September 28, 2007 • Volume 7, Number 9


Current and past editions of AUCD Legislative News In Brief are posted on the AUCD Website. These weekly 1–2 page updates are intended to keep association members informed about federal legislative and regulatory issues affecting people with disabilities, their families and the network of AUCD programs and centers.

HHS Announces $8.8 Million for New Nursing Home Diversion Programs. September 24; HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt announced an $8.8 million investment to help states provide more affordable choices to individuals struggling to remain in their homes and communities as they age. Congress included authority for these nursing home diversion grants in the most recent reauthorization of the Older Americans Act (OAA) signed into law by President Bush in October 2006. These new provisions in the OAA complement the changes occurring in Medicare and Medicaid, including the provisions in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 reflecting seniors’ desire to receive and direct their personal care at home.

Workplace Depression Screening, Outreach and Enhanced Treatment Improves Productivity, Lowers Employer Costs. September 24; Enhanced and systematic efforts to identify and treat depression in the workplace significantly improves employee health and productivity, likely leading to lower costs overall for the employer, according to a study published September 26, 2007, in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

SAMHSA Awards More Than $5 Million to Support Alternatives to the Use of Restraint and Seclusion in Mental Health Facilities. September 21; The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration announced the award of eight grants totaling more than $5 million over three years to support states in reducing and ultimately eliminating the use of restraint and seclusion in institutional and community-based settings that provide mental health services. The Alternatives to Restraint and Seclusion State Incentive Grant (SIG) is designed to help the grantees build a solid foundation for delivering and sustaining effective recovery-based substance abuse prevention, treatment and/or mental health services, including services for people with co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders.

$2.3 Million Grant from U.S. Department of Labor Funds Consortium to Increase Employment, Self-sufficiency of Americans with Disabilities. September 20; The consortium will build leadership and strategic partnerships across workforce development, economic development, and relevant partner agencies and systems. The consortium, led by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey in New Brunswick, N.J., will conduct research, develop and disseminate information, and provide technical assistance and training in five targeted, critical leadership areas identified by ODEP's research over the past six years.

Disability-related Cases from the Department of Justice