Nothing About Us Without Us
Our Gateways Family Advocacy Network (G-FAN) is made up of clients and family members like you who want to learn how to help ensure they and their loved ones receive life-enhancing services. Only through advocacy have individuals with disabilities gained protections and opportunities to live meaningful lives. Many of NH’s strongest advocates were first impassioned by the grave conditions of the past, including at the Laconia State School. Now, we need you and your collective support to maintain best practices and improve and expand upon services.
Please Join Gateways-Family Advocacy Network (G-FAN)
As a priority to Gateways Community Services, G-FAN is a group of family members and clients, which includes some of our Board Members, Family Support Council members, and staff too. We share advocacy opportunities and information so you're in the know on state actions that could affect your services. You'll receive our legislative emails through which you'll learn more about what's going on at the State House and opportunities to advocate for yourself. Email email@example.com for more info. or to signup!
WHY? Legislators and government agency employees make decisions that determine the availability and quality of DD (development disability) and ABD (acquired brain disorder) services. Most funding for services comes from state dollars. Without our input, these officials will not understand how deeply their votes/laws and regulations/policies impact our lives.
You're the expert. There's approx. 33% turnover in the legislature every two years. That's 130 of the 400 House Representatives & 8 of the 24 Senators. These are people from all walks of life, some of whom have not had any experience with the developmental disability system. They're also tasked with considering upwards of 1,000 bills introduced each legislative session. Therefore, our legislators need individuals who can inform them of the challenges and opportunities associated with their acts of introducing and voting on legislation.
We have shared in life-enhancing successes! Thank you to our legislators, officials, state department staff, clients and family members for advocating at budget hearings and other important hearings!
Let’s stay informed and advocate for better DD and ABD services. Please contact William Walker, Gateways Community Services’ Legislative Liaison, via firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Note: the standard email for legislators is email@example.com
Certain towns have more than one District or Ward, you can find out which you're in via the Polling Place Search.
Find more information via the following:
- NH Congressional Delegation
- List of Additional Legislators (i.e. Executive Councilor & Governor)
- Polling Place Search (Nashua Ward Map; helps to determine who your legislators are)
- View how your legislators voted on any issue here
- Gain insight via the NH Department on Health and Human Services (DHHS)
- Check out the NH General Court
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Issues To Watch - What Our Legislators Need To Know
Dear Legislators and State Officials:
Please address the following:
Ensure the next state budget builds upon the state’s support for developmental services. We're dealing with serious issues.
Fund the Wait List. People can’t wait. Many states deal with individuals on exhaustive wait lists as we have had in NH's past. It creates dire circumstances and situations leaving individuals and their families struggling to lead meaningful lives. We can't leave individuals and their families in the perilous position of being waitlisted for services. Please continue to fully fund the Developmental Disability/Acquired Brain Disorder waitlists.
Address the Workforce Crisis. It is vital for a Medicaid Rate increase to support DSP Living wage. Many developmental disability community members - staff and other family members - are forced to quit their jobs to care for their family members because they can’t find qualified caregivers. Let's make sure we're creating incentives and career pathways for DSPs as we work to understand the problems and implement solutions.
Ensure the BDS System Change helps families. Change done right. Our biggest concerns are ensuring operational changes do not cause confusion or poor service and ensuring new rates and service definitions don’t decrease services or destabilize the system.
Increase Transportation Supports and Affordable Housing/Creative Living Options. Our individuals and families are struggling with lack of transportation, lack of affordable housing, and lack of creating housing options. We have created committees and special projects to help address these issues and we need more support and initiatives to confront these issues at every angle we can.
Key Legislative Bills for 2024 - Bills Impacting Our Space
A list of the issues we're tracking is in the attached document, last updated on 15-Jan-2024. Rows marked in red are closely tracked bills, we’re following the rows marked in yellow, and keeping an eye on the ones in green.