Disability Policy News November 12, 2018

November 12, 2018 | Vol. XV, Issue 187
Post-Election Special Edition

Editor’s Note

Not all races are final; votes are still being counted in several areas. AUCD will continue to monitor and provide updates on relevant outcomes.

80+ New Members of Congress

At least 80 new members of the House of Representatives and at least six new Senators is a large shift and a real opportunity to build new champions for disability policy. A long-term, respectful and sustained relationship with your members of Congress is the best way to get them to do the right thing. Even if you disagree with them, the value of building a relationship with their office cannot be overstated. Now is the moment to start building those relationships.

House

One-party rule in Washington is over, at least for the next two years. Democrats won the seats needed to take the House, mostly in suburban districts carried by Hillary Clinton in 2016. For the first time, more than 100 women were elected to the House on Tuesday. Notable new voices include the first Native American women elected to Congress (Sharice Davids in Kansas and Deb Haaland in New Mexico), the first Muslim women elected to Congress (Rashida Tlaib in Michigan and Ilhan Omar in Minnesota), and the youngest woman ever elected to Congress (New York’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 29).

Senate

Republicans have retained control of the Senate and extended their majority, which means they can keep moving on President Trump’s nominations. Senate Republicans could even get the opportunity to confirm a third Trump nominee to the Supreme Court.

Action Steps:

  • Send a note of congratulations to your new member(s). Introduce yourself and identify your experience and interests. Offer to be a resource as they represent people with disabilities,including constituent assistance and policy recommendations.
  • Follow the staff hiring. You may know folks who are members of new teams; reach out and offer information and resources.
  • Mark your calendar to follow-up. Plan to reach out monthly, sharing information about your work and life as they start to learn about how disability is part of all policy areas.

Governorships

Gubernatorial elections were held this year in in 36 states and three territories, resulting in a dramatic shift of party leadership. Seven states’ governorships flipped to Democrats: Kansas, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, New Mexico, Nevada and Maine. These races – along with control of several state legislatures – play a crucial role in disability policy, particularly as related to Medicaid and education. The change in leadership in Kansas will likely result in active consideration of expanding Medicaid. Maine, which also changed to a Democratic governor, can now implement the Medicaid expansion that voters had approved in the previous election, but the outgoing governor refused to implement.

Action Step:

  • Build relationships with leaders at the state level. See AUCD’s new State Policy Tool for suggestions.

Disability-Related Ballot Measures

  • Voters in Idaho, Nebraska and Utah voted to expand Medicaid within their borders.
  • Montana voters did not support an effort to continue their Medicaid expansion with funding from a tobacco tax.
  • California voters opted to support a Children’s Hospital Bond Initiative.
  • California voters defeated a measure that would have limited profits for dialysis clinics.
  • Massachusetts voters declined to pass nurse-patient assignment limits.
  • Nevada voters supported a measure to require the state legislature to exempt from sales and use tax durable medical equipment, oxygen delivery equipment, and mobility enhancing equipment prescribed for human use by a licensed health care provider.
  • Arkansas and Missouri both voted to increase the minimum wage, which will give raises to a combined total of 900,000 workers in the two states.

Congressional Leadership

The campaigns for party leadership positions are well under way. The party leadership in each house has great power in deciding which bills are heard and in setting the chamber’s overall agenda. Senate Republicans plan to vote on the morning of Wednesday, Nov. 14, to select leaders for the 116th Congress.

House leadership is likely to be the most volatile in both parties. Several Democratic candidates pledged not to support Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California to be Speaker of the House, though not all won their races.

Additionally, Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric L. Richmond (D-LA-2) suggested last week in a "Dear Colleague" letter, first reported by Politico, that the CBC would push for one of its members to be Speaker or Majority Leader. Nancy Pelosi has been clear she wants to retake the Speaker’s gavel, and Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD-5), a long-time disability champion and the current Minority Whip, made it clear that he’s planning to stay in the No. 2 position.

With Speaker Ryan’s retirement, House Republicans will definitely elect a new leader. Current House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (D-CA-23) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH-4), co-founder of the Freedom Caucus, are officially campaigning for the top Republican spot in the House.

House Committee Chairs

Appropriations:Nita M. Lowey (D-NY-17) is slated to become the first chairwoman in the history of the powerful spending panel. Lowey has said her chairmanship would result in increased spending on domestic priorities.

Education and the Workforce: Robert C. Scott (D-VA-3) is expected to take the gavel on the panel. It could take up measures to ensure that Trump Administration regulatory changes don’t harm worker safety. His leadership will guide House reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.

Oversight and Government Reform: Under the likely chairmanship of Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD-7), the committee will work to hold drug makers accountable. In a statement to Kaiser, Cummings said Democrats would conduct “credible, responsible oversight” of the Trump Administration, adding: “For health care, that means investigating skyrocketing prescription drug prices, actions that would threaten protections for people with pre-existing health conditions, and efforts to undermine the Medicaid program.”

Ways and Means: Richard Neal (D-MA-1); Ways and Means oversees Medicare and influences health policy through its jurisdiction over taxes.

Energy and Commerce: Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ-6) will have the broadest health portfolio in the House, which includes Medicaid, public health, insurance and drug safety. Democrats on the committee will likely take on issues like health insurance coverage, prescription drug prices and increased oversight of the EPA’s deregulatory efforts.

Senate Committee Chairs

Appropriations: Richard Shelby (R-AL) is expected to return to the chairman’s seat and he hopes to build on the bipartisanship fostered with ranking Democrat Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont during the FY 2019 process.

Health, Education, Labor and Pensions: Lamar Alexander (R-TN) is expected to be chairman again. On the health care front, the panel may focus on reducing the cost of prescription drugs. On education, Alexander has signaled updating the Higher Education Act as a priority.

Lame Duck Session

Lawmakers will return to the Capitol on Tuesday for the first time in more than a month. There is still work to be done in the final weeks of the 115th Congress, and Republican leaders may try to push policy through before they lose control of the House in January.

Budget

While the Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education budgets have been passed, lawmakers and the administration face a December 7th funding deadline to pass the seven remaining FY 2019 spending bills, and the chances of another government shutdown are significant. While the President is seeking funding for the border wall, Democratic leaders in the House remain entrenched in their opposition.

Cabinet Appointments

Strengthened Republican control of the Senate will make it easier for President Trump to get approval of new nominees to replace officials. As expected, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has already resigned at the president’s direction. Others to watch include Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Defense Secretary James Mattis, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

Farm Bill

Differences between the House and Senate-passed versions will likely be resolved before the end of the year. This could include work requirements for the SNAP program in the House version.

Disability Priorities

The Money Follows the Person (MFP) program, which gives people who need Long Term Services and Supports (LTSS) more choice about where they live and receive care and also increases the capacity of state LTSS systems to serve people in community settings, expired September 30, 2016, and must be reauthorized in the lame duck to ensure states can continue their MFP programs.

Autism CARES will expire September 30, 2019, without reauthorization. The Lame Duck is a critical time to make sure it is high on returning members’ to do list.

116th Congress

The divided Congress will likely slow down legislative work even more. With House control, Democrats gain the ability to block much of President Donald Trump’s agenda. Significant ACA and Medicaid cuts are likely off the table. Given that many House Republicans campaigned in 2018 on promises to preserve the ACA’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions, it is particularly unlikely to be threatened in this Congress. The Democratic House is also likely to focus on some of the actions the current administration has taken that have had a destabilizing effect on insurance markets in some states.

Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All

Ivanova Smith is here to talk to Liz about Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) programs, which are funded through the Autism CARES Act. The act is up for renewal by Congress and needs to be reauthorized by September 30, 2019, in order to continue to provide funding for programs like LEND.

Read more about:

For more from AUCD, follow @AUCDNews and like AUCD on Facebook

For updates from our Executive Director Andy Imparato, follow @AndyAUCD.

For definitions of terms used in In Brief, please see AUCD’s Glossary of Legislative Terms

Disability Policy News November 5, 2018

November 5, 2018 | Vol. XV, Issue 186
Voting

We are 1 day away from November 6 and the election!

Action Steps:

· VOTE!

· Watch for post-election analysis in next week’s In Brief.

Congressional Recess

This is the last week of pre-election recess so use opportunities to interact as a chance to frame your priorities.

Action Steps:

· Call your lawmakers’ district offices and ask for appointments with your Representatives while they are home.

· Attend a town hall.

· Connect with them at a public event (parade, festival, etc.)

· Submit an op-ed to your local paper.

· Use Facebook or Twitter to engage your members of Congress.

Health Care

ACA Open Enrollment

The 2019 Open Enrollment Period runs from Thursday, November 1, 2018 to Saturday, December 15, 2018. Plans sold during Open Enrollment start January 1, 2019. If you don’t act by December 15, you can’t get 2019 coverage via the marketplace unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.

Action Steps:

· Learn more about options for coverage and subsidies you may qualify for by visiting www.healthcare.gov.

· For additional resources to educate others about getting coverage, visit www.getamericacovered.org.

