Thursday, September 30, 2010

Capitol Insider Highlights

Highlights from The Capitol Insider for the Week of September 27, 2010:

The ARC and UCP to Oppose CLASS Act Repeal
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) introduced S. 3829, a bill to repeal the CLASS Act. Senators Chambliss (R- GA), Coburn (R-OK), Cornyn (R-TX), and McCain (R-AZ) joined as co-sponsors of the bill. The CLASS Act, part of the Affordable Care Act, creates a nationwide long term insurance program to assist people with long term service needs while avoiding the impoverishment necessary to receive Medicaid benefits. The Arc and UCP strongly supported passage of the CLASS Act and will oppose its repeal.

Obama to Sign "R" Word Elimination Bill
The House of Representatives passed Rosa’s Law (S. 2781), substituting the term “intellectual disabilities” for “mental retardation” in many federal laws. The bill is identical to the bill passed by the Senate earlier this year. President Obama will sign the bill into law soon. The terminology change does not affect eligibility or services available under the laws where the terminology is changed. This bill is a huge victory for self advocates and their families who have fought for years to remove the term “mental retardation”.

Expanding Assistance in Individuals with Autism
The House of Representatives passed HR 5756, The Training and Research for Autism Improvements Nationwide Act to amend Title I of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance Act and Bill of Rights Act (The DD Act), expanding assistance to children and adults with autism. The bill would authorize $17 million grants to University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs) to provide training and services, and provide grants for up to four new UCEDDs that collaborate with minority institutions. The bill now does to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee for consideration.

Previous issues of the Capitol Insider are available at anytime by choosing "Capitol Insider" under "Public Policy." If you have any questions, please contact Annie Acosta at

Monday, September 20, 2010

Stevie Wonder: Better Blind Access To Materials

UN NEWS SERVICE –Stevie Wonder, a United Nations Messenger for Peace, called for improved access to copyright material for people with visual disabilities at the annual meeting of the UN World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Wonder said “… while I know that it is critical not to act to the detriment of the authors who labor to create the great works that enlighten and nourish our minds, hearts and souls, we must develop a protocol that allows the easy import and export of copyright materials so that people with print disabilities can join the mainstream of the literate world”.

Accessible copy-righted materials is a key topic at this year’s WIPO and the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights. WIPO Director General Francis Gurry acknowledged the growing complexity of intellectual property concerns and technological innovations. WIPO recently opened WIPO Lex, an on-line global intellectual property reference resource on national intellectual property laws and treaties.

UN Peace Messenger Stevie Wonder calls for copyright steps for the blind

Friday, September 10, 2010

RSA Announces Special Issue of American Rehabilitation

The Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) has created a Special Edition of American Rehabilitation “Celebrating 90 Years: Creating Our Vision for 2020” in honor of the legacy of Mary E. Switzer and celebrating the partnerships that have contributed to the success of our profession.

This issue is available on both the CSAVR and NRA websites, as well as below:

American Rehabilitation Summer 2010.pdf
Accessible American rehabilitation Pub 2010-WORD.doc

DOT Fines AirTran for Disability Discrimination

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has assessed a civil penalty of $500,000 against AirTran Airways for violating rules protecting air travelers with disabilities.

The Air Carrier Access Act of 1986 requires airlines to provide assistance to passengers with disabilities in boarding and deplaning aircraft, including the use of wheelchairs, ramps, mechanical lifts or service personnel where needed. DOT found several violations of the requirement for boarding assistance. In addition, the carrier’s complaint files showed that it frequently did not provide an adequate written response to complaints from passengers.