• 28-Aug-2019 4:55 PM | Anonymous


    What is the Coalition’s mission?

    The National Coalition on Deafblindness provides information and advocacy in a collaborative way to policy makers, fiscal agents, education professionals and community leaders on behalf of children and youth who are deafblind, in conjunction and partnership with adults who are deafblind, families, and stakeholders.

    Who are the Coalition’s national partners?

    • American Association of the Deafblind
    • CHARGE Syndrome Foundation
    • DeafBlind Citizens in Action
    • Helen Keller National Center
    • National Family Association for Deaf-Blind
    • Usher Syndrome Coalition

    What does the Coalition do?

    The Coalition’s current focus is to advance the Alice Cogswell and Anne Sullivan Macy Act in the U.S. Congress (see more about the Cogswell-Macy Act below). The Coalition is in the process of incorporating as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization so that we can begin recruiting organizational members and individual members who want to help support the Cogswell-Macy Act.

    What is the Alice Cogswell and Anne Sullivan Macy Act?

    The Cogswell-Macy Act is federal legislation that amends IDEA on issues specific to the education of students who are Deaf and hard of hearing, blind and visually impaired, and deafblind. The Act has three titles (or sections):

    • Title I: Improving the Effectiveness of Special Education and Related Services for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
    • Title II: Improving the Effectiveness of Special Education and Related Services for Students with Visual Disabilities
    • Title III: Improving the Effectiveness of Special Education and Related Services for Children and Youth who are Deafblind

    Title III, which is the section specific to deafblindness, amends IDEA to add interveners as a related service. Title III corrects the federal definition of deafblindness by proposing a new definition that is clearer and is consistent with other federal definitions. Title III also requires states to report on how they will ensure the availability of qualified interveners and teachers of children who are deafblind.

    The Cogswell-Macy Act has been introduced in the past three Congresses:

    Congress Years House and Senate bills

    • 113th Congress 2013-2014 House Resolution (HR) 3535
    • 114th Congress 2015-2016 House Resolution (HR) 4040
    • 115th Congress 2017-2018 House Resolution (HR) 1120 and Senate Bill (S) 2087

    In the House of Representatives, the Cogswell-Macy Act was introduced by Rep. Matt Cartwright (DPA) and co-sponsored by Rep. David McKinley (R-WV). At the end of the last Congress in 2018, the Cogswell-Macy Act had been referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, where it eventually ‘died in committee.’ At that time, however, the Act had a record 48 bipartisan cosponsors, including 10 Republicans and 38 Democrats. In addition, the 115th Congress was the first time the Act was introduced in the U.S. Senate, which is a legislative necessity for a bill to move forward. In the Senate, the Act was introduced by Edward Markey (D-MA) and co-sponsored by Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV).

    For the full text of the Cogswell-Macy Act and list of co-sponsors in the House of Representatives from the last Congress in 2018, go to: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1120.

    What’s happening right now with the Alice Cogswell and Anne Sullivan Macy Act?

    The Coalition is actively engaged with key stakeholder groups to make any needed minormadjustments to the Act’s language prior to the Act being re-introduced into the House and Senate. We are hopeful that we will have the continued support of House members and Senators who introduced or co-sponsored the legislation in the past.

    The Cogswell-Macy Act may or may not be passed by Congress as a stand-alone bill, or it may eventually be merged with other federal legislation. It is also possible that if Congress begins drafting language for the reauthorization of IDEA—which is many years overdue—the language in the Cogswell-Macy Act will be included in that reauthorization process. It is important to remember that many organizations and constituent groups support the intent of the legislation and this support will help us to ensure that these needed changes to IDEA are eventually enacted, either through passage of the Cogswell-Macy Act or through Congressional reauthorization of IDEA.

    What can you do to support the Alice Cogswell and Anne Sullivan Macy Act?

    Stay connected to the Coalition on Twitter. Once the Cogswell-Macy Act is reintroduced, we will need our supporters to contact their respective Representatives and Senators and ask that they support the legislation by co-sponsoring and by encouraging their colleagues to do the same. This should be an easy request. Personal stories from local constituents are powerful tools for getting the attention of lawmakers. This is legislation that improves services to a population of students that might be relatively small in number but that have extraordinarily complex and specialized educational needs.

