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Information Alert: Advocacy Action Steps for Consumers and Advocates Regarding the New DOL Home Care Rule

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Information Alert: Advocacy Action Steps for Consumers and Advocates Regarding the New DOL Home Care Rule
The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a new regulation governing Home & Community Based Services for people with disabilities and seniors. This new rule will impact your state’s long-term care programs, particularly consumer-directed programs! Advocates and consumers must be knowledgeable about this rule and actively advocate to ensure that your state implements this rule in a way that harms consumers and their workers the least, in order to avoid cuts to services, dismantling of programs that allow consumers to control their own services, or limiting the workers’ hours and earnings.
Previously, most home and community based service workers were exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) minimum wage and overtime requirements. The new DOL regulations expand the FLSA’s requirements to most of these workers.
The following advocacy documents were jointly developed by a number of national advocacy organizations (including NCIL) who are concerned about the affect these rules will have on consumer directed programs.
These documents outline important actions steps to take. However, NCIL also strongly believes we also need the implementation of these rules to be delayed 12 to 18 months to allow states time to adopt the suggestions made in these documents.
Please watch for further NCIL Alerts on delaying the implementation of these rules.
 
Logos - Bazelon Center - National Senior Citizens Law Center - National Council on Independent Living - National Disability Rights Network - American Association of People with Disabilities
 
Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law • National Senior Citizens Law Center
National Council on Independent Living • National Disability Rights Center
American Association of People with Disabilities
 
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Senator Harkin to Ask for Unanimous Consent Vote on CRPD Today!

 
Senator Harkin to Ask for Unanimous Consent Vote on the Treaty Today!
 
Today, Senator Harkin plans to go onto the Senate floor to voice his support for the CRPD and ask for a unanimous consent vote!
 
You can watch this on C-SPAN 2 here at approximately
12:45pm ET
 
Live tweet while you watch by using the hashtag #CRPD!
 
 
You can also visit www.disabilitytreaty.org
to take action!

  

A Community Outreach on September 23, 2014

Come out to this event!  We hope to see you there!

We will not give up on the Disability Treaty!

Ithe CRPD Support logo with We support instead of I support
The Disability Treaty 
will be back! 
You and thousands of other advocates around the country have been working tirelessly towards ratification - we salute your hard work on this crucial issue!

 
Though a floor time was not possible before the August recess, we look forward to new opportunities in September!  
IT'S NOT OVER UNTIL IT'S OVER!
In the Foreign Relations Committee, Republican Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming included three amendments:
* An understanding that the CRPD will NOT affect the rights of parents to homeschool their children. 
* An understanding that nothing in Article 7 regarding children with disabilities requires changes in U.S. law
* An understanding of the limited scope of the CRPD committee's authority
These address the concerns of the opposition moving forward!
We'll be back to you soon with more information!
Visit our citizen action portal, www.disabilitytreaty.org to stay informed and take action!

US Currency Reader

Good afternoon, the announcement below is from the Bureau of Engravings and Printing (BEP) regarding the availability of currency readers. Here is a link to the webpage with the article that has been pasted in below: http://www.bep.gov/uscurrencyreaderpgm.html

 
 

Bureau of Engraving and Printing

U.S. Department of the Treasury

 

As an interim measure in advance of issuing tactile-enhanced Federal Reserve notes, the BEP is providing currency readers, free of charge, to eligible blind and visually impaired individuals.

 

The BEP recently announced its distribution plans for the U.S. Currency Reader Program.  Details of the announcement can be found in a press release issued on Thursday, July 3, 2014, and another released on Monday, July 14, 2014.

 

The U.S. Currency Reader Program will launch in two phases:

 

Pilot:  Beginning September 2, 2014, in partnership with the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress, (NLS) the BEP will initiate a four-month pilot where NLS patrons can pre-order a currency reader.  The pilot program allows the government to test its ordering and distribution processes and gauge demand for currency readers.   To receive a currency reader, eligible individuals who are currently patrons of NLS need only call 1-888-NLS-READ; the account will be noted and a currency reader will be delivered to the address on file.

 

National Rollout: Currency readers will be widely available to all U.S. citizens, or persons legally residing in the U.S. who are blind or visually impaired, starting January 2, 2015.  Individuals who are not NLS patrons must submit an application, signed by a competent authority who can certify eligibility. Applications will be available on this website and processed for non-patrons of NLS beginning January 2, 2015.

 

Additional information about the U.S. Currency Reader Program and about the currency reader device can be found in the links below.  The BEP encourages organizations that support the blind and visually impaired community to distribute these materials, or to incorporate the information provided into individualized communications.

 

·     U.S. Currency Reader Program Brochure

·     Print Guide for Using the iBill® Talking Banknote Identifier

·     Video Guide for Using the iBill® Talking Banknote Identifier

Contact Us:  For additional questions or comments about the U.S. Currency Reader Program you may call (844) 815-9388 toll-free or email .

 
 

More about NLS:  NLS administers a free library program of braille and audio materials available to U.S. residents and citizens living abroad whose low vision, blindness, or physical handicap makes it difficult to read a standard printed page.  More information about the program and other services provided by NLS can be viewed at http://www.loc.gov/nls/.

Advocates Say They Were Kept In The Dark About New Malloy Appointment

Advocates Say They Were Kept In The Dark About New Malloy Appointment

byHugh McQuaid| Jul 22, 2014 5:30am
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HUGH MCQUAID PHOTO

Leslie Simoes, executive director of The Arc Connecticut

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s appointment of Craig Henrici as head of a state agency occurred so quietly that the agency’s staff thought Henrici was joking when he showed up for work, the executive director of The Arc Connecticut said Monday.

This month Malloy appointed Henrici, an attorney and the former Democratic mayor of Hamden, to replace recently retired James McGaughey, Executive Director of the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons With Disabilities.

The administration did not issue a press release to mark Henrici’s appointment, which Malloy spokesman Andrew Doba said is not unusual. But according to Leslie Simoes, executive director of The Arc Connecticut, the office’s staff did not get a memo either.

“Mr. Henrici actually walked into the Office of Protection and Advocacy and walked in the front door to the reception desk and said ‘I’m here. I’m the new executive director.’ And they didn’t know he was coming. The staff actually laughed. They thought it was a joke,” Simoes said.

The comments came during a Monday press conference in Hartford, where advocates for disabled people and political opponents of Malloy questioned the process that led to Henrici’s appointment to head an agency occasionally expected to take positions counter to the administration’s position.

“The process was, there was no process. Even the staff there didn’t know what was happening,” Simoes said in a phone interview afterward. “We just felt as a disability community that we were left in the dark about what was happening.”

