AUCD Legislative News In Brief

August 23, 2010

Congressional Schedule
Congress is on recess until the week of September 13.  Now is the time to schedule time with your federal legislators to let them know how you feel about the job that they're doing - and remind them that you, one of their voting constituents, are paying close attention.  For those who have been supportive, please take the time to thank them for their hard work and remind them that you are there to help serve as a resource.  We also need to develop new champions.  Get to know all of your state representatives and senators and educate them about the AUCD network and issues important to people with disabilities. For assistance with current legislative issues impacting people with disabilities, please explore AUCD's Action Center.

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) is inviting the public to provide input on how OFCCP can strengthen the affirmative action requirements of the regulations implementing section
503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (Section 503). Strengthening affirmative action requirements will help increase the employment opportunities of people with disabilities in the Federal contractor sector. Topics on which comments are requested include:

  • What employment practices have been effective in recruiting, hiring, advancing and retaining qualified individuals with disabilities.
  • What data are available that could be used to establish hiring goals and conduct utilization analyses of individuals with disabilities.
  • How linkage agreements between federal contractors and organizations that focus on the employment of qualified individuals with disabilities can be strengthened to increase effectiveness.

To submit comments, go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal and follow the instructions for submitting comments using the RIN number 1250-AA02. All comments must be received on or before September 21, 2010.

AUCD is still working to garner support for the Training and Research for Autism Improvement Nationwide Act (H.R.5756).  The House Energy and Commerce Committee, chaired by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), unanimously passed the bill just one week after it was unanimously passed by the House Health Subcommittee. The bipartisan bill creates training initiatives and authorizes grants to the national network of University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities to provide interdisciplinary training, continuing education, technical assistance, and information in order to improve services to children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities and their families, as well as to address the existing unmet needs related to individuals on the autism spectrum. The next step is for the bill to be approved by the full House of Representatives. An updated action alert with more details and steps for network members to take is now posted on
AUCD's Action Center.

Health Reform
President Obama sent a request to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Friday seeking to add $250 million in FY 2011for programs to train primary-care doctors and health care workers who focus on treating the elderly.  The request also asked for more funds for items related the Affordable Care Act: an additional $55 million for states' high risk health insurance pools and $30 million for consumer information about health insurance. The requested additional funding totaled $400 million and was accompanied by suggestions for ways to offset the spending increases.

Please visit AUCD's Health Reform Hub for information and resources on the Affordable Care Act.

AUCD Policy Fellowship
Applications for AUCD's 2010-2011 policy fellowship are due on September 30. The overall purpose of the Fellowship is to offer a current UCEDD/LEND/IDDRC employee significant experience in national-level activities related to policy and legislative development, advocacy, program development, technical assistance, and association administration.  Please Visit our fellowship page for more information and to apply.