This week the House of Representatives may vote on H.R. 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act. If passed, this resolution will be profoundly damaging to the ADA. The ADA is a civil rights law. It should go without saying that disability rights are civil rights.
In July of 1990, when he signed the ADA into law President George H.W. Bush declared "This historic act is the world's first comprehensive declaration of equality for people with disabilities -- the first. Its passage has made the United States the international leader on this human rights issue... Together, we must remove the physical barriers we have created and the social barriers that we have accepted. For ours will never be a truly prosperous nation until all within it prosper."
H.R. 620 seeks to keep the barriers that still remain - and barriers that have been constructed since the passage of the ADA nearly thirty years ago - firmly in place. The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) explains what will change under H.R. 620, "the burden of protecting the right to access a public place is shifted to the person with the disability, who first has to be denied access; then must determine that violations of the law have occurred; then must provide the business with specific notice of which provisions of the law were violated and when; and finally, the aggrieved person with the disability must afford the business a lengthy period to correct the problem." They go on to point out, "We know of no other law that outlaws discrimination but permits entities to discriminate with impunity until victims experience that discrimination and educate the entities perpetrating it about their obligations not to discriminate. Such a regime is absurd, and would make people with disabilities second-class citizens."
We cannot continue to fall short of the global leadership position that former President Bush Sr. envisioned for our nation on that sunny day in July. Nor can we fall short of our obligations to ourselves and our fellow Americans with disabilities. I will not be put in a position which requires me to quietly explain that my civil rights exist, or politely ask that those rights be respected and wait patiently for a response. Neither will I tolerate a society that places that burden on any other person.
In the face of this resolution we must speak up for ourselves, our families, and our friends.This week I will be calling my member of Congress to urge them to vote against H.R. 620. If you care to join me in this action, you can reach your congressperson by calling the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121, or send a letter to your congressperson with just a few clickshere.
Christian McMahon, Communications Specialst
Two-Year Federal Budget Deal and 6 Week Funding Bill Enacted
On February 9, the House and Senate passed a 6-week spending bill that ended an hours-long government shutdown and President Trump Signed it shortly afterward. This continuing resolution (CR) that runs through March 23 was paired with a two-yearbudget dealthat will raise spending caps on defense and non-defense discretionary (NDD) program categories for 2018 and 2019 by $290 billion. In addition, the budget deal specifically provides:
an additional four-year extension of the funding for the Children's Health Insurance program
a permanent fix for the Medicare therapy caps exceptions process
a two-year extension of the Family to Family Health Information Centers
a repeal of the Medicare panel created in the Affordable Care Act to implement Medicare cuts
a two-year extension of funding for Community Health Centers
a five-year extension funding for the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting program
$6 billion for opioid and mental health treatment services, prevention programs, and law enforcement efforts
$4 billion for college affordability, including programs that help police officers, teachers, and firefighters
$5.8 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant
$20 billion for infrastructure (including funding for safe drinking water)
A $2 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health
$4 billion for hospitals and clinics for veterans, and
$182 million for the Census Bureau for 2020 Census preparations.
The budget deal also includes a number of other important provisions, including suspending the debt ceiling through March 1 of 2019, providing for disaster relief funding, extending expiring tax cuts, and providing a new prevention focus for child welfare services. It is estimated that only $100 billion of the $419 billion spending increases will be paid for with offsetting cuts. This raises concerns that the resulting increased deficits will create more pressure to cut mandatory programs (including Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid), particularly if Congress decides to extend the sequestration relief for discretionary programs and other provisions after 2019.
With the budget totals set, Congress now has until March 23 to come to agreement on item-by-item spending details, through an "omnibus" spending package that would combine the 12 appropriations bills covering all government agencies for the remainder of FY 2018.
Jordan Lindsey,Executive Director,The Arc CA
by Teresa Anderson, MPH
The Governor's 2018-19 proposed budget has reignited the conversation of unfunded mandates and the impact they have on people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families and service providers.An unfunded mandate is, for the most part, a statute or regulation that requires an entity to perform or deliver services with no money allocated to fulfill the imposed requirement. For many businesses an increase in costs related to legislative or regulatory changes can be "price-adjusted" to account for changes in operating costs. A prime example of this is a local minimum wage ordinance. For instance, a retail business can implement a slight price adjustment to account for an increase in local minimum wage or a restaurant can increase the cost of a hamburger by 5%, but what about businesses - like regional center vendors - that are reimbursed based on a fixed rate?
In many regions, local minimum wages surpass state minimum wage; however, reimbursement rates to IDD service providers aren't adjusted in those regions to account for the increase in costs.
