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Action Alerts & Bazelon Updates

End Discrimination Against Bar Applicants with Mental Health Diagnoses

April 15, 2014 -- State Bars will soon be reviewing the questions about mental health diagnosis and treatment they ask of law graduates who seek admission to the Bar, in response to a finding by the U.S. Department of Justice that many current questions about mental health diagnosis and treatment violate the Americans with Disabilities Act. We urge you to contact your State Bar and encourage them to join the ranks of those who have abandoned intrusive and discriminatory questions about applicants’ mental health. Read this Action Alert>

Comment in Support of DOJ's ADAAA Regulations 

March 27, 2014 – The U.S. Department of Justice has proposed regulations regarding the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA), defining and clarifying how the law applies and who is protected by the ADA.  The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law encourages allies to submit comments by midnight, March 31, 2014, that express overall support for the Department’s comments, but recommend a few modifications  Read this Action Alert>

Help 60 Minutes Get the Story Right on People with Schizophrenia

October 8, 2013 -- Today the Bazelon Center and other concerned organizations sent a letter to CBS’ 60 Minutes in response to a segment that portrays individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia as ticking time bombs, and as hopeless and helpless people whose primary life options are hospitalization, homelessness, or incarceration. The segment also inaccurately suggests that the primary need in our mental health system is for more hospitalization and forced treatment. Read This Action Alert>

Support Fair Housing for People with Disabilities

Submit Comments Before Midnight, September 17, 2013

September 12, 2013--The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) proposes to provide HUD program participants more effective means to proactively overcome historic patterns of segregation, promote fair housing choice, and foster inclusive communities for all. The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law encourages allies to submit comments.  Read This Action Alert>

July 29 Briefings: The ADA and Key Principles of Community Integration

Please Attend and Ask Lawmakers to Attend

July 25, 2013--To mark the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), disability  advocates will hold two briefings on Capitol Hill on July 29 to educate congressional staff and lawmakers on the history, purpose, and vision of the ADA.  Read This Action Alert>

ADA/Olmstead Focus of Senate Report, Congressional Briefings

Please Ask Your Lawmakers to Attend These Briefings

July 18, 2013--The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law applauds the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee for issuing Separate and Unequal, an in-depth report detailing the ways in which state service systems continue to support the needless segregation of people with disabilities. Read This Action Alert>

Stigma Wins, Privacy Loses in HHS Proposal

June 4, 2013, updated June 12 -- The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, Mental Health America, and the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare submitted joint comments urging the administration not to amend its Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule. The changes would apply different rules to certain mental health records for the purpose of ensuring that more records are reported to the FBI's gun database. Read This Action Alert>

Congressional Briefing for National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week

April 30, 2013 -- On Tuesday, May 7, 2013, a legislative briefing will be held in honor of National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week.  The briefing will focus on effective services and supports for youth and young adults and the importance of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) funded grant programs. Read This Action Alert>

Interfaith Coalition Warns Against Equating Mental Illness with Violence

April 29, 2013 -- The Interfaith Disability Advocacy Coalition (IDAC), a program of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), is proud to release Grounded in Faith: Resources on Mental Health and Gun Violence. The compendium is a resource for congregational leaders, disability advocates, and other concerned persons who wish to ensure that the on-going debate around gun violence prevention does not stigmatize people with mental illnesses, and deprive them of their rights and freedoms. Read the AAPD's press release here.

Tell NPR to Retract its Startlingly Distorted Series on Social Security Disability Programs

March 28, 2013 -- National Public Radio has been airing a week-long series of programs replete with false narratives and unsubstantiated claims implying that people with disabilities are either taking advantage of government assistance or being victimized by it. The insulting depiction of low-income people with disabilities is particularly disturbing and it is why so many people are reaching out to NPR in protest. Read This Action Alert>

