• Hearing Held on Social Security Disability System

This week, the House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing to debate an overhaul of the bankrupt Social Security Disability System. Lawmakers are looking to amend the system to encourage work. Experts testified the system is overly complicated, promotes fear among beneficiaries, and creates disincentives to return to work. Committee members are examining work incentives as part of finding a solution to the pending exhaustion of the Social Security disability insurance trust fund, expected late next year. Without congressional action, the depletion of the fund would result in a 19 percent cut in benefits for the current 9 million beneficiaries. BIAA will continue to monitor this issue while Congress continues to find solutions during the next year.

  •  House of Representatives Approves 21st Century Cures Act

Today, the House of Representatives approved the 21st Century Cures Act, H.R. 6. The vote was 344-77. H.R. 6 would authorize funds for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the development of drugs and other disease treatments.

  •  Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 25th Anniversary Celebration

On Friday, July 24, 2015, from 9:00am to 12:00pm at 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, in Washington, DC, the U.S. Department of Education, led by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is hosting a large-scale ADA celebration that is to attract persons with disabilities of all ages, along with their families, friends, advocates, and supporters.  We are coming together in common purpose to discuss the specific policy and programmatic advancements we have seen over the past 25 years, network with one another as we continue to build alliances to make further progress, look forward to the new frontiers that lie ahead, obtain practical resources and information that will further arm advocates in fostering the kind of ongoing change we all seek, and show practical examples of how old beliefs have been transformed into new paradigms that embrace innovative thinking that leads to greater integration and participation in various aspects of societal life than ever before.  Coming together in one place will be government officials, disability policy advocates, parents of children with disabilities, disability rights attorneys and other advocates, and other leaders and members of the broad community of individuals who believe in the true potential of persons with disabilities. This celebration is open to the public so please attend. RSVP information is included at the end of this page.

Here are key event highlights:

  • 9:00am to 9:45am:  Presentations by Assistant Secretary for Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services Michael Yudin, Association for University Centers on Disabilities Executive Director Andrew “Andy” J. Imparato, and Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon.
  • 9:45am to 10:20am:  Youth panel moderated by Rehabilitation Services Administration Commissioner Janet LaBreck and including youth with different types of disabilities who have grown up in the era of the ADA’s implementation.
  • 10:25am to 10:55 am:  Outdoor ceremony, keynoted by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and featuring Active Policy Solutions Chief Executive Officer Terri Lakowski.
  • 10:00am to 10:25am; 10:55am to 12:00pm:  Information tables hosted by Federal Government agencies and other organizations wanting to network with disability community members and their families to provide internship and employment opportunities, render services and support, and share information of use to civil rights advocates and their organizations.  Also featured are activity stations of interest to persons with disabilities interested and athletics and sports.

There will be something here for everyone, so come and be a part of history!  Spread the word now to all those you know about our #ADA25 celebration.  RSVP today, and make sure to open the link with Google Chrome.

RSVP Here.

Alternatively, to receive the RSVP via email, please write to Isabella Espiritu at Isabella.Espiritu@ed.gov or call her at (202) 453-6369 [Voice/Relay/VRS].