for the week of February 3, 2014
Tell Congress: Don’t Cut SSDI to Pay for Unemployment Insurance!
Health Care – New Affordable Care Act Resource Available
The National Disability Navigator Resource Collaborative has released the first of several fact
sheets entitled “Comparing Health Plans’ Benefits and Coverage Summaries.” This fact sheet
is intended to inform navigators and other enrollment specialists about what people with
disabilities need to look for in the Summary of Benefits and Coverage. The entire list of
upcoming fact sheets is also available on their website. This information complements the
earlier publication by the collaborative, “Guide to Disability for Healthcare Insurance Marketplace
Navigators”, designed to inform navigators and other enrollment specialists about special
considerations people with disabilities may face as they shop for healthcare coverage. The
Collaboration is a project of the American Association on Health and Disability and is funded by
the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The Arc is one of the seven national organizations
participating in the collaboration. The Arc encourages chapters and members to share the
availability of the guide and other resources with Affordable