Capitol Insider

Action Alerts

Major Events Ahead

Education – House Expected to Take Up Elementary and Secondary Education Act
Reauthorization After the Summer Recess

Before going out on summer recess, the House of Representatives formally received
S. 1177, the reauthorization of Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) passed
by the Senate on July 16.  The House is expected to take up this bill after the summer
recess.  During the recess, The Arc encourages advocates to emphasize the importance
of maintaining the key victories to date for the disability community in the bill:
1) Maintaining annual assessments of all students in grades 3-8 and once in high school
in reading and math;

2) Prohibiting states from developing additional alternate or modified standards for children
with disabilities;

3) Including all students with disabilities in state and district-level assessments;

4) Capping the number of students with the most significant cognitive disabilities taking the
alternate assessment based on alternate achievement standards (AA-AAS) at 1% of all
students (or 9% of students with disabilities);

5) Ensuring that students in every state who take the AA-AAS are not precluded from
attempting to complete the requirements for a regular diploma;

6) Ensuring that parents are involved in the decision that their child will take an alternate

7) Ensuring that students with disabilities are kept on track to graduate high school by
requiring that students with disabilities are involved in and make progress in the general
education curriculum;

8)  Providing support to states and school districts to ensure that teachers have the skills
and knowledge necessary to instruct diverse learners; and

9)  Including the “parent right to know” provision, requiring that parents be informed that
they may request information regarding qualifications of the student’s classroom teacher.
In addition, advocates should encourage their representatives to support the addition of two
key provisions that are not in the Senate bill:
1) Requiring subgroup accountability.  There is presently no requirement that schools
intervene when student subgroups (including students with disabilities) do not meet state
standards; and

2) Requiring “highly qualified teachers.”  The Senate bill only requires that teachers be “state
certified,” which allows for multiple levels of certification, including “temporary” and


Recent Major Events

Social Security – House Resolution to Protect and Expand Social Security Introduced

Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), with 60 original cosponsors, has introduced a
resolution in the House of Representatives in support of “policies to protect and expand
Social Security and secure its long-term future in a fair and responsible manner” (H. Res. 393).
The resolution highlights that Social Security “is the heart of economic security for American
workers,” providing essential insurance in the event of retirement, disability, or death for
nearly all workers and their families, and serving as a lifeline for millions of Americans.



Civil Rights – New Rule Released to Aid Implementation of the Developmental
Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000

The Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) released a new rule
meant to strengthen programs that promote independence, inclusion, and civil rights for
individuals with developmental disabilities.  This final rule implements the Developmental
Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 (DD Act).
As noted by the Administration on Disabilities Commissioner, the rule explains how and when
a Protection and Advocacy agency “should have access to service providers, individuals,
and records (including electronic communication and records) when investigating cases of
suspected abuse.”  Additionally, “recognizing that Demonstration Projects conducted by State
Councils on Developmental Disabilities are intended ‘to demonstrate new approaches,’ the
rule sets limits on the duration of these projects while building in some flexibility and outlining
when projects can exceed these limits.”  The final rule also provides updated definitions for DD
Act programs.  AIDD has released a tool kit to assist individuals and their families to better
understand the new rule.


Miscellaneous News –  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Releases
Disability Statistics

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new statistics finding that
over 53 million or one in five American adults have a disability, in an article published in
CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). The article, “Prevalence of Disability
and Disability Type Among Adults – United States, 2013,
” shows the state-based prevalence of
five types of disability among adults age 18 or older, and includes analysis by key demographic

Transportation – The Federal Transit Administration Issues Report on ADA-Compliant

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) released a report, Accessible Transit Services for All.
The report offers successful strategies for Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant paratransit
as well as ways in which agencies can improve service effectiveness and cost efficiency for
riders with disabilities.  Using 12 case studies, Accessible Transit Services for All provides an
assessment of paratransit services, an in-depth analysis of procurement and contracting
practices, as well as highlights successful models of alternative, inclusive service designs that
can enhance the transportation experience for all riders.

Tony Paulauski
Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423
815-464-1832 (OFFICE)
815-464-1832 (CELL)