Disability Policy News In Brief

January 4, 2016

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January 4, 2016   |   Vol. XV, Issue 54
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Happy New Year and we hope you enjoyed your holiday break!

Congressional Schedule
The Congressional holiday recess ends this week. The House will return on Tuesday, January 5; the Senate will return next Monday, January 11.  This year's congressional schedule will be shorter with more time off during the summer for political conventions and presidential campaigning.

State of the Union

President Obama delivers his final State of the Union (SOU) address to Congress on Tuesday, January 12 where he will lay out the administration's accomplishments and its policy and funding priorities for the coming year.  AUCD has urged the administration to include the needs of people with disabilities within its broader policy agenda. The President is expected to submit his final budget request to Congress the first week of February that will reflect the priorities of the SOU.


Lawmakers return to Washington D.C. this week having passed the $1.8 trillion omnibus spending bill before the holiday recess. The spending bill, which was signed by President Obama on December 18, received bipartisan support in Congress and includes modest increases for AUCD network programs, as well as other increases directed towards research, education, prevention, and family support.

See AUCDs funding table and summary analysis for a detailed breakdown of how the new act affects funding for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Education. Having set the overall spending caps for the next two fiscal years in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, it is hoped that Congress will avoid prolonged battles over the development of a budget resolution.

Internet Access under ADA

In a letter supported by AUCD, nine senators called upon the Obama administration to release proposed rules for information and communication technology (ICT) access under the ADA. The rules would help address accessibility issues with regard to the internet, which did not exist when the ADA was passed. The signatories to the letter are Senators Ed Markey (D-MA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT),  Ben Cardin (D-MD), Al Franken (D-MN), and Richard Durbin.

Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All

This week Liz Weintraub, AUCD's advocacy specialist, celebrates the one year anniversary of Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All and reviews policy accomplishments throughout 2015. In case you missed the last edition, Liz interviewed Denise Marshall of the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) about the implications that ESEA reauthorization through the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) will have for students with disabilities and their families.


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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