Employment

Three reports released this week address employment for people with disabilities:

· Getting to Equal: The Disability Inclusion Advantage, from Disability: IN and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), analyzed the disability practices and financial performance of the 140 companies participating in the Disability Equality Index.

· The National Council on Disability – an independent federal agency – released its annual progress report on national disability policy, Has the Promise Been Kept? Federal Enforcement of Disability Rights Laws.

· U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), issued a report, Disability Employment: Outdated Laws Leave People with Disabilities Behind in Today’s Economy. The report from the Senate HELP Minority staff offers key recommendations to modernize outdated policies and programs that have been a continued barrier to people with disabilities in employment. This includes phasing out authority that allows the Secretary of Labor to permit employers to pay people with disabilities wages that are less than the federal minimum wage.

Action Step:

· Share the reports with your Congressional delegation, state leaders, and employers in your community.

Civil Rights

Public Charge Rule

The proposed changes to the public charge rule have been published in the Federal Register. The comment period will last until December 10, 2018. Our friends at Rooted in Rights have created video resources that illustrate how the change would impact families that include people with disabilities. Making comments is a critical way to impact policy.

Action Steps:

· Use AUCD’s background information fact sheet to learn more.

· Use AUCD’s online tool to make comments that include the impact on people with disabilities.

Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All

The AUCD staff have one message for you: GO VOTE! Check when your state’s polls close for the November 6, 2018 midterm elections at https://bit.ly/2CWVugH.

Check out these Tuesdays with Liz episodes on overcoming voting barriers and being an educated voter:

· https://youtu.be/Zqa8SErtv54

· https://youtu.be/x7wxg4UsnPU

For more from AUCD, follow @AUCDNews and like AUCD on Facebook

For updates from our Executive Director Andy Imparato, follow @AndyAUCD.

For definitions of terms used in In Brief, please see AUCD’s Glossary of Legislative Terms

Disability Policy News October 29, 2018

October 29, 2018 | Vol. XV, Issue 185
Voting

We are 8 days from the election. Use the following information from New Jersey’s Boggs Center to learn more about the legal and practical issues related to voting:

Action Steps:

  • Plan and prepare to vote and support others in voting on November 6!

Congressional Recess

Both houses of Congress are on recess through the midterm elections. Connecting while they are home campaigning is a great way to show that you are interested in partnering for good policy.
This issue of In Brief includes several topics you are encouraged to connect with your members about. You can use the campaign period as a way to raise issues you care about not only with the incumbent, but also with those running to represent you.

Action Steps:

  • Call your lawmakers’ district offices and ask for appointments with your Representatives while they are home.
  • Attend a town hall.
  • Connect with them at a public event (parade, festival, etc.)
  • Submit an op-ed to your local paper.
  • Use Facebook or Twitter to engage your members of Congress.

Health Care

State Insurance Plans

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury issued new guidance that will impact health plans in 2020 and later. Changes allow states to promote health plans that don’t require the same level of coverage as the federal health law, including charging higher premiums for people with preexisting conditions. States still need to provide Obamacare-compliant plans, but they can now allow policies like short-term or association health plans.

Action Steps:

· Make comments on the proposal and share your comments with your Congressional delegation. Educate them on the needs of people with disabilities.

· You can submit comments online until 5:00 PM on December 24, 2018.

Drug Prices

President Trump detailed a Health and Human Services proposal to tie the amount of money that the government pays for certain drugs to their cost in other countries. The intention is to lower prescription drug costs. The proposal is essentially a pilot program that would be run through Medicare Part B, which covers drugs administered by doctors.

Action Steps:

· Make comments on the proposal and share your comments with your Congressional delegation. Educate them as they consider options to address pharmaceutical costs and areas of concern.

· You can submit comments online from October 30, 2018 until 5 p.m. on December 31, 2018.

Regulations

Public Charge Rule

The proposed changes to the public charge rule have been published in the Federal Register. The comment period will last until December 10, 2018. Our friends at Rooted in Rights have created video resources that illustrate how the change would impact families that include people with disabilities. Making comments is a critical way to impact policy.

Action Steps:

· Use AUCD’s background information fact sheet to learn more.

· Used AUCD’s online tool to make comments that include the impact on people with disabilities.

Proposed Regulations

Gender Definition

According to published reports, the Department of Health and Human Services is considering narrowing the legal definition of gender under the Title IX civil rights laws that ban discrimination based on gender. The New York Times reports, "defining gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth . . . . [the] proposed definition would define sex as either male or female, unchangeable, and determined by the genitals that a person is born with.

ObamaCare Exemptions

According to The Washington Post, the Trump administration is preparing to expand religious and moral exemptions for employer health care plans, which are required to cover birth control under Obamacare: "The exact details of the exemptions, and when they would take effect, remain unclear. But women’s health advocates are bracing for a legal fight. They expect the rules to mimic earlier regulations enacted by the Trump administration last year before being blocked by federal judges … The rules allowed nearly any employer – nonprofit or for-profit – with a religious or moral objection to opt out of the Affordable Care Act provision requiring the coverage of contraception."

Action Steps:

Although there is not a formal comment period open for either of these issues, you can still share your voice. Consider writing a letter with your concerns and sharing it with:

· Your entire Congressional delegation – both Senators and your Representative

· The White House

· Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, Secretary

Home and Community Based Services

ACL, in partnership with CMS and other national partners, invites you to participate in a three-part technical assistance webinar series highlighting innovative strategies and approaches states are taking to effectively implement the federal settings criteria for home and community-based services (HCBS). The webinar series is intended to help ACL’s networks, partners, and external stakeholders identify strategic ways to engage in their state’s ongoing HCBS systems transformation efforts.

Innovative State Approaches to Promoting Compliance with the Federal HCBS Settings Criteria

Thursday, November 8, 2:00 – 3:30pm ET

An overview of innovative state strategies in setting assessment, validation, and remediation of HCBS settings; training/technical assistance models that states have rolled out (in collaboration with various partners) to ensure providers are able to make modifications to comply with the rule; and how to conduct ongoing monitoring of HCBS settings.

Promising State Strategies for Working with Providers to Meet the HCBS Settings Criteria & Promote Optimal Community Integration

Thursday, November 29, 2:00 – 3:30pm ET

A review of promising practices states are using (in partnership with stakeholders) for provider transformation, as well as state strategies to build provider capacity to improve community integration and increase the availability of non-disability specific settings.

After Receiving Final Statewide Transition Plan Approval: Tackling the Ongoing Systems-Change Work that Remains

Thursday, December 13, 2:00 – 3:30pm ET

A review of creative examples of state policy reforms, reimbursement/rate restructuring, and meaningful stakeholder engagement activities to facilitate ongoing HCBS systems-change.

This webinar series is open to the public. Each participant must register for each of the three sessions separately.

Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All

Everyone who wants a job should have a job! Tune in this week as Liz talks about why having a job is so important to her and the work accommodations you’re entitled to as a person with a disability. Also, get to know some more AUCD staff as they talk about why National Disability Employment Month matters to them.

For more from AUCD, follow @AUCDNews and like AUCD on Facebook

For updates from our Executive Director Andy Imparato, follow @AndyAUCD.

For definitions of terms used in In Brief, please see AUCD’s Glossary of Legislative Terms

Disability Policy News October 22, 2018

October 22, 2018 | Vol. XV, Issue 184
Voting

We are 15 days from the election. Use the following information from our friends at REV UP to lean which races will be on your ballot:

Action Steps:

  • Plan and prepare to vote and support others in voting on November 6!

Congressional Recess

Both houses of Congress are on recess through the midterm elections. This means all members of the House and Senate will be in their districts until November 13. Connecting while they are home campaigning is a great way to show that you are interested in partnering for good policy.
This issue of In Brief includes several topics you are encouraged to connect with your members about. You can use the campaign period as a way to raise issues you care about not only with the incumbent, but also with those running to represent you.

Action Steps:

  • Call your lawmakers’ district offices and ask for appointments with your Representatives while they are home.
  • Attend a town hall.
  • Connect with them at a public event (parade, festival, etc.)
  • Submit an op-ed to your local paper.
  • Use Facebook or Twitter to engage your members of Congress.

Health Care

The Department of Health and Human Services released a proposed regulation on Monday October 15, that, if finalized, would require companies that sell drugs covered by Medicare or Medicaid to put a standard price in their ads, if the price is higher than $35 per month. It’s unclear if requiring companies to include price information in advertisements will impact how much patients pay for drugs.

Action Step:

  • Make comments on the proposal and share your comments with your congressional delegation. Educate them as they consider options to address pharmaceutical costs.

Regulations

Public Charge Rule

The proposed changes to the public charge rule have been published in the Federal Register. The comment period will last until December 10, 2018. Our friends at Rooted in Rights have created a great video that illustrates how the change would impact families that include people with disabilities.

Action Steps:

Fall Regulatory Agenda

Federal Agencies publish forecasts around regulations that they are likely to open for amendment in the coming months. Two of the recent notices fall under topics AUCD is monitoring.

