Hill Visits

The Most Important Day

The Disability Policy Seminar culminates with a full day of in-person visits to congressional leaders on Capitol Hill. The purpose of the visits is to speak directly with state delegates about the high-priority issues that affect people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).

The challenges and realities facing the I/DD community demand our continued focus and diligent advocacy. Lifeline programs like Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, Supplemental Security Income, and Social Security are constantly threatened, yet these federal programs provide the key to community living and inclusion for people with I/DD across the nation. Any cuts to these lifelines would be devastating.

Through visits with congressional leaders, seminar participants can help ensure that lifeline programs and the civil rights of all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are protected.

How to Make Your Appointments

For many states, the state chapter of The Arc, the University Center, or the Developmental Disability Council will set up meetings with Senators and Representatives from your state.

However, if no one is coordinating the appointments for your state, you must make your own. Here are some suggestions:

You should begin making your appointments at least three (3) weeks in advance of your visit to Washington.

To make your appointments:

  1. Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for your senator/representative.
  2. Ask to speak with the scheduler. (Press to meet with the member directly. If that is not possible, meet with the legislative assistant who handles disability issues. Be sure to get the name of the legislative assistant.)

When you arrive in Washington for the Disability Policy Seminar, call each office to confirm the specifics of your visit. We strongly recommend making these calls on Monday, as Hill visits are scheduled to take place on Wednesday.


Any accessibility requests, including requests for sign language services, must be made directly through the office of the senator or representative that you are planning to visit when scheduling your appointment. They should accommodate all requests.

You can find more information here http://www.aoc.gov/accessibility-services.

Tips for the Hill Meetings

Here are some tips to help you have more productive meetings with your Senators and Representative:


Remember: Members of Congress enjoy meeting with their constituents, and they look forward to hearing your views. They will expect you to know more about the subject than they do. Don’t be afraid to make those appointments now!


Please select a member of your group to complete the Legislative Contact Form for each meeting and then enter the information online here.



List of attendees as of April 1, 2019. Note that this list does not include all attendees as some have opted out of sharing their information.