Asked for comment, Malloy’s office responded with a statement from Jonathan Slifka, the governor’s liaison to the disability community.

“As a former public official, an attorney, and a father of a child with a developmental disability who has been a client of Department of Developmental Services, the newly-appointed executive director has the professional background and personal commitment necessary to be an effective, aggressive, and independent advocate for persons with disabilities — which is exactly what the governor expects him to be,” Slifka said.

Although the Office of Protection and Advocacy website does not include a biography of Henrici, hislegal office websiteprovides some details. In addition to being elected mayor of Hamden in 2005, he served a term as a state representative from 1997 to 1999.

As an attorney, Henrici specializes in real estate, personal injury, and municipal law among other areas, according to his website.

HUGH MCQUAID PHOTO

Jonathan Pelto

Henrici’s appointment was first reportedon the blog of Jonathan Pelto,a former Democratic lawmaker and vocal critic of Malloy. Pelto is collecting signatures to appear on the gubernatorial ballot in November as a third-party candidate.

At Monday’s press conference, he said he learned of the appointment when he was approached at a farmers’ market by a parent who had previously had contact with the Office of Protection and Advocacy. Pelto said Henrici’s appointment seemed political.

“By putting in a political appointee — or what would appear to be a political appointee — into a position where their job was actually at times to take on the administration if it became necessary, that’s something that’s a slippery slope that, up until now, we’ve tried to stay away from,” Pelto said.

House Speaker Brendan Sharkey, who represents Hamden, released a statement defending Henrici, whom he said he’s known for more than 20 years. Sharkey denounced Pelto and Sen. Joe Markley, a Southington Republican who also questioned the appointment during the press conference.

“Craig has walked in advocates’ shoes in support of a member of his own family for many years. Frankly, I’m disgusted that Senator Markley and Jonathan Pelto would try to use this as an opportunity to further their political ambitions,” Sharkey said.

HUGH MCQUAID PHOTO

Cathy Ludlum

However, during the press conference, Cathy Ludlum, a Manchester resident with spinal muscular atrophy who advocates for disabled people, said she was concerned about whether Henrici was qualified to take on the “staggering responsibilities” of the office.

“Please understand that we harbor no ill feelings against Mr. Henrici specifically. Although neither I nor my colleagues in the disability community have ever heard of him before, perhaps he has a deep understanding . . . of the numerous threats and challenges people with disabilities face every day,” she said.

Simoes said she wants to see Henrici be a successful and said she felt badly about the reaction he received from the agency’s staff on his first day of work.

“We all want this to work, we want to support this new appointment, but it’s difficult when we felt sort of blindsided by it and don’t know his qualifications,” she said.

Tags:Malloy,craig henrici,the arc of connecticut,jonathan pelto,markley,sharkey,cathy ludlum,disabilities

Please fill out/share survey from Senator Harkin

Dear DD Councils,
 
Senator Harkin’s office is working on an investigative report looking at the connection and issues related to disability and poverty.  He has asked for help from the DD Councils to spread the survey far and wide. Please share the following brief survey with people with disabilities within your network to fill out by July 29. If you have any questions, let me know. 
 

WIOA passes!!

The Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act (WIOA) passed 415-6 today in the House and is now being sent to the President's desk to become law! Congrats to everyone for your years of advocacy and hard work on this issue.

Here is NACDD's press statement on today's momentous vote:
http://nacdd.org/uploads/NACDD_WIOA_press_release.doc

Congratulations!

This Independence Day, Free the Disability Treaty!


WAKE UP THE SENATE THIS INDEPENDENCE DAY:

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

 

People of all colors and disabilities hold signd supporting the CRPD under a clear blue sky

We need to sound the alarm across the Senate to FREE THE TREATY NOW!

Let your Senator know this release of the treaty MUST occur!  

A row of people in wheelchairs as well as some on crutches and service animals form a line in front of a flight of steps holding signs supporting the CRPD  

This time of the year is significant to all the disability community. We have just celebrated the 
anniversary of Olmstead and soon it will be 
the anniversary of the ADA.
Tell your Senator this week at 4th 
 

 of July picnics, parades, town-halls!  

CALL often in July and spread the word!

Tell them we will NOT WAIT any longer:

 The time is NOW!!

None people stand in a row, two with guide canes, holding signs that spell out VOTE YES ON C R P D  

 
Visit www.disabilitytreaty.org to take action!
 
 
 

BREAKING NEWS! House to take up WIOA on Suspension Calendar Wednesday

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Breaking News! House to Take Up WIOA on Suspension Calendar Wednesday
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) is entering its final stage before being sent to the President for his signature!
As we previously reported, leaders from the House and Senate have introduced the bipartisan and bicameral Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. The Senate passed WIOA on June 25th by a vote of 95-3. The House is scheduled to take up WIOA on the suspension calendar Wednesday, July 9, 2014.
The suspension calendar is used in the House of Representatives to quickly pass (usually) non-controversial bills. Suspension refers to suspending normal Congressional procedure rules. In this streamlined process, a bill that comes up may be debated by Congress for up to 40 minutes, but may not be amended and requires two-thirds of the Representatives to vote in favor of passage. A bill on the suspension calendar will usually pass by “voice vote”
The Rehabilitation Act is contained in WIOA. Specifically, improvements to Independent Living in this bill include:
  • Independent Living Programs will move to the Administration for Community Living (ACL) within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

  • A fifth core service will be added: transition

  • SILC activities will be improved and include resource development

  • SPIL sign-off will now include CIL Directors

  • States will choose their ‘designated state entity’ (formerly known as the DSU). The DSUs will remain the same for the “723 states” of Massachusetts and Minnesota.
New: Use Easter Seals’ online form to ask your Representative to vote in favor of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act!
 
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Expanded Katie Beckett Waiver

