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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.

PUBLIC POLICY AGENDA FOR THE 117th CONGRESS

Sign-On Letters - 2021

Public Policy Agenda for the 117th Congress

NACDD has attached a copy of the Public Policy Agenda for the 117th Congress. To find a copy of the agenda click the link, here.

NACDD on Funding

NACDD has joined various organizations in a letter urging the highest possible funding for federal programs to improve maternal health in Fiscal Year 2022.

To read the letter, click here.

NACDD on Census Redistricting

NACDD has joined the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and various other organizations in a letter on the importance and urgency of extending statutory reporting deadlines for apportionment and redistricting data from the 2020 Census.

To read the letter, click here.

NACDD on Employment

NACDD has joined the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities in a letter urging Congress urging that employment issues affecting people with disabilities are specifically addressed in legislation in both the American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan

To read our full letter, click here.

NACDD on Survivors of Sexual Harassment

NACDD has joined the National Women’s Law Center and various organizations in a call for Legislative Action to Support Student Survivors of Sexual Harassment,

To read our full letter, click here.

NACDD on the Home and Community Based Access Act (HAA)

NACDD has joined the Disability and Aging Collaborative (DAC) in support of the Home and Community Based Access Act (HAA). The HAA is drafted to ensure that the new service fits squarely within the structure of the Medicaid statute.

To read our full letter, click here.

NACDD on Charlotte Woodward Organ Transplant Discrimination Prevention Act (HR1235)

NACDD has joined The National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) in support of the Charlotte Woodward Organ Transplant Discrimination Prevention Act (HR 1235). This crucial legislation clarifies that doctors, hospitals, transplant centers, and other health care providers are prohibited from denying access to necessary organ transplants solely on the basis of a qualified individual’s disability.

To read our full letter, click here.

NACDD on Medicaid

NACDD signed on in support of this letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services calling on the new administration to rescind (remove) a regulation that allowed states to cut and reduce Medicaid services during the COVID-19 pandemic. This regulation resulted in people losing access to critical health care, including HCBS, at a time when they need it the most. We continue to urge states to maintain these services while we continue to respond to the pandemic.

To read our full letter, click here.

NACDD on the CASH Act

NACDD has signed on to a letter encouraging the CASH Act to be part of the next COVID-19 relief bill. The CASH Act’s provision includes adult dependents eligible for recovery rebates and the provision providing the $500 retroactive payment that adult dependents did not receive in the CARES Act.

To read our full letter, click here.

NACDD on Food Security and COVID-19

NACDD has joined the Food Research and Action Network a letter advocating for the extension of the Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer program which would allow schools to continue to offer nutritious meals to students at no cost past Sept 30, 2021. Continuation of the Child Nutrition Waivers would allow for schools to continue to offer nutritious meals to students at no cost.

To read our full letter, click here.

NACDD on IDEA 

NACDD has joined the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities in a letter urging Congress to pass an emergency relief package that includes the Supporting Children with Disabilities. This bill would provide $12.2 billion in targeted funding for IDEA to directly support the needs of students under IDEA.

To read our full letter, click here.

NACDD on Stimulus Checks

NACDD has joined the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities in a letter advocating for the inclusion of adult dependents in the next stimulus payment.

To read our full letter, click here.

NACDD on Medicaid and Appendix K

NACDD has written and sent a letter to the Center for Medicaid and Medicare on behalf of the Taskforce on Emergency Medicaid Waivers. The letter includes the perspectives of states on the benefits and risks of flexibilities authorized under 1915 (c) Appendix K emergency waivers. 

To read our full letter, click here.

NACDD on State and Local Aid

NACDD has signed on to a letter asking House and Senate leadership to prioritize passage of $1 trillion in emergency unrestricted funding for states, cities, towns and schools and an increase in the FMAP.

To read the full letter, click here.

Sign-On Letters - 2020

NACDD on Title IX

NACDD has signed on to a letter to the Biden-Harris transition team with recommendations on strengthening Title IX enforcement and addressing sexual harassment in schools.

To read the full letter, click here.

NACDD on Medical Expenses

NACDD has joined the MED EX Coalition in a letter asking Congress to make the extension of the 7.5 percent threshold for the medical expense deduction permanent. The current extension expires on Dec. 31, 2020.

To read the full letter, click here.

NACDD on Vaccination and COVID-19

NACDD has signed on to a statement by AADMD to address the risks facing people with I/DD & how they should be included in vaccine allocation.

To read the full statement, click here.

NACDD has signed on in support of the The Autism Society of America’s COVID-19 statement, along with more than a dozen leading I/DD organizations. We encourage the autism community to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as distribution becomes possible, and that the I/DD community at large should be included in the group of high-risk diagnoses and prioritized for vaccination.

To read the full statement,  click here.

NACDD on the “Safe to Work” Act

NACDD has signed on to a letter from The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights urging Congress to oppose any legislative provision that provide businesses with immunity from COVID-related lawsuits, including the so-called “Safe to Work” Act.

To read the full letter, click here.