We are hearing from many regional center providers, families and advocates that the impact of unfunded mandates are causing restrictions in access to services as well as a financial strain on many providers. With at least 20 cities and much of the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County having local minimum wage ordinances that exceed state minimum wage, many service providers are faced with very difficult decisions related to the services they are able to provide. Although this is not a new problem, as many cities have had to increase minimum wage for the last several years in order to maintain or compete for a workforce, it is reaching crisis levels for providers who have had to "adjust" to the local minimum wage for several years in a row while still on a fixed rate reimbursement (that by all accounts are based on inadequate rates).
Recognizing the strain on regional center vendors, Assembly Member Holden introduced a bill last year aimed at alleviating some of the financial strain on providers though assistance with labor costs - through a rate adjustment - for providers in higher cost areas (local minimum age ordinance cities/areas). Unfortunately, even though there was not a single no vote on the bill it did not make it out of the Senate Appropriations Committee. This year Assembly Member Holden is advocating for our community in asking for a budget allocation to help alleviate labor cost in high cost areas (local minimum wage cities/areas).The Arc and UCP California Collaboration strongly supports his budget request and will actively advocate for its passage.Maintaining access to high quality services and supports for people with IDD throughout the state is a PRIORITY and we thank Assembly Member Holden for his advocacy. We will be sending out information about budget hearings and much needed advocacy efforts within the next couple of weeks. Let's work together to ensure that high quality services and supports are there for EVERYONE.
ONE MONTH UNTIL THE ANNUAL PUBLIC POLICY CONFERENCE. REGISTER NOW!
Our conference is the leading event for self-advocates, family members, community service providers, direct support professionals, regional center professionals, policymakers, and anyone else who wants to use public policy to build a better today and tomorrow for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Please join us to expand your knowledge of diverse, relevant topics that have direct current and future implications for people in our community.
This year we will explore the theme MOVING INTO THE FUTURE. We will focus on inclusive education, integrated housing, transformation of services and supports, civil rights & protections, community organizing, outreach to underserved communities, health care changes, competitive integrated employment, and much more.
View the agenda, see the speakers, and learn morehere.
Ending the Disparities in Services to People of Color in CA
by Mary Gonzales - Community Organizer, Co-Fonder of Gamaliel, Sibling of a brother with I/DD, Board Member for The Arc of the United States
On a recent Saturday, I attended a leadership development event in Los Angeles, CA.Ninety-two parents, self-advocates and supporters gathered and were challenged to build a base of people that is broad enough to find solutions and apply the necessary pressure to end the practices that have created incredible disparities in services to intellectually and developmentally disabled people of color for more than twenty years.
Each year, regional centers report on their website that they spend less money on people of color (African-Americans, Latinos, Asians, Native Americans and others) than they do providing services for their Anglo counterparts.
So, what is the cause?
The families, self-advocates and supporters are continually asked to follow the rules. They attend the public hearings, make statements at those hearings, learn how to deal with the many forms, applications, questionnaires, meetings, IPPs, IEPs and constant obstacles that keep them from services.
The Justice and Equity Coalition wants to overcome these obstacles and end the racial disparity.The Coalition needs and wants allies and realize they need the skills, attitudes and the language to build a broad base of families, self-advocates and supporters that is disciplined, highly motivated and focused on entering the public and political arena where these decisions are being made.They want and deserve change!
Justice and Equity Coalitions are forming in several regions of CA - Los Angeles, San Diego, Bay Area and the Stockton/Modesto region. If you are interested in becoming involved then email Tim Hornbecker, Director of Community Organizing, email@example.com.
The Arc and United Cerebral Palsy California Collaboration Sponsor AB 1985
Hate crimes against people with disabilities, often involving sadism, are common and almost never recognized. Jack Levin at Northeastern University in Boston, perhaps the country's leading expert, has called them "the invisible hate crimes."
In California in 2016, the official statistics reported just two - two - anti-disability hate crimes.
The Arc and United Cerebral Palsy California Collaboration, along with Equality California, is sponsoring a major bill this year that should start to lift the cloak of invisibility around these heinous crimes. It isAB 1985, introduced for us byAssemblymember Phil Ting.
The Ting bill is aimed at having law enforcement agencies adopt formal policies on hate crimes that will be much stronger than any in place now. This is Assemblymember Ting's second effort at such as bill. His first bill passed the Assembly Public Safety Committee on a bipartisan vote of 7-0 last year, only to die in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. This year we worked with Mr. Ting to remove any costs from the bill and thus bypass the Appropriations Committee.
