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As the shocking news unfolded early this week that Sen. Gorton was at it again, NPND Board members: Mary LaCorte, Jan LaBelle and Linda Shepard (already in Washington, DC) and staff lead an all-out campaign to educate legislators on the disastrous impact the Gorton amendment will have on children with disabilities. The Board members and NPND staff, along with members of the CCD visited every senate office in a united voice to protect our children! As NPND faxed information about this crisis around the country, staff and Board members arranged numerous meetings with key legislative leaders and their staff. NPND Board members also met with Judy Heumann and Tom Hehir to express the concerns of families.

The intense work of the past three days has again documented the importance of having a permanent, staffed office in Washington to quickly respond to these attacks on the rights of our children. During the meetings, NPND Board members were constantly asked for the “parents point of view” and the other Washington disability organizations depended on us for that perspective also. The work we do in Washington is critical, HOWEVER, it must be accompanied by your support from the grassroots. It is imperative for parents and advocates to keep making phone calls and sending letters/cards to ensure your voice is heard! Make arrangements NOW to see your senator over the upcoming Congressional recess: April 2nd-20th

Oh Not Again!!!

Sen. Slade Gorton from Washington is once again trying to amend IDEA. If you remember, Sen. Gorton is the lone Senator who voted against reauthorization and he has repeatedly tried to gut the law by adding various amendments. This time Sen. Gorton, along with co-sponsor Sen. Faircloth of NC, is trying to amend IDEA by adding an amendment to the Coverdale Bill which has already passed the House and is now under consideration in the Senate. At the time of this writing, the Gorton Amendment is on hold. Parents and advocates need to keep up a steady beat to VOTE NO ON ANY GORTON AMENDMENT.

Tell your Legislators that the Gorton Amendment...


The Work Incentives Improvement Act (WIIA) of 1998 was introduced on March 25, 1998. It is a bipartisan piece of legislation which promises to provide, through both federal and state support programs, more affordable and accessible health care for persons with disabilities so that they can work and live independently. Senator Dole, Justin Dart, Marla and Stacy Berloff and Nancy Becker Kennedy were also on hand to lend their support to this piece of legislation. Below are excerpts from key legislative leaders speeches.

“This bill makes so much sense it could win the Oscar for the most overdue piece of legislation of 1998…Work is central to the American dream, and we have an opportunity and responsibility to provide cost-effective assistance to help disabled Americans pursue this dream.” Senator Jim Jeffords (VT)

“Despite the extraordinary growth and prosperity the country is experiencing today, persons with disabilities continue to struggle to live independently and become fully contributing members of their communities. This bipartisan work incentive legislation will help us to remove the unfair barriers facing persons with disabilities who want to work.” Senator Ted Kennedy (MA)

“Many individuals receiving SSI and SSDI want to work and are able to work. But less than ½ of 1% of these individuals leave the Social Security rolls and become self sufficient...WIIA removes artificial impediments faced by people with disabilities when they are ready to work.” Senator Tom Harkin (IA)


(April 6th - 13th)

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