  • The Department of Education notices that it may amend regulatory definitions of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). AUCD’s concern is that the change would weaken the definition of competitive integrated employment,
  • The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services noticed their intent to promulgate a rule about non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT). AUCD’s concern is that the change would make Medicaid Non-Emergency Medical Transportation optional. Under current regulations, states are required to provide Non-Emergency Medical Transportation to all Medicaid beneficiaries.

Action Steps:

  • Learn about WIOA and educate your congressional delegation about the importance of Competitive Integrated Employment.
  • Learn about non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) and educate your congressional delegation about it importance.

Employment

The National Council on Disability’s report, National Disability Employment Policy From the New Deal to the Real Deal: Joining the Industries of the Future, released on October 16, provides several key recommendations:

  • Phasing out of 14(c) on a six-year timeline
  • Issuing a two-year moratorium on any new 14(c) certificates
  • Retaining the current definition of Competitive Integrated Employment used by the Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services

Action Step:

  • Reach out to your congressional delegation, share the report and your interest in policy that supports competitive integrated employment for all.

Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All

You can VOTE! Learn all about overcoming voting barriers for people with disabilities with Liz. Liz discusses how to get to the polls and how early voting might be the right option for you.

Read about how you can get a free ride to the polls on Election Day with Uber or Lyft at https://bit.ly/2OP60Nz.

Find your local League of Women Voters at https://www.lwv.org/local-leagues/find-local-league.


For more from AUCD, follow @AUCDNews and like AUCD on Facebook

For updates from our Executive Director Andy Imparato, follow @AndyAUCD.

For definitions of terms used in In Brief, please see AUCD’s Glossary of Legislative Terms

Disability Policy News October 8, 2018

October 8, 2018 | Vol. XV, Issue 182
Congressional Calendar

The House is on recess and will reconvene on November 13. This means all members of the House will be in their districts in the run-up to the midterm elections. The Senate is on recess on October 8 and will reconvene at 3 PM on October 9. Connecting while members are home campaigning is a great way to show that you are interested in partnering for good policy in the long term.

This issue of In Brief includes several topics we encourage you to connect with your Member about. It is fair to use the campaign period to raise issues that you care about not only with the incumbent, but also with other candidates running to represent you.

Action Steps:

  • Call your lawmakers’ district offices and ask for appointments with your Representatives while they are home.
  • Attend a town hall.
  • Connect with them at a public event (parade, festival, etc.)
  • Submit an op-ed to your local paper.
  • Use Facebook or Twitter to engage your members of Congress.

Voting

As midterm elections approach, voting is more important than ever. The voter turnout rate of people with disabilities was six percentage points lower than that of people without disabilities during the 2016 election. There are resources you can use to address that gap.

Action Step:

  • Learn more, share, and use resources to ensure access to voting for people with disabilities.
  • The National Association of the Deaf has established an ASL Voter Hotline to answer any questions you have about voting.
  • Use the League of Women Voters’ guide to see the races on your ballot, compare candidates’ positions side-by-side, and print out a "ballot" indicating your preferences. Educate yourself about the candidates running to represent you, print your "ballot" as a reminder and take it with you to the polls on Election Day.
  • Learn what you need to know about ADA voting accessibility.

Immigration

Public Charge Rule

We have learned that the proposed changes to the public charge rule are expected to be officially published in the Federal Register on October 10. The text of the rule has also been released. Once the proposed rule is officially published, the public will be able to comment on it. The comment period will last 60 days.

Action Step:

Supreme Court

AUCD is grateful for the efforts made to educate and advocate for civil rights of people with disabilities during the confirmation process for Justice Kavanaugh. Following a confirmation vote of 50-48, Justice Kavanaugh has assumed the seat previously held by Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Action Step:

  • Contact both of your Senators. Say thank you or express your concerns. Share that you continue to be committed to ensuring that the legal system defends the civil rights of people with disabilities.

Education

Reporting on Assessing ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act)

The National Center on Learning Disabilities has issued its report Assessing ESSA: Missed Opportunities for People with Disabilities. The report contains the first analysis of how state educational plans authorized by ESSA are supporting students with disabilities in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The report’s authors have also created a rating system to assess whether a state’s plan has provided meaningful support since the law’s implementation so far.

Action Steps:

Employment

October marks National Disability Awareness Employment Month. President Trump issued a presidential proclamation acknowledging the month. It can be read here.

Transportation

On October 3, the Senate passed the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2018 (H.R. 4), sending the measure to the White House for signature and enactment. The bill’s passage marks the culmination of a complicated reauthorization process for the agency that has lasted for more than four years. The reauthorization bill includes several key reforms that disability advocates have long sought, including a Passengers with Disabilities Bill of Rights and an increase in civil penalties for harm done to passengers with disabilities or their wheelchairs.

Action Step:

  • Contact members of your Congressional delegation. Thank them for the inclusion of the Passengers with Disabilities Bill of Rights and share what issues matter most to you during air travel.

Medicaid

State Specific Action Steps

Individuals and organizations in the following states are encouraged to share their voices by giving comment on proposed changes to Medicaid programs in their states. Issues and populations impacted vary since Medicaid is made up of complex programs in each state.

Alabama

New Hampshire

  • New Hampshire’s Department of Health and Human Services has completed revisions to the statewide HCBS transition plan. The plan is available on their website and written comments will be accepted until October 22:

North Dakota

Michigan

  • Michigan’s statewide HCBS transition plan is out for public comments through October 26. The public notice can be found here.

Missouri

  • Missouri has submitted an amendment to the Gateway to Better Health Demonstration which would authorize the provision of a limited substance use disorder benefit and would update the standard terms and conditions to clarify that the state is not required to adhere to the rebate requirements of Section 1927 of the Social Security Act. Comments must be submitted by October 30.

Tennessee

  • Tennessee has posted an amendment to the TennCare II Demonstration which would impose a work/community engagement requirement on parents and caretakers, unless they are exempt. The state is accepting comments through October 26.

Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All

Don’t just be a voter – be an EDUCATED voter!

This week on Tuesdays with Liz, Liz shares how to get information about the candidates who are running for office on your state’s Board of Elections website. Visit https://www.usa.gov/election-office and select your state or territory from the drop down menu, then click ‘Go’ and you will be taken to your state or local election office website where you can learn more about the candidates’ positions on issues that matter to you.

For more from AUCD, follow @AUCDNews and like AUCD on Facebook

For updates from our Executive Director Andy Imparato, follow @AndyAUCD.

For definitions of terms used in In Brief, please see AUCD’s Glossary of Legislative Terms

Disability Policy News October 1, 2018

October 1, 2018 | Vol. XV, Issue 181
Administration Updates

Julie Hocker has been appointed as the new Commissioner of the Administration on Disabilities at the Administration for Community Living. Ms. Hocker was previously a Senior Manager at the Charles Koch Foundation and is also a Senior Policy Fellow at the Center for Human Dignity at the American Conservative Union Foundation. ACL issued a press statement announcing Ms. Hocker’s appointment and background.

Congressional Calendar

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA-23) announced on Friday that the House will reconvene on November 13. This means all members of the House will be in their districts in the run-up to the midterm elections. Engaging with your lawmakers while they are home campaigning is a great way to show that you are interested in partnering for good policy in the long term. If your Representative voted in a way you agree with, taking the time to say thank you is a great way to build a long-term relationship. If your Representative voted in a way that you found challenging, connecting to follow up is the right way to build a relationship and share how you are willing to be a resource about the issues that are important to you.

This issue of In Brief includes several topics we encourage you to connect with your Member about.

It is fair to use the campaign period to raise issues that you care about not only with the incumbent, but also with other candidates running to represent you.

Action Steps:

  • Call your lawmakers’ district offices and ask for appointments with your Representatives while they are home.
  • Attend a town hall.
  • Connect with them at a public event (parade, festival, etc.)
  • Submit an op-ed to your local paper.
  • Use Facebook or Twitter to engage your members of Congress.

Voting

The National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement reported the voting rate for undergraduate and graduate students at 48.3% in 2016. AUCD Trainees and Emerging Leaders are encouraged to share their voices by voting.

Action Step:

Budget and Appropriations

On September 26, the House passed a conference report for a Defense and Labor-HHS-Education spending bill (H.R. 6157) paired with a continuing resolution that will fund government programs without full FY 2019 appropriations until December 7. The measure passed the House with a vote of 361-61, and President Trump signed the bill on September 28.

Action Step:

  • Reach out to your Congressional delegation – this is a topic where statewide contact is appropriate. Thank them for their support of LENDs and UCEDDs in the appropriations process. Share information about the value of this investment to your state and community.

Bonus Action Step:

  • Use social media to thank your lawmakers for their support of these programs and highlight their value. Be sure to tag your Congressional delegation and AUCD on all platforms.

Health Care

Opioids

On September 25, the House and Senate announced that they have reached an agreement on an opioids bill that brings together the legislation passed by the Senate and a different version passed by the House.

