President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities Holds 2014 Meeting

Committee now has record number of people with disabilities and many AUCD network members

September 11, 2014

Fifty years ago, President Johnson formed a committee of experts to advise and assist the President and the Secretary of Health and Human Services on issues important to people with intellectual disabilities and the field. The committee is now called the President Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities. The main purpose of the committee is to advise the President and Secretary; to fulfill that purpose the committee writes  reports to the President on issues that have impact on people with disabilities and the field.

The committee is made of people with disabilities, family members, advocates and federal agencies that represents interests of people with disabilities. With the latest appointments, the committee has a record number of people with disabilities represented, including many AUCD network members (see a full list of new members). Julie Petty, the new chair of the committee, is the first person with an intellectual disability to serve as chair. Julie is a leader in the self-advocacy movement and works for Partners for Inclusive Communities at the University of Arkansas Fayetteville, Arkansas' UCEDD. .  

Liz Weintraub, AUCD's Advocacy Specialist and a member of the committee, wrote this report:


The committee just met the first week of September. After getting to know each other, we heard from the federal agencies about what they have been working, on behalf of people with disabilities. The reason why we heard from them, was not only to hear the wonderful work that people have been doing on, but in hopes that it would help us to develop a clearer idea of what we would like this year's report to the President to be on.

It was then time to get down to work. We broke up into work groups to think about and discuss ideas on "what matter the most to people with disabilities and their families". Julie also wanted the committee to also think about making a report that would be the most effective and useful report to the President that there has ever been.

Some of the topics that was discuss in the group that I was in were: jobs, careers, self-determination, Medicare and health care, the aging process, and the right to make one's own decisions, whichlead into a discussion around independence in the community. Therefore, we came up with having a "bill of rights for people with disabilities"

On the final day of the meeting, we talked about the themes that all three groups discussed. There were many, as you can imagine. With saying that, we are still working on what the topic of the report should be on. To help us, get closer to that goal we are hoping to hear from experts at our next meeting.

We also had a good conversation about who should be the intended audience and the timing of the report so that the report would have a big impact on people with disabilities and the field.


Learn more about the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities and see a full list of committee members