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Legislation: National - 2013 Archives
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Advocacy Alert! 2013 - December - U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) — Federal government has shown great development as a model employer for people with disabilities!
The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced that in Fiscal Year (FY) 2012, people with disabilities were hired at a higher percentage than at any point in the past 32 years. Additionally, people with targeted disabilities were hired at a higher percentage than at any time in the past 17 years. This success has also led to more people with disabilities serving in federal service than at any time in the past 32 years.
“People with disabilities are a vital part of the federal workforce, as we are better able to serve the American people because of the talents and experience they bring to the table.” said OPM Director Katherine Archuleta. “Since President Obama issued his Executive Order in 2010, we’ve made substantial progress in hiring and retaining people with disabilities over the past three years. This work is enabling the federal government to continue to develop as a model employer for people with disabilities.” To read more of this article, visit the OPM press release
Write to your legislators encouraging them to increase the hiring of people with disabilities serving in their state and local governments. To find your legislator, find links above.
Advocacy Alert! 2013 - December - U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) — developing a list of Books that Shaped Work in America
In honor of its Centennial this year, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) in partnership with the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress — is developing a list of Books that Shaped Work in America.
Published works have played a significant role in shaping American workers and workplaces.
To help get started, a diverse cross-section of individuals, including several former Secretaries of Labor, have shared their suggestions. Disability.gov points out that several books on disability employment challenges have made the list including Barbara Angle’s Those That Mattered, a novel about a female miner who acquires a disability on the job, and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s autobiography My Beloved World, in which she includes being diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at age seven that helped her develop the determination and self-reliance to seek a better life through education and a legal career. But they need your assistance too! Do you have a book of interest on employment challenges of people with disabilities. Recommend a book you feel should be on the list.
Advocacy Alert! November 12, 2013 - This Week, U.S. Senate is Coming around again to readdress the U.S. Senate Ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities treaty
According to the U.N. about 138 countries have ratified the Disabilities Rights convention and it is backed by the Obama administration, however the Senate has yet to ratify it. The Senate was unable to ratify the treaty last December with a vote that largely fell along party lines. Ratifying the treaty will cause no change to U.S. law and it would allow the U.S. to take a leadership position on disability rights throughout the world and ensure Americans with disabilities the same protections they have here in the U.S. when they travel abroad. Contact your Senator to let him know what this treaty means to you!
For more information, visit the news article at Disability Scoop: Senate to Revive Disability Rights Treaty and Wikipedia article Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
If you would like to enjoy disability protections throughout the world, call your Senators. If your Senators are listed below from the Foreign Relations Committee, your support is needed today.
- Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
- Senator Bob Corker (R-TN)
- Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ)
- Senator Jim Risch (R-ID)
- Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)
- Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI)
You can be directed to each of them by calling (202) 224-3121 TODAY. When you are transferred to your Senator, just give your name, zip code, and say "I support the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities." That's it!
September 24th - National Voter Registration Day! Check on your voter status today!
Wisconsin Disability Vote Coalition extends this invitation! Today, September 24, is National Voter Registration Day, which is a non-partisan effort involving 800 partners across the country working together to strengthen their communities by supporting voter registration.
Here in Wisconsin, we are fortunate to have same-day registration, which means people can go to their polling place on election day, register to vote, and vote right then and there. Perhaps that is the case in your state or in your state you are required to register prior to elections.
Regardless, today is a good day for anyone who will be a first time voter at the next election day or who may have moved since the last election day or who may have questions about their eligibility to vote, to check up on your voting status.
Go to the National link above and click on Register to Vote or for more information and eligibility about voting in your state, visit the Fair Elections website at www.fairelectionsnetwork.com/resources and click on your state name in the left bottom panel.
August 2013 - U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the unemployment rate for those with disabilities has risen
See the report at Table A-6. Employment status of the civilian population by sex, age, and disability status
June 2013 - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a guidance statement to encourage housing providers to step up to offer more integrated housing opportunities where individuals with disabilities are able to live and interactwith individuals without disabilities, while receiving the health care and long-term services and
supports they need.
"The integration mandate of the ADA and Olmstead compels states to offer community-based
health care services and long-term services and supports for individuals with disabilities who can
live successfully in housing with access to those services and supports. In practical terms, this
means that states must find housing that enables them to assist individuals with disabilities to
transition out of institutions and other segregated settings and into the most integrated setting
appropriate to the needs of each individual with a disability. A critical consideration in each
state is the range of housing options available in the community for individuals with disabilities
and whether those options are largely limited to living with other individuals with disabilities, or
whether those options include substantial opportunities for individuals with disabilities to live
and interact with individuals without disabilities." To read more of the Guidance, visit Statement of the Department of Housing and Urban Development on
the Role of Housing in Accomplishing the Goals of Olmstead For more information on the integration mandate under Section 504 and HUD’s support of
Olmstead enforcement and implementation efforts, please contact Jeanine Worden, Associate
General Counsel for Fair Housing, Jeanine.M.Worden@HUD.gov, or Sara Pratt, Deputy
Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Programs, Office of Fair Housing and Equal
April 2013 - Indianapolis passes Disabilities Business Enterprise program to strengthen community
The City Council of Indianapolis passed a proposal in April and the Mayor signed it in May to make job opportunities more prevalent for people with disabilities; the Disability Business Enterprise program for the City of Indianapolis. It also amends Indianapolis’ code to create a program for utilizing disability-owned business enterprises.
