Disability Policy News In Brief

July 22, 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 22, 2019   |   Vol. MMXIX, Issue 28
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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 31 Senators and 159 Representatives have joined as co-sponsors. The full House Committee held a markup last week. You can watch the recording here. This Wednesday it will go to the floor of the House for a voice vote. This is the last week Congress will be in session before their August recess. Your members need to hear from you about how critical movement of this bipartisan effort is.

Action Steps:

  • Call your Representative and both Senators TODAY: (202) 224-3121:
  • If they are already a cosponsor, thank them and ask for their support to get the bill to the floor quickly.  Tell your Representative that it is expected to come to floor of the House on Wednesday. Ask your Senators to get it to the Senate floor this week.
  • If they are not yet a cosponsor, ask them to join this bipartisan bill that has passed out of the Energy and Commerce Committee with unanimous support.

Budget and Appropriations

The House and Senate continue negotiations on a budget. As of this week, the Senate Appropriations Committee has not marked up any of its fiscal 2020 spending bills. This means action will likely not occur before the August recess, leaving spending caps and debt ceiling negotiations to September 30th's encroaching deadline of sequestration.

Action Steps:

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


There has been increasing engagement in the disability community around Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) and guidance from the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. Visit here to read AUCD's position statements on the importance of LRE for the rights of students with disabilities.


The Raise the Wage Act (HR 582) passed the House last week. It would increase the minimum wage for ALL people, including people with disabilities. If enacted, it would phase out Section 14c over six years. It is important to note that the Raise the Wage Act is unlikely to pass the Senate and become law. Use the passage of the bill by the House as a point of conversation to increase support of the Transformation to Competitive Employment Act, which not only ends subminimum wages but provides funding to states and providers to expand capacity for competitive integrated employment. 

Action Steps:

  • Reach out to your Senators and Representatives to share your experiences with employment for people with disabilities and the critical need to end Section 14c.

Campaign 2020

Headshot of Joe BidenGet to know who is running on the Democratic ticket! These charts include candidates' positions on disability issues. We will be updating these charts next week to get you ready for the upcoming debate. 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 Former Vice President Joe Biden:

Joe Biden served as Vice President from 2009 to 2017. He also represented Delaware in the US Senate from 1973 to 2009. His campaign is running on the platform of rebuilding the middle class, foreign relations, and democratic process issues (campaign finance, voting rights, and gerrymandering). You can learn more about Joe Biden and the accessibility of his 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: What Does the ADA Mean To You? Happy ADA Anniversary!

Happy 29th ADA Anniversary! Liz asks her friends -- all past interviewees on Tuesdays with Liz -- what the Americans with Disabilities Act means to them. Below are links to their previous interviews:

  • Tawara Goode, National Center for Cultural Competence, Leadership Institute for Cultural Diversity and Cultural and Linguistic Competence, University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), Georgetown University Center for Child & Human Development,  Department of Pediatrics, Georgetown University Medical Center, https://youtu.be/3cxgbJMXHLw
  • Deborah Spitalnik, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Rutgers University, The Bogg Center on Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), New Jersey's Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities (LEND), https://youtu.be/zdDa8l8HcvE   




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





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