The Friday Fax
a weekly news bulletin from the National Parent Network on Disabilities
FEBRUARY 21, 1997 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Number 31
IDEA Meeting for Consensus
Last week's Friday Fax described the latest process to take IDEA "out of the normal political
process" and work towards a new consensus to complete the Reauthorization of IDEA.
Congressional leaders invited representatives of the special education community and the regular
education groups to assist with the Reauthorization process. They are tentatively scheduled to meet
on Friday, February 21st. The goal is to set aside one month to work together, find common ground
and have a bill that would be "acceptable" to all. At the preparatory meeting, Senator Jeffords and
Representative Goodling clearly stated that there will be changes in the IDEA law. Hence, NPND
leaders have developed the following four points to follow as they represent parents from across the
· Don't punish kids for having a disability.
· Don't punish families.
· Support schools to implement the law.
· Encourage and reward effectiveness.
NPND published its position statement on IDEA on February 7, 1997 (Friday Fax number 29).
Every proposal suggested for the Reauthorization will be measured against the NPND principles
from our position statement and the four points above. We urge parents everywhere to contact their
congressional representatives and ask them to support the NPND statement, and oppose the changes
suggested in Section 615 of the Draft IDEA Bills regarding cessation of services and discipline.
The ranking members in the Senate are Sen. Jim Jeffords (VT), and Sen. Ted Kennedy (MA). The
ranking members in the House are Rep. William Goodling (PA), Rep. William Clay (MO), Rep.
Frank Riggs (CA), and Rep. Matthew Martinez (CA).
To reach the Senate, call 1-800-962-3524, or 202-224-3121.
To reach the House of Representatives, call 1-800-962-3524, or 202-225-3121
NOTE: Thanks to all who have sent in NPND petitions. So far we have forwarded 700+ names to
the ranking members listed above.
ADA Funding Request
The following is exerpted from a Department of Justice Press Release of 2/7/97
WASHINGTON, DC — Attorney General Janet Reno has asked Congress for an increase in funding for
Fiscal Year 1998 to continue the Department of Justice's vigorous enforcement of the Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA).
As part of its overall budget request, the Justice Department is seeking an increase of more than 5 percent
over the current FY 97 budget for ADA enforcement. The $477,000 increase will enable the Disability Rights
Section of the Civil Rights Division to hire additional investigators, mediators, and an architect.
"Once again, this budget reflects the Administration's commitment to the ADA, even as the President sets out
to complete the job of balancing the budget," said Attorney General Janet Reno.
SSI Standards Condemned
On February 6, 1997, the Social Security Administration announced its new standards for a child’s
eligibility for benefits under the Supplemental Security Income program. The standards are widely
considered far too harsh. While the administration had considerable leeway in establishing new
standards under last year’s welfare law, the most stringent alternative was selected. In a sample
letter to the President, Jonathon Stein of Community Legal Services writes, “It was never the
intent of Congress in the recently passed welfare legislation for Social Security to use Listings
level severity and an eligibility test that would only embrace children with the severest disabilities
who ‘meet or equal’ the much criticized and inadequate Listings of Impairments. The Senate floor
colloquy of September 1995 reflected the understanding of a less strict test, and the key Senators
who agreed to the final language of a new functional test, would never have agreed to a test that
would have included Listings level severity as these new rules published as ‘interim final’
regulations have done.”
The Arc of the United States also expressed disappointment “that this decision appears to have
been driven by budget targets, rather than by what is in the best interest of the children involved. ...
To achieve the Clinton Administration’s budgetary goals, 135,000 children with disabilities who
are currently on the SSI program must lose essential benefits that serve as a lifeline for keeping the
The full text of Stein’s sample letter to President Clinton is available on NPND’s website
Bright Futures for Families, PART 4
Thanks to all who have responded to the previous surveys. We have some
new questions and would love to hear from you again, along with anyone
who was unable to respond.
The National Parent Network on Disabilities is sharing the lead with Family Voices in the
Bright Futures for Families initiative in collaboration with the National Center for
Education in Maternal and Child Health and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau.
The purpose of this important project is to produce practical materials, developed by
families for families, which will:
· Help families to form partnerships with their providers and to advocate for the health
care needs of their child
· Prepare families to actively participate in health supervision and the promotion of
· Provide valuable information about child development and what to expect as a child
matures to adolescence
· Share tips, hints, and stories based on the experiences of a variety of families
These family materials will be derived from Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health
Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, published in 1994 as a comprehensive
resource to help health professionals, families, and communities more effectively promote
the health and well-being of our nation’s children and adolescents.
As we develop these materials, we want to hear from you!! We’d love your input not
only on how to make these materials beneficial, but on how to make them unique. Over
the next few weeks, we will be including questions to solicit your ideas in shaping this
fabulous resource. Please take a moment to answer the following questions, and then return
this to NPND (Fax:703-836-1232; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org). Thank you for your help.
1. Describe your relationship to the children you care for.
Child Advocacy Professional
2. Do you look for information about keeping your child healthy in general, or are you more
interested in specific issues such as nutrition, injury prevention, social competence, or
substance use prevention?
3. Do you turn to health promotion resources when you’re faced with specific issues, or
for general learning?
4. Where do you turn to get information about how to handle particular challenges or
phases? (Such as temper tantrum, excessive dieting, nightmares, the wrong kinds of
friends, missing curfews)
5. What format(s) of health information material are you most likely to use and keep?
Circle all that apply.
Magazine USE KEEP
Book USE KEEP
Computer/internet USE KEEP
Pamphlet/brochure USE KEEP
Factsheet/handout USE KEEP
Video USE KEEP
Other:______________ USE KEEP
NPND * 1727 King Street, Suite 305 * Alexandria, VA 22314
(703)684-6763 (V/TDD) * (703)836-1232 (fax) * email@example.com * www.npnd.org