Disability Policy News In Brief

August 26, 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)
August 26, 2019   |   Vol. MMXIX, Issue 33
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Congressional Recess All Month

Members of Congress are in their home districts! Think about hosting a community event and inviting your members of Congress, or invite them to visit your programs or centers.

Action Steps:

  • Reach out to both the district office and DC office with your request and ask to be connected with a scheduler.

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.

HR. 1058, which reauthorizes CARES for five years, passed the House on Wednesday July 24, 2019. S. 427 did not pass the Senate before adjourning for the August Recess. Your voices and advocacy before they return to Washington is critical!

Action Steps:

  • Sample Tweet: #AutismCARES provides critically needed research, #LEND training, and system improvement for families with #autism and related #disabilities. (Insert Twitter Handle of your Senator), support the passage of this important legislation before it expires Sept 30! @AUCDNews
  • Use the August Recess to your advantage and set up a meeting with your Senators who are not Co-Sponsors to talk about the importance of CARES in your state. Think about hosting a community event and inviting your members of Congress or invite them to visit your programs or centers.


A new report titled How Safe is the Schoolhouse: An Analysis of State Seclusion and Restraint Laws and Policies has been published, with laws in effect as of July 1, 2019. The report analyzes 50 states and Washington, D.C. Thirty states have laws providing meaningful protections against restraint and seclusion for all children; 39, for children with disabilities. This is a substantial increase since before Congress began focusing attention and taking action.

Action Steps:

  • You can read the report here.


The Department of Transportation published in the federal register its final statement of enforcement priorities regarding service animals. The statement governs what DOT will and won't enforce until it can finalize the revision of its service animal regulations under the Air Carrier Access Act. The notice of proposed rulemaking is expected to come out at the end of 2019.

Campaign 2020

Former Illinois Representative Joe Walsh has joined the race for the Republican nomination.

Declared Republican Candidates:



Donald Trump


Bill Weld


Joe Walsh


The race continues to qualify for the September Democratic Debate which as of now includes:

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden
  • New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker
  • South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg 
  • Former HUD Secretary Julian Castro
  • California Sen. Kamala Harris
  • Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar
  • Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke
  • Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders 
  • Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren 
  • Businessman Andrew Yang

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has dropped out of the race, along with Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper (who announced his campaign for Senator), California Rep. Eric Swalwell, and Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton.

Deep Dive Series

With Congress on Recess, we will spend each week digging deeper into various topics that are of issue in the disability space.

The Disability Integration Act

Institutions still get in the way of freedom for disabled people and older Americans. The Disability Integration Act would tell states that they can't get in the way of disabled peoples' right to freedom by not giving Long Term Services and Supports (LTSS) in the community.



a part of a person that holds them back from living daily life


supported by both Republicans and Democrats


being a part of the community


buildings that disabled people live in or work in that keep them away from the community


help for disabled people to be able to be independent


a company that gives services and supports


policy, laws, and rules that help guide our country

Long Term Services and Supports (LTSS)

getting help that you want and need for as long as you need it

Summary of Legislation

The Disability Integration Act is a bill that makes sure that people with disabilities have a right to live and get services in their own homes. We call the Disability Integration Act the DIA for short.

Legislative Approach

The Disability Integration Act (S. 117, H.R. 555) was introduced in the House and the Senate by both Republicans and Democrats together. It gives people freedom to live in the community by:

  • Saying that every person who needs LTSS has to have a real choice in how they get services and supports;
  • Making states and providers make sure everyone has the right to live in the community and the supports to do so.

Why You Should Support DIA

  • It guarantees the right to be free in their communities for disabled people and older Americans.
  • It helps everyone live in their own homes.
  • It keeps families together.
  • It saves money.

Who Supports this Legislation

The DIA has support of over 600 groups, including AUCD. 

How to Support the DIA

  • Ask your Representative and Senators to support the DIA.
  • Tell them why the freedom to live in the community matters to you.

Learn More

More information is available at the DIA website: www.DisabilityIntegrationAct.org

Tuesday's with Liz:  Back to School with Laura Rodgers

Join us for this vintage 'Back to School' special as Liz asks disability advocate and Bryn Mawr student Laura Rodgers about how she felt about her upcoming first year of college. Laura talks about how her disability factored into her college selection process and provides advice on and an overview of supports for college students with disabilities. Visit https://bit.ly/2MK4H1r to learn more about the Rehabilitation Act Section 504, the ADA, and other important civil rights acts for people with disabilities.





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





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