Friday FAX

MARCH 13, 1998 ...................................................................................................................... NUMBER 83


TOPICS IN THIS ISSUE INCLUDE:


NATIONWIDE PARTICIPATION IN WIIA CONFERENCE CALL

From Alaska to Florida, 50 + representatives from a dozen parent training centers, advocacy organizations, professionals, NICL, as well as the new Deputy Assistant Secretary of Spec Ed, Curtis Richards held a discussion about the development of the Work Incentive Improvement Act (WIIA) of 1998 with Sen. Ted Kennedy and Staffers Christopher Crowley from Sen. Jim Jeffords Staff and Connie Garner from Sen. Ted Kennedy’s Staff.

Sen. Jeffords sees the vision of WIIA as a starting point to streamline the health care system in order for people with disabilities to work or to return to work. This is an attempt to fulfill the missing links of access and equity issues when it comes to health care. Sen. Kennedy said that this would be an attempt to complete the missing link in the ADA. The bill would provide for Personal Assistance Services and prescription drugs. The goal for this piece of legislation is for the program to provide necessary health care at an affordable rate (in some cases free) for as long as needed.

Four groups of people benefit from this bill:

  1. People who are working now and who are disabled.
  2. SSI and SSDI beneficiaries.
  3. People who have just become disabled or people whose disability has been exacerbated in some way.
  4. Young people who have had IEPs. They are incorporated during the transition from school to work.

Sen. Kennedy expressed his strong commitment, as well as Sen. Jefford’s commitment to getting this piece of legislation passed. He emphasized his long time commitment to making life better for all persons with disabilities.

The bill will be introduced on March 25th. Full text of the WIIA will be available soon on the NPND website.

We need to contact members of the Senate Finance Committee to urge their support:

Senate Finance Committee: Republicans

Senate Finance Committee: Democrats ·


For More Information on WIIA


EMPLOYMENT OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

President Clinton will sign an executive order on March 13th, which will establish an Executive Branch task force on Employment of People with Disabilities. It will address barriers to employment and will include representation from relevant groups, as well as other employment issues.

See more information on website.


BUDGET ACTION NEEDED

Budget Consideration Postponed Until Tuesday, March 17th...

Calls to the White House Needed Immediately.

The Budget Committee markup has been postponed until Tuesday.

We need to convince Senate Budget Committee members that mandatory spending for child care through the Child Care and Development Block Grant is essential.

The Budget Committee plans to set aside (reserve) funds for tobacco-related issues in the budget. At this point, Sen. Domenici (R-NM) only plans to include Medicare in this reserve. Child care must be listed in the tobacco reserve in order to ensure that funds are available for a major child care investment package this year.

ACTION NEEDED...CALL THE WHITE HOUSE TODAY.

Call Maria Echaveste, Director of White House Public Liaison Office, at (202) 456-2930 to relay the message that the White House must continue to show leadership on child care.

If you live in a state with a Senator on the Budget Committee, please call and urge their support.

All Senators can be reached by calling the U.S. Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

Budget Committee: Republicans

Budget Committee: Democrats


WANTED: FUTURE DISABILITY LEADERS

Today’s youth are tomorrow’s leaders. Young persons with disabilities ages (17-24) who might have leadership potential, the following information is for you: “Request for applications ° National Council on Disability °Youth Leadership Development Conference ° June 22-24, 1998 Washington, DC” For more details and an application access the NPND website.


HEARINGS TO BE HELD IN COLORADO--DE JA VU??

On March 20th at Timnath Elementary School in Ft. Collins, CO., the Committee on Education and the Workforce, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation will be holding a hearing. Chairman Hoekstra (R- MI) states that the purpose of these hearings is to learn from the communities whether the Federal government plays an effective role in public education. The focus of these hearings will be unfunded mandates on local schools, particularly, ADA, IDEA and Davis Bacon (school construction) It is expected that there will also be discussion of block granting all federal education dollars and the general undermining of the federal government’s role in education. Access the NPND website for more details and concerns.


MICASA HEARING HITS THE MARK

With the Hearing room packed and the overflow room jammed with people with disabilities and their advocates, the MiCASA hearing on Thursday was a great success! Justin Dart was at his best. ADAPT made their points and them some. Field Hearings were requested and appear to be supported. Check all of the favorite websites for further information. Hats off to all of the organizations who worked so hard!!!!!!!