Disability Policy News In Brief

July 20, 2015

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July 20, 2015   |   Vol. XV, Issue 29
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Description: Description: P:Logos Various Formats\_FINAL_AUCD_LOGOSLogo for Websitesaucd_ballimage_200x200.jpgAUCD Disability Policy News In Brief

July 20, 2015

Vol. XV, Issue 29



The Senate passed 81-17 the Every Child Achieve Act (S. 1177), a bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Prior to the final vote AUCD signed onto two letters expressing concerns: one drafted by the civil rights coalition urging Senators to vote against the bill; and one by the disability consortium stating that the bill could not be supported in its current form.

During the second week of debate there were over 25 votes on amendments and amendment packages.  Three of four of AUCD's major concerns were addressed through amendments.  The Senator Kirk resource equity amendment failed 46-50 and the Senator Hirono (D-Hi) data disaggregation was rejected 47-50.

Unfortunately, only one passed -- Senator Warren's (D-MA) amendment on cross-tabulation of data.  The good news is that there was a strong vote for the Murphy (D-CT) accountability amendment, with one Republican, Sen. Portman (OH) voting with 42 Democrats in support of ensuring that interventions should be provided to students who are consistently falling behind.  We are hopeful that this strong showing will help to push the conferees to resolve this issue in conference with the House bill (HR 5), which passed last week.  It will not be an easy task for the conferees to work out the vast differences between the bills and to produce a bill that the President will sign.


AUCD has signed on to a letter about the home community based ruling. The letter was sent to members of Congress urging them to support implementation of the rule. Specifically, it asks that Medicaid funding be protected, additional funds be allocated to assist with implementation, and that no policies be implemented that would undermine the rule.

Advisory Committee on Increasing Completive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities (ACICIEID)

The fourth meeting of the committee created by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) was held on July 13-14th in Washington DC.  The Transition, Complexity, State/Local, and Marketplace subcommittees reported findings and preliminary recommendations relating to increased competitive, integrated employment for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as other complex disabilities.  The ACICIEID received public comments from various stakeholders on issues relating to provider transformation to competitive integrated employment, transition from subminimum wage certificates, and most importantly, leveraging and coordination of policy-to-practice and resources across systems.  For more information, please click here.

Assistive Technology 

AUCD signed to a letter addressed to House Majority Leader, Kevin McCarthy, requesting a vote on the Steve Gleason Act (HR 1919).  The bill was passed the House last Wednesday in a voice vote. The Senate passed an identical bill by voice house in April.  The Steve Gleason Act removes capped-rental fees devices from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) allowing patients to use speech-generating devices while in an extended hospital stay or in a skilled nursing facility.  In addition, the legislation ensures coverage of eye tracking technology that allows individuals with extremely limited voluntary muscle control to effectively use the device to communicate their personal and health care needs. Speech-generating devices are highly customized electronic augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems used to supplement or replace speech, enabling individuals with functional communication impairments to verbally communicate their needs.

25th Anniversary of ADA

Today AUCD staff joined with disability leaders at the White House to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The President delivered a speech highlighting the importance of adding people with disability to the workforce and framing disability rights not as an American right but at human right. 

Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All

This week, Liz Weintraub, AUCD's Policy staff, interviews Stephanie Meredith the Director of the National Center for Prenatal and Postnatal Down Syndrome Resources about her work.  Be sure to tune in every week for a fun more accessible version of InBrief. 


For more from AUCD, follow @AUCDNews and like AUCD on Facebook

For updates from our Executive Director Andy Imparato, follow @AndyAUCD.

For more policy news, follow Kim on Twitter at @kmusheno

For definitions of terms used in In Brief, please see AUCD's Glossary of Legislative Terms 


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