APRIL 28, 2000                                              NO. 184


Family Opportunity Act of 2000 - S. 2274
Opportunity to Share Your Stories
Medicaid Community Attendant Services and Supports Act - S. 1935
Website dedicated to Hispanics and Social Security
SSA Online Newsletter
2000 Congressional Workbook
Math Programs for Physically Challenged/Visually Impaired Students


Family Opportunity Act of 2000 - S. 2274 The bill was introduced by Senators Grassley (R-IA), Kennedy (D-MA),
Jeffords (R-VT), and Harkin (D-IA). It would provide:

Access to Health Care Coverage:
Expanding Medicaid Options for States. States will be able to offer Medicaid coverage to children with severe disabilities living in middle income families through a buy-in program. Cost-sharing on a sliding scale up to the full premium cost will be required within certain guidelines that protect lower income families.

Demonstration Program. A time-limited demonstration program will allow states to extend Medicaid coverage to children with potentially severe disabilities who, without access to the health care services available through Medicaid can be reasonably expected to become severe enough to qualify them for SSI.

Option for States to Include Children Receiving Hospital Psychiatric Services in Home and Community-Based Waivers. States would be permitted to include children with disabilities receiving hospital psychiatric services in state home and community-based services waivers.

Access to Health Information and Resources:
Establishing Family to Family Health Information Centers. The bill provides funds for establishing health information centers to assist and support families of children with disabilities and/or special health care needs.


Our Senators need to know how important this act will be to families caring for a child with a disability. Contact your Senators, especially the members of the Senate Finance Committee, and encourage strong bipartisan support of S. 2274. We urge organizations to write a letter in support of S. 2274 to the leaders of the Senate Finance Committee: Senator Roth and Senator Moynihan asking for a Hearing and a Markup of S. 2274. The members of the Senate Finance Committee, along with contact information, was included in the March 31, 2000 "Friday Fax." Contact the NPND offices at 202-463-2299 if you would like a copy of this issue faxed or e-mailed to you. Access the NPND website: www.npnd.org  for a summary and the full text of S. 2274. Contact Patty Smith, NPND Executive Director, at 202-463-2299; or Linda Shepard, NPND President at 770-577-7771 if you need more information, guidance, and to provide the status of your state's cosponsorship.

www.senate.gov   / Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121

* Opportunity to Share Your Stories Senators Grassley and Kennedy, co-sponsors of the Family Opportunity Act, have said they want to hear from you on the importance and need of this piece of legislation. NPND and friends will host a teleconference to be held during the week of May 8, 2000 to share with Senators Grassley and Kennedy. Interested parties will be able to call NPND ahead of time and reserve a spot. Each person will be required to cover their individual line charges, i.e., the cost of a long distance call Your name and state will be made available to the Senators. NPND will share more details as they become available, as well as how to reserve your spot.

* Medicaid Community Attendant Services and Supports Act-S. 1935 (MiCASSA) MiCASSA is a bi-partisan bill that will eliminate institutional bias in the Federal Medicaid program and give people with disabilities and the elderly a real choice to live in their communities. On Wednesday, May 3rd at noon ET, Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Arlen Specter (R-PA) will hold a press event to kick off the introduction of MiCASSA. The event will call for bi-partisan Medicaid reform to end the institutionally biased long term service system and to give people with disabilities and older Americans a REAL Choice to live and receive services and supports in their communities.

To allow participation in this national event, arrangements are being made for a teleconference call hook up to hear the Senators' remarks as well as other kick-off proceedings. To reserve a spot for the May 3rd conference call contact Janine at tilrcje@aol.com  or 785-233-4572 by 5 pm ET on Friday April 28th.


* Website dedicated to Hispanics and Social Security The National Council of La Raza has a new section on their website dedicated to Hispanics and Social Security: http://www.nclr.org/policy/socialsecurity/social_security.html. 

* www.disabilityworld.org  The international online magazine, disabilityworld, includes articles written in Spanish or translated into Spanish and is the first U.S. based disability periodical to embrace the growing Hispanic sector of the disability community.

* SSA Online Newsletter The Social Security Administration publishes a free online newsletter with information of interest to people with disabilities and their families. Subscribe at http://www.ssa.gov/enews. 

* 2000 Congressional Workbook The Congressional Workbook, from the Children's Defense Fund, has information about contacting Congress, issue briefs on children's issues and the legislative process. Each Congressional Workbook is $8.00. Shipping/handling: $3.00 for first item, $1.00 for each additional item. To order, call or email Amy Judge at (202) 662-3576 or ajudge@childrensdefense.org

* Math Programs for Physically Challenged/Visually Impaired Students From arithmetic to graduate mathematics, special students can now be inclusive. Access www.mathtalk.com  to see some demos of the programs.

History reveals that one person can make a difference!