Strengthen ACA’s Essential Health Benefits and Protections

Comments Needed, Deadline Approaching

December 20, 2012 -- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has proposed a rule outlining standards related to development and coverage of essential health benefits (EHBs) under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, many of the proposed rule’s protections for insurance consumers and beneficiaries with mental illnesses could be much stronger. We strongly encourage organizations and individuals to submit comments on the proposed rule before the deadline: 5 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time), December 26, 2012. Read This Action Alert>

Support the International Disability Rights Treaty Today

November 27, 2012 -- As part of a coalition effort, we ask our allies to take action today to support the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Both of your U.S. senators need to hear that the disability community is leading the movement for U.S. ratification of this important international disability treaty. Here are quick and easy ways you can help! Read This Action Alert>

NCD Seeks Parents Who Lost Custody, Parental Rights

October 3, 2012 -- The National Council on Disability (NCD) would like to hear from parents who have lost custody of a child, or had their parental rights terminated, as a result of their disability. Please contact NCD's Robyn Powell at rpowell @ ncd.gov.

Stop Threat to Olmstead and Right to Live in Community

PLEASE ACT NOW

August 27, 2012 -- updated October 22 -- Washington State Governor Gregoire has agreed not to appeal the M.R. v. Dreyfus case to the U.S. Supreme Court. An appeal could have placed at risk one of the most fundamental civil rights of individuals with disabilities: the right to avoid needless institutionalization. If the case went to the Supreme Court, the activist conservative majority could have done damage to Olmstead and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Read This Action Alert>

New Guide to States’ Opportunities to Expand Medicaid

Help Your State Make the Right Choices

July 18, 2012 -- The Bazelon Center has released a new guide to help advocates, providers and state leaders improve health coverage and mental health services in the states. Now is the time to help state leaders understand the benefits of expanding Medicaid eligibility and ensuring that people with mental illness have access to the services they need. Read This Action Alert>

Co-Sponsors Needed for the Children’s Mental Health Accessibility Act

Please Call Your Senators

June 20, 2012 -- Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Charles Grassley (R-IA) have introduced the Children’s Mental Health Accessibility Act (S. 3289) to promote community alternatives for youth with serious mental health disorders served by the public mental health system. Read This Action Alert>

Say "No" to House’s Cuts to Medicaid and Other Crucial Services for Struggling Americans

House Votes This Week: Please Call Now

May 8, 2012 -- The U.S. House of Representatives has scheduled a vote this week on a bill that would deeply cut domestic programs in order to avoid the across-the-board cuts Congress and the president agreed to last year in the Budget Control Act. This bill is not a fair and balanced approach to reducing the nation's deficit. What is worse, these cuts target people with disabilities and many other marginalized Americans. But you can help! Read This Action Alert>

Help Protect Mental Health & Criminal Justice Collaboration Program

Ask Your U.S. Senators and Representative to Sign Letters Protecting Funding for MIOTCRA Program

March 9, 2012 -- The president’s fiscal year (FY) 2013 budget proposes consolidating the Mentally Ill Offender, Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA) program with problem-solving/drug court grants. This would ultimately jeopardize funding for critical law enforcement training, crisis intervention teams and other MIOTCRA components that help youth and adults get the services they need without coming into contact with the justice system. Your voice can help protect MIOTCRA funding. Read This Action Alert>

Bazelon Update: President Sends Fiscal Year 2013 Budget to Congress

February 16, 2012 -- Earlier this week, President Obama sent to Congress his $3.8 trillion budget proposal for fiscal year 2013. The plan would reduce spending on domestic discretionary programs by $40 billion, including many federal programs that support the needs of people with mental illnesses. The budget also supports some key investments, plus a few controversial recommendations. Read This Bazelon Update>

House to Vote on Repealing CLASS Act!

