Developmental Disabilities Research Centers Association (DDRCA) disappointed by National Institutes of Health Funding in FY06 Labor-HHS Appropriations

December 23, 2005

Kim E. Musheno
Director of Public Policy

Contact: Kim Musheno
Director of Legislative Affairs

SILVER SPRING, MD (December 23, 2005) – The level of funding for National Institutes of Health (NIH) contained in the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education FY06 Appropriations bill is inadequate. NIH received an increase of only $253 million over FY05 levels, less than one percent of NIH's budget. This is the smallest percentage increase in NIH funding since 1970 and not nearly enough to even keep pace with inflation in research costs. "As someone who knows the incredible importance of the work done by the Developmental Disabilities Research Centers (DDRC), I am concerned about the ability of DDRCs to accomplish their mission with inadequate funding. DDRC's research to discover why child development goes awry, new ways to prevent developmental disabilities and new treatments and interventions is essential to help children and adults with disabilities live, learn, work, and enjoy their lives with their families and in their own communities," said Steve Warren, Co-Chair of the DDRCA and director of the Schiefelbusch Institute for Lifespan Studies, the Kansas DDRC.

"The FY06 NIH appropriation will likely result in cuts to DDRC funding and other vital, potentially life saving research," added Co-Chair Marsha Mailick Seltzer, director of the Waisman Center in Madison Wisconsin. "In addition, there is a high probability that fewer new grants will be awarded thwarting advances in research. Without additional funding opportunities, young scientists may be discouraged from pursuing scientific careers which represents a major threat to future scientific discovery."

The FY06 appropriation for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Education also accelerates a disturbing trend in which the medical research capacity created by the doubling of the NIH budget during FY98-03 is being eroded. Factoring in medical research inflation, NIH's budget has declined by 2.2% in real terms over the past three fiscal years.

The DDRCA hopes that the Bush Administration will take advantage of the opportunity to reverse this dangerous trend by providing significant increases in NIH funding in his FY07 budget request to Congress.

About AUCD
The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), located in Silver Spring, MD, is a national, non-profit, membership organization that promotes and supports a national network of interdisciplinary centers advancing policy and practices through research, education and services for and with individuals with developmental and other disabilities, their families, and communities.

The AUCD network represents every state and most territories in the United States and over 100 universities and medical schools. Through its members, AUCD serves as a resource for local, state, national and international agencies, organizations and policy-makers concerned about people living with developmental and other disabilities and their families.