AUCD Press Release Decrying President's Veto of Funding Bill

November 17, 2007


Kim E. Musheno
Director of Public Policy
301-588-8252
kmusheno@aucd.org

For Immediate Release

AUCD Urges Congress to Override President bush's Veto of the FY 2008 Labor, HHS, and Education Appropriations Bill

Washington, D.C., November 14, 2007

Bill Kiernan, PhD, President of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) issued the following statement regarding the President Bush's veto yesterday of the Fiscal Year 2008 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill.

"On behalf of the 120 programs at universities and medical centers located in every U.S. state and territory to serve the needs of children with developmental disabilities, AUCD deeply regrets the decision of President Bush to veto an appropriations bill that takes a significant step to reverse the trend of eroding investments in critical education, research and training programs that help children, adults and families overcome the challenges of developmental disabilities and maximize their potential to live a happy and fulfilling life.

The bipartisan conference agreement on this appropriations bill that the President has rejected makes significant investments to increase our University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities that provide national training initiatives to address critical and emerging national needs. These include the needs of the growing numbers of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders and reducing health disparities for people with disabilities as well as our Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities program that trains interdisciplinary professionals to identify, diagnose, and treat individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities.

By vetoing this legislation, we now face the possibility that these programs will once again continue to struggle to serve the overwhelming demands of the deserving families of children with developmental disabilities who turn to our member programs for assistance.

Beyond the needed investments in public health, AUCD strongly supports the funding that this vetoed legislation provides in special education, other elementary and secondary education programs, higher education, biomedical research, social services and job training. AUCD recognizes that all of these investments are necessary to ensure a healthy population and maintain our nation's global economic competitiveness.

On behalf of the approximately 54 million individuals with disabilities and their families, AUCD strongly urges the Congress to vote to override the President's veto."

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The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) is a membership organization that supports and promotes a national network of university-based interdisciplinary programs. Network members consist of 67 University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), funded by the Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD); 34 Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) Programs funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB); and19 Developmental Disability Research Centers (DDRC), most of which are funded by the National Institute for Child Health and Development (NICHD). These programs serve and are located in every U.S. state and territory and are all part of universities or medical centers. They serve as a bridge between the university and the community, bringing together the resources of both to achieve meaningful change. Additional information about the AUCD is available at www.aucd.org.