Voice Your Support for Long-Term Care

January 30, 2012 -- The U.S. House is preparing to vote this week on repealing the CLASS Act, which otherwise would help people pay for long-term services and supports vital to helping them live independently in their homes and communities if they develop a disability with functional limitations, as is common with aging. Please call your representative to oppose repeal! Read This Action Alert>

Support Keeping All Students Safe from Restraint and Seclusion

January 24, 2012 -- Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) has introduced the Keeping All Students Safe Act (S. 2020) in response to a GAO report that found hundreds of cases of alleged abuse and even deaths of children -- most of them with disabilities -- as a result of restraint and seclusion in schools. Call your senators to cosponsor The Keeping All Students Safe Act (S. 2020).  Read This Action Alert>

Please Support a National Standard for Essential Health Benefits

Comment Deadline 1/31/12 

January 17, 2012 -- In a December bulletin, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services proposed to give states wide discretion to set their own essential health benefits (EHB) standard for health plans sold through the new exchanges. This will likely result in significant disparities in coverage across states. Read This Action Alert>

Bazelon Update: Congress Agrees on Fiscal Year 2012 Funding

Another Mixed Bag

December 20, 2011 -- Congress has passed a $1 trillion omnibus appropriations package to fund the government through the end of fiscal year 2012 (September 30, 2012). Averting a government shutdown, this package provides funding for a broad range of important programs and services, spanning mental health, education, and much more. Read This Bazelon Update>

Stop House's Cuts to Community Mental Health Services (SAMHSA)

November 4, 2011 -- You can help prevent deep cuts that would stifle SAMHSA-funded community mental health services for children and adults and increase unmet needs. Read This Action Alert>

Senate Must Increase HUD's Allocation and Fully Fund Key Programs

Call your senators NOW to oppose the FY12 T-HUD funding bill unless HUD funds are increased.

October 13, 2011 -- The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law thanks our friends at the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) for this important alert. Please Act! Read This Action Alert>

Medicaid Matters: Super Committee Must Do No Harm!

September 14, 2011, updated October 11 -- NEW CALL-IN DAYS, October 12-14. Your calls helped Medicaid and other safety-net programs escape immediate cuts during the debt-ceiling debate. But some lawmakers on the new "Super Committee" already have Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act and other important programs in the crosshairs once again. Please call Congress! Read This Action Alert>

Please Vote for Bazelon Center's Comments on SAMHSA "Recovery" Definition - DEADLINE FRIDAY (Midnight EST)

UPDATED August 25, 2011 -- The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration seeks comments on a proposed definition of “recovery” from mental health and substance abuse disorders. Tell them the definition must include concrete steps toward service system changes that are necessary to make recovery possible. Please VOTE for Bazelon's Comments at http://bit.ly/BazelonRecoveryDefRead This Action Alert>

Call Congress Today! Help Us Protect the CLASS Act and Medicaid

July 26, 2011 -- Last week a bipartisan group of Senators called the "Gang of Six" released a new deficit reduction plan that would repeal health reform's CLASS Act and cut Medicaid and other health programs. Read This Action Alert>

Don't Let Them Rob the Vulnerable to Pay the Debt

July 1, 2011 -- The Administration and Congress are negotiating deals to address the deficit and debt. But the proposals would also damage key public programs for low-income children and adults with mental illnesses and other disabilities. Read This Action Alert>

Call-In Days This Week! Save Medicaid for People with Disabilities!

June 14, 2011 -- Join national groups' efforts to stop the cuts (June 14, 15 and 16). Read This Action Alert>

By Tue., 5 PM: Push New Medicaid Rules Supporting Services in Truly Integrated Settings

June 13, 2011 -- The Bazelon Center urges you to support proposed rules (Medicaid Home and Community-Based Waivers) that would help ensure scarce waiver dollars are used to support services in truly integrated settings -- not settings that are institutional in nature! Read This Action Alert>

Stand Up for Medicaid! A Prime Target in Shortsighted Legislative Proposals and Deficit Reduction/Debt Ceiling Negotiations

June 9, 2011 -- As Congress debates the federal deficit and the debt ceiling, Medicaid is extremely vulnerable to cuts and restructuring. Such changes would be devastating for low-income people who rely on the program, including beneficiaries with mental illnesses. The next battle may be the proposed State Flexibility Act (H.R. 1683/S. 868), which would allow states to roll back eligibility, potentially cutting off 400,000 people, about two-thirds of whom are children. Read this Action Alert>

