Capitol Insider
for the Week of May 29, 2012
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Action Alert
Action Alert: Preserve Vital Programs to Help Social Security Beneficiaries Work

Major Events Last Week
Civil Rights ADA / Voting – Department of Justice settlement in Michigan
The Department of Justice reached a settlement agreement under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with the city of Flint, Michigan, to make all of its polling places accessible to people with disabilities by the November 2012 election. The city has 61 voting precincts housed in 35 polling locations. DOJ found that many of the locations were not accessible to people with disabilities. The city agreed to remove all barriers to access at polling places or to relocate polling places to alternative, accessible locations by Election Day. After the election, the city agreed to make accessibility a major criterion when selecting new locations for polling places.
Major Events Ahead
Congress – schedule
The Senate begins a district work period through June 1. The House of Representatives will reconvene on May 30 from their Memorial Day break.
Civil Rights – The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)
Several Senators indicated bi-partisan support for ratification of The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) last week – Senators Barrasso (R-WY), Coons (D-DE), Durbin (D-IL), Harkin (D-IA), McCain (R-AZ), Moran (R-KS), and Udall (D-NM). Ratification of the CRPD will allow U.S. participation at the CRPD Conference of States Parties and permit the U.S. to appoint a member of the CRPD Committee.  Through these mechanisms, the U.S. can provide and influence guidance on the implementation of the treaty and lend its expertise as more countries develop their own disability rights laws.  No changes to U.S. law are required by ratification.
The Arc appreciates the support of the seven Senators and is hopeful that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the full Senate will act quickly and join 112 other nations that have ratified the treaty. Sixty-seven Senators must vote in favor of the CRPD for the US to ratify the treaty.
Civil Rights – Report on Medical Procedures released
The National Disability Rights Network released a new report “Devaluing People with Disabilities:  Medical Procedures that Violate Civil Rights.”  The report reviews the facts of Ashley X, who five years ago made national news when her parents decided to medically stunt her physical growth and maturation.  The report presents a compilation of similar experiences and “treatment” of individuals with disabilities and makes recommendations for strengthening public policy to prevent discrimination.
United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) Releases 50-State Ranking of Disability Services
UCP releases its annual list comparing the services and quality of life for individuals with disabilities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Arizona, Michigan, and California earned the top spots on the list, to view the full list read the article in Disability Scoop.

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)