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POLICY

Policy Drives Change

By creating laws and policies that recognize the perspectives and rights of people with developmental disabilities, NACDD believes the entire community will benefit. NACDD leads the national policy agenda for the DD Councils, and works with national coalition partners to address the most pressing issues for people with developmental disabilities at the federal level. NACDD serves as a key adviser on issues such as the disability treaty, workforce, education and health for the media, policy advisers and lawmakers.  NACDD’s CEO, Donna Meltzer, leads a staff and volunteer board that is often called upon by the White House and Congress for input, to testify before Senate and House committees, and to meet with members of Congress and their staff.

Sign-On Letters - 2020

NACDD on Voting Rights and Emergency Health Solutions

NACDD has joined LCCR in asking Congress to pass the Voting Rights Advancement Act (“VRAA”) and the election provisions of the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (“HEROES”) Act.

Read the letter here.

NACDD on Ensuring Language and Communications Needs are not a Barrier

NACDD joins civil rights organizations from across the country in demanding oversight to ensure language and communication needs are not a barrier to COVID-19 public health knowledge, testing, and treatment.

Read the letter here..

NACDD on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

NACDD joins the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities in supporting the bill and report language which would strengthen the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in the recently approved Fiscal Year 2021 Agriculture-Rural Development-FDA Funding Bill.

Read the letter here.

NACDD on Priorities for the Next COVID Relief Bill

NACDD joins the Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights and several other civil rights organizations that demands action to protect the health and safety of communities impacted the most by the COVID pandemic.

Read the letter here.

NACDD on Eliminating Waiting Periods for SSDI and Medicare

NACDD joins national organizations in imploring to the Honorable Nancy Pelosi and the Honorable Mitch McConnell to co-sponsor the ALS Disability Insurance Access Act of 2019. These year-long delays cause significant hardship for people with disabilities and their families. People can lose their housing, health insurance, or face other financial crises, often resulting in reliance on other public benefits.

Read the letter here.

NACDD on Census Funding in Next COVID-19 Relief Bill

NACDD joins national and state organizations in signing on to a letter that encourages “supplemental funding to help the Census Bureau cover costs related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its conduct of the 2020 Census.” Additional funds include PPE for field staff, extra technology to support more enumerators, and COVID-sensitive advertising.

Read the letter here.

NACDD on Medicare Enrollment Flexibilities 

NACDD signed on to a letter urging CMS to maintain more flexible enrollment policies to allow more people to qualify for health care for the duration of the public health emergency, and longer if needed. These provisions include: The Special Enrollment Period for Part C and Part D; Equitable Relief for Premium Part A and Part B; and Time-Limited Equitable Relief for Marketplace Enrollees.

Letter to CMS on Medicare Enrollment Flexibilities

NACDD’s response to PASRR

NACDD opposes CMS’ proposed changes to Preadmission Screening and Resident Review (PASRR). PASRR requirements prevent unnecessary placement in nursing facilities, and allows for residents of such facilities to transition back into community living. CMS’ proposed changes weaken PASRR, allowing for states to admit people to nursing facilities more easily while also making it more difficult for residents to transition back into the community.

Read the letter here.

Census Project Letter to House and Senate Subcommittees on FY2021

NACDD urges support from the House and Senate Subcommittees for them to donate $1.681 billion for the Census Bureau in FY 2021.

Read the letter here.

HHS and Disability Status Collection

NACDD urges Health and Human Services (HHS) to collect and report data on demographic characteristics, de-identified and disaggregated by disability status, to better inform the COVID-19 pandemic response.

Letter to HHS about Disability Status Data Collection

DRRC Letter to Sec. Azar on Disability Data Collection

Joint Statement on the Universal Civil and Human Rights of People with the Most Significant Developmental Disabilities  

NACDD proudly stands with The Autistic Self Advocacy Network on their joint statement on universal human rights.

Protect and Strengthen Medicaid and CHIP in Next COVID-19 Relief Package

Lifespan Respite Care Reauthorization Act (S. 995)

NACDD supports legislation to reauthorize the Lifespan Respite Care Program at $50 million over five years.