The bill spells out what law enforcement agencies must include in their hate crimes policies. While there is no legal requirement that they have any such policies, the vast majority do.
The requirements for hate crimes policies will include specific instructions to officers for recognizing possible hate crimes. This will include the fact that, to be a hate crime, a crime need not be motivated by hate, but can also be motivated wholly or partly by bias, meaning a "preexisting negative attitude toward actual or perceived characteristics" listed in the hate crime law, starting with disability.
The bill states:"Depending on the circumstances of each case, bias motivation may include, but is not limited to, hatred, animosity, resentment, revulsion, contempt, unreasonable fear, paranoia, callousness, thrill-seeking, desire for social dominance, desire for social bonding with those of one's 'own kind,' or a perception of the vulnerability of the victim due to the victim being perceived as having a negative characteristic such as being weak, worthless, or fair game because of a protected characteristic, including gender and disability."
Disability-bias and gender-bias crimes are believed to be the two most under-reported categories of hate crimes.
The agencies' policies also must include specific procedures for investigating and reporting possible hate crimes and for being sensitive to the needs of victims and providing them with information on services available to them.
In addition, the bill clarifies that the term "disability" in the hate crime lawincludes mental disabilities and physical disabilities "regardless of whether those disabilities are temporary, permanent, congenital, or acquired by heredity, accident, injury, advanced age, or illness."
Wednesday, February 21, 2018, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 22, 2018, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
CALIFORNIA STATE REHABILITATION COUNCIL (SRC)
MEETING NOTICE AND AGENDA
Department of Rehabilitation
721 Capitol Mall, Room 169
Sacramento, CA 95814
Teleconference Number:(866) 819-3654
February 27, 2018
Olmstead Advisory Committee
The Olmstead Advisory Committee was established within the California Health and Human Services Agency in 2005 to ensure the involvement of people with disabilities and other system stakeholders in making recommendations on actions to improve California's long-term care system. The Olmstead Advisory Committee members represent consumers, family members, providers and advocates
Time: 10:00 - 4:00
Location: CA Dept. of Rehabilitation
721 Capitol Mall
Sacramento, CA 95814
March 7, Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 1 On Health And Human Services - DDS issues will be discussed and heard.
Location: Sacramento Capitol (room TBD)
Time: 2:30 PM
March 15, Senate Budget Subcommittee No. 3 on Health and Human Services - DDS issues will be heard.
Location: Sacramento Capitol, room 4203
Time: 9:30 AM
Scholarship Applications to The Arc's Summer Leadership Institute and Professional Development Seminar
The purpose of the ARRT program (funded through NIDILRR's Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program) is to provide advanced research training and experience to individuals with doctorates, or similar advanced degrees, who have clinical or other relevant experience. ARRT projects train rehabilitation researchers (including those with disabilities) with particular attention to research areas that support the implementation and objectives of the Rehabilitation Act and that improve the effectiveness of services under this law.
In recognition that some service providers need to take steps towards modifying their services to come into compliance with the HCBS rules by March 2022, the 2017 Budget Act contains $15 million to fund necessary changes.
The Arc of California posts job announcements in the Career Ladder section every week because we would like to contribute to steering quality candidates to professional positions that support people with disabilities and we are trying to communicate to Direct Support Professionals that there is a "career ladder" in their chosen profession.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities 1. Establishes and implements HR efforts that effectively communicates and supports the organization's vision and strategic vision. 2. Leads the development and implementation of comprehensive HR strategies, policies, and practices in support of the organization in the areas of recruitment and retention....
Interested in leading the California Foundation of Independent Living Centers to accomplish its mission of increasing access and equal opportunity for people with disabilities by building the capacity of Independent Living Centers? Apply for this job to be a catalyst in the advancement of the Independent Living Movement in California!
The Dale Law Firm is a law office in central Contra Costa County that is dedicated to assisting persons with disabilities and their families to provide quality of life through utilization of special needs trusts. The Dale Law Firm is very active in a number of education activities including webinars, presentations for disability groups as well as professional organizations that serve persons with disabilities.
The Executive Director is accountable for the legal, safe, and effective operation of all activities and programs of the agency. Responsibilities include association-wide fiscal management, personnel management, business compliance, long-range planning, program management and evaluation.
The Chief Executive Officer/President enables PWI to adapt to and influence a dynamic environment. Working with and reporting to the Board of Directors, this role helps set policy and strategic leadership in concert with the mission, vision, purposes, and values of the organization. The CEO/President serves as the principal external representative of the organization and manages internal systems and complex processes of the organization to achieve effective and efficient operations. This position also directs budget development, fiscal responsibility and assures successful financial performance.