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Florida ADA News



 

Issue Number 2       April 1, 2000
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The National Parent Network on Disabilities (NPND) writes:



**NEW LEGISLATION FOR PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES**
Family Opportunity Act of 2000



At a Press Conference held on Wednesday, March 22, 2000, Senators Charles
Grassley (R-IA), Edward Kennedy (D-MA), and Jim Jeffords (R-VT) announced
the introduction of the Family Opportunity Act of 2000.



"When you're a parent, your main objective is to provide for your child
to the best of your ability," Senator Grassley said.



"If it takes a 12-hour day in the field or in the factory, that's what you
do. Our federal government takes this goal and turns it upside down for
parents of children with special health care needs. The government forces
these parents to choose between family income and their children's health
care. That's a terrible choice, but we'll fix it." He said that "Medicaid is
critical to the well being of children with multiple medical needs. It covers
a lot of ervices that these children need, such as physical therapy and
medical equipment. Private health plans often are much more limited in what
they cover. Many parents can't afford needed services or multiple co-payments
out-of-pocket."



Senator Kennedy said:



"Too often, to obtain needed health services for their
children under Medicaid, families are forced to become poor, stay poor, put
their children in institutions, or give up custody of their children
entirely." "No parent should be faced with that unacceptable choice." He
said the bill is mirrored on the success of the Work Incentives Improvement
Act, which allows adults with disabilities to work and maintain their
Medicaid. This gives families of children with disabilities the same
opportunities. Senator Jeffords announced "I am very pleased to join my
colleagues, especially Senators Grassley and Kennedy in introducing the
Family Opportunity Act of 2000. We are taking the right step, the logical
step, and a much needed step."



The press conference was filled with constituents, staff, families, and
children with disabilities. The news of the introduction of this
legislation was welcomed with applause, and a rally of strong support.



This important piece of legislation will help families of children with
disabilities to receive Medicaid their children so desperately need. It
will also establish Family to Family Health Resource Centers that will
assist families in negotiating a complex maze of health care needs. The
Family Opportunity Act is now on its way; however, we need to work hard
together to ensure this act becomes a law. We must urge our Senators to
co-sponsor this legislation. They must know how important this act will be
to families in the situation of caring for their child with disabilities.



ACTION NEEDED
Contact your Senator, especially the members of the Senate Finance and the
Senate Budget Committee (listed below) and encourage strong bipartisan
support of this legislation.



"Thank you, Senator Grassley, now we need a markup in the Finance Committee
for the Family Opportunity Act."



Senate Finance and Budget Committee Members



Finance Committee Members
Republicans:
Chairman William Roth, DE
Chuck Grassley, IA
Orrin Hatch, UT
Frank Murkowski, AK
Don Nickles, OK
Phil Gramm, TX
Trent Lott, MS
James Jeffords, VT
Connie Mack, FL
Fred Thompson, TN



Democrats:
Ranking Member Daniel Moynihan, NY
Max Baucus, MT
John Rockefeller, WV
John Breaux, LA
Kent Conrad, ND
Bob Graham, FL
Richard Bryan, NV
Robert Kerrey, NE
Charles Robb, VA



Budget Committee



"Senator Pete Domenici, you helped pass the work incentives Act for Americans
with disabilities! Please help find room in the budget proposal for the
Family Opportunity Act!"



Republicans
Chairman Pete Domenici, NM
Chuck Grassley, IA
Don Nickles, OK
Phil Gramm, TX
Christopher Bond, MO
Slade Gorton, WA
Judd Gregg, NH
Olympia Snowe, ME
Spencer Abraham, MI
William Frist, TN
Rod Grams, MN
Gordon Smith, OR



Democrats
Ranking Member Frank Lautenberg, NJ
Ernest Hollings, SC
Kent Conrad, ND
Paul Sarbanes, MD
Barbara Boxer, CA
Patty Murray, WA
Ron Wyden, OR
Russell Feingold, WI
Tim Johnson, SD
Richard Durbin, IL



MESSAGE



Urge your Senator to cosponsor the Family Opportunity Act of 2000. Our
children's lives are depending on this act passing.



CONTACT INFORMATION



www.senate.gov -- Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121
NPND website has a link to Congress: www.npnd.org



 



The Family Opportunity Act of 2000
Organizations of Support
as of 3/23/00



 



American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Adapted Physical Education Council
American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
American Association of University Affiliated Programs
American Association of Mental Retardation
American Association of Pastoral Counselors
American Association of School Administrators
American Counseling Association
American Congress of Community Supports
Association of Educational Services Agencies
American Family Foundation
American Music Therapy Association
American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR)
American Psychiatric Association
American Therapeutic Recreation Association
American Psychoanalytic Association
American Association of People with Disabilities
American College of Osteopathic Pediatricians
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Autism Society of America
Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
Brain Injury Association
Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities ( represents 100 groups)
Child Welfare League of America
Children's Defense Fund (CDF)
Council of Great City Schools
Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder
Consortium of Developmental Disabilities Councils
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF)
Mile High Down Syndrome Association
National Disability Network
National Rural Education Association
Easter Seals
Family Voices
Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health
Federation of Behavioral, Psychological and Cognitive Sciences
Federation for Children with Special Health

International Association of Psycho-Social Rehabilitation Services
Justice for All
Mental Health Liaison Group
National Alliance of the Mentally Ill (NAMI)
National Association of Developmental Disabilities Councils
National Association of County Behavioral Health Directors
National Association of People With Aids
National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems
National Association of School Psychologists
National Association of Social Workers
National Down Syndrome Society
National Center on Disability and Health
National Association of Psychiatric Treatment Centers for Children
National Association of Protection and Advocacy Systems (NAPAS)
National Association of School Psychologists
National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors
National Council for Community Behavioral Health
National Mental Health Association (NMHA)
National Theraputic Recreation Society
National Parent Network on Disabilities
RESNA
Research Institute for Independent Living
National Shaken Baby Alliance
The ARC of the United States
The National Adoption Center
National Association of Children's Hospitals
United Cerebral Palsy Association
Voice for Adoption
Washington Business Group on Health



--
Fred Fay
Chair, Justice For All
jfa@jfanow.org
http://www.jfanow.org






The Workforce Investment Act (WIA)



The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) is due to take affect on July 1, 2000.
WIA brings together various federal job training and employment programs
into one integrated system of services, which all people can access through
One-Stop Centers.



The Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) in Boston, has put together a
free publication entitled, "Tools for Inclusion - People with Disabilities:
Having a Voice in the Creation of the New Workforce Investment System."
All of their publications are available via the Institute's web site at:
http://www.childrenshospital.org/ici/newpubs.html. For paper copies please
contact Emily Barrett at: e-mail: barrett_e@a1.tch.harvard.edu; voice:
(617) 355-6506. ICI is also doing extensive work on the issue of One-Stop
Centers and people with disabilities. For further information on these
efforts, please contact David Hoff at: e-mail: hoff_d@a1.tch.harvard.edu;
voice: (617) 355-7486; TTY: (617) 355-6956; Fax: (617) 355-7940.






Occupational Access And
Opportunity Commission
Volume 1, Issue 1 March 2000



 



 



Hello from the New Vocational Rehabilitation Director



On March 1st, 2000 Secretary Hooks appointed me Director of the Division of VR/OAOC. I am both honored and privileged to take this important position within state government. I can think of no other role I would rather perform the than facilitation of gainful employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities! The possibilities for a brighter future are truly limitless. With your assistance, I am certain that together we can employ significant numbers of persons with disabilities in a field of their choosing. The future of VR/OAOC comes directly from Senate Bill (SB) 230 and the highlights of this legislative directive are captured on the cover page of this newsletter.
Please allow me to share with you what I believe WE can accomplish with this new opportunity before us. Simply put, the OAOC and SB 230 are a new beginning. The opportunity is upon us to keep and improve all that is good within the current system and to remove all that is a barrier to the rehabilitation process and consumer employment.
The Commission is a steering body rather than a rowing body. The Commission focuses on broad macro issues affecting the rehabilitation system. They work in collaboration with other disability partners to establish the goals and priorities of the system. The Commission will create an ethos of empowerment to enable communities and individuals to directly shape the system that serves them. It will introduce greater competition between the service providers resulting in better, faster, and more reliable products for the consumer. The Commission is a mission driven system lacking cumbersome rules and regulations that have inhibited rehabilitation efforts in the past. A new results based system will help drive funding by outcomes instead of process. As a result of these initiatives, the OAOC can focus on and meet the unique needs of the consumer without the obstacles of government. By decentralizing government from a hierarchical (top - down) to a more proactive and team-oriented system we can leverage the market and community expertise to bring about significant employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. However, I will need your support and assistance to bring about this reform where all of the partners are working in tandem to collaboratively achieve the shared goal: employment opportunities!
As the month of March begins, there is much work to do and a lot of room for optimism. I am confident that this new century and new millennium will be ripe with opportunities for improvement as we collaborate in constructing a better rehabilitation system in Florida. This effort will require all of our participation. I am very excited and honored that Governor Bush, Commissioner Gallagher and Secretary Hooks had the confidence in my ability and dedication to select me to lead this new endeavor to radically change how individuals with disabilities are employed through vocational rehabilitation system. Please feel free to call, e-mail, or write your comments on how we can better improve employment outcomes and opportunities for our consumers.
In the meantime, please continue to write and execute individual plans of employment. The consumer needs your leadership and expertise! As we draw closer to July 1, 2000, I will keep you informed of the upcoming programmatic and structural changes that will assist you and the consumer in achieving the employment goals that have been established.



Sincerely,



 



Carl F. Miller, Jr.



OCCUPATIONAL ACCESS And OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION
(OAOC)
formerly Vocational Rehabilitation







The 2000 Census



The 2000 Census data will drive all kinds of funding and policy decisions
for the next 10 years. The short form has no question about disability on
it, but the long form does. Requesting the long form is a way we can make
sure people with disabilities are better counted. If you have not yet
turned in your Census 2000 form (even if you have received the short form
in the mail), you can call the numbers below and request a long form (you
may have to convince them you want a long form instead of a short one --
most people seem to want to go the other direction).



The long form is not really long and though it has more personal questions,
it's the only place they ask about disability.



To request the long form call:



1-800-471-9424 voice



1-800-582-8330 TDD






Title I of the ADA is not a valid exercise of Congress' power



In case you have not yet heard, the 7th Circuit (in a 2-1 decision) decided
that Title I of the ADA is not a valid exercise of Congress' power under
Section 5 of the 14th Amendment. The case, Erickson v. Northeastern
Illinois University, ___ F.3d ___, 2000 U.S. App. LEXIS 5074 (7th Cir.
2000), can be found on the web at
http://www.ca7.uscourts.gov/scripts/foxweb.exe/ca7/Op3
eno =98-3614



The Court's analysis is based on Kimel and is VERY discouraging.



Sharon Masling
Director of Legal Services
National Ass'n of Protection and Advocacy Systems



EDITORS NOTE: Look out for this! Call or Write TODAY!!



Congress and the Senate Must perserve our Civil Rights!





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Updated: April 1, 2000
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