Coalition Letter for the Lifespan Respite Care Reauthorization Act

PUBLIC POLICY AGENDA FOR THE 116th CONGRESS

Public Policy Agenda for the 116th Congress

Sign-On Letters - 2020

NACDD on Eliminating Waiting Periods for SSDI and Medicare

NACDD joins national organizations in imploring to the Honorable Nancy Pelosi and the Honorable Mitch McConnell to co-sponsor the ALS Disability Insurance Access Act of 2019. These year-long delays cause significant hardship for people with disabilities and their families. People can lose their housing, health insurance, or face other financial crises, often resulting in reliance on other public benefits.

Read the letter here.

NACDD on Census Funding in Next COVID-19 Relief Bill

NACDD joins national and state organizations in signing on to a letter that encourages “supplemental funding to help the Census Bureau cover costs related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its conduct of the 2020 Census.” Additional funds include PPE for field staff, extra technology to support more enumerators, and COVID-sensitive advertising.

Read the letter here.

NACDD on Medicare Enrollment Flexibilities 

NACDD signed on to a letter urging CMS to maintain more flexible enrollment policies to allow more people to qualify for health care for the duration of the public health emergency, and longer if needed. These provisions include: The Special Enrollment Period for Part C and Part D; Equitable Relief for Premium Part A and Part B; and Time-Limited Equitable Relief for Marketplace Enrollees.

Letter to CMS on Medicare Enrollment Flexibilities

NACDD’s response to PASRR

NACDD opposes CMS’ proposed changes to Preadmission Screening and Resident Review (PASRR). PASRR requirements prevent unnecessary placement in nursing facilities, and allows for residents of such facilities to transition back into community living. CMS’ proposed changes weaken PASRR, allowing for states to admit people to nursing facilities more easily while also making it more difficult for residents to transition back into the community.

Read the letter here.

Census Project Letter to House and Senate Subcommittees on FY2021

NACDD urges support from the House and Senate Subcommittees for them to donate $1.681 billion for the Census Bureau in FY 2021.

Read the letter here.

HHS and Disability Status Collection

NACDD urges Health and Human Services (HHS) to collect and report data on demographic characteristics, de-identified and disaggregated by disability status, to better inform the COVID-19 pandemic response.

Letter to HHS about Disability Status Data Collection

DRRC Letter to Sec. Azar on Disability Data Collection

Joint Statement on the Universal Civil and Human Rights of People with the Most Significant Developmental Disabilities  

NACDD proudly stands with The Autistic Self Advocacy Network on their joint statement on universal human rights.

Protect and Strengthen Medicaid and CHIP in Next COVID-19 Relief Package

Lifespan Respite Care Reauthorization Act (S. 995)

NACDD supports legislation to reauthorize the Lifespan Respite Care Program at $50 million over five years.

Coalition Letter for the Lifespan Respite Care Reauthorization Act

PUBLIC POLICY AGENDA FOR THE 116th CONGRESS

Public Policy Agenda for the 116th Congress

DD Act and Other Major Federal Legislation

The Developmental Disabilities and Bill of Rights Assistance Act (DD Act) 1963, 2000

The DD Act, most recently updated in 2000, was originally created in 1963 under President John F. Kennedy as the Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Mental Health Centers Construction Act of 1963.  The initial goal was to address problems in state-run institutions for people with disabilities.  Over time, the goal has evolved to “assure that individuals with developmental disabilities and their families participate in the design of and have access to needed community services, individualized supports, and other forms of assistance that promote self-determination, independence, productivity, and integration and inclusion in all facets of community life…” [Sect 101, DD Act of 2000]. To achieve this broad goal, the DD Act reauthorized three programs that operate in each state and territory (UCEDD, DD Councils, and PADD) known as the DD Network. The DD Act leads the work of the DD Councils and the key piece of overarching legislation that guides the policy work of NACDD.

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The Rehabilitation Act of 1973

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 oversees federal vocational rehabilitation services for people with disabilities.  The law’s regulations and reauthorization still hold key relevance to employment policy for people with developmental disabilities. Importantly, the Rehabilitation Act was the first federal law to create and extend civil rights to people with disabilities and became the foundation for creating the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

The Americans with Disabilities Act is the most sweeping federal legislation on the civil rights of people with disabilities.  The law prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for people with disability in employment, state and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities and transportation.  The law was amended in 2008 to clarify its original intent and confirm its expansive protections.

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Photo of President George H. W. Bush signing the Americans with Disabilities Act inscribed to Justin Dart, Jr., 1990