    How can you learn more about the Alice Cogswell and Anne Sullivan Macy Act?

    To learn more about the Cogswell-Macy Act, go to: https://cogswellmacyact.org.

    Who constitutes the Leadership Team of the National Coalition on Deafblindness?

    The current Leadership Team of the Coalition includes the following individuals (listed alphabetically):

    Maurice Belote, California • Jacqueline Izaguirre, Texas (NFADB Liaison)

    Tracy Luiselli, Massachusetts • John Mascia, Alabama

    Follow the Coalition on Twitter: @DB_Coalition

  • 07-Jun-2019 1:17 PM | Anonymous

    Compliments of American Council of the Blind

    Please read below the proposed White House budget for 2020 and how budget cuts will affect people with disabilities!

    The White House released its budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2020. Many in the disability community expressed concerns regarding program eliminations and spending cuts. It is important to keep in mind that our government is a system of checks and balances. One check that Congress has over the whims of the executive is the power of the purse, as laid down in the U.S. Constitution. a president’s budget proposal is as much a  political messaging document as a policy document. We anticipate the newly elected Democratic majority in the House of Representatives, where all funding bills must originate, to view many of the Executive’s policy recommendations with a healthy dose of skepticism. Along with our allies in the cross-disability community, the ACB National Office is monitoring the actions of the Administration and Congress very closely, and we will alert our membership of any significant developments. That said, below is a list of the budget proposals with the potential to directly impact ACB members.

     

    Medicare

     

    The White House budget proposal would reduce Medicare spending by $575 billion over the next ten years by reducing wasteful spending, provider payments, and lowering prescription drug prices.

     

    Medicaid

     

    The White House budget proposal would reduce Medicaid spending by $1.5 trillion over the next ten years, would implement work requirements, and create $1.2 trillion block grants for the states. The net reduction in value for Medicaid is projected to be $777 billion.

     

    Social Security

     

    The White House budget plans to reduce Social Security Disability Insurance spending by $10 billion over the next ten years. 

     

    Department of Education

     

    Programs authorized under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act are level funded.

     

    Vocational Rehabilitation Programs

    ·         Vocational Rehabilitation State Grants would receive $3,610,000,000, a 2.5% increase ($88,010,000 increase) from FY 2019.

    ·         Supported Employment State Grants is zeroed out, a $22,548,000 decrease.

    ·         Services for Older Blind Individuals would receive $33,317,000, level funded.

    In addition, the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults would receive $10,300,000, a 23.7% decrease ($3,200,000 decrease) in funding from FY 2019.

     

    Under Special Institutions for Persons with Disabilities:

    ·         American Printing House for the Blind would receive $25,400,000, a 16.53% decrease ($5,031,000 decrease) in funding from FY 2019.

    ·         National Technical Institute for the Deaf would receive $70,000,000, a %9.68% decrease ($7,500,000 decrease) from FY 2019.

    ·         Gallaudet University would receive $121,300,000, a 9.72% decrease ($13,061,000 decrease) from FY 2019.

     

    The budget proposal also proposes to eliminate 29 programs for an annual savings of $6.7 billion.  Those programs include:

    ·         Special Olympics Education Programs, which were funded at $17,600,000.

    ·         21st Century Community Learning Centers, which were funded at $1,221,700,000.

    ·         Alaska Native Education, which was funded at $35,000,000    

    ·         American History and Civics Education, which was funded at $4,800,000.

    ·         Arts in Education, which was funded at $29,000,000.

    ·         Comprehensive Centers, which were funded at $52,000,000.

    ·         Comprehensive Literacy Development Grants, which were funded at $190,000,000.

    ·         Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, which were funded $840,000,000.

    ·         Full-Service Community Schools, which were funded at $17,500,000.

    ·         Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, which was funded at $5,000,000.

    ·         Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, which were funded at $360,000,000.

    ·         Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need, which was funded at $23,000,000.

    ·         Impact Aid Payments for Federal Property, which were funded at $74,300,000.

    ·         Innovative Approaches to Literacy, which were funded $27,000,000.

