Disability Policy News

January 20, 2020

Disability Policy News logo, every Monday, from the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) Disability Policy News logo, every Monday, from the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD)
                January 20, 2020   |   Vol. MMXX, Issue 3

ACL logo with three people unified one blue, red, and orange

Administration on Community Living

On January 14, 2020, President Trump announced he wants to nominate Julie Hocker to fill the long-vacant position of Assistant Secretary of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). Ms. Hocker will vacate her current position as the Commissioner of the Administration on Disabilities at the Administration for Community Living (ACL) at the Department of Health and Human Services.

Red, white and blue ballot box. Text: The right to vote is one of the fundamental pillars of american democracy. Senator Bob Casey Jr.


Last week, Senators Casey (D-PA), Klobuchar (D-MN), and Gillibrand (D-NY) introduced the Accessible Voting Act (S. 3206). This would amend the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 to increase voting accessibility for individuals with disabilities and older individuals. It will establish the Office of Accessibility, ensure access to accurate information and voter resources, expand the number of options to cast a ballot, establish a national resource center on accessible voting, and increase grants to states to improve accessibility.

Plain Language:

  • This bill would help people with disabilities vote.

What this means to you:

  • Despite federal laws requiring fully accessible voting places, barriers to vote for people with disabilities and older adults are still there and impact their ability to vote.

Action step:

  • Contact your members of Congress to sign on as co-sponsors: United States Capitol switchboard: (202) 224-3121.


The Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act (POWADA) (HR 1230, S 485) passed the House last week. This bill amends four laws - the ADEA, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Rehabilitation Act - to ensure that all victims of discrimination, including older workers, will have workplace protections.

Plain Language:

  • This bill protects older American workers.

What this means to you:

  • Americans are working more and longer than they ever have. When older workers lose their jobs, they are far more likely than other workers to join the long-term unemployed. And unfortunately, discrimination appears to be a significant factor in older workers' long-term unemployment.

Action Steps:

  • Check to see if your Representative voted for POWADA and thank them by sending an email, calling, or using social media.
  • Contact your Senators to sign on as co-sponsors: United States Capitol switchboard: (202) 224-3121.


Campaign 2020

    • Primaries are approaching! Thirty-six (36) of 100 Senate seats are up in 2020 - a mix of standard cycles and special elections. All House of Representatives seats are up, with at least 36 members not seeking reelection. Now is the time to get ready to vote! Here are things to do:  

Plain Language:

  • Make sure you can vote in this year's election and get ready for it.

What this means to you:

  • The power of the disability vote is HUGE and your voice and vote will make an impact.

Action steps: 

map of US made up of blue and green bodies. Text: Census 2020Census 2020

The Census has begun! It counts every person living in the 50 states, District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories. The official Census Day is April 1, 2020. The Census is used to determine how 435 seats in the House of Representatives are divided out for the next 10 years as well as other areas. The included chart highlights states that experts think are likely to gain or lose seats from the results of the Census.

May lose seats: AL, CA, IL, MI, MN, NY, OH, PA, RI, WV. May Gain Seats: AZ, CO, FL, MT, NC, OR, TX.

Plain Language:

  • The Census is a way to count every person living the United States and is used to make choices about our government.

What this means to you:

  • The data collected is used to determine how more than $675 billion in federal government resources will be distributed, to allocate seats in the United Sates House of Representatives, and to draw the appropriate boundaries for congressional districts, state legislative districts, school districts, and voting precincts. This directly impacts the lives of people with disabilities.
Action Steps:

DPSDisability Policy Seminar

Registration is now open for the Disability Policy Seminar and the AUCD Emerging Leaders Policy Forum.  Learn more information about the events.

You do need to register for both events if you plan to attend the Sunday AUCD Policy Forum before DPS.

AUCD Policy Talklogo of AUCD Policy Talk

How does the work that you do connect to policy? Check out #AUCDPolicyTalk about LEND policy education in action from UC Davis LEND! Connect with AUCD's policy team to engage with policy today!

Action Steps:

AUCD logoLove Policy? We do too!

Check out AUCD's new policy resource, a one-page fact sheet to help explain AUCD's policy efforts, and engage with us today!


Tuesdays With Liz


Self Advocacy and Civil Rights with Rachel Mueller

"The ADA says that I can live my life just like everybody else. And civil rights, I learned that from Martin Luther King, Jr!" --Rachel Mueller, advocate with a disability The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) makes sure that legally, people with disabilities have the same

rights as everyone else. Leading up to the ADA's 30th anniversary, Rachel Mueller, someone born after the ADA was made a law, tells Liz about how the ADA impacts her life.


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