Action Step:

  • Reach out to your members of Congress and share how the opioid epidemic is impacting your community. Share parts of your work that are affected by this epidemic.

Drug Costs

The House passed both the Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act (H.R. 6143) and the Know the Cost Act of 2018 (H.R. 6733), both of which had previously passed the Senate. These bills prevent insurers from restricting pharmacists from telling patients when prescription drugs would be cheaper if paid for without insurance. One measure applies to individual and employer insurance markets while the other enforces the same rules in Medicare plans.

Intermediate Care Facilities Legislation

Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-VA-6) has introduced H.R. 6786, which requires that residents of intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities (ICFs/IID) and their guardians receive notice of any proposed federally-financed class action lawsuit against the facilities that provide care for them.

Action Step:

  • This bill closely matches a proposal from Representative Barney Frank back in 2007. Learn more about the objections and concerns raised at that time and use those talking points to educate your members about the issues.

Sign On Letter: Include Developmental Disability in Medical Education

The Health is for Everyone: Action Team (HEAT), led by AUCD, submitted a sign on letter to the Liaison Committee on Medical Education requesting that a requirement for content on developmental disabilities be integrated into Element 7.2 in the Standards for Accreditation of Medical Education Programs Leading to the MD Degree. Given HEAT’s efforts on the American Medical Association Resolution 315 on the inclusion of Developmental Disability (DD) in undergraduate, graduate and continuing medical education of physicians, it is timely to include developmental disabilities in undergraduate medical education training. Integrating such a requirement would be a powerful step towards ensuring that medical education incorporates developmental disabilities fully.

Action Step:

  • For further information, please contact Dr. Adriane Griffen, AUCD’s Senior Director of Public Health and Leadership, at agriffen or 240-821-9374. Sign on by October 1, COB.

Civil Rights

Public Charge Rule

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a press release about proposed changes to the public charge rule. The text of the rule has also been released. The proposed rule will be officially published in the Federal Register in the coming weeks. Once the proposed rule is officially published, the public will be able to comment on it. The comment period will last 60 days, starting on the day the proposed rule is published in the Federal Register.

Action Step:

Supreme Court Nomination

The confirmation process for Judge Kavanaugh extends this week with a limited FBI investigation. The additional time provides a chance to continue to share your input with your Senators. AUCD has resources to address the judicial record of Judge Kavanaugh related to the civil rights of people with disabilities.

Action Steps:

  • Every Senator will have a vote, so contacting both your Senators to share your concerns and speaking specifically about the civil rights of people with disabilities is critical. Phone calls and in-person meetings (including in state offices) are the most impactful.
  • AUCD is happy to hand-deliver any letters to your senator on Capitol Hill. Email your letters to rrodgers or lweintraub and AUCD will make sure they get passed on to your senator. Use your voice!

Communication to the following Senators is particularly important:

  • Doug Jones (D-AL), Joe Manchin III (D-WV), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Susan Collins (R-ME), Dean Heller (R-NV), Jeff Flake (R-AZ)

If you live in their states, you are encouraged to activate your networks. If you are not in their states, consider reaching out to friends and urge them to lift their voices.

Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All

Join us this week at Liz talks with Marcie Lipsitt about her background in advocating for the civil rights of students with disabilities.

To read more about civil rights issues for people with disabilities and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act visit https://bit.ly/2MK4H1r.

For more from AUCD, follow @AUCDNews and like AUCD on Facebook

For updates from our Executive Director Andy Imparato, follow @AndyAUCD.

For definitions of terms used in In Brief, please see AUCD’s Glossary of Legislative Terms

Disability Policy News September 24, 2018

September 24, 2018 | Vol. XV, Issue 180
Administration Updates

Dr. Michael Warren has been appointed the new Associate Administrator of the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), beginning October 15. Dr. Warren is currently the Deputy Commissioner for Population Health at the Tennessee Department of Health, and previously served as the state’s Assistant Commissioner for Family Health and Wellness and Director of Maternal and Child Health.

Voting

Celebrate democracy in America by registering to vote on National Voter Registration Day (September 25).

Action Step:

Budget and Appropriations

FY 2019 Budget: Labor-HHS-Education

On September 18, the Senate voted to pass an $854 billion bill (H.R. 6157) that includes funding for the Departments of Defense, Education, Health and Human Services, and Labor. It includes a short-term stopgap bill that will fund the rest of the government through December 7. The full legislation accounts for approximately two-thirds of FY 2019 federal spending and will be taken up by the House this week in order to avoid a shutdown that would begin on October 1.

Budget Reallocation

The administration notified members of the Senate Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies that it plans to reallocate $266 million this fiscal year to cover the rising cost of housing thousands of undocumented immigrant children in their custody. Funds to be used include $76,188 budgeted for UCEDDs and $200,000 budgeted for autism services, including those provided by LENDs.

A full list of the budget request is detailed in a letter sent to Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the Subcommittee’s Ranking Member, by Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar.

Action Step:

  • Connect with your Representative and both of your Senators to share information about the programs impacted by this budget reallocation and your concern at its harmful impact.

Correction:

Last week’s edition of In Brief stated that the spending agreement in H.R. 6157 included a $1.5 million increase in funding for "Autism and DD Councils." The increase will go to Autism and Developmental Disabilities programs in HRSA; DD Councils are funded at level in the bill passed by the Senate.

Health Care

Sign On Letter: Include Developmental Disability in Medical Education

The Health is for Everyone: Action Team (HEAT), led by AUCD, submitted a sign on letter to the Liaison Committee on Medical Education requesting that a requirement for content on developmental disabilities be integrated into Element 7.2 in the Standards for Accreditation of Medical Education Programs Leading to the MD Degree. Given HEAT’s efforts on the American Medical Association Resolution 315 on the inclusion of Developmental Disability (DD) in undergraduate, graduate and continuing medical education of physicians, it is timely to include developmental disabilities in undergraduate medical education training. Integrating such a requirement would be a powerful step towards ensuring medical education incorporates developmental disabilities fully.

Action Step:

  • For further information, please contact Dr. Adriane Griffen, AUCD’s Senior Director of Public Health and Leadership, at agriffen or 240-821-9374. Please sign on by October 1, COB.

Opioid Legislation

On September 17, the Senate passed a bipartisan package of 70 bills focused on addressing the opioid epidemic (H.R. 6). The legislation makes several changes to opioid coverage, prevention and treatment in state Medicaid programs.

The measure passed by an overwhelming 99-1 margin and must now be reconciled with a House bill that passed earlier this summer.

Action Step:

  • Contact both your Senators and your Representative and share how the opioid epidemic impacts your state, including its impact on people with disabilities and their families.

Civil Rights

Supreme Court Nomination

The confirmation process for Judge Kavanaugh extends this week with a planned additional day of hearings. The additional time provides a chance to continue to share your input with your Senators. AUCD has provided an additional resource to address the written comments of Judge Kavanaugh on the Doe case.

Action Steps:

  • Every Senator will have a vote, so contacting both your Senators to share your concerns and speaking specifically about the civil rights of people with disabilities is critical. Phone calls and in-person meetings (including in state offices) are the most impactful.
  • AUCD is happy to hand-deliver any letters to your senator on Capitol Hill. Email your letters to rrodgers or lweintraub and AUCD will make sure they get passed on to your senator. Use your voice!

Communication to the following Senators is particularly important:

  • Doug Jones (D-AL), Joe Manchin III (D-WV), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Susan Collins (R-ME), Dean Heller (R-NV)

If you live in their states, you are encouraged to activate your networks. If you are not in their states, consider reaching out to friends and urge them to lift their voices.

Disabled Access Credit Expansion Act

On September 18, Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) introduced the Disabled Access Credit Expansion Act (S. 3459), which helps make it easier for small businesses to become accessible to people with disabilities and achieve ADA compliance. The legislation expands the Disabled Access Credit (DAC) and increases eligible expenses that businesses can write off in order to make their facilities ADA compliant. It also increases funding for the U.S. Department of Justice’s ADA Mediation Program, which helps individuals with disabilities and businesses resolve accessibility issues directly and avoid litigation.

Additionally, S. 3459 directs the Department of Justice to conduct a report on the specific types of calls the ADA Information Line receive, so that the government can improve the ways individuals with disabilities and businesses learn about ADA compliance and civil rights. You can read more about the Disabled Access Credit Expansion Act here.

Action Step:

  • Contact your Senators and encourage them to cosponsor S. 3459. If your Senator is already a cosponsor of the Disabled Access Credit Expansion Act, please thank him/her for their support.

ADA Website Accessibility

Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Mike Rounds (R-SD) sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions requesting clarification on whether the ADA applies to website accessibility. It contends that businesses and property owners do not have clear guidance on accessibility standards and urges the Justice Department to resolve the matter. The letter was cosigned by four other Republican senators – Thom Tillis (R-NC), Mike Crapo (R-ID), John Cornyn (R-TX) and Joni Ernst (R-IA).

Action Step:

  • Contact your Senators and share your concerns about the importance of accessing websites to people with disabilities.

