August 4, 2000  

No. 197


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, , for 



more details, including pictures from the Spirit of ADA Torch  Relay, and access the WeMedia website,, 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.

Thanks to everyone who worked so tirelessly on the DD Act. Special thanks to Senators Jeffords and Harkin, and Representatives Lazio, Bliley and Goodling, all of the Congressional members and their staffs, who worked to make the reauthorization of the DD Act a reality.

ADA 10th Anniversary
 Marked With Initiatives

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,, for people with disabilities and their families on topics such as employment and civil rights protection.

The first lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton, recounted how, in 1993, she had gone door-to-door to find out why students were not in school. She learned that many children were kept out  (continued>)


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, , 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!


  • White House: Jack Lew, Office of Management and Budget. Let the Administration know why they should support FOA. F: 202-395-3888.

  • Majority Leader Trent Lott. Urge Senator Lott to support S. 2274 and to make FOA a law. Ph: 202-224-6253; Fax: 202-224-2262;

  • House of Representatives. Urge your representatives to support H.R. 4825. Let your representative know why this bill is important to you and your child. Access or call U.S. Capitol at 202-224-3121.

Patricia McGill Smith
NDSS Education Award of 2000

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.

The National Parent Network on Disabilities
1130 17th Street, N.W. *  Suite 400 * Washington, DC 20036
(202) 463-2299 (202) 463-9403 (fax) *  /