We encourage you to contact your Representatives and Senators to let them know how you feel about the legislation listed here. To locate your elected officials, visit the House of Representatives online at www.house.gov/ and the United States Senate at www.senate.gov/.
To learn more about the specific measures and bills outlined here, visit The Library of Congress' Thomas Online.
On October 13th 2010, President Barack Obama signed the H.R. 3219, the “Veterans’ Benefits Act of 2010,” which makes changes in several veterans' affairs programs and benefits, including: (1) insurance; (2) disability compensation and pension; (3) education, employment, and small business; (4) housing and homeless veterans' programs; (5) memorial affairs; (6) civil relief issues; and (7) construction. For more information on this legislation, visit this comprehensive but clear article on the Military Wallet website at Veterans’ Benefits Act of 2010 Signed Into Law
On Friday, October 8th, 2010, President Barack Obama, was joined by Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND), as he signed the 21st Century Communications & Video Act of 2010, legislation that will ensure that people with disabilities have access to Internet-based telecommunications and video programming technologies. Many disability advocates backed the signing of this law. Among the items included in the Twenty-first Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010:
"So we've come a long way; But even today, after all the progress that we've made, too many Americans with disabilities are still measured by what folks think they can't do, instead of what we know they can do.
The fight for progress isn't about sympathy, by the way -- it's about opportunity. And that's why all of us share a responsibility to keep building on the work of those who came before us -- one life, one law, one step at a time."Watch the video or read the President's speech just before signing this Act from the White House Office of the Press Secretary at http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2010/10/08/remarks-president-signing-21st-century-communications-and-video-accessib
U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski introduced “Rosa’s Law,” and President Barack Obama signed the bill into law. The law eliminates the terms “mental retardation” and “mentally retarded” from the federal law books. Used instead is “intellectual disability” and “individual with an intellectual disability.” This law does not change who is served, rather it simply makes the language of federal law consistent with the terminology used by the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization and the President of the United States, through his Committee on Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities. The bill was widely supported by a variety of disability advocacy organizations and is seen as an important step to diminish the stereotypes and negativity people with intellectual disabilities often face.
President Obama said, "As one of hundreds of thousands of Americans with Down Syndrome, Rosa Marcellino worked with her parents and her siblings to have the words “mentally retarded” officially removed from the health and education code in her home state of Maryland. Now, Rosa’s Law takes her idea a step further. It amends the language in all federal health, education and labor laws to remove that same phrase and instead refer to Americans living with an “intellectual disability.” Now this may seem to some people like a minor change, but I think Rosa’s brother Nick put it best ...
He said, “What you call people is how you treat them. If we change the words, maybe it will be the start of a new attitude towards people with disabilities.”
On July 26, 2010, President Barack Obama signed an executive order to Increase Federal Employment of Individuals with Disabilities, with the intent to establish the Federal Government as a model employer of individuals with disabilities.For the article from the White House Office of the Press Secretary go to the following link, http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/executive-order-increasing-federal-employment-individuals-with-disabilities
By Henry Claypool, Director of Office on Disability from Health Reform.gov
The first piece of comprehensive legislation aimed at addressing the challenge faced by Americans living with paralysis. "The Act was included in the Omnibus Public Lands Bill signed by President Obama on March 20, 2009. That bill was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on March 25 and the U.S. Senate on January 15. It is Title XIV of that Bill that contains the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act. The Act was named for the late Christopher Reeve and his wife Dana, whose courage and grace in the face of adversity, coupled with their extraordinary activism, were an inspiration to millions around the world. This bill is primarily about three things: promoting collaborative scientific research, advancing rehabilitation research, and improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis and mobility impairments from any cause -- stroke, ALS, spinal cord injuries, Multiple Sclerosis and others. The CDRPA encourages coordination of research to prevent redundancies and hasten discovery of better treatments and cures and, as importantly, to improve the daily lives today for those living with paralysis." from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation.
For a summary of this legislation, visit the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act Article
This program covered an additional 2.6 million children in need in 2009, including children with disabilities.
President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, H.R. 3590, on March 23rd and the Reconciliation Act of 2010, H.R. 4872, on March 30, 2010. (See the combined full text of Public Laws 111-148 and 111-152 here.) Among many provisions, the laws extend the authorization of the federal CHIP program for an additional two years, through September 30, 2015. The laws require states, upon enactment, to maintain current income eligibility levels for CHIP through September 30, 2019. States are prohibited from implementing eligibility standards, methodologies or procedures that are more restrictive than those in place as of March 23, 2010, with the exception of waiting lists for enrolling children in CHIP.
President Obama passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act along with the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (signed into law on March 30, 2010), This legislation will give every American more control over their health care -- and will do more to give Americans with disabilities control over their own lives than any legislation since the ADA.
On December 9, 2009, U.S. Reps. George Miller (D-CA) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) introduced legislation that would, for the first time, protect all children in schools from harmful uses of restraint and seclusion. This bill has a particular focus on protecting students with disabilities, who have disproportionately been abused, according to a spring 2009 U.S. Government Accountability Office report, as a result of inappropriate uses of restraint and seclusion, often involving untrained staff.
The Keeping All Students Safe Act, HR 4247, passed in the House in March 2010. (H.R. 4247) would establish the first federal standards to protect students from misuse of restraint and seclusion and ensure the safety of everyone in the classroom. It would apply to public schools, private schools and preschools receiving federal education support.
To read more on this bill, visit the Special Education Law Blog at House Passes Restraint Bill H.R. 4247.
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