Education

OSERS Framework

The U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) released a two-page framework that summarizes how the Department plans to approach policy regarding early childhood, educational and employment outcomes for people with disabilities. The framework briefly summarizes the Department’s broad priorities as it re-evaluates and reforms policies. You can view the framework here.

Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All

Happy National Direct Support Professionals Week! In this episode, Liz talks with Joe Macbeth, the Executive Director of the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP). Joe explains what a direct support professional is, the importance of their work, and how you can help DSPs get better pay. Sign the petition to ‘Establish a Direct Support Professional Standard Occupational Classification’ here.

For more from AUCD, follow @AUCDNews and like AUCD on Facebook

For updates from our Executive Director Andy Imparato, follow @AndyAUCD.

For definitions of terms used in In Brief, please see AUCD’s Glossary of Legislative Terms

Disability Policy News September 17, 2018

September 17, 2018 | Vol. XV, Issue 179
Congress

The House will be on recess throughout this week and will return next Monday, September 24. A recess is not a vacation for lawmakers; they are district work days meant for you to engage with your elected officials locally. Connecting with your Members of Congress is a terrific way to show that you are interested in partnering for good policy.

If your Members of Congress voted in a way you agree with, taking the time to say thank you is a great way to build a long-term relationship. If they voted in a way you found challenging, connecting to follow up is the right way to build ties and share how you are willing to be a good resource about the issues that are important to you.

Action Steps:

· Call your lawmakers’ district offices and ask for appointments with your Senators and Representative while they are home.

· Attend a town hall.

· Connect with them at a public event (parade, festival, etc.).

· Submit an op-ed to your local paper.

· Use Facebook or Twitter to engage your Members of Congress.

Voting

As midterm elections approach, it is critical that you be registered to vote and carry the proper voter ID. Over 25 million eligible voters may be prevented from voting this year because they lack the correct Voter ID and getting an acceptable ID in 34 states with Voter ID requirements is very confusing and difficult.

VoteRiders offers free help in understanding Voter ID requirements in your state and how to get the right ID. It is a nonpartisan, nonprofit group dedicated to ensuring that all eligible American citizens can vote. Help is provided through a toll-free helpline and free wallet-sized Voter ID Information cards that summarize voting requirements by state. Use these resources to ensure you and others have the correct ID to vote.

Budget and Appropriations

FY2019 Budget

On September 13, the Senate and House moved closer to preventing a shutdown by passing a large package of spending bills (H.R. 5895), which covers appropriations related to Energy-Water, Military Construction-VA and the Legislative Branch. The measure, which President Trump is expected to sign, encompasses a quarter of the 12 appropriations bills that Congress must pass before October 1, when a shutdown will take place.

Lawmakers also released a conference report on a similar two-bill package (H.R. 6157) that covers Defense and Labor-HHS-Education spending and is now ready for a floor vote. Members plan to attach a stopgap measure to H.R. 6157 that will fund remaining government programs through December 7. There are several pieces of good news within the spending agreement:

· Funding for Autism and DD Councils (which fund LEND) will increase by $1.5 million.

· UCEDD will remain funded at current levels.

· PNS (Projects of National Significance) will remain funded at current levels.

You can read the conference report and the conference committee’s explanatory statement here.

A four-bill package (H.R. 6147) that addresses funding for Agriculture, Transportation, HUD, Financial Services and Interior-Environment is still in conference. Although most appropriations bills remain uncleared, this is the first time in a decade that Congress has passed a quarter of such bills before the end of the fiscal year.

Health Care

EMPOWER Act (Money Follows the Person)

On September 13, the House Energy & Commerce Committee approved the EMPOWER Care Act (S. 2227/H.R. 5306), which reauthorizes Money Follows the Person (MFP) for one year. MFP gives state Medicaid programs critical resources that help individuals with chronic disabilities transition out of institutions into their local communities. The bill now goes to the House for a full vote.

Action Steps:

· If your Member is a co-sponsor of the EMPOWER Care Act in the House (H.R. 5306) or its equivalent bill in the Senate (S. 2227), please thank them for their support.

· If they are not, please continue to educate them on the importance of MFP in your state with this toolkit and pre-crafted email.

Civil Rights

Supreme Court Nomination

In this bonus episode of Tuesdays with Liz, Liz reflects on testifying in front of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee during Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings. She also talks about the importance of speaking up and using your voice.

Visit https://bit.ly/2pb7YsZ to watch Liz’s testimony and learn more about why AUCD and hundreds of other disability and civil rights organizations oppose the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Action Steps:

  • Every Senator will have a vote, so contacting both your Senators to share your concerns and speaking specifically about the civil rights of people with disabilities is critical. Phone calls and in-person meetings (including in state offices) are the most impactful.
  • Amplify Liz’s testimony by sharing it and by calling your Senators about it.
  • AUCD is happy to hand-deliver any letters to your senator on Capitol Hill. Email your letters to rrodgers or lweintraub and AUCD will make sure they get passed on to your senator. Use your voice!

AUCD has two emails you can send your Senators:

  • One that educates Senators about the concerning aspects of Judge Kavanaugh’s record. You can find it here.
  • One that asks Senators to oppose the nomination based on Judge Kavanaugh’s record. You can find it here.

Communication to the following Senators is particularly important:

  • Doug Jones (D-AL), Joe Manchin III (D-WV), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Susan Collins (R-ME), Dean Heller (R-NV)

If you live in their states, you are encouraged to activate your networks. If you are not in their states, consider reaching out to friends and urge them to lift their voices.

Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All

This week, Liz interviews Amy Hewitt about AUCD’s 2018 Conference. Amy discusses the conference theme, the importance of inclusion, and exciting conference events.

You can register for the conference at https://bit.ly/2N0zUyr.

For more from AUCD, follow @AUCDNews and like AUCD on Facebook

For updates from our Executive Director Andy Imparato, follow @AndyAUCD.

For definitions of terms used in In Brief, please see AUCD’s Glossary of Legislative Terms

Disability Policy News September 10, 2018

September 10, 2018 | Vol. XV, Issue 178
Congress

On September 4, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (R) appointed former Senator Jon Kyl to fill the vacancy left following the death of Senator John McCain two weeks ago. Kyl previously represented Arizona in the Senate alongside McCain from 1994 to 2002. He does not plan to run the next time the seat is up for election.

Budget and Appropriations

Congress is planning to pass nine of the 12 annual spending bills in three packages before the end of the fiscal year on September 30. On September 5, Republican leaders met with President Trump and agreed that other FY 2019 funding could come in a continuing resolution lasting through November, leaving time for negotiations in the lame-duck period (the time between the election and the end of this Congress).

Action Step:

Reach out to your Congressional delegation to advocate for LENDs and UCEDDs in the final FY 2019 budget:

Health Care

Money Follows the Person (MFP)

On September 5, the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a hearing entitled "Opportunities to Improve Health Care". The hearing included testimony on Money Follows the Person (MFP). It appears that there is a growing path to at least a one-year reauthorization.

Action Step:

Employment

Responsibility and Taxpayer Protection Act

On September 5, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Representative Ro Khanna (D-CA-17), introduced the Responsibility and Taxpayer Protection Act (H.R. 2814/S. 3410), also referred to as the Stop BEZOS Act. The stated goal of the legislation is to "establish a corporate welfare tax on large employers equal to the amount of federal benefits received by their low-wage workers", essentially to incentivize higher wages. AUCD is concerned that unintended consequences of the bill may include discriminatory hiring or lack of hiring of people with disabilities.

Action Step:

  • If you live in the districts of any of the bill’s cosponsors contact them and educate them about the issues related to employment for people with disabilities. This write up by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities provides details and talking points.

Civil Rights

Judge Kavanaugh

The Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings on U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation on September 4, 5, 6 and 7. AUCD’s Senior Advocacy Specialist Liz Weintraub was a witness to the committee on September 7. View Liz’s oral testimony and read her longer written testimony.

Action Steps:

  • Every Senator will have a vote, so contacting both your Senators to share your concerns and speaking specifically about the civil rights of people with disabilities is critical. Phone calls and in-person meetings (including in state offices) are the most impactful.
  • Amplify Liz’s testimony by sharing it and calling your Senators about it.

AUCD has two emails you can send your Senators:

· One that educates Senators about the concerning aspects of Judge Kavanaugh’s record. You can find it here.

· One that asks Senators to oppose the nomination based on Judge Kavanaugh’s record. You can find it here.

Education

Strength in Diversity Act

Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Representative Marcia Fudge (D-OH-11) are introducing the Strength in Diversity Act (S. 3413/H.R. 6722), a bill that would authorize $120 million in grants to increase diversity in schools. The grants could be used to boost local efforts to study diversity and review school district boundaries, among other things.

Action Step:

  • Reach out to your Representative and both of your Senators. Use this bill to educate your lawmakers about how diversity impacts students in your community. If you have research or key information related to diversity in the K-12 setting, please share it.

Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All

This week, Liz asks Alexander Santana to explain some of the work he does around immigration as part of the Vanderbilt Kennedy UCEDD in Tennessee and the Tennessee Disability Pathfinder. He talks about what leads someone to leave their home country, the implications of family separation at the border, and multilingual resources that are available to immigrants and refugees with disabilities.

To check out the bilingual providers database that Alexander mentions, visit http://caminoseguro.org.

For more from AUCD, follow @AUCDNews and like AUCD on Facebook

For updates from our Executive Director Andy Imparato, follow @AndyAUCD.

For definitions of terms used in In Brief, please see AUCD’s Glossary of Legislative Terms

Disability Policy News September 4, 2018

September 4, 2018 | Vol. XV, Issue 177
Recess

Congress is back in session this week with the House returning from their month-long recess. As always, their work will impact our lives significantly. Make sure you are sharing your voice.

Action Steps:

· If your Senators or Representative held a public event, thank them.

· If you attended, tell them and share what issues you came to speak about.

· If they didn’t have an event, express your interest in a future event.

· Invite them to visit with you personally.

· Share what issues you would like to discuss with them.

· Reach out to their office this week. Ask for details about how the budget and healthcare discussions will impact you and others in your community.

These types of engagement are about building relationships between you and your lawmakers and are essential to making sure your voice is heard in our democracy.

Healthcare

Money Follows the Person (MFP) Hearing

On September 5, the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing entitled "Opportunities to Improve Health Care." The hearing will include testimony on Money Follows the Person (MFP) and its importance to the public.

Action Step:

  • If your Member is a co-sponsor of the EMPOWER Care Act (S. 2227/H.R. 5306), please thank them for their support. If they are not, please continue to educate them on the importance of MFP in your state with this toolkit and pre-crafted email.

Civil Rights

Judge Kavanaugh

The Senate Judiciary Committee currently plans to hold Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings on September 4, 5, 6, and 7. AUCD’s Senior Advocacy Specialist, Liz Weintraub, will be a witness to the committee on September 7. Liz’s testimony will focus on the Doe case and on the civil rights of people with disabilities.

Action Steps:

  • Every Senator will have a vote, so contacting both your Senators to share your concerns and speaking specifically about the civil rights of people with disabilities is critical. Phone calls and in-person meetings (including in state offices) are the most impactful.
  • Amplify Liz’s testimony by following and sharing AUCD’s coverage of the hearing and by calling your Senators.

AUCD has two emails you can send your Senators:

  • One that educates Senators about the concerning aspects of Judge Kavanaugh’s record. You can find it here.
  • One that asks Senators to oppose the nomination based on Judge Kavanaugh’s record. You can find it here.

Communication to the following Senators is particularly important:

Doug Jones (D-AL), Joe Manchin III (D-WV), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Susan Collins (R-ME), Dean Heller (R-NV)

If you live in their states, you are encouraged to activate your networks. If you are not in their states, consider reaching out to friends and urge them to activate their voices.

Electric Shock Devices in Schools

The Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC) in Canton, Massachusetts continues to use electric shocks on over 60 students with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD). Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ-4) is circulating a Dear Colleagues letter calling on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to act on its 2016 proposal to ban the use of electric shock devices.

Action Step:

  • Ask your Members of Congress to sign the letter on banning electric shock devices. Members of Congress can sign on by contacting Kelsey.Griswold@mail.house.gov.

Administration

Assistant Secretary for Family Support at HHS

The Senate confirmed Lynn A. Johnson in a 67-28 vote to be the next Assistant Secretary for Family Support at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Ms. Johnson is currently the Executive Director of the Jefferson County Department of Human Services in Colorado, and previously served as Chief of Staff for Jane Norton, the former Lieutenant Governor of Colorado. She also served as Deputy Director for Policy and as Human Services Policy Advisor under Bill Owens, the former Governor of Colorado. The new Assistant Secretary also previously ran a consulting firm focused on mental health, high-risk youth, developmental disabilities, early childhood education, and child welfare.

Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All

This week, Liz provides an overview of what public comments on rules and regulations are, and how you can make them.

To read about how to make a public comment, check out AUCD’s Public Comment Tool Guide at https://bit.ly/2N14ze0.

You can go to http://www.regulations.gov to submit a public comment.

For more from AUCD, follow @AUCDNews and like AUCD on Facebook

For updates from our Executive Director Andy Imparato, follow @AndyAUCD.

For definitions of terms used in In Brief, please see AUCD’s Glossary of Legislative Terms

Disability Policy News August 27, 2018

August 27, 2018 | Vol. XV, Issue 176
Recess

This is the final week of recess for Members of the House, who will return on September 4. A recess is not a vacation for members; they are district work days meant for you to engage with your elected officials locally. Connecting with your Members of Congress during this recess is a terrific way to show that you are interested in partnering for good policy.

If your Senators or Representative voted in a way you agree with, taking the time to say thank you is a great way to build a long-term relationship. If they voted in a way you found challenging, connecting to follow up is the right way to build ties and share how you are willing to be a good resource about the issues that are important to you.

Action Steps:

· Call your lawmakers’ district offices and ask for appointments with your Senators and Representative while they are home.

· Attend a town hall.

· Connect with them at a public event (parade, festival, etc.).

· Submit an op-ed to your local paper.

· Use Facebook or Twitter to engage your Members of Congress.

Budget and Appropriations

On August 23, the Senate passed an $856.9 billion funding bill (H.R. 6157) which accounts for the majority of FY 2019 discretionary spending. The bill passed by an 85-7 margin and would fund the Departments of Defense, Education, Labor, and Health and Human Services. Lawmakers also approved a manager’s package of amendments by unanimous consent. Amendments of note include:

  • S. Amdt. 3964 : To provide for the use of funds by the Secretary of Health and Human Services to issue regulations on direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs and biological products.
  • S. Amdt. 3933 : To improve obstetric care for pregnant women living in rural areas.
  • S. Amdt. 3927 : To provide for the establishment of the National Neurological Conditions Surveillance System.
  • S. Amdt. 3912 : To provide additional funding for activities related to neonatal abstinence syndrome.
  • S. Amdt. 3875 : To provide funding for the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish the Advisory Council to Support Grandparents Raising Grandchildren.
  • S. Amdt. 3862 : To provide $10,000,000 to the Department of Education to fund a demonstration program to test and evaluate innovative partnerships between institutions of higher education and high-needs state or local educational agencies to train school counselors, social workers, psychologists, or other mental health professionals qualified to provide school-based mental health services in order to expand the employment pipeline and address employment shortages relating to school-based mental health services in low-income public elementary and secondary schools.

Civil Rights

Disability Integration Act

The Disability Integration Act (DIA) (H.R. 2472/S.910) is a significant civil rights bill that aims to prevent institutionalization by requiring governments and insurers to cover home- and community-based support services. The bill has bipartisan support and was introduced in the Senate by Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) and in the House by Representative James Sensenbrenner (R-WI-5). Its passage would be an enormous step forward for people with disabilities. A robust set of resources and tailored messages of support can be found at http://www.disabilityintegrationact.org/.

Action Step:

Supreme Court

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) plans to hold the hearings on nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation September 4, 5 and 6, followed by a confirmation vote by the entire Senate. Kavanaugh would fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Anthony Kennedy.

Action Steps:

  • Every Senator will have a vote, so contacting both your Senators to share your concerns and speaking specifically about the civil rights of people with disabilities is critical. Phone calls and in-person meetings (including in state offices) are the most impactful.

AUCD has two emails you can send your Senators:

  • One that educates Senators about the concerning aspects of Judge Kavanaugh’s record. You can find it here.
  • One that asks Senators to oppose the nomination based on Judge Kavanaugh’s record. You can find it here.

Communication to the following Senators is particularly important:

Doug Jones (D-AL), Joe Manchin III (D-WV), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Susan Collins (R-ME), Dean Heller (R-NV)

If you live in their states, you are encouraged to activate your networks. If you are not in their states, consider reaching out to friends and urge them to activate their voices.

Education

Federal Guidance on Education

The Special Ed Connection recently published an article on efforts by disability advocacy groups (including AUCD) to seek clarification from the U.S. Department of Education on guidance that has created confusion and prevents some high school students with intellectual disabilities from accessing postsecondary services that they may be entitled to under several federal education laws. The confusion derives from parts of guidance letters issued in 2013 and 2017 which imply that the use of IDEA funds to support postsecondary school attendance could be limited to students in dual enrollment programs that are only established through state law. Disability and education advocates argue that this contradicts the IDEA 2004 regulations, which say that IEP teams should make decisions about whether a student should participate in a transitional program at a college campus.

Earlier in August, AUCD joined more than 70 other organizations in signing onto a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos requesting that the department issue clear guidance that states that IDEA and vocational rehabilitation funds may be used to support students with intellectual disabilities in community-based settings and postsecondary programs.
Additional details are covered in the recent report, Addressing the Policy Tangle: Students with Intellectual Disability and the Path to Postsecondary Education, Employment and Community Living.