Help Support Mental Health Block Grant Funding Increase for FY 2012

June 1, 2011, updated June 13 -- Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) is spearheading a Dear Colleague Letter urging the Senate Appropriations Committee to provide a $14 million increase to the Mental Health Block Grant for fiscal year 2012. Please contact your Senators today to ask them to sign-on in support of the letter! Read This Action Alert>

Call-In for the IDEA Fairness Restoration Act

May 3, 2011- The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) allows parents to seek a hearing when their child has been wrongfully denied a free appropriate public education. However, in 2006 the Supreme Court held that parents could not recover expert witness fees. S. 613/H.R. 1208 will restore the right to recover expert witness fees for parents and students with disabilities. Read This Action Alert>

Bazelon Update: Amid Action on 2011 and 2012 Budgets, Congress Debates What to Do About the Long-Term Deficit 

April 29, 201, updated June 13 -- Legislation funding federal programs for the 2011 fiscal year (which began October 1, 2010)—signed into law after many delays—significantly reduces some programs that help low-income people and those with mental illnesses. However, the final law does not include the draconian cuts discussed at one stage of the deliberations. Read This Bazelon Update>

Tidal Wave of “Reforms” in House Budget Chairman’s FY 2012 Resolution Would Deprive Vulnerable Groups

April 6, 2011 -- Yesterday, House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), unveiled his fiscal year 2012 budget resolution termed  “The Path to Prosperity: Restoring America’s Promise.” It calls for $6.2 trillion in cuts over 10 years from President Obama’s budget, to be achieved with major structural changes to Medicaid, Medicare and other important federal programs. Please urge your Representative to oppose this budget resolution. Read This Action Alert>

Senate to Vote on Draconian Cuts to Vital Programs and Services for Vulnerable Americans in Need; Urge a “NO” Vote on HR 1

March 8, 2011, updated March 10—As early as today, the U.S. Senate may vote on the harsh spending bill (H.R. 1), passed by the House of Representatives on February 9, that would finalize fiscal year 2011 appropriations through September 30. The bill would cut approximately $60 billion from vital domestic programs and services. Read This Action Alert>

Budget Cuts, Freezes & Program Consolidations Will Trump Scarce, Modest Increases

February 25, 2011- Congress needs to hear how cuts in the continuing resolution for FY 2011 and the proposed budget for 2012 will harm children and adults with disabilities. Read This Action Alert>

Courts Without Judges = Crisis for People with Disabilities

February 10, 2011 - Today the rights of people with disabilities under important laws are at risk because there aren’t enough federal judges to enforce them. There are currently 101 vacancies, reaching a historic high, with nearly one of every eight seats on the federal bench empty. Action is needed now to urge the President to nominate more federal judges and the Senate to vote on confirmation of 48 current nominees. Read This Action Alert>

Attempt to Repeal Health Care Reform

January 20, 2011 (updated January 24) -- The U.S. House of Representatives has approved on legislation to repeal the landmark health reform law, the Affordable Care Act (Public Laws 111-148 & 111-152), in its entirety.  The vote was, however, largely symbolic as Senate Democrats have promised to prevent the bill's passage, and President Obama has declared that he will veto any bill that seeks to repeal the historic health reform law. Read This Alert>

Your Voice Needed Again to Prevent Harmful Proposed SSA Regulation Changes!

December 1, 2010 -- In response to an overwhelming number of comments - many from you - objecting to the proposed use of standardized tests in the proposed revisions to Mental Impairment Listings, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has taken the highly unusual step of asking again for comments on that specific issue. Read This Action Alert >

Social Security Disability Rules to Change--for Better and Worse

Agency Needs to Hear from You Now

November 1, 2010 -- The Social Security Administration (SSA) has proposed changes to the way decisions are made for awarding disability benefits based on a mental impairment. These changes will threaten the ability of people with serious mental illnesses to obtain benefits. Read This Action Alert>

HUD Announces Rental Voucher Funding for Very Low Income Individuals with Disabilities

