Public Policy


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Tuesdays with Liz: Congressman Chris Smith Discusses Autism CARES Act

Liz sits down with Congressman Chris Smith to discuss what the Autism CARES Act does, and why it is important that Congress re-authorize funding for CARES by September 2019.



Expanding Disability Access for Higher Education is Critical

Access to higher education is a critical gateway to productive employment, economic self-sufficiency, and community inclusion. AUCD believes that all students should have access to postsecondary education opportunities and is pleased to support the Expanding Disability Access for Higher Education Act, S.1176.

Janne Sigel (left) Karen Bonuck (right)


Leadership Transitions at the UCEDD in Bronx NY

As of January 2019 Joanne Siegel, LCSW became Co-Director (previously Associate Director) and Karen Bonuck, PhD became Director (previously Co-Director) of the UCEDD, which is based in the Rose F. Kennedy Children's Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center (RFK CERC). Ms. Siegel, who is a Principal Associate (faculty) in the Department of Pediatrics at Einstein College of Medicine-Montefiore Medical Center moves to this new leadership role after 40+ years at RFK CERC.



New Impact Issue Examines Inclusive K-8 Education (MN UCEDD)

Historically, students with the most significant cognitive disabilities were often taught only functional skills in our K-12 schools - how to do self-care, tell time, use money, carry out routine daily tasks. But several laws, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) and the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA), have affirmed that students with disabilities have the right to access the grade-level curriculum. Today, we know how much more students can learn when provided with the opportunity, and growing numbers of families, educators, and students are advocating for higher expectations and a more inclusive educational experience.



Tuesdays with Liz: Preparing to Meet with Congressional Staffers

Liz goes over things to keep in mind when meeting congressional staffers while Inky Brittany provides graphic recording.



Inclusive Higher Education Committee - Letter & Chart


AUCD Policy Publications


Education and Advocacy: Know the Difference

A guide for trainees

As experts with lived experience and knowledge gained from training, research, and direct practice, we have a responsibility to engage in policy education and systems change. It is important to understand the ways you can engage as a representative of a federally-funded training program and which actions should be reserved to your roles as private citizen.


Keeping All Students Safe Act

America's schools should be places where every child is safe and protected. The practice of seclusion and restraint in schools exposes students to physical, developmental and emotional harm.


About the Autism CARES Act

Fact Sheet for 2019 Reauthorization

If Congress does not take action to reauthorize funding, available funds for LEND and other initiatives funded under the Autism CARES Act will expire in September 2019. This would eliminate interdisciplinary diagnostic services for hundreds of thousands of children, training training tens of thousands of graduate students, and important research being conducted around the nation.





Inclusive Higher Education Committee - Letter & Chart



2018 Congressional Autism Caucus

Learn about the members of the Autism Caucus, which was founded by Representatives Mike Doyle (PA) and Chris Smith (NJ) who also Co-Chair the Coalition for Autism Research and Education ("CARE" or "Autism Caucus"), the first-ever Congressional Membership Organization dedicated to autism advocacy on Capitol Hill.



AUCD Summary of the Senate Appropriations Committee

L-HHS-ED Bill for FY 2018

On September 7, the Senate Appropriations Committee completed its mark-up of the FY 2018 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill and voted to report out the bill by a vote of 31-1 with Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla) casting the sole "nay" vote. The House Appropriations Committee completed its work on July 19 (see links to bill and summary). Attached is a summary of how the bill impacts the AUCD network and other priorities of the disability community, along with a detailed table comparing the House and Senate bills with the President�s budget and FY 2017.


AUCD Legislative News
In Brief


Disability Policy News In Brief

AUCD, Disability Policy News In Brief, every MondayBudget, CARES, ABLE, .

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Find Your
Elected Officials

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Quick Start Guide to Educating Policy Makers

Quick Start Guide to Educating Policy Makers

This guide describes the processes involved in legislation and provides suggestions for maximizing the effectiveness of your interactions with policymakers.

pdf File  [download Guide]


AUCD Legislative Priorities



Policy Priorities for the 115th Session of Congress, 2017

Joint priorities of AUCD, NACDD and NDRN during the 11th Congress, as we work with the Administration, states, and local governments to achieve better outcomes for all people with disabilities.


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Senate Accessibility Manual

A comprehensive guide to providing Senate offices and constituents with valuable information on accessibility throughout the US Capitol Complex, developed by the offices of Senator Mike Enzi (WY). This manual (PDF) includes a variety of ideas and suggestions to help address the needs of staff, constituents, and visitors with accessibility needs, including: basic rules of etiquette; locations of accessible routes and entrances; accessible room design; and emergency evacuation procedures.