GOV. MALLOY:  ‘KATIE BECKETT’ WAIVER PROGRAM TO SERVE 100 MORE MEDICALLY FRAGILE CHILDREN
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that Connecticut’s Medicaid program for medically fragile children, known as the Katie Beckett waiver, will be helping up to 100 additional families care for their children at home, instead of a hospital.
“I am proud that the General Assembly approved my proposal to expand this crucial service for families caring for children with significant disabilities,” Governor Malloy said.  “The Katie Beckett waiver is unique nationally in serving medically fragile children at home when they would otherwise need a hospital bed or institutional care.  In Connecticut, we are ready to increase participation by 50%--to a total of 300 children and young adults.”
Named after an Iowa child who left the hospital for home in the early 1980s, the Katie Beckett waiver program serves children and young adults under 22 years of age whose family income would otherwise be too high to qualify for Medicaid.  Because the program has a capped appropriation, there is invariably a waiting list.  Governor Malloy’s initiative adds $1.5 million in fiscal 2015 to begin serving 100 additional children and young adults with severe physical disabilities.
“Simply put, the Katie Beckett waiver gives children who would not ordinarily qualify for Medicaid a better chance to live at home with their families and participate in their communities, instead of living in hospitals and institutions,” the Governor said.
The additional funding will grow to $3 million when fully annualized, with half paid by the federal government.
“The young people served by this waiver program are eligible to utilize home health services under the Medicaid state plan, like all other Medicaid recipients,” said Department of Social Services (DSS) Commissioner Roderick L. Bremby.  “They also have access to all of the other same services under the Medicaid state plan, as all recipients do.  In most cases, these services are provided at no additional cost to the families. In addition to Medicaid, the families also receive case management that helps enhance the Medicaid package of services.  This is especially important in navigating the health care services needed to support children in the community.”
The Katie Beckett waiver is also essential for families that have exhausted their private insurance options for covering these types of services or that never had them available in the first place.
Barbara Scully, RN, is a nurse consultant who works on the program at DSS.  “I speak on a daily basis to parents of children on the Katie Beckett Waiver,” Ms. Scully said.  “Over and over, I hear how vast and sometimes overwhelming their children’s health care needs are and how much having Medicaid through the Katie Beckett Waiver means to these families.  These parents love their children, as all parents do, and want them home to enjoy being a part of the family.  I know I speak for all staff involved in this program to say that it’s an honor to assist families of children with disabilities in accessing Medicaid that allows their children to receive needed services and remain in the household.”
DSS staff have begun the process of contacting families on the waiting list to advise them of the next steps toward qualifying for the Katie Beckett waiver program.

Are you thinking about visiting a state or national park this summer?

Are you thinking about visiting a state or national park this summer?
 
Did you know the U.S. Geological Society offers an Access Pass to U.S. citizens or permanent US residents with a permanent disability? This pass is a free, lifetime pass which provides access to more than 2,000 recreation sites. Learn more about the Access Passes on the USCG website. If you are visiting a park in Connecticut, visit the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection website for information about accessibility at each CT park to learn more. 
 
Thank you to CT Parent Advocacy Center (CPAC) for sharing this information.
 
Support Groups
NEW SUPPORT GROUP, THOMASTON, CT: Join survivors, family members and caregivers at BIAC's new Support Group in Thomaston. The group meets for the first time on July 17th! Regular meetings will be held on the 3rd Thursday of the month, atMindscapes Industries, 196 East Main Street, from 1 pm - 2 pm. For questions, please call Dianne at 860-283-6463. 

Breaking News! Senate Passes WIOA 95-3; House Action Will Follow

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Breaking News! Senate Passes WIOA 95-3; House Action Will Follow
Congratulations NCIL Advocates!
Today NCIL staff and advocates watched from the Senate Gallery as we witnessed the Senate pass the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) by a vote of 95-3. 
Unfortunately, we were unable to gain a unanimous vote because Lee, Coburn, and Johnson voted in opposition. Regardless, with passage in the Senate, the House is expected to vote very shortly. We will keep you updated.
The Rehabilitation Act is contained in WIOA. Specifically, improvements to Independent Living in this bill include:
  • Independent Living Programs will move to the Administration for Community Living (ACL) within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

  • A fifth core service will be added: transition

  • SILC activities will be improved and include resource development

  • SPIL sign-off will now include CIL Directors

  • States will choose their ‘designated state entity’ (formerly known as the DSU)
Again, congratulations on a big win! Your advocacy has paid off. NCIL will be keeping you informed on this bill as it progresses.
 
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Action Alert: Urge Your Senators and Representative to Assist Medicaid-Dependent Home and Community-Based Providers

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Action Alert: Urge Your Senators and Representative to Assist Medicaid-Dependent Home and Community-Based Providers
Senator Tammy Baldwin and Representative Ron Kind have agreed to send a letter to the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) urging them to explore all solutions to assist Medicaid-dependent home and community-based providers in complying with the Affordable Care Act’s employer requirements. 
People want to live in their community and not be forced into living in an institution. In order to do so, many people with disabilities require personal care and direct support assistance. Medicaid-dependent home and community-based providers (a term that includes many Centers for Independent Living) play a critical role in our healthcare system by providing long-term services and supports to people with disabilities.
It is urgent to take action now and ask your Representative and both of your Senators to sign on to the letter. Senators and Representatives who wish to sign on to the letter should contact Representative Kind or Senator Baldwin.
If we don’t act now to develop options for Medicaid-dependent providers, it could have devastating effects on the ability of people to get the services they need to stay out of institutions. Forcing these Medicaid-dependent agencies to abide by the Affordable Care Act would severely impact providers and force some to close their doors. 
What You Can Do 
It is urgent to invite House and Senate offices to sign-on to the letter. It is imperative that national groups and individuals contact their Congressional Representatives now! 
By signing on to this letter, our Senators and Representatives can acknowledge the voice of consumers, which are urging HHS to reconsider the negative impacts that would be a result of this portion of the ACA. 
Also, please let us know if your CIL or SILC would like to sign on in support. Should you have any questions, or wish to sign on to the letter, please contact Emily Rabin by email at or by phone at 262.818.3222. The deadline to sign-on is June 20th.
Thank you for your consideration.
Sign On Letter
Dear Secretary Burwell,
We write to urge the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to consider the impact of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) employer responsibility requirements on Medicaid dependent home and community-based providers. These providers, which serve primarily Medicaid beneficiaries and operate on very slim margins, have raised unique concerns about complying with the ACA’s employer responsibility requirements. We share your commitment to implementing America’s new health law in a manner that works for both families and businesses, and request that you explore options to assist Medicaid dependent home and community-based providers in fulfilling the ACA’s employer requirements.
Medicaid dependent home and community-based providers play a critical role in our health care system by providing home health and long-term care to our most vulnerable citizens. These providers employ direct care workers who assist hundreds of thousands of people with their daily living needs such as getting out of bed, eating, and bathing, among other important services. Without access to these services, patients would be unable to live independently in their communities and would be forced to seek care in more costly institutional settings.
The challenging economic conditions and tight budget environment have placed significant strain on state Medicaid programs in recent years. As a result, provider payments have been cut or frozen across much of the country. This has had a significant impact on Medicaid dependent home and community-based providers, which already operate on small margins. As such, these providers struggle with providing employer health coverage for their direct care workers and caregiver employees, many of whom qualify for premiums tax credits or other assistance. 
We are concerned that Medicaid dependent home and community-based providers could face significant financial burdens in complying with the employer responsibility requirements in the ACA. The penalty for failing to provide health coverage to full-time employees would disproportionately affect these providers and their direct care workers, which may result in unemployment and reduced patient access to essential services. We are encouraged by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Department of Treasury’s engagement with these providers to date, and we urge you to continue to work with relevant stakeholders to find a viable solution to ensure that direct care workers can continue to provide vulnerable patients with home and community-based services under the ACA. 
In light of recent decisions to provide for transition relief with respect to implementing requirements in the new law, we request that HHS fully explore options to support Medicaid dependent home and community-based providers in complying with the ACA’s employer responsibility requirements. Thank you for your attention to and timely consideration of this issue, and we look forward to receiving your response.
Sincerely,
Ron Kind, Member of Congress
Tammy Baldwin, United States Senator
 