    ·         International Education and Foreign Language Studies Domestic Programs, which were funded at $65,100,000.

    ·         International Education and Foreign Language Studies Overseas Programs, which were funded at $7,100,000.

    ·         Javits Gifted and Talented Education, which was funded at $12,000,000.

    ·         Native Hawaiian Education, which was funded at $36,000,000.

    ·         Promise Neighborhoods, which were funded at $78,300,000.

    ·         Ready to Learn Programming, which was funded at $27,700,000.

    ·         Regional Educational Laboratories, which were funded at $55,400,000.

    ·         Statewide Family Engagement Centers, which were funded at $10,000,000.

    ·         Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, which were funded at $32,300,000.

    ·         Strengthening Institutions, which were funded at $99,900,000.

    ·         Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants, which were funded at $1,170,000,000.

    ·         Supported Employment State Grants, which were funded at $22,500,000.

    ·         Supporting Effective Educator Development, which was funded at $75,000,000.

    ·         Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants, which were funded at $2,055,800,000.

    ·         Teacher Quality Partnership, which was funded at $43,100,000.

     

     

     

     

    Clark Rachfal

    Director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs

    American Council of the Blind (ACB)

    1703 N. Beauregard Street, Suite 420

    Alexandria, VA 22311

    Main: 202-467-5081

    Learn more about us at www.acb.org

    Follow us on Twitter at @acbnational

    Like us on Facebook at wwwfacebook.com/AmericanCounciloftheBlindOfficial

    View our YouTube page at http://tinyurl.com/gloz7bq

  • 07-Jun-2019 1:05 PM | Anonymous

    Access Technology Affordability Act

    Senate - S. 815 - Sponsored by John Boozman (R-AR)

    The Bill - Read It

    Follow the Bill HERE

    House - H.R. 2086 - Sponsored by Mike Thompson (D-CA-5)

    Follow the Bill HERE
    This legislation removes an employment barrier commonly experienced by blind Americans who cannot afford the high cost of access technology by creating a refundable tax credit in the amount of $2,000 to offset the cost of these technologies.

    When you call or email, you might say something like the following:

    "Hello, my name is [your name] and I am a constituent of [your senator/representative]. I live in [city, state]. I am calling to urge [your senator/representative] to cosponsor [S. 815 for Senate calls/H.R. 2086 for House calls], the Access Technology Affordability Act. This legislation removes an employment barrier commonly experienced by blind Americans who cannot afford the high cost of access technology by creating a refundable tax credit in the amount of $2,000 to offset the cost of these technologies. I urge [your senator/representative] to cosponsor the bill.

  • 07-Jun-2019 12:45 PM | Anonymous

    Transformation to Competitive Employment Act

    Senate - S. 260 - Sponsored by Bob Casey (D-PA)

    The Bill Read More

    Follow the Bill HERE

    House - H.R. 873 - Sponsored by Bobby Scott (D-VA-3)

    Click on related bills using the link above

    These bills would phase out Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act over a six-year period, at which point the provision would officially be sunset.

    When you call or email, you might say something like the following:

    "Hello, my name is [your name] and I am a constituent of [your senator/representative]. I live in [city, state]. I am calling to urge [your senator/representative] to cosponsor [S. 260 for Senate calls/H.R. 873 for House calls], the Transformation to Competitive Employment Act. This bill would phase out subminimum wages for people with disabilities over a six-year period, at which point Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the provision that allows this practice, would be sunset. I urge [your senator/representative] to cosponsor the bill.

    You can contact your member of Congress by calling the Capitol Switchboard and asking for the office in question. The number is 202-224-3121.


OUR MISSION:  NFADB exists to empower the voices of families with individuals who are deaf-blind and advocate for their unique needs.

EXPAND YOUR FAMILY NETWORK

become a member of nfadb


SUPPORT NFADB

Our work is supported by organizations and individuals like you.  

Support our work


Donation goal

Goal: $50,000.00
Collected: $43,223.00
86%

PHONE OR FAX

Phone: 800.255.0411
Fax: 516.883.9060

MAILING ADDRESS

PO Box 1667
Sands Point, NY 11050

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software