|August 4, 2000||
Last week, which marked the 10th anniversary of the ADA, was truly a week for celebrations. Many exciting events took place. Please visit the NPND website, www.npnd.org , for
more details, including pictures from the Spirit of ADA Torch Relay, and access the WeMedia website, www.wemedia.com, for an interview with Hillary Clinton, as well as topic-related articles.
The DD Act Passes!!!!!!!!!!!!!
For the past few years, disability advocates have worked together towards passage of the Reauthorization of the Developmental Disabilities Act (DD Act). The Senate passed its version, S. 1809, in November, 1999, and the House passed their version, H.R. 4920, on July 26th (10th anniversary of the ADA). The first passage of the House version did not include the Family Support program, but thanks to Representative Lazio's floor action, the bill was "repassed" to include the Family Support piece!
Next Steps Toward Final Passage
Both the Senate and
House versions of the DD Act passed with exactly the same language, but with
two different numbers. Because the Senate version was passed in 1999, all
dates relative to funding, regulations, and program accountability needed
updates. Just before the August recess, the Senate used a concurrent
resolution to make necessary changes to S. 1809 to make it identical to H.R.
4920. When Congress reconvenes in September, the House must formally pass
the Senates Concurrent Resolution (S.Con.Res. 133) and S. 1809, and then the
bill goes to the White House.
ADA 10th Anniversary
Marking the 10th anniversary of
the ADA at the Franklin D. Roosevelt memorial, President Clinton announced
new initiatives for people with disabilities: The President will issue an
executive order calling on federal agencies to hire 100,000 people with
disabilities over the next five years. Last year, the maximum limit on how
much a person could earn without losing disability benefits was raised.
Beginning next year, the earnings limit--currently $700 a month--will be
automatically adjusted each year based on the national average wage index.
The President also announced a new website, www.disability.gov,
for people with disabilities and their families on topics such as employment
and civil rights protection.
Family Opportunity Act Update
The Family Opportunity Act of 2000 (FOA), introduced in the Senate (S.2274), and the House (HR 4825), will allow all children with disabilities to receive Medicaid (health insurance) that they so desperately need. Everyorganization in Washington, D.C. that works on behalf of families is working together on the Hill to move this legislation. It is one of the most important bills introduced since the development of Social Security. It means health insurance for all children with disabilities. Access the NPND website, www.npnd.org , for more information on the opportunities this family-friendly legislation offers.
We need to contact key members of government (listed below) and make them aware of the importance of this law. They need to hear our stories!! There are "70" Senate cosponsors and "65" House cosponsors. We need more! Help make the Family Opportunity Act of 2000 real for our children!
In honor of years of service, education and advocacy on behalf of children with disabilities, the National Down Syndrome Society presented Patricia McGill Smith, executive director of NPND, with the NDSS Education Award of 2000. Members of the NDSS Board of Directors, Madeleine Will and Mia Peterson, presented the award at a NDSS luncheon on July 27th.
because they could not see or hear or had some other disability. Beginning next year, she said, a new federal regulation will allow students with disabilities receiving SSI to exclude more earned income before their benefits are affected, from $400 a month to $1,290 a month.