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reaking Information Alert: Bipartisan, Bicameral Group Announces Deal to Improve American Workforce Development System

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Breaking Information Alert: Bipartisan, Bicameral Group Announces Deal to Improve American Workforce Development System
Source: Congressman John Kline, Chairman of the House Education & The Workforce Committee
Today, a bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers announced that they have reached a deal to improve the nation’s workforce development system through new legislation, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The bill, which will now be considered by both the House and Senate, modernizes and improves existing federal workforce development programs, helps workers attain skills for 21st century jobs, and fosters the modern workforce that evolving American businesses rely on to compete. 
 
What's the Fix? Senate Bill 1356 - Independent Living belongs to the people. ncil.org/rehabact
WIOA represents a compromise between the SKILLS Act (H.R. 803), which passed the House of Representatives in March 2013 with bipartisan support, and the Workforce Investment Act of 2013 (S. 1356), which passed through the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee with a bipartisan vote of 18-3 in July of 2013. 
“Access to training, education, and employment services opens doors to the middle class for workers and helps strengthen our economy. This bipartisan, bicameral reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act will help ensure that all workers—including those with disabilities—can access these opportunities. It will provide better coordination and value to our workforce development system,” said Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), who is chairman of the Senate HELP Committee. “This bill also makes groundbreaking changes that will raise prospects and expectations for Americans with disabilities, many of whom, under current law, are shunted to segregated, subminimum wage settings without ever receiving the opportunities and skills to succeed in competitive, integrated employment. It will stem the flow of young people into segregated employment by requiring that they be given experience in integrated settings, and require state Vocational Rehabilitation programs to work with individuals to develop an individual employment plan and support them in integrated work settings. This bill truly represents the spirit of bipartisan compromise and cooperation, and I applaud my colleagues on the HELP Committee and on the Education and the Workforce Committee for their perseverance and commitment to updating this critical law. I urge senators on both sides of the aisle to support this bill when it comes up for a vote.”
“We can’t expect a modern workforce to succeed with an outdated job training system. The current workforce development system is broken with too much bureaucracy, too many inefficiencies, and too little accountability,” said Representative John Kline (R-MN), chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee. “The problems we face have been apparent for a long time and I am pleased we are moving toward adopting comprehensive reform that provides employers, workers, and taxpayers the job training solutions they deserve. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House and Senate to send this agreement to the president’s desk without delay.”
“Last year the federal government spent more than $145 million in Tennessee through a maze of programs trying to help Tennesseans find work,” said Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Ranking Member of the Senate HELP Committee. “Our legislation will simplify that maze, give governors and states more flexibility, and make it easier for Tennessee's 13 local workforce investment boards to match job seekers with the skills employers are looking for.” 
“By revising the original Workforce Investment Act to support access to real-world education in fields that are in demand locally, this legislation will help more workers across the country find a good job or train for a new career. Similar to the legislation proposed by Reps. Tierney and Hinojosa earlier this Congress, this bill also makes job training programs more efficient and effective by requiring that states developed unified plans to streamline and better coordinate these services,” said Representative George Miller (D-CA), senior Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee. "By strengthening the workforce development system, we will increase accountability, promote innovation, and make it easier to track results, while helping put more Americans back to work. I'm proud to have worked with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to develop this proposal and hope to see it signed into law this year.”
“Every year, federal workforce investments help millions of Americans get back to work, go back to school, and increase their skills for an economy that’s changing faster than ever, but for too long, we’ve been relying on workforce development programs written in the 1990s,” said Senator Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate HELP Committee. “This bipartisan, bicameral legislation will bring federal worker programs into the 21st Century, give workers and students the resources they need to succeed, and foster a workforce that American businesses rely on to compete. It’s a prime example of what’s possible when Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate work together to write laws that help our economy grow. I want to thank Senator Isakson, who co-authored the Senate reauthorization bill with me, and all of my colleagues, for their hard work and commitment to moving this forward.”
“This is a good example of what Congress can achieve when we all come to the table and work towards a compromise that respects the opinions of legislators on both sides of the aisle,” said Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC), chair of the House Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training. “This bill will eliminate fifteen duplicative programs, help the remaining programs better align worker education with available jobs and improve our ability to gauge how well the system is working as a whole. I want to thank my colleagues in the House for passing the SKILLS Act and my colleagues in the Senate for considering this long overdue reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act.”
“Workforce investment and training is critically important to help grow the American economy still recovering from recession and to bridge the widening skills gap separating thousands of unemployed workers from good-paying jobs,” said Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA), a senior member of the Senate HELP Committee. “I thank Senator Murray and my colleagues for their bipartisan efforts on this legislation, and I look forward to getting this measure passed so we can get Americans back to work and meet the modern demands of businesses employees in a global environment.”
"This bipartisan agreement helps American workers get back on track by promoting sector strategies and career pathways that lead to good jobs and postsecondary education in our nation's public workforce training and adult education system,” said Representative Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX), ranking member of the House Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training. “This bill makes certain that the connection between adult education, postsecondary education and the workforce is strengthened. We as a nation must be inclusive in our workforce, and this bill provides better services to workers young and old, with disabilities, and to those populations that have significant barriers to employment. It also addresses the need to improve services for English language learners that will ease their participation into our nation's workforce. I am pleased to see the progress we are making in the Senate and in the House and look forward to having this bill signed into law.”
 
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The National Hearing Test

If you have hearing problems...

The National Hearing Test is an accurate, validated hearing screening test, developed with funding from the National Institutes of Health. This not-for-profit screening is taken over a telephone to help you determine if you need a complete hearing evaluation. It has no financial connection with any hearing products/services.

