. If the proposal passed with a popular vote, it would raise the income eligibility for someone to access health insurance through the Missouri HealthNet program.
The board has chosen to support Medicaid Expansion for several reasons, including the estimated 16,000 well-paying jobs it would create in Missouri and the cost savings for Missouri taxpayers. Most importantly, if passed, it would ensure more people with disabilities could access support.
As we wrap up our celebrations of the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act being signed into law by President George H. W. Bush, we reflect on its many achievements and the work ahead. While we have made tremendous progress during this time, even three decades later, people with disabilities continue to be overlooked by our political leaders.
More than 35 million voters nationwide are impacted by disabilities, making it one of the largest voting blocs. We want people with disabilities voices' heard. As a result, we will provide resources to the public over the coming months to support voter registration, education, and election turnout.
If you know someone eligible to vote who is not yet registered, they can visit: https://tinyurl.com/y6369tbg.
Strategic Planning Update
Our stakeholder-driven strategic plan is nearing completion and should be approved by our board of directors this October. The project will guide Easterseals into the next three years of operation with a united commitment to communication, culture, and innovation. We have established the following focus areas to guide and measure our strategic success:
Thank you to all of our incredible supporters who took the time to partner with us in our focus groups and surveys throughout January. You provided invaluable feedback, which was incorporated into the plan. I am excited to share with you the final project in the coming months.
Finally, I want to assure you that our COVID-19 Task Force continues to be hard at work evaluating and re-evaluating our response to keeping our programs safe for those we support and our staff. We currently have 16 staff members and six individuals with disabilities who are grappling with COVID-19 infections. As new data regarding the virus continues to become available, we will keep the care of those who rely on Easterseals each day front and center. To stay updated on all that we are doing, please visit our COVID-19 webpage here: https://tinyurl.com/sh8wpjt.
Our work is only possible because of you, our partners who show up and support Easterseals with the resources we need to deliver life-changing services. I am grateful for your trust and dedication. It means the world to me and our movement.
Until next time, thank you for all that you do.
Chief Executive Officer