October 7, 2010 -- Your public housing agency (PHA) may have received funding for new rental vouchers for individuals with disabilities. These vouchers will make the difference between homelessness or institutionalization and independent, affordable housing for 4,300 people. Read This Action Alert>

Children Are Waiting in Jail

Congress Must Reauthorize Long-Overdue Protections for Them

September 20, 2010 -- Congress has only 14 days left to reauthorize critical legislation aimed at avoiding the detention and incarceration of young people in juvenile and adult facilities. The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA), enacted in 1974, is more than three years overdue for reauthorization. Urge your lawmakers to pass reauthorization this year and sign petitions linked in our alert. Read This Action Alert>

Housing for People with Disabilities is Stuck in the Senate

June 24, 2010 -- Senators need urging to free up legislation that would create more and better-integrated permanent supportive housing for people with disabilities. The Frank Melville Supportive Housing Investment Act is stuck in a Senate subcommittee. Its passage in this Congress is crucial to ensure that the housing is built and that the program reforms are enacted. Please help enlist co-sponsors. Read This Action Alert>

What Does Elena Kagan Believe About Disability Rights? 

June 21, 2010 -- On Monday, June 28, all eyes will be on the United States Senate, as its Judiciary Committee begins the confirmation hearing for President Obama’s second Supreme Court nominee, Elena Kagan. Senators on the committee will have a unique forum to question Ms. Kagan about her views on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other laws that are important to people with disabilities.  Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee need to hear now from people with disabilities and their advocates. Read This Action Alert>

Senate Must Act to Restore Medicaid Payment Cuts

June 7, 2010 -- Please help restore critical Medicaid and health coverage stripped by the House from "extender" legislation. Senate action is required to secure needed Medicaid help to states and COBRA subsidies for the unemployed. Read This Action Alert>

House to Vote on Repealing CLASS Act!

Voice Your Support for Long-Term Care

January 30, 2012 -- The U.S. House is preparing to vote this week on repealing the CLASS Act, which otherwise would help people pay for long-term services and supports vital to helping them live independently in their homes and communities if they develop a disability with functional limitations, as is common with aging. Please call your representative to oppose repeal! Read This Action Alert>

Support Keeping All Students Safe from Restraint and Seclusion

January 24, 2012 -- Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) has introduced the Keeping All Students Safe Act (S. 2020) in response to a GAO report that found hundreds of cases of alleged abuse and even deaths of children -- most of them with disabilities -- as a result of restraint and seclusion in schools. Call your senators to cosponsor The Keeping All Students Safe Act (S. 2020).  Read This Action Alert>

Please Support a National Standard for Essential Health Benefits

Comment Deadline 1/31/12 

January 17, 2012 -- In a December bulletin, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services proposed to give states wide discretion to set their own essential health benefits (EHB) standard for health plans sold through the new exchanges. This will likely result in significant disparities in coverage across states. Read This Action Alert>

Bazelon Update: Congress Agrees on Fiscal Year 2012 Funding

Another Mixed Bag

December 20, 2011 -- Congress has passed a $1 trillion omnibus appropriations package to fund the government through the end of fiscal year 2012 (September 30, 2012). Averting a government shutdown, this package provides funding for a broad range of important programs and services, spanning mental health, education, and much more. Read This Bazelon Update>

Stop House's Cuts to Community Mental Health Services (SAMHSA)

November 4, 2011 -- You can help prevent deep cuts that would stifle SAMHSA-funded community mental health services for children and adults and increase unmet needs. Read This Action Alert>

Senate Must Increase HUD's Allocation and Fully Fund Key Programs

Call your senators NOW to oppose the FY12 T-HUD funding bill unless HUD funds are increased.

October 13, 2011 -- The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law thanks our friends at the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) for this important alert. Please Act! Read This Action Alert>

Medicaid Matters: Super Committee Must Do No Harm!