Click this link:  The National Hearing Test

Action Alert: Contact Your State Medicaid Director Today in Support of PAS Programs

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Action Alert: Contact Your State Medicaid Director Today in Support of PAS Programs
May 13, 2014
CIL Directors:
I am writing as the President of a CIL with a large Personal Care Assistance (PAS) program but the reality is, my concern should be that of our customers at all small and large CILs, whether or not you operate a PAS program.
I truly support the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but an unintended consequence may be loss of providers and personal care workers (PCWs) who on fixed Medicaid reimbursement rates will not be able to retain workers over 30 hours a week. We know Medicaid rates will not rise, so the options are to purchase insurance that the organization cannot afford and be penalized $3,000 per person over 30 hours a week, or reduce the hours a PCW works (decreasing income and negatively impacting consumer choice).
There will be a Medicaid Directors’ meeting in Nevada in a couple of weeks. We would like to see the majority of the CILs in the country contact their State’s Medicaid Director about this issue and pressure them for answers so it becomes a key discussion point in Nevada. Our customers should be concerned because those covered by Medicaid will either:
  • lose their provider organization because of cost,
  • have a reduction of hours of service, or
  • be approved for less hours of support to stretch the dollars.
Please find below a sample letter for your Medicaid Director. Please call me with any questions at 414-226-8301.
Sincerely,
 
Signatures - Lee Schulz of IndependenceFirst and Kelly Buckland of NCIL
 
 
Sample Letter for Your Medicaid Director
RE: Affordable Care Act Employer Mandate and Medicaid
Dear State Medicaid Director:
We need your assistance to address a significant threat to Medicaid caregiver services. The Affordable care Act (ACA) employer mandate takes effect on January 1, 2015, for most of this State’s employers and for all in 2016. Caregiver providers providing Medicaid services may be forced to close operations, curtail caregiver working hours significantly, or reduce base pay to minimum wage levels when this law takes effect.
The payment rates from Medicaid are not sufficient enough to provide both a reasonable base hourly pay and health insurance benefits to the full-time employees (30 hours per week) who provide care. At the same time, employers that do not offer ACA-compliant health insurance to full-time employees will face a $2,000 per employee annual penalty. 
Caregiver providers need to find some solutions for this unfunded mandate. We recognize that the State is not able to simply increase payment rates to cover these new costs. At the same time, the options of cutting worker pay or working hours are also harmful to Medicaid, the workers, and persons with disabilities in need of a caregiver.
We ask that you join a National effort to convince Washington to delay the application of the ACA employer mandate to Medicaid caregiver providers. Already the White House approved two delays to permit employers to make the changes necessary to comply with the ACA requirements. However, a further delay is needed to address the unique concerns that affect Medicaid and caregiver providers, given the limited availability of funding to cover the cost of compliance.
Please ask your Governor, the State’s Congressional delegation, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the US Treasury Department and the President to support a delay of 12-24 months to provide the time needed to design and implement appropriate changes to the Medicaid program and service delivery, so that no harm comes to Medicaid beneficiaries and caregivers.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
 
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www.ncil.org
2013 H St. Northwest | Sixth Floor | Washington, DC 20006 US

2014 Sensory-Friendly Performances at Barrington Stage Company

2014 sensory-friendly performances

Want to print the flyer: 2014 Sensory-Friendly Performances Flyer or go to their website: Barrington Stage Company

Urgent Action Alert: Contact Your Senator Today and Tell Them to Pass Senate Bill 1356!

 
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Logos: NCIL - National Council on Independent Living + APRIL - Associaiton of Programs for Rural Independent Living
 
Urgent Action Alert: Contact Your Senator Today and Tell Them to Pass Senate Bill 1356!
From now through April 25, Senators and Representatives will be in their home districts. We need our advocates to start scheduling time to make personal visits if at all possible, or by phone to urge their support to bring S.1356 to the Senate floor for a vote. 
Reauthorizing the Rehabilitation Act is NCIL and APRIL’s top priority and it will be one of the greatest advancements for Americans with disabilities in years. There is increasing urgency to get the Reauthorization of the Rehabilitation Act passed now!
The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) has not been reauthorized since 1998, even though Congress requires it to be reauthorized every five years. S. 1356, which contains the reauthorization of the Rehabilitation Act, was passed out of the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee in July on a strong 18-3 vote. The next step is a floor vote by the entire Senate.
Disability and Independent Living advocates have worked tirelessly with legislators to strengthen the language within the Rehabilitation Act. S. 1356 contains significant improvements to the Independent Living program, including the creation of an Independent Living Administration (ILA), which will be located within the Administration for Community Living. The proposed changes are a bipartisan effort to allow individuals with disabilities to maximize their independence and ability to participate fully in all aspects of American society. 
When you talk to your Senator, tell them that, according to the Rehabilitation Services Administration, during fiscal years 2008-2010, Centers for Independent Living:
 
What's the Fix? Senate Bill 1356! Independent Living elongs to the people. ncil.org/rehabact
  • Provided the core services of advocacy, information and referral, peer support, and independent living skills training to over 3.7 million individuals with disabilities;
  • Attracted over $910 million through private, state, local, and other sources,
  • Moved 10,711 people out of nursing homes and institutions;
  • Saved states and the Federal government nearly $194,000,000;
  • Provided personal assistance services to 260,000 people with disabilities;
  • Assisted 135,000 people in securing accessible, affordable, and integrated housing;
  • Provided Assistive Technology to 129,000 people with disabilities;
  • Provided employment services to 87,000 people with disabilities;
  • Provided transportation services to over 79,000 people with disabilities, and;
  • Served over 43,000 youth with disabilities.
Additional information on S. 1356 can be found at www.ncil.org/rehabact.
Tell your Senator it is time to move S. 1356 to the Senate Floor and pass it! 

Celebrate 20 Years of Arts at Gaylord Hospital

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Focus Group Opportunity - Cerebral Palsy Study, Phase II

Do you have an opinion about orthopedic surgery for children with cerebral palsy who walk?

The University of Hartford and the Shriners Hospital for Children are interested in your opinion if you are a parent or caregiver of a child who has cerebral palsy for whom surgery has been recommended to improve walking.

JOIN OUR FOCUS GROUP

Our goal is to help families make informed decisions about surgery. We need to know what information people need in order to make decisions about whether or not to have surgery to improve walking abilities of children with cerebral palsy.

Please contact Mary Gannotti, PT, PhD, at or call 860-768-5945 for more information or to sign up.

May 7, 2014

10 am - 12

Farmington CT

Participants will receive a $100 honorarium

Links to Calendar on CIL Websites

Calendar Links

·     Link #1:  Follow this link to open an interactive calendar.  Please save the link to your favorites. Share the link with others!   The link is: 
 
·     Link #2:  If you are using special equipment to access the calendar, you may wish to use the below link.  This link contains the same information but is in a list format that may be easier to use.  The link is: 

CVS/pharmacy Now Offers “Talking” Prescription Labels for Individuals with Vision Impairments Through its Online Pharma

New service on CVS.com is the result of a collaboration with state and national organizations for the blind
 
Woonsocket, Rhode Island (March 18, 2014) – CVS/pharmacy announced today that it now provides ScripTalk talking prescription labels for prescriptions ordered for home delivery through its online pharmacy,CVS.com. The ScripTalk labels provide a safe and convenient way to access information on prescription labels for individuals who cannot read standard print.  The ScripTalk labels are free to CVS.com pharmacy customers who are blind or visually impaired. Customers can also obtain a free ScripTalk reader from Envision America that will enable them to listen to the information on the ScripTalk label.

“We are pleased to offer the ScripTalk service to our online pharmacy customers who are visually impaired,” said Josh Flum, Senior Vice President of Retail Pharmacy at CVS Caremark. “Enhancing access to important information about prescriptions is in keeping with our purpose of helping people on their path to better health.”

Today’s announcement is the result of collaboration between CVS/pharmacy, the American Foundation for the Blind, American Council of the Blind and California Council of the Blind. These groups applauded CVS/pharmacy’s actions.
 
"The lack of accessible labels on prescription drug containers puts people with vision loss at serious risk of medication mishaps,” said Paul Schroeder, Vice President of Programs & Policy at the American Foundation for the Blind. “We applaud CVS/pharmacy for taking steps to provide speech access to label information for customers with vision loss along with its willingness to evaluate methods to improve large print labels.”
 
 “This agreement is a positive step that allows for a greater level of privacy, safety, and independence for blind and visually impaired Americans of all ages who take prescription medications," said Kim Charlson, president of the American Council of the Blind.
 
 "The California Council of the Blind applauds CVS's willingness to offer access to the information on prescription medication labels.  As a result of this initiative, persons who are blind or visually impaired who use CVS mail order to fill their prescription needs will have the same direct, and independent access to label information as do sighted customers," stated Donna Pomerantz, President, California Council of the Blind.
 
 About CVS/pharmacy

CVS/pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE: CVS), is America's leading retail pharmacy with more than 7,600 CVS/pharmacy and Longs Drug stores. CVS/pharmacy is reinventing pharmacy to help people on their path to better health by providing the most accessible and personalized expertise, both in its stores and online at CVS.com. General information about CVS/pharmacy and CVS Caremark is available athttp://info.cvscaremark.com.
 
About American Council of the Blind (ACB) and California Council of the Blind (CCB)

American Council of the Blind is a national consumer-based advocacy organization working on behalf of blind and visually impaired Americans throughout the country with members organized through seventy state and special interest affiliates. California Council of the Blind is the California affiliate of the ACB and is a statewide membership organization with 40 local chapters and statewide special interest associations. ACB and CCB are dedicated to improving the quality of life, equality of opportunity and independence of all people who have visual impairments. Their members and affiliated organizations have a long history of commitment to the advancement of policies and programs which will enhance independence for people who are blind and visually impaired. More information about ACB and CCB can be found by visiting www.acb.org and http://www.ccbnet.org.
 
 About American Foundation for the Blind

The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) is a national nonprofit that expands possibilities for people with vision loss. AFB’s priorities include broadening access to technology; elevating the quality of information and tools for the professionals who serve people with vision loss; and promoting independent and healthy living for people with vision loss by providing them and their families with relevant and timely resources. AFB is also proud to house the Helen Keller Archives and honor the over forty years that Helen Keller worked tirelessly with AFB. For more information visit AFB online.
 
Media Contacts:
 
Mike DeAngelis
 CVS/pharmacy
 
 401-770-2645
 
 Kim Charlson
 President, American Council of the Blind
 617-501-5853
 
 
 Adrianna Montague-Devaud
 Chief Communications and Marketing Officer
 American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)
 Tel. (212) 502-7615
 

Scholarships for High School Seniors / College Students who have Parents with Disabilities

2014 THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS SCHOLARSHIP
ANNOUNCEMENT AND APPLICATION
 
Through the Looking Glass and its National Center for Parents with Disabilities and their Families are pleased to announce new scholarships specifically for high school seniors or college students who have parents with disabilities.  A total of fifteen $1000 scholarships will be given out Fall 2014.  These scholarships are part of Through the Looking Glass’National Center for Parents with Disabilities and their FamiliesThere are separate eligibility requirements for high school seniors and for college students:
 
1.High School Seniors.  To be eligible, a student must be a high school graduate (or graduating senior) by Summer 2014, have at least one parent with a disability, and be planning to attend an accredited technical or vocational school or a two- or four-year college in Fall 2014.  Those planning to attend a two- or four-year college should be pursuing an AA, AS, BA or BS degree.
 
2.College Students. To be eligible, a student must be currently enrolled in an accredited technical or vocational school or a two- or four-year college with continued enrollment through Fall 2014, have at least oneparent with a disability, and be 21 years of age or younger as of  March 17, 2014 .   Those enrolled in a two- or four-year college should be pursuing an AA, AS, BA or BS degree.
 
All application materials must be postmarked by March 17, 2014.  Individuals may submit only one application per award period. 
 
Selection criteria for all scholarships include academic performance, community activities and service, letter of recommendation and an essay describing the experience of growing up with a parent with a disability.  Five of the fifteen scholarships will also consider financial hardship and academic potential in addition to the other selection criteria.
 
Please go to our website: http://www.lookingglass.orgfor more information, including the application form, complete application directions and an FAQ page that answers many common questions as well as offers helpful suggestions.
 
Through the Looking Glass
The National Center for Parents with Disabilities and their Families
3075 Adeline Street, Suite 120
Berkeley, CA 94703
(800) 644-2666
(510) 848-2005 (TTY)
 

Information Alert: Proposed Funding Increase for Independent Living

 
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NCIL
 
Information Alert: Proposed Funding Increase for Independent Living
The 2014 Omnibus Appropriations bill currently before Congress includes funding increases for Independent Living programs. If passed, the bill will increase total funding for Independent Living programs 3.34%, from a Fiscal Year 2013 total of $130 million to a new Fiscal Year 2014 total of nearly $135 million.
The 3.34% increase would provide equivalent boosts to funding for Parts B, C, and Chapter 2 programs. Specifically, Part C funding for CILs would grow to $78.3 million. Part B State Grant funding would be raised to a new total of $22.9 million. Chapter 2, Independent Living Services for Older Individuals Who Are Blind, would increase to $33.317 million. If the bill passes, Part B and Chapter 2 programs would see the increased funding immediately. Part C funded Centers would receive the increased amounts on October 1, 2014
These necessary increases will help curb the impact of the senseless 5% cut leveled by sequestration against Department of Education programs, including Independent Living. That said, we will still feel the sting of sequester cuts in Fiscal Year 2014. NCIL will continue to push Congress and the Administration to demand additional investments in Independent Living and programs that empower and support people with disabilities!
We encourage you to call your Senator or Congressperson to thank them for the proposed increase and ask them to pass the 2014 Omnibus Appropriations bill. 
Be sure to let them know that IL Programs save the Federal Government over 80 million dollars a year! See a fact sheet documenting the social and fiscal contributions made by Centers (PDF or  Word).
Following are some additional details on the FY2013 funding levels and proposed increases in the 2014 Omnibus Appropriations bill.
Part B (State Grants)
  • Fiscal Year 2013: $22,137,000
  • Fiscal Year 2014: $22,878,000
  • $ Increase: $741,000
  • % Increase: 3.347%
Part C (Centers for Independent Living / CILs)
  • Fiscal Year 2013: $75,772,000
  • Fiscal Year 2014: $78,305,000
  • $ Increase: $2,533,000
  • % Increase: 3.343%
Chapter 2 (Independent Living Services for Older Individuals Who Are Blind):
  • Fiscal Year 2013: $32,239,000
  • Fiscal Year 2014: $33,317,000
  • $ Increase: $1,078,000
  • % Increase: 3.344%
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www.ncil.org
2013 H St. Northwest | Sixth Floor | Washington, DC 20006 US

Weekly Advocacy Monitor: Volume 12, Issue 1; January 8, 2014

Open this message in Word or plain text.
 
 
A benefit of NCIL membership
Volume 12• Issue 1
January 8, 2014
 
 
Ed Roberts Childrens Book Cover
New Children’s Book about Ed Roberts Tells Story of Father of Disability Rights
Source: Jamul, CA / PRWEB
This new children’s book profiles the courageous young leader, who would go on to fight for his own rights and the rights of all people with disabilities – a legacy that continues today.
“Ed Roberts: Father of Disability Rights” delves into Roberts’ life, detailing his early days in an iron lung and learning his lessons via the phone, battling school officials about high school graduation and becoming the first person with significant disabilities to attend the University of California at Berkley. Inspired by the civil rights and liberation movements, Roberts fought for equality for people with disabilities. As director of California’s Department of Rehabilitation and sit-ins in San Francisco, he helped bring change that let people live more independent lives, paving the way for the Americans with Disabilities Act and other laws promoting equal access. [Read more…]
 
Mutual of America Community Partnership Award Competition
The aim of the annual award is to recognize the important contributions that nonprofit organizations, in partnership with public, private and other social sector organizations, make to society. Each of the award recipients must demonstrate the difference the partnership has made, show the ability of the partnership to be replicated and to stimulate new ideas in addressing social issues, as well as illustrate the partnership’s commitment to advancing the mission and principles of the organization. Mutual of America presents a number of grants, and $25,000 is awarded to the winning organization each year. In addition, a video of the award-winner’s project will be produced, featuring the principals involved and explaining the program in detail. [Read more, including award guidelines, deadline, and application…]
 
FY 2012 Employment of People with Disabilities in the Federal Executive Branch Report
The US Office of Personnel Management has announced that the Fiscal Year 2012 Employment of People with Disabilities in the Federal Executive Branch Report has been released.
Highlights from the report include:
  • At no point in the past 32 years have people with disabilities been hired at a higher percentage than in Fiscal Year 2012.
  • People with targeted disabilities are also being brought into the Federal workforce at a higher percentage now than at any time in the past 17 years.
  • This success has led to more people with disabilities in Federal service both in real terms and by percentage than at any time in the past 32 years. [Read more…]
 
Request for Proposals: Bi-Annual Summit on Aging and Independence
 
Every two years, Western New York Independent Living (WNYIL – the parent organization of Western New York Independent Living Family of Agencies) hosts a Summit on Aging and Independence to bring educators, researchers, human service providers, caregivers, and speakers together to educate, inform and discuss the current issues, topics, research, and barriers and successes in care for individuals who are 55+ and / or have a disability. This event includes workshops, a keynote speaker, and a two-day information / vendor fair.
 
This year’s theme is Aging, Independence, Culture in an Evolving World. [Read more…]
send us an email
2013 H St. Northwest | Sixth Floor | Washington, DC 20006

Alert: Call-In Week to Senator Corker, Urge Him to Continue Negotiations!

Ithe CRPD Support logo with We support instead of I support
 
 
Call-In Week to Senator Corker Starting January 6th! 
 
 
Right before Christmas, Senator Corker walked away from the
 
negotiations on the Disability Treaty!
 
As ranking Republican of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he is abdicating his
 
leadership on this bipartisan issue.
 
  
 Call Senator Corker throughout the week of January 6th!
 
 
Let him know that YOU support the CRPD, and urge him to continue negotiations on
 
the disability treaty! 
 
You can contact Senator Corker at:
 
 
202-224-3344
 
or take action (and learn more) at   www.disabilitytreaty.org
 
 
You can also join our Thunderclap asking Senator Corker to return to negotiations
 
here; we need your voice to spread this message!
 
 
Forward this message on to your lists of friends and colleagues so they can join us in sending a
 
message to Senator Corker that we are HERE and that our voice MATTERS!  In fact,
 
Congressional Quarterly voted CRPD one of the 25 Most Important Things Congress Talked
 
About, but Did Not Do in 2013!    
 
 
Former (Tennessee) U.S. Sen. Bill Frist said Monday that he disagrees with decisions by the state's current senators not to support a  treaty on disability rights.
 
Frist said U.S. Sens. Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander are wrong to oppose the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities because it will not conflict with United States law, including the 1990 Americans with Disability Act. Frist said the treaty is "non-self-executing," meaning it cannot create a  cause of action or be the basis of a lawsuit.
 
The treaty fell six votes short of the two-thirds majority needed for ratification a year ago, but supporters have continued to push for its passage.
 
"Voting no to this treaty is saying that we do not think the global community deserves an ADA of their own," Frist said. "U.S.  matters. We should be at the table."
Corker has been seen as an especially influential vote because he is the top-ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which held two hearings on the pact in November. But he and Alexander, a fellow Republican (also from Tennessee), said Friday they had not changed their minds about the treaty.
 
The Tennessee Disability Coalition also reacted with disappointment on Monday.
 
"We were shocked and saddened to learn than Senators Corker and Alexander have chosen to ignore the voices of Tennesseans with disabilities," said Carol Westlake, the group's executive director. "This is a betrayal of our community - of  and adults with disabilities, veterans, and the families that support them."

New Enrollment Center Opens Plus Events Near You

The following is being forwarded on behalf of Access Health CT:

 

Free events to enroll in health care coverage

Change is here. Health Care Reform is making it easier for Connecticut residents like you to get health care coverage. Get your questions answered and sign up for coverage at our Enrollment Fairs and Enrollment Centers. Space is limited, so please register now!

Ready to get health care coverage? Visit our New Haven Enrollment Center at 55 Church Street in New Haven for free, friendly, professional help during these hours. You can even request an appointment.

Live near New Britain? Visit our New Britain Enrollment Center at 200 Main Street in New Britain for free, friendly, professional help during these hours. You can also request an appointment.

Enrollment Fairs

You don't need to go far to get one-on-one help. Just come to an Enrollment Fair in your area to meet with a trained and certified individual. Before you arrive, please review the list of information you'll need to provide when you apply for coverage.

Norwalk: Saturday, November 16, from 12 pm to 4 pm
Norwalk Public Library, 1 Belden Avenue
RSVP for Norwalk 

Norwich: Saturday, November 16, from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm
Otis Library, 261 Main Street
RSVP for Norwich 

Danbury: Monday, November 18, from 3 pm to 7 pm
Danbury Public Library, 170 Main Street
RSVP for Danbury 

Hartford: Tuesday, November 19, from 4 pm to 8 pm
Charter Oak Health Center, 21 Grand Street
RSVP for Hartford 

Stamford: Wednesday, November 20, from 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm
The Tully Health Center, 32 Strawberry Hill Court
RSVP for Stamford 

Torrington: Saturday, November 23, from 12 pm to 4 pm
Northwestern CT Community College, 2 Park Place, Winsted
RSVP for Torrington 

Enfield: Saturday, November 23, from 12 pm to 4 pm
Enfield Central Library, 104 Middle Road
RSVP for Enfield 

For additional Enrollment Fairs, see our schedule.

Action Alert: National Call-In Days for the CRPD: November 4 & 11

 
NCIL
 
Action Alert: National Call-In Days for the CRPD: November 4 & 11
We need your help. The opposition is flooding Senate offices with calls against the treaty. They need to hear from our Movement now or we will not succeed. 
 
Ratify CRPD Yes! Inclusion, Dignity, Equality
Senators Menendez and Corker and our target senators on the Foreign Relations Committee need to hear from you that you support the CRPD!
We need you to call on November 4thand 11thso we can show the Foreign Relations Committee that the community is behind this treaty!  
Visit the new citizen action portal at disabilitytreaty.org to find information on how to contact the target Senators on the Foreign Relations Committee by phone.
What Else You Can Do:
  • Forward this message onto your lists of friends and colleagues so they can join us in sending a message to the Foreign Relations Committee that we are watching them! 
 
Follow NCIL:
Like NCIL on Facebook
Follow NCIL on Twitter
 

Alert: Treaty Hearing on November 5th is Confirmed! Make that call!

Ithe CRPD Support logo with We support instead of I support
 
 
November 5th at 2:30 pm
 
 
Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room SD-419
 
 
You can RSVP for the hearing hereThis will help us ensure enough room capacity
 
for all advocates!
 
 
WE NEED YOUR HELP!
 
The Marathon is almost over: the end is in sight!
 
NOW is the time to have our voices be heard!
 
Chairman Menendez has scheduled the first of two Hearings on the CRPD on Nov 5th!
 
 
Senators Menendez and Corker and our target senators on the Foreign Relations
 
Committee need to hear fromeveryone; they are logging all call and contacts
 
madestate by state. Our floor time depends on them hearing from you!  It is time for
 
actionNOW
 
Visit our new citizen action portal, www.disabilitytreaty.org, to contact our target
 
Senators on the Foreign Relations Committee that need to hear from you!
 
Click the"We Support CRPD"icon above!  Share it everywhere!  Post it on your website,
 
Facebook,andTwitter!  They need to hear from our movement now or we will not
 
succeed.
 
 
Let them hear you now so that when Medicaid, Education and other
 
issues come to the Hill they once again know the power of the
 
disability movement!
 
 
I
It is time to show the Foreign Relations Committee the loudand diverse community supporting
 
the treaty: disability, veterans, civil rights, faith, businesses, families and people with disabilities-
 
everyone has a role in this fight. 
 
 
Invite your lists of friends and colleagues so we can show the Foreign Relations
 
Committee that the community is behind this treaty!
 
Join us in sending a message to the Foreign Relations Committee
 
that we are watching them!  Thank you for your help!

Experience of Voters with Disabilities in the 2012 Election Cycle

BACKGROUND AND SCOPE OF REPORT
Voting is the cornerstone of democracy. For too long, people with disabilities have been in the shadows in exercising this basic civil right. The Help America Vote Act (HAVA), enacted in 2002, mandated improvements to the electoral process by establishing minimum standards for uniform and nondiscriminatory election technology and administration requirements, including, for the first time, requirements that citizens with disabilities be able to vote independently and privately. HAVA joins existing voting and disability rights laws to prohibit voter discrimination, suppression, intimidation, and denial of voting access for people with disabilities. Since 2002, HAVA has helped make voting an act of civic participation for people with disabilities; however much work remains to be done.
 
Using an open-ended questionnaire, NCD gathered the experiences of nearly 900 voters with disabilities across the nation during the 2012 election. On October 24, 2013, NCD releasedExperience of Voters with Disabilities in the 2012 Election Cycle.This report provides a snapshot of architectural, attitudinal, technological, legislative, and voting practice barriers that confronted voters with disabilities and provides an overview of the use of federal funds, activities, and outcomes under HAVA for people with disabilities over the past decade.
 
KEY FINDINGS
·        People with disabilities continue to face barriers in exercising their voting rights because of architectural and physical barriers at registration and polling sites.
o  Nearly 40% of respondents to the NCD’s questionnaire encountered physical barriers at their polling places.   
·        Voters with disabilities do not have equal access to voting systems because states and localities have not invested adequate resources, planning, and training to provide reliable, accessible voting technology.
o  45% of respondents reported barriers inside the polling place involving voting machines. 
·        Voters with disabilities face discrimination at voter registration and polling sites resulting from poorly trained election personnel and volunteers.
o  Nearly 54% of respondents encountered barriers, including attitudinal, inside the polling place.
o  20% of respondents said they were prevented from exercising a private and independent vote.
 
KEY RECOMMENDATIONS
·        State and local election officials must be held accountable for compliance with all accessibility provisions of HAVA, the ADA, and other relevant voting rights laws.
·        States should upgrade their accessible voting equipment to assure universal access for people with disabilities.
·        State and local election officials must invest in adequate training for all election personnel and volunteers.

·        The Presidential Commission on Election Administration should adopt the recommendations made in theExperience of Voters with Disabilitiesreport in their own report to the President later this year.

FULL REPORT                                                                                                              
Download a free copy of the full report at: http://www.ncd.gov/publications/2013/10242013 

 

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