June 16, 2000                                                   No. 191


Family Opportunity Act-S. 2274 We continue to add more co-sponsors. Congress is receiving our message that this legislation is important because it will help families of children with disabilities and special health care needs access needed Medicaid services (Health Care for our children). Access the NPND website for the summary and full text of this legislation.

AN EXAMPLE OF YOUR EFFORTS: NPND received a letter from a parent in the state of Nebraska asking her  Senator, Senator Hagel, to support and co-sponsor S. 2274. NPND delivered the letter to Senator Hagel's office, as well as copies to the offices of the two sponsors, Senators Grassley and Kennedy. Senator Grassley personally delivered his copy of the letter to Senator Hagel's office too. A staff person from Senator Hagel's office contacted the parent to thank her for her letter and to tell her that Senator Hagel had signed on!


  • Contact your Senator and urge their support for S. 2274.

  •  Write a short letter explaining "Why your family needs Medicaid?"

  •  Send your letters to NPND (see contact information below) and we will deliver the letters personally to each Senator's office.

WRITE AND CALL IF...You are unable to better your income because you would lose your child's Medicaid. You have been told that you don't qualify for the Medicaid that your child needs to fill in the gaps of an employee health plan. All you need is Medicaid to help you keep your child at home with you. 


As a parent of a special needs child, I know first hand the challenges of caring for a child with disabilities and special health care needs. We need improved access to special health care services. S. 2274 would allow us, as parents, to pay a premium for necessary Medicaid services for our child. Please support the Family Opportunity Act! 

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

Ashcroft Amendment Update Disability advocates are concerned about a possible compromise on the Ashcroft Amendment, offered by Senator John Ashcroft (R-MO), calling for cessation of "ALL" services to students who bring a firearm or weapon into a school. We believe there should be no compromise on IDEA. Access the NPND website for the full text of this Amendment.

Senator Kennedy's office has told NPND that it has heard very little from other Senators concerning opposition to the Ashcroft Amendment. We need to act now to ensure that there is no cessation of educational services for any child.



  • Contact Senator Ashcroft, as well as your Senators, and tell them that we oppose any amendments to IDEA.
  • Ask your Senators to vote against the Ashcroft Amendment.
  • Ask you Senators to contact Senator Kennedy's office and tell Senator Kennedy that they oppose the Ashcroft Amendment.
  • Send NPND copies of correspondences and we will deliver it personally to the Senator's office. (see contact information below). Together we will let our voices be heard.


On behalf of students with disabilities, we urge you to continue to support the "no cessation" of education principle originally adopted by Public Law 94-142 in 1975, and more recently incorporated in the reauthorized Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments in 1997. We urge you to vote against the Ashcroft Amendment or any similar provisions that would result in depriving a child of an education.

www.senate.gov   / US Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121
Ashcroft: Phone-202-224-6154; Fax-202-228-0998;

Reauthorization of the Developmental Disabilities Act of 1999 The reauthorization of the DD Act (S. 1809) continues to receive very little attention in the House. With the Senate having passed their reauthorization bill on November 8, 1999, by a vote of  99-0, the next critical step is for the House Commerce Committee to take action on the
bill. With about six weeks left before the Summer Recess, which begins July 31st and a target adjournment date of October 6th, time is growing short. Commerce Committee Chairman Thomas Bliley needs to make a decision to move on the Senate bill. Access the NPND website for more information on the DD Act.


Contact Chairman Bliley, as well as members of the House Commerce Committee, and urge immediate action to adopt the Senate version, S. 1809, of the DD Act.


S. 1809 has broad bipartisan support, passing the Senate on a vote of 99-0. S. 1809 assists the DD Act programs to improve the quality of supports and services for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families regardless of where they choose to live. Please adopt S. 1809.

www.house.gov  / Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121
Bliley: P-202-225-2815, F-202-225-0011, tom.bliley@mail.house.gov

NPND * 1130 17th Street, NW * Suite 400 * Washington, DC 20036
(202) 463-2299 * (202) 463-9403 (fax) * pmcglsmith@aol.com * http://www.npnd.org