Action Step:

  • Share the report as needed in your state to ensure students with intellectual disabilities are accessing postsecondary services fairly and efficiently.

Administration

Nomination for Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education

President Trump announced that he will nominate Robert L. King to be Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education. Mr. King is currently the President of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, and previously served as Chancellor of the State University of New York System. He was also the President and CEO of the Arizona Community Foundation and a member of the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars.

The Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education is the last remaining leadership position at the U.S. Department of Education that requires Senate confirmation but has not been filled yet, apart from two other positions that the Trump Administration plans to consolidate or eliminate.

Transitions

AUCD marks the death of Senator John McCain (R-AZ), recognizing the contributions he made to the lives of people with disabilities. Among Senator McCain’s accomplishments was his role in the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, when he played a key role in establishing a national relay system that dramatically improved access to telecommunications for the Deaf community. In 2008, Senator McCain supported the bipartisan ADA Amendments Act, which restored civil rights protections to millions of Americans with epilepsy, diabetes, depression and other chronic conditions. Later, Senator McCain worked with Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and retired Senator Bob Dole (R-KS) to advocate for U.S. ratification of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Just last year Senator McCain affirmed his maverick reputation with a thumbs down vote that was critical to protecting the ACA and Medicaid.

Senator McCain’s death leaves a vacant seat in the Senate. His successor will be appointed by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, a Republican. Governor Ducey has indicated he will wait until after Senator McCain’s funeral this weekend to announce his successor.

Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All

Join us for this ‘Back to School’ special as Liz asks disability advocate and incoming Bryn Mawr freshman Laura Rodgers about how she feels about her upcoming first year of college. Laura talks about how her disability factored into her college selection process and provides an overview of and advice about supports for college students with disabilities.

Visit https://bit.ly/2MK4H1r to learn more about the Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the ADA, and other important civil rights legislation for people with disabilities.

For more from AUCD, follow @AUCDNews and like AUCD on Facebook

For updates from our Executive Director Andy Imparato, follow @AndyAUCD.

For definitions of terms used in In Brief, please see AUCD’s Glossary of Legislative Terms

Disability Policy News August 20, 2018

August 20, 2018 | Vol. XV, Issue 175
Recess

Members of the House are on recess until September 4, while the Senate returned for business in Washington, D.C. this past week. A recess is not a vacation for lawmakers; they are district work days meant for you to engage with your elected officials locally. Connecting with your Members of Congress during this recess is a terrific way to show that you are interested in partnering for good policy.

If your Senators or Representative voted in a way you agree with, taking the time to say thank you is a great way to build a long-term relationship. If they voted in a way you found challenging, connecting to follow up is the right way to build ties and share how you are willing to be a good resource about the issues that are important to you.

Action Steps:

· Call your lawmakers’ district offices and ask for appointments with your Senators and Representative while they are home.

· Attend a town hall.

· Connect with them at a public event (parade, festival, etc.).

· Submit an op-ed to your local paper.

· Use Facebook or Twitter to engage your Members of Congress.

Budget and Appropriations

FY 2019 Labor-HHS-Education & Defense Spending

Senators plan this week to begin debate on a package consisting of funding bills for Defense (S. 3159) and Labor-HHS-Education (S. 3158) for the fiscal year that begins October 1. Together, the two bills make up about 63% of total discretionary spending subject to budget caps for the coming fiscal year. The legislative vehicle for the pair is the Defense bill (H.R. 6157), which has already been passed by the House. It’s been 11 years since a Labor-HHS-Education bill reached the floor. movement this year is facilitated by the spending levels that are already enshrined in a bipartisan budget deal (P.L.115-123).

Action Step:

· Reach out to your Congressional delegation to advocate for LENDs and UCEDDs in the FY 2019 budget:

Letter for funding LENDs

Letter for funding UCEDDs

Health Care

Medically Underserved Populations (MUP)

Representatives Seth Moulton (D-MA-6) and Gregg Harper (R-MS-3) have cosponsored H.R. 6611, a bill that would amend the Public Health Services Act to recognize individuals with developmental disabilities (DD) as a medically underserved population (MUP). This would significantly expand and improve services at health centers for people with developmental disabilities, something that disability advocates have sought for many years.

Action Step:

· Share the Dear Colleague letter with your Representative and encourage them to consider co-sponsoring the bill. This is an opportunity to share your experience and expertise related to the challenges that exist in accessing appropriate healthcare.

Civil Rights

Supreme Court

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings will begin during the first week of September. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) plans to hold the hearings on September 4, 5 and 6, followed by a confirmation vote by the entire Senate. Kavanaugh would fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Anthony Kennedy.

Action Steps:

· Every Senator will have a vote, so contacting both your Senators to share your concerns and speaking specifically about the civil rights of people with disabilities is critical. Phone calls and in-person meetings (including in state offices) are the most impactful.

· AUCD has an easy way to send an email to both of your Senators. You can find it here.

Communication to the following Senators is particularly important:

Doug Jones (D-AL), Joe Manchin III (D-WV), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Susan Collins (R-ME), Dean Heller (R-NV)

If you live in their states, you are encouraged to activate your networks. If you are not in their states, consider reaching out to friends and urge them to activate their voices.

Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All

This week, Liz talks about what "Nothing About Us Without Us" means, the importance of inclusion, and how people with disabilities can make sure their voices are heard when policy decisions about them are being made.

Visit https://bit.ly/2OFTwEd to find information about your local UCEDD.

For more from AUCD, follow @AUCDNews and like AUCD on Facebook

For updates from our Executive Director Andy Imparato, follow @AndyAUCD.

For definitions of terms used in In Brief, please see AUCD’s Glossary of Legislative Terms

Disability Policy News August 13, 2018

August 13, 2018 | Vol. XV, Issue 174
Recess

Members of the Senate return from recess on August 14, but the House will remain in recess until September 4. A recess is not a vacation; they are district work days meant for you to engage with your elected officials locally. Connecting with your Members of Congress during the recess is a terrific way to show that you are interested in partnering for good policy.

If your Senators or Representative voted in a way you agree with, taking the time to say thank you is a great way to build a long-term relationship. If they voted in a way you found challenging, connecting to follow up is the right way to build ties and share how you are willing to be a good resource about the issues that are important to you.

Action Steps:

· Call your lawmakers’ district offices and ask for appointments with your Senators and Representative while they are home.

· Attend a town hall.

· Connect with them at a public event (parade, festival, etc.).

· Submit an op-ed to your local paper.

· Use Facebook or Twitter to engage your Members of Congress.

Health Care

Medicare Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs)

CMS Administrator Seema Verma announced in a Health Affairs post proposed changes to the Medicare Shared Savings Program in an effort to ensure that providers take on more financial risk – and do it more quickly. The changes as outlined in the 607-page proposed rule will be available online on August 17 at https://federalregister.gov/d/2018-17101. They will trim the time that ACOs can remain in the program without assuming risk from six years to two years.

Action Step:

· Prepare to share comments on the proposed rule. This is an opportunity to ensure that ACOs impact the cost of care. It will also be important to monitor how this change affects access to care in communities since this program is voluntary and ACOs may exit based on changes.

Public Health Services Act Reform

Representative Seth Moulton (D-MA-6) has introduced H.R. 6611, a bill that would amend the Public Health Services Act to recognize individuals with developmental disabilities as a medically underserved population (MUP). This would expand and improve services at health centers for people with developmental disabilities significantly and has been a goal of disability advocates for many years.

Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2018

Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA-13) has introduced H.R. 5942, a bill that seeks to address disparities in health that exist based on race, ethnicity, sex, primary language, sexual orientation, disability status, gender identity and socioeconomic status in health programs.

Action Step:

· Contact your Congressional delegation and ask them to support legislation that addresses disparities for people with disabilities, including those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Civil Rights

Nomination of Judge Kavanaugh

AUCD has taken a position of opposition to the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. Our opposition is based on Judge Kavanaugh’s record and the threat that his appointment to the Supreme Court poses to the civil rights and civil liberties of people with disabilities, including access to health care.

Action Steps:

· Every Senator will have a vote, so contacting both your Senators to share your concerns and speaking specifically about the civil rights of people with disabilities is critical. Phone calls and in-person meetings (including in-state offices) have the greatest impact.

AUCD has an easy way to send an email to both of your Senators. You can find the link here.

Communication to the following Senators is particularly important:

· Doug Jones (D-AL); Joe Manchin (D-WV), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Lisa Murkowski (R-AL), Susan Collins (R-ME), Dean Heller (R-NV)

Education

A group of 21 Senate Democrats sent a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and Attorney General Jeff Sessions expressing concerns about the administration’s decision to rescind guidance to schools and higher education institutions on affirmative action. The letter included a request to answer five questions about the process of making the decision and steps to move forward.

Action Step:

  • Contact both your Senators to share your concerns and what information is needed in your state to ensure that immigrants, women, students of color, students with disabilities, survivors of sexual assault, and LGBTQ students have access to higher education.