NACDD on COVID Relief

NACDD has joined the DAC in a letter to congressional leaders asking for dedicated HCBS money and MGP extension be included in the next COVID package.

To read the full letter, click here.

NACDD on the Lifespan Respite Care Program

NACDD has signed on to a letter supporting increased funding for the Lifespan Respite Care Program in FY 2021.

To read the full letter, click here.

NACDD on Finance Equality

NACDD joined the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities in a letter focusing on the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and Regulation B urging strong antidiscrimination regulations so that people with disabilities, especially those who are also minority or LGBT, are not discriminated against under the rules in light of the Bostok decision by the Supreme Court earlier this year

To read the full letter, click here.

NACDD on home-and-community-based services (HCBS)

NACDD has joined the Disability and Aging Collaborative (DAC) in advocating for robust, meaningful, publicly reported home-and-community-based services (HCBS) quality measures in Medicaid.

To read the full letter, click here.

NACDD on the National Council on Disability

NACDD provided comments on a report to the by the National Council on Disability (NCD) on COVID-19 and the Impact on People with Disabilities which is expected to be released in 2021.

To read the full letter, click here.

NACDD on Medicaid

NACDD has signed on to a letter to the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission warning that the Medicaid estate recovery program harms low-income and minority families and urges states should not require participation.

To read the full letter, click here.

NACDD on Keeping All Student Safe Act

NACDD has joined the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities in a letter supporting the Keeping All Student Safe Act.

To read the full letter, click here.

NACDD on Legal Policy

NACDD has joined the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities in a letter urging Department of Justice to withdraw this Interim Final Rule. The Rule would hamper the Justice Department’s ability to issue important guidance to help stakeholders comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and other laws.

To read the full letter, click here.

NACDD on Medicare Program

NACDD has joined the ITEM Coalition to comment on the proposed rule on the Medicare Coverage of Innovative Technology (MCIT) pathway and the definition of “reasonable and necessary” for items and services furnished under the Medicare program (the Proposed Rule).

To read the full letter, click here.

NACDD on the Access to Assistive Technology and Devices for Americans Study Act (H.R. 8581)

NACDD has joined the ITEM Coalition to show support for the Access to Assistive Technology and Devices for Americans Study Act introduced by Reps. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) and Brett Guthrie (R-KY).

To read the full letter, click here.

NACDD on the Access to Assistive Technology and Devices for Americans Study Act (S. 4343)

NACDD has joined the ITEM Coalition to show support for the Access to Assistive Technology and Devices for Americans Study Act introduced by Sens. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).

To read the full letter, click here.

NACDD on Appendix K Waivers

NACDD has joined the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities and  the Disability and Aging Collaborative, in a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to highlight the value pf Appendix K waivers.

To read the full letter, click here.

NACDD on vaccination

NACDD has joined the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities in a letter to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, writing on vaccination allocation in relation to COVD-19.

To read the full letter, click here.

NACDD on 2020 Census

NACDD has joined The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights in a letter to senators on the urgency of extending statutory reporting deadlines for apportionment and redistricting data, and to give the U.S. Census Bureau sufficient time to implement complex data processing activities and complete the most accurate 2020 Census possible.

To read the letter, click here.

NACDD on Pandemic Child Hunger Prevention Act (H.R.7887) & Emergency SNAP Flexibilities Extension Act (H.R. 7794)

NACDD has joined the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) to express our support for the Pandemic Child Hunger Prevention Act (H.R.7887) & Emergency SNAP Flexibilities Extension Act (H.R. 7794). The CCD has drafted a thank you letter to Chairman Booby Scott and Chairwoman Marcia Fudge in introducing both bills.

Read the letter click here.

NACDD on Low-Income Broadband During the Pandemic

NACDD has joined The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights in a letter to Congress to provide a low-income broadband benefit as part of the upcoming Phase 4 COVID-19 Package.

Read the letter here.

NACDD on Congregate Settings and Voting During the election

NACD has joined ACLU and other organizations in a letter to Secretary Azar and the DHHS to urge them to protect the voting rights of citizens living in  nursing homes, ICFs, psychiatric hospitals, and group homes during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Read the letter here.

NACDD on USDA Waiver Extension

NACDD has joined Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) and nearly 1,400 national, state, and local organizations in asking USDA to issue additional child nutrition waivers to support access and program operations through the rest of the school year

Read the letter here.

NACDD on Person, Remote, and Hybrid Elementary and Secondary Education During the COVID-19 Pandemic

NACDD has joined the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities to ensure that students with disabilities have the right to a proper and safe education during and after the pandemic.

Read the letter here.

NACDD on Health Task Force Telehealth Principles 

NACDD has joined civil rights organizations from across the country to ensure accessible principles for our new telehealth care system during COVID-19. 

Read the letter here.

NACDD on Imperative Language in COVID packages

NACDD has joined civil rights organizations from across the country to plead to the Congress to include imperative language for diverse groups in the next and future COVID relief packages.

Read the letter here.

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 IDEA

NACDD has joined with various disability rights groups to remind Congress and the Department of Education that COVID19 is not a reason to ignore IDEA protections for students! Read the statement 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

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

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