Disability Policy News In Brief

July 15, 2019

AUCD, Disability Policy News In Brief, every Monday Disability Policy News In Brief, every Monday, from the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD)
July 15, 2019   |   Vol. MMXIX, Issue 27
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Autism CARES

The Autism CARES Act - which has expanded research and coordination, increased public awareness and surveillance, and expanded interdisciplinary health professional training, including LENDs, to identify and support children and youth with Autism and their families - will sunset (expire) on September 30, 2019, without a successful reauthorization. Bills to reauthorize the Act have been introduced (S. 427, HR. 1058). Currently 28 Senators and 150 Representatives have joined as co-sponsors. The House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee held a markup of Autism CARES in addition to an array of other expiring health programs. You can watch the recording of the markup here. During the markup an amendment offered by Rep. Eshoo to change the text to reflect the 2019 funding level for CARES research was agreed to by a voice vote. Next week, it will go before the full House Committee.

Action Steps:

  • The next two weeks are important for movement to meet the September 30th deadline. Share with your members how important reauthorization is to people in your state.
  • Reach out to your Senators and Representatives, thanking them for being co-sponsors or asking them to be a cosponsor, and for continued movement in the House and Senate.

Budget and Appropriations

The House and Senate continue to work on negotiations on a budget. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she will work to finalize a deal that would raise the debt ceiling and set spending levels for the next two years before the August Recess.

Action Step:

  • To understand the complexity of the budget process, refer back to our previous InBrief deep dive here.

Higher Education

AUCD is a member of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights' Higher Education Civil Rights Coalition. Civil Rights Principles for Higher Education: Policy recommendations to achieve equity and protect our civil rights have been developed to identify fundamental elements of a higher education system that advances equity and protects students' civil rights.

Action Steps:

  • Contact your members of Congress to share with them these principles and the impact of equity and inclusion in higher education.
  • Share these principles amongst stakeholders at your university.


The Family-to-Family Reauthorization Act of 2019 (H.R. 2822) and the Supporting Family-to-Family Health Information Centers Act (S.1647) would extend funding for Family-to-Family programs for an additional five years, through federal FY 2024, at the current funding level of $6 million per year. On June 4, 2019, the E&C Health Subcommittee held a hearing on a number of health bills; a 4-year extension of the Family-to-Family Health Information Centers was included in an amendment to the Community Health Investment, Modernization, and Excellence Act (H.R. 2328). That amendment passed by a voice vote and the bill now moves to the full Committee.

The Territories Health Care Improvement Act (H.R. 3631), would  provide for a temporary increase to the limit on Medicaid payments for territories of the United States and the Federal medical assistance percentage for the  territories under the Medicaid program. The bill was favorably forwarded, without amendment, to the full Committee by a voice vote.

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is an independent, non-profit, nongovernmental organization authorized by the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA)" to study how different medications and treatments compare, so patients and their caregivers have the information they need to choose the health care and treatment options that are best for them. PCORI is due to sunset (expire) September 30th. The Community Health Investment, Modernization, and Excellence Act (H.R. 2328) now includes a provision to reauthorize PCORI for three years was forwarded to the full Committee by a voice vote.

Action Steps:

Campaign 2020

Get to know who is running on the Democratic ticket! These charts include candidates' positions on disability issues. The candidates who qualify under Democratic National Committee rules will next meet in Detroit on July 30 and July 31. This week we dive into Senator Elizabeth Warren:

Headshot of Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Warren (D-MA) was elected in 2012 to the Senate. She previously was a special education teacher, then spent the majority of her career practicing law, specializing in bankruptcy law. Since becoming a member of Congress, she has fought for policies to rebuild the middle class. She believes in universal childcare: "high-quality child care and early education shouldn't be a privilege that's only for the rich. I'm fighting to make high-quality child care from birth to school age free for millions of families and affordable for all." In a recent unscripted video, Warren responds to various disability issues. You can view here.

On current disability proposed legislation, Warren co-sponsors the Disability Integration Act. You can learn more about Elizabeth Warren and the accessibility of her campaign here

Action Steps:

  • Your voice is needed to ensure that disability policy is part of the campaign.
  • For candidates who are currently in office, share and elevate their position on key disability legislation as noted in the chart. Tip: You can and should ask them to support bills of importance.
  • Check out the campaign website of each candidate (links provided); use the sites to submit questions about disability policy. For example, "How will you be ensuring that your campaign fully includes people with disabilities and intentionally speaks to people with disabilities?

Tuesdays with Liz: Voting

In celebration for National Disability Voter Registration Week Liz shares how to overcome voting barriers for people with disabilities.  Watch the video and make sure you are registered. Additional information can be found on AUCD's voting factsheet.




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





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AUCD | 1100 Wayne Avenue, Suite 1000 | Silver Spring | MD | 20910
AUCD | 1100 Wayne Avenue, Suite 1000 | Silver Spring | MD | 20910