Employment

Federal Contractors’ Hiring of Individuals with Disabilities

The U.S. Department of Labor Office for Federal Contract Compliance will begin conducting random focused reviews of federal contractors to ensure that they are attempting to meet a seven percent hiring goal for individuals with disabilities within their workforce. The Obama Administration created the employment goal within regulations under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 2013. The reviews will start when regular audits of federal contractors begin anew in 2019.

Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All

This week, Liz sits down again with civil rights lawyer David Goldberg to discuss Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. They discuss a D.C. Circuit Court ruling by Judge Kavanaugh that undermined the civil rights of three women with intellectual disabilities.

For more from AUCD, follow @AUCDNews and like AUCD on Facebook

For updates from our Executive Director Andy Imparato, follow @AndyAUCD.

For definitions of terms used in In Brief, please see AUCD’s Glossary of Legislative Terms

Disability Policy News August 6, 2018

August 6, 2018 | Vol. XV, Issue 173
Recess

Members of the House and Senate are now on recess. The Senate will return for legislative business on August 13 and the House will return on September 4. A recess is not a vacation; they are district work days designed for you to be able to connect with your elected officials in their districts. Connecting during this recess is a great way to show that you are interested in partnering for good policy in the long term. If your Senators or Representative voted in a way you agree with, taking the time to say thank you is a great way to build a long-term relationship. If your Senators or Representative voted in a way that you found challenging, connecting to follow up is the right way to build a relationship and share how you are willing to be a resource about the issues that are important to you.

Action Steps:

· Call your lawmakers’ district offices and ask for appointments with your Representative and Senators while they are home.

· Attend a town hall.

· Connect with them at a public event (parade, festival, etc.)

· Submit an op-ed to your local paper.

· Use Facebook or Twitter to engage your members of Congress.

Budget and Appropriations

On August 1, the Senate voted 92-6 to pass a four-bill, $154.2 billion Fiscal Year 2019 spending package (H.R. 6147) and adopted the conference report on the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (H.R. 5515).

Autism CARES

The Autism CARES Act – which reauthorizes research, surveillance and education activities related to autism spectrum disorders through agencies within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – is up for reauthorization.

Action Steps:

· Invite your Members of Congress to join the Autism Caucus (link here for how to do this).

· Encourage your Congressional delegation to support the reauthorization of the Autism CARES Act by calling, writing or scheduling a meeting. Be sure to thank your members for their support!

Health Care

Electronic Visit Verification (EVV)

On July 30, President Trump signed into law H.R. 6042, which delays the reduction in federal medical assistance percentage for Medicaid personal care services that are furnished without the presence of an electronic visit verification (EVV) system until January 1, 2020.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has released guidance on EVV. Section 12006(a) of the 21st Century Cures Act requires states to implement EVV for all Medicaid personal care services (PCS) and home health services (HHS) that require an in-home visit by a provider. Disability leaders had been concerned about gaps in guidance that would protect consumers’ privacy and civil rights. The additional time provides an opportunity for states and stakeholders to work together to address concerns.

Action Steps:

· Reach out to your Congressional delegation to thank them for the delays in reduction. Share how important it is that the EVV process protect consumers’ privacy and civil rights.

· Contact your state’s Medicaid agency to advocate for the implementation of EVV that protects consumers’ privacy and civil rights.

Civil Rights

Supreme Court Nomination of Judge Kavanaugh

For the first time in our 47-year history, AUCD has taken a position of opposition to a judicial nomination. Our opposition is based on Judge Kavanaugh’s record and the threat that his appointment to the Supreme Court poses to civil rights and civil liberties of people with disabilities, including access to health care.

Action Steps:

· Every Senator will have a vote, so contacting both your Senators to share your concerns (particularly about the civil rights of people with disabilities) is critical. Phone calls and in-person meetings (including in state offices) have the greatest impact.

Communication to the following Senators is especially important:

· Doug Jones (D-AL), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Susan Collins (R-ME), Dean Heller (R-NV).

We encourage you to activate your networks if you live in their states. If you are not in their states, consider reaching out to friends that live there in order to activate their voices.

Transportation

Congress has until September 30 to either reauthorize or extend the current authorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The House passed a multi-year reauthorization bill (H.R. 4) in April, and the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee advanced its multi-year reauthorization bill more than a year ago.

Action Step:

· Contact both your Senators and urge them to make sure that FAA reauthorization includes S. 1318, which expands provisions prohibiting discrimination by an air carrier against individuals with disabilities.

Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All

This week, Liz talks with civil rights lawyer David Goldberg, who previously worked for the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. He discusses what could happen to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) if President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Kavanaugh, is confirmed.

For more from AUCD, follow @AUCDNews and like AUCD on Facebook

For updates from our Executive Director Andy Imparato, follow @AndyAUCD.

For definitions of terms used in In Brief, please see AUCD’s Glossary of Legislative Terms

AUCD | 1100 Wayne Avenue, Suite 1000 | Silver Spring | MD | 20910

Disability Policy News July 30, 2018

July 30, 2018 | Vol. XV, Issue 172
Recess

Members of the House are now on recess until they return for legislative business September 4th, which means your Representative will be home and more accessible. The traditional August recess is an excellent time to build relationships and impact policy that Congress will focus on this fall, both before and after the November election.

Action Steps:

· Meet with your members of Congress or their staffs, or invite them to visit you.

· Connect with them at a public event and ask a question.

· Submit an op-ed to your local paper.

· Use Facebook or Twitter to engage your members of Congress.

Note that the Senate is in session this week and will be on recess the following week.

Health Care

Autism CARES

Congressional leaders are working on the upcoming reauthorization of the Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education and Support (CARES) Act (P.L. 113-157). The law includes the authorization for the nationwide LEND network to address the severe shortage in adequately trained health professionals. There are 52 LEND programs located in 44 U.S. states, with an additional six states and three territories reached through program partnerships. LEND programs are administered by HRSA. The Autism CARES Act also includes investments to train developmental behavioral pediatricians, research the development of evidence-based interventions, and fund state system change grants to promote innovation. Members of the Autism Caucus are the chief champions for reauthorization.

Action Step:

· Use this easy toolto send a personal note the members of your Congressional delegation. You will be prompted based on their membership status to send a thank you note for their support of the Autism Caucus or a note to ask them to join.

Kentucky 1115 Waiver

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has reposted the Kentucky 1115 waiver for a 30-day federal comment period. The original waiver included numerous provisions that concerned AUCD (premiums, three types of lock-outs, work requirements, elimination of transportation, and retroactive coverage) and was found illegal by a judge who vacated the approval. The re-opening of the federal comment period may result in a new approval that could lead to a second round of litigation.

Action Step:

· It is vitally important that any comments submitted last time be submitted again. It is fine to re-submit the comments you used last time. If you did not submit comments previously, now is your chance! The deadline for comments is August 18, 2018. Comments can be submitted at: https://public.medicaid.gov/connect.ti/public.comments/viewQuestionnaire?qid=1897699.

Civil Rights

The Executive Office of the Massachusetts Office of Health and Human Services has announced that they have decided to appeal the June decision by Judge Katherine Field of the Bristol County Probate and Family Court that permits the continuation of the use of shock as punishment at the Judge Rotenberg Center. For additional background see AUCD’s statement about the ruling.

Action Step:

· The Massachusetts decision may not matter if the FDA acts on its 2016 proposal to ban the therapy at JRC. Contact the leaders of HRSA and the FDA and urge them to enact the ban.

Secretary Alex Azar, HHS

Phone: (202) 690-7000

Email: Secretary@HHS.gov

@SecAzar, @HHSGov

Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, FDA

Phone: (888) 463-6332

Email: CommissionerFDA

@SGottliebFDA

Education

Perkins Act

Congress reauthorized the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, H.R. 2353, on July 25th. The President is widely expected to sign the measure. The bill includes many new and improved provisions regarding students with disabilities.

Action Step:

· Reach out to your Congressional delegation and thank them for their support for inclusion of students with disabilities in career and technical education.

Higher Education

H.R. 6543, the Democratic bill to reauthorize the Higher Education Act, was introduced on July 26th. The bill provides an ideological contrast to the Republican reauthorization bill, PROSPER, H.R. 4508.

Action Step

· Continue to educate your Congressional delegation on the importance of any reauthorization of the Higher Education Act addressing barriers and providing additional ways to support students with disabilities, their families, and educational professionals to increase the number of students with disabilities able to matriculate and be successful in college or universities.

Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All

This week, Liz shares information about Congress, reminding viewers that they work for you. She also includes some useful tips for contacting your Congressional representatives and highlights a new AUCD tool. You can check out AUCD’s Contacting Congress Tool here: http://bit.ly/2LLLdZM

For more from AUCD, follow @AUCDNews and like AUCD on Facebook

For updates from our Executive Director Andy Imparato, follow @AndyAUCD.

For definitions of terms used in In Brief, please see AUCD’s Glossary of Legislative Terms

AUCD | 1100 Wayne Avenue, Suite 1000 | Silver Spring | MD | 20910

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