Disability Policy News In Brief

December 14, 2015

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December 14, 2015   |   Vol. XV, Issue 51
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The Senate passed a five-day continuing resolution (CR) on December 10. This short-term bill that extends the expiration date of the current CR to December 16 is intended to give more time to settle disagreements over policy riders. AUCD has heard that though progress has been made over the weekend, significant issues remain that must be addressed before a deal is reached by the new deadline. If a deal is not reached, there could be the possibility of another short-term CR in order to work out the differences.

For more information see our In Brief from last week.


AUCD was honored to participate in the signing of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) (S. 1177) on December 10. This conference bill, which was passed by a vote of 85-12 by the Senate on December 9 and was approved by the House the week before, reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and replaces No Child Left Behind Act. AUCD developed a preliminary summary of provisions impacting students with disabilities, and early in the New Year AUCD will be collaborating with DD partners to provide a webinar on how our network members can ensure a smooth implementation of the law.

RAISE Family Caregivers Act

The "Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage Family Caregivers Act of 2015" or RAISE Family Caregivers Act (S. 1719) passed the Senate on December 8. This bill authorizes the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop a National Family Caregiver Strategy.  The strategy would identify specific actions that the Federal, State, and local governments can take to support family caregivers in a culturally competent manner.  The bill also authorizes the development of an advisory council that would meet quarterly and be open to the public.  There is no specific amount authorized for appropriations. The next step is for the House to pass the bill (HR 3099).  Please continue to urge your Representatives to co-sponsor this bill and to pass the bill before the end of the year.


New data released by the Department of Labor reveals that the unemployment rate for Americans with disabilities grew significantly during November. During the past month, the jobless rate for individuals with disabilities rose to 12.1%, a 1.6% increase from the previous level. In contrast, the overall unemployment rate remained at 5% with no change during the same time period.

Health Insurance Open Enrollment

Tomorrow, December 15, is the last day to enroll in or change plans for those wanting coverage beginning January 1. Open enrollment for 2016 health insurance plans through the Marketplace began November 1. The open enrollment period lasts three months, concluding on January 31. The deadline for coverage beginning February 1 is January 15, and for those who enroll between January 16 and 31, coverage will take effect March.

More information about the timeline for Open Enrollment can be found on the Healthcare.gov website, as well as the Open Enrollment Toolkit and the "Get Covered" Information Guide.      

Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All

This week, Liz Weintraub, AUCD's advocacy specialist and host of Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All, interviews Tina Campanella, Chief Executive Officer of the Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities, on supported decision making.   Also, in case you missed last week's edition, Liz interviewed David Morrissey, Executive Director of the United States International Council on Disabilities, on USICDs activities, major global disability rights challenges and the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which took place on December 3 and was marked at USICD's annual gala.

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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