The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, better known as the Perkins Act, reauthorizes career and technical education (CTE) programs and increases student access to career development and employment training opportunities across all states. The bipartisan legislation continues federal support to state and local programs that foster employment and professional skill-building among youth. It is often challenging to understand where funding and guidance come from that drive local employment and training programs in communities. Perkins is an example of legislation that is likely funding and guiding programs in your community.
- Action Step: Contact your members of Congress to encourage them to supports competitive integrated employment for all people with disabilities.
The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act was signed into law 2014. This legislation allows certain individuals with disabilities the opportunity to save money in a tax-advantaged savings account (an "ABLE account") for the purposes of covering disability-related expenses such as, but not limited to: education, housing, and transportation. AUCD expresses its support for the ABLE Age Adjustment Act (S. 2704, H.R. 4813) , which will raise the age limit for ABLE accounts to age 46. Currently, only individuals with a severe disability prior to 26 years of age may open an ABLE account. Increasing the age of eligible account holders will make it easier for more individuals with disabilities to save for their disability-related expenses. ABLE programs are often important for families to understand close to the birth or diagnosis of a child who has a disability as they provide a cost-effective and safe way to save money for care and supports. Professionals who connect families to this type of critical community resource can impact well-being beyond their discipline expertise.
- Action Step: Educate policy makers, professionals, and family members of effective implementation of home and community-based services and long-term services and supports in every community.