For more information see the article at Indiana Public Media
Advocacy Alert! March 2013 - DAWN has sent the following Federal Budget Crisis: Speak Out Now Programs for People with Disabilities Will be Cut Unless Congress Acts
Contact your members of Congress now and ask them to prevent a 10% budget cut to programs that provide supports and services to people with disabilities!
People with disabilities will be impacted in a variety of ways if Congress and the President do not reach an agreement to change current law. An automatic 10% cut in federal funding for discretionary programs will go into effect on Friday, Mar. 1 unless Congress and the President can agree to a solution.
Unlike entitlements such as Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security, discretionary programs get a fixed sum of funding. If funds are cut, Wisconsin will receive less federal aid to support a wide range of programs serving people with disabilities. Employment services such as those offered by the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and other job training programs will be cut. At least $18 million in general and special education federal funding will be cut, along with housing supports.
The Wisconsin state budget or other state budgets cannot make up the loss in federal funding. Congress and the President need to hear from disability advocates about the impact of these cuts.
Please make your opinion heard. Contact your Congressional representative through the House of Representatives website.
February 24th-27th, 2013 - Disabled American Veterans (DAV) will hold Mid-Winter Conference
DAV members are encouraged to attend the Mid-Winter Conference. Read the Legislative Priorities, Grassrooots Advocacy in Action and A Part of our Mission from their webste at Mid Winter Conference 2013 for a thorough understanding of their legislative priorities and plans.
January 2013-Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will meet with mental health and disability advocates to discuss policies concerning mental health and curbing gun violence legislation
In the wake of President Obama's and Vice-President Biden's commitment to do something to curb gun violence, gun rights backers have asked that mental health issues must be considered. To respond comprehensively to their request, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will meet with mental health and disability advocates this month. The White House would like to propose legislation just after President Obama is sworn in to his next term. For this information, see the Associated Press Yahoo news article White House ramping up gun violence discussions
By JULIE PACE, January 8, 2013
Advocacy Alert! - December 19, 2012 - Fiscal Cliff: The Impact on People with Disabilities - What Does It Mean to You?
The following article was sent by DAWN (Disability Advocates Wisconsin Network) The Congress and the President are negotiating over more than only taxes. If they cannot reach a decision by the beginning of January and if they add cuts to entitlement programs, besides the tax increases and federal spending cuts, there will be drastic cuts to discretionary programs that affect people with disabilities. If you are served by any of the programs relying on a fixed federal funding including those for people with disabilities mentioned below or are concerned about cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, please contact President Obama on his website or contact your Congressional Representative through their website. The House members can inform Speaker Boehner of their constituents’ opinions.
People with disabilities will be impacted in a variety of ways if Congress and the President do not reach agreement to change current law by the end of the year. A combination of federal spending cuts and tax increases will go into effect at the end of 2012 and beginning of January 2013 if no action is taken.
If President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner cannot reach agreement, some taxes will increase, tax credits will expire, and federal unemployment benefits will end. While these actions are concerning, advocates are focused on drastic cuts to discretionary programs like general and special education, employment supports, and housing programs that people with disabilities rely on. Each program would be cut about 8 percent.
Unlike entitlements such as Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security, discretionary programs get a fixed sum of funding. If funds are cut, Wisconsin will receive less federal aid to support a wide range of programs, such as vocational rehabilitation.
Services that assist all citizens will also be cut. Public safety and law enforcement, medical and scientific research, public health; and environmental protection are only a few examples of the services that will be cut is current law is not changed.
The details about the bill to avoid the fiscal cliff are constantly changing. Some entitlement reforms are now under discussion. Congress and the President need to hear from constituents whether programs that serve people with disabilities, such as Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and many of the discretionary programs need to remain strong without changes.
December 3, 2012 - This Week, Disability Groups are Promoting the U.S. Senate Ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities treaty
According to the U.N. about 126 countries have ratified the Disabilities Rights convention and it is backed by the Obama administration and Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, however the Senate has yet to ratify it. There are Senators opposing the treaty, so amendments are being worked on. Ratifying the treaty will cause no change to U.S. law and it would allow the U.S. to take a leadership position on disability rights throughout the world and ensure Americans with disabilities the same protections they have here in the U.S. when they travel abroad.
For more information, visit the news article at Disability Scoop: Fate Of Disability Treaty Unclear In Senate
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