Disability Policy News In Brief

July 30, 2018

AUCD, Disability Policy News In Brief, every Monday AUCD, Disability Policy News In Brief, every Monday
July 30, 2018   |   Vol. XV, Issue 172
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Members of the House are now on recess until they return for legislative business September 4th, which means your Representative will be home and more accessible. The traditional August recess is an excellent time to build relationships and impact policy that Congress will focus on this fall, boht before and after the November election.

Action Steps:

  • Meet with your members of Congress or their staffs, or invite them to visit you.
  • Connect with them at a public event and ask a question.
  • Submit an op-ed to your local paper.
  • Use Facebook or Twitter to engage your members of Congress.

Note that the Senate is in session this week and will be on recess the following week.


Health Care

Autism CARES

Congressional leaders are working on the upcoming reauthorization of the Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education and Support (CARES) Act (P.L. 113-157). The law includes the authorization for the nationwide LEND network to address the severe shortage in adequately trained health professionals. There are 52 LEND programs located in 44 U.S. states, with an additional six states and three territories reached through program partnerships. LEND programs are administered by HRSA. The Autism CARES Act also includes investments to train developmental behavioral pediatricians, research the development of evidence-based interventions, and fund state system change grants to promote innovation. Members of the Autism Caucus are the chief champions for reauthorization.

Action Step:

  • Use this easy tool to send a personal note the members of your Congressional delegation. You will be prompted based on their membership status to send a thank you note for their support of the Autism Caucus or a note to ask them to join.

Kentucky 1115 Waiver

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has reposted the Kentucky 1115 waiver for a 30-day federal comment period. The original waiver included numerous provisions that concerned AUCD (premiums, three types of lock-outs, work requirements, elimination of transportation, and retroactive coverage) and was found illegal by a judge who vacated the approval. The re-opening of the federal comment period may result in a new approval that could lead to a second round of litigation.

Action Step:


Civil Rights

The Executive Office of the Massachusetts Office of Health and Human Services has announced that they have decided to appeal the June decision by Judge Katherine Field of the Bristol County Probate and Family Court that permits the continuation of the use of shock as punishment at the Judge Rotenberg Center. For additional background see AUCD's statement about the ruling.

Action Step: 

  • The Massachusetts decision may not matter if the FDA acts on its 2016 proposal to ban the therapy at JRC. Contact the leaders of HRSA and the FDA and urge them to enact the ban. 

       Secretary Alex Azar, HHS

       Phone: (202) 690-7000

       Email: [email protected]

      @SecAzar, @HHSGov

      Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, FDA

      Phone: (888) 463-6332

      Email: [email protected]




Perkins Act

Congress reauthorized the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, H.R. 2353, on July 25th. The President is widely expected to sign the measure. The bill includes many new and improved provisions regarding students with disabilities.

Action Step:

  • Reach out to your Congressional delegation and thank them for their support for inclusion of students with disabilities in career and technical education. 


Higher Education

H.R. 6543, the Democratic bill to reauthroize the Higher Education Act, was introduced on July 26th. The bill provides an ideological contrast to the Republican reauthorization bill, PROSPER, H.R. 4508

Action Step

  • Continue to educate your Congressional delegation on the importance of any reauthorization of the Higher Education Act addressing barriers and providing additional ways to support students with disabilities, their families, and educational professionals to increase the number of students with disabilities able to matriculate and be successful in college or universities.


Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All

This week, Liz shares information about Congress, reminding viewers that they work for you. She also includes some useful tips for contacting your Congressional representatives and highlights a new AUCD tool. You can check out AUCD's Contacting Congress Tool here: http://bit.ly/2LLLdZM 



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

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

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

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