September 14, 2011, updated October 11 -- NEW CALL-IN DAYS, October 12-14. Your calls helped Medicaid and other safety-net programs escape immediate cuts during the debt-ceiling debate. But some lawmakers on the new "Super Committee" already have Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act and other important programs in the crosshairs once again. Please call Congress! Read This Action Alert>

Please Vote for Bazelon Center's Comments on SAMHSA "Recovery" Definition - DEADLINE FRIDAY (Midnight EST)

UPDATED August 25, 2011 -- The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration seeks comments on a proposed definition of “recovery” from mental health and substance abuse disorders. Tell them the definition must include concrete steps toward service system changes that are necessary to make recovery possible. Please VOTE for Bazelon's Comments at http://bit.ly/BazelonRecoveryDef Read This Action Alert>

Call Congress Today! Help Us Protect the CLASS Act and Medicaid

July 26, 2011 -- Last week a bipartisan group of Senators called the "Gang of Six" released a new deficit reduction plan that would repeal health reform's CLASS Act and cut Medicaid and other health programs. Read This Action Alert>

Don't Let Them Rob the Vulnerable to Pay the Debt

July 1, 2011 --  The Administration and Congress are negotiating deals to address the deficit and debt. But the proposals would also damage key public programs for low-income children and adults with mental illnesses and other disabilities. Read This Action Alert>

Call-In Days This Week! Save Medicaid for People with Disabilities!

June 14, 2011 -- Join national groups' efforts to stop the cuts (June 14, 15 and 16). Read This Action Alert>

By Tue., 5 PM: Push New Medicaid Rules Supporting Services in Truly Integrated Settings

June 13, 2011 -- The Bazelon Center urges you to support proposed rules (Medicaid Home and Community-Based Waivers) that would help ensure scarce waiver dollars are used to support services in truly integrated settings -- not settings that are institutional in nature! Read This Action Alert>

Stand Up for Medicaid! A Prime Target in Shortsighted Legislative Proposals and Deficit Reduction/Debt Ceiling Negotiations

June 9, 2011 -- As Congress debates the federal deficit and the debt ceiling, Medicaid is extremely vulnerable to cuts and restructuring. Such changes would be devastating for low-income people who rely on the program, including beneficiaries with mental illnesses. The next battle may be the proposed State Flexibility Act (H.R. 1683/S. 868), which would allow states to roll back eligibility, potentially cutting off 400,000 people, about two-thirds of whom are children. Read this Action Alert>

Help Support Mental Health Block Grant Funding Increase for FY 2012

June 1, 2011, updated June 13 -- Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) is spearheading a Dear Colleague Letter urging the Senate Appropriations Committee to provide a $14 million increase to the Mental Health Block Grant for fiscal year 2012. Please contact your Senators today to ask them to sign-on in support of the letter! Read This Action Alert>

Call-In for the IDEA Fairness Restoration Act

May 3, 2011- The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) allows parents to seek a hearing when their child has been wrongfully denied a free appropriate public education. However, in 2006 the Supreme Court held that parents could not recover expert witness fees. S. 613/H.R. 1208 will restore the right to recover expert witness fees for parents and students with disabilities. Read This Action Alert>

Amid Action on 2011 and 2012 Budgets, Congress Debates What to Do About the Long-Term Deficit 

April 29, 201, updated June 13 - Legislation funding federal programs for the 2011 fiscal year (which began October 1, 2010)—signed into law after many delays—significantly reduces some programs that help low-income people and those with mental illnesses. However, the final law does not include the draconian cuts discussed at one stage of the deliberations. Read This Bazelon Update>

Tidal Wave of “Reforms” in House Budget Chairman’s FY 2012 Resolution Would Deprive Vulnerable Groups

April 6, 2011 -- Yesterday, House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), unveiled his fiscal year 2012 budget resolution termed  “The Path to Prosperity: Restoring America’s Promise.” It calls for $6.2 trillion in cuts over 10 years from President Obama’s budget, to be achieved with major structural changes to Medicaid, Medicare and other important federal programs. Please urge your Representative to oppose this budget resolution. Read This Action Alert>

Senate to Vote on Draconian Cuts to Vital Programs and Services for Vulnerable Americans in Need; Urge a “NO” Vote on HR 1

