Disability Policy News In Brief

September 23, 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)
September 23, 2019   |   Vol. MMXIX, Issue 37
AUCD, Disability Policy News In Brief, every Monday, FacebookAUCD, Disability Policy News InBrief, every Monday, TwitterDisability Policy News InBrief, every Monday, SharespaceAUCD, Disability Policy News In Brief, YouTube list Tuesday Morning with LizspaceAUCD, Disability Policy News In Brief, every Monday, Subscription formAUCD, Disability Policy News In Brief, every Monday, ArchiveAUCD, Disability Policy News In Brief, every Monday, RSS

Autism CARES Passed the Senate!

The Autism CARES Act of 2019 passed the Senate on September 19, 2019. This secures five-year reauthorizations for CARES programs, including:

  • Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) Training Programs
  • Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics (DBP) Training Programs
  • Learn the Signs. Act Early. (LTSAE)
  • The Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network

The successful passage reflects of your efforts to educate members about the bill, the work it supports and the needs in your state.

Action Items:

  • Thank each member of the Congressional delegation from your state. This is a chance to build the relationship, remind them how CARES supports your work and offer to be a resource on other disability issues. 
    • Sample tweet: #AutismCARES provides critically needed research, #LEND training, and system improvement for families with #autism and related #disabilities. I am grateful for its passage! Thank you @________ for co-sponsoring this important legislation for families in _____ and beyond! @AUCDnews
  • Use our E-Learning Module: Autism CARES Act 101 to educate others on the impact CARES will have over the next five years.

OSERS - Opportunity for Input

The Department of Education's Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) seeks feedback on improving postsecondary transition services. In 2014, OSERS awarded a five-year grant to establish and operate the National Technical Assistance Center on Improving Transition to Postsecondary Education and Employment for Students with Disabilities. The Center assists service providers who implement evidence-based and promising practices to ensure students with disabilities exit high school ready for success. As OSERS prepares to recompete the grant, they want to hear from you. Deadline to submit comments is October 2, 2019.

Action Steps:

  • Provide your comments and feedback via this blog.

Post-Secondary Education Funds

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos last week made clear federal funds can be used to support dual enrollment and post-secondary options for students and youth with disabilities. The guidance is in the form of Questions and Answers and an Appendix and clarifies that Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and vocational rehabilitation (VR) funds may be used to support students with intellectual disability (ID) in postsecondary programs. It is an important step in the right direction. While IDEA, the Workforce Opportunity and Innovation Act (WIOA) and the Higher Education Act intend for such funding to be available, guidance from the Education Department has sometimes been interpreted to deny services and funding.

Action Steps:

  • Read the guidance here.


Committee on Education and Labor Chairman Bobby Scott (VA-03), Representative Susie Lee (NV-03), along with Senator Tim Kaine (VA) and Senator Maggie Hassan (NH), introduced legislation to invest in and support direct care workers. The Direct Creation, Advancement, and Retention of Employment (CARE) Opportunity Act (H.R. 4397) invests in training and employment advancement opportunities for America's direct care workers. AUCD publicly supports this bill.

Action Steps:
  • Read the fact sheet on the Direct CARE Opportunity Act here.
  • Learn more about DSPs from a TWL episode.

Budget and Appropriations

The Senate Appropriations Committee has posted the FY 2020 Labor-HHS-Education bill text and report. This bill will need to be voted on by the whole Senate, and then the negotiation process with the House is still in front of us. In short, these should not be viewed as final numbers; instead they are a step. Meanwhile, the House passed, on a bipartisan vote, a continuing resolution (HR 4378) to extend federal government funding through Nov. 21 and avoid a government shutdown at the end of the month. This includes several health program extenders important to the disability community.

Action Steps:

  • Learn more about the budget and appropriations process.

Share your policy story!

Share your policy story today! The AUCD policy team seeks to share policy ideas in innovative and accessible ways. AUCD will soon be launching a policy blog - AUCD Policy Talk. As someone interested in disability policy, we ask you to consider writing and submitting a blog post. Maybe you have a personal story impacted by a policy. Perhaps there is a local, state or federal level policy that your center is engaged in. The possibilities are endless!

Action Steps:

Tuesdays with Liz: AUCD's Council on Leadership in Advocacy (COLA) with Jack Brandt and Angela Martin

People with disabilities and their family members are valued leaders and advocates on AUCD's Council on Leadership in Advocacy (COLA). Liz interviews 2019 Co-Chairs Jack Brandt (Partnership for People with Disabilities) and Angela Martin (Michigan Developmental Disabilities Institute), and they debunk some of the myths surrounding who can be a part of COLA.

For more information, visit https://www.aucd.org/template/page.cfm?id=41.




Subscribe to InBrief newsletter


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 








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