MDA Fly Out 2011 Focuses on Transitions

This August, MDA reps and lawmakers will address issues facing youth with muscle disease as they grow into adulthood

Article Highlights:
  • The MDA Fly Out, now in its third year, provides an opportunity for MDA families and advocates to meet with elected representatives in their home districts.
  • This year, Fly Out visits will concentrate on how MDA and lawmakers can work together to remove barriers and provide resources for young people with pediatric neuromuscular diseases who are "transitioning" to adulthood.
  • Meetings will be scheduled beginning August 8; call your local MDA office to learn more.
by Miriam Davidson on July 29, 2011 - 10:27am

Would you like meet with your congressman to talk about issues important to families facing neuromuscular disease?

Please join us for the MDA Fly Out.

For the third year in a row, MDA families and advocates are gearing up for the MDA Fly Out — annual meetings with congressional representatives held in their home districts throughout the August congressional recess.

These meetings provide an opportunity for people affected by neuromuscular disease to develop relationships with lawmakers, inform them about issues important to the MDA community, and find ways to work together on such topics as education, employment, mobility, health care access and living independently.

This year, the Fly Out will focus specifically on the concerns of the growing population of young adults living with pediatric neuromuscular diseases. As part of MDA’s Transitions Initiative, these meetings will include discussion of the obstacles encountered, and resources needed, by young people with muscle disease who are “transitioning” to adulthood.

About the Fly Out

The MDA Fly Out takes place every August during the annual congressional recess when lawmakers are more likely to be available for meetings in their home districts.

MDA calls these meetings the Fly Out to contrast them with the Fly In, a term used to describe traditional events in which constituent groups “fly in” to Washington D.C., to meet with representatives on Capitol Hill.

These meetings are an effective way to heighten awareness of community needs, and to foster important relationships between constituents and members of Congress.

With families, sponsors, volunteers, clinicians and researchers located in just about every congressional district in the country, MDA has a grassroots reach unlike most organizations.

For this reason, the Fly Out is a particularly effective way for advocates to focus on MDA services and initiatives located in the legislators’ own districts. It also provides a rare opportunity for sponsors, researchers and local heroes to share their MDA stories.

MDA Neuromuscular Transitions Summit in September

Fly Out meetings are designed to initiate a dialogue that will extend into policy discussions throughout the coming year.

Following this year’s Fly Out, MDA will host a Neuromuscular Transitions Summit in Washington, D.C., this fall. Young adult members of the community will have the opportunity to share their successes and setbacks, as well as to dialogue with policymakers about potential ways to improve upon existing resources.

Participate in Fly Out meetings in your area

Individuals can add their voice to the Fly Out by taking action and writing their congressional member; sharing their thoughts and experiences on Advocacy's myMDA page; and participating in the Transitional Services Survey on MDA’s Transitions Resource Center.

To inquire about how you can get involved in the 2011 Fly Out, contact your local MDA office. Meetings will be scheduled beginning Aug. 8.

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