March 8, 2011, updated March 10—As early as today, the U.S. Senate may vote on the harsh spending bill (H.R. 1), passed by the House of Representatives on February 9, that would finalize fiscal year 2011 appropriations through September 30. The bill would cut approximately $60 billion from vital domestic programs and services. Read This Action Alert>

Budget Cuts, Freezes & Program Consolidations Will Trump Scarce, Modest Increases

February 25, 2011- Congress needs to hear how cuts in the continuing resolution for FY 2011 and the proposed budget for 2012 will harm children and adults with disabilities. Read This Action Alert>

Courts Without Judges = Crisis for People with Disabilities

February 10, 2011 - Today the rights of people with disabilities under important laws are at risk because there aren’t enough federal judges to enforce them. There are currently 101 vacancies, reaching a historic high, with nearly one of every eight seats on the federal bench empty. Action is needed now to urge the President to nominate more federal judges and the Senate to vote on confirmation of 48 current nominees. Read This Action Alert>

Attempt to Repeal Health Care Reform

January 20, 2011 (updated January 24) -- The U.S. House of Representatives has approved on legislation to repeal the landmark health reform law, the Affordable Care Act (Public Laws 111-148 & 111-152), in its entirety.  The vote was, however, largely symbolic as Senate Democrats have promised to prevent the bill's passage, and President Obama has declared that he will veto any bill that seeks to repeal the historic health reform law. Read This Alert>

Your Voice Needed Again to Prevent Harmful Proposed SSA Regulation Changes!

December 1, 2010 -- In response to an overwhelming number of comments - many from you - objecting to the proposed use of standardized tests in the proposed revisions to Mental Impairment Listings, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has taken the highly unusual step of asking again for comments on that specific issue. Read This Action Alert >

Social Security Disability Rules to Change--for Better and Worse

Agency Needs to Hear from You Now

November 1, 2010 -- The Social Security Administration (SSA) has proposed changes to the way decisions are made for awarding disability benefits based on a mental impairment. These changes will threaten the ability of people with serious mental illnesses to obtain benefits. Read This Action Alert>

HUD Announces Rental Voucher Funding for Very Low Income Individuals with Disabilities

October 7, 2010 -- Your public housing agency (PHA) may have received funding for new rental vouchers for individuals with disabilities. These vouchers will make the difference between homelessness or institutionalization and independent, affordable housing for 4,300 people. Read This Action Alert>

Children Are Waiting in Jail

Congress Must Reauthorize Long-Overdue Protections for Them
September 20, 2010 -- Congress has only 14 days left to reauthorize critical legislation aimed at avoiding the detention and incarceration of young people in juvenile and adult facilities. The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA), enacted in 1974, is more than three years overdue for reauthorization. Urge your lawmakers to pass reauthorization this year and sign petitions linked in our alert. Read This Action Alert>

Housing for People with Disabilities is Stuck in the Senate

June 24, 2010 -- Senators need urging to free up legislation that would create more and better-integrated permanent supportive housing for people with disabilities. The Frank Melville Supportive Housing Investment Act is stuck in a Senate subcommittee. Its passage in this Congress is crucial to ensure that the housing is built and that the program reforms are enacted. Please help enlist co-sponsors. Read This Action Alert>

What Does Elena Kagan Believe About Disability Rights? 

June 21, 2010 -- On Monday, June 28, all eyes will be on the United States Senate, as its Judiciary Committee begins the confirmation hearing for President Obama’s second Supreme Court nominee, Elena Kagan. Senators on the committee will have a unique forum to question Ms. Kagan about her views on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other laws that are important to people with disabilities.  Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee need to hear now from people with disabilities and their advocates. Read This Action Alert>

Senate Must Act to Restore Medicaid Payment Cuts

June 7, 2010 -- Please help restore critical Medicaid and health coverage stripped by the House from "extender" legislation. Senate action is required to secure needed Medicaid help to states and COBRA subsidies for the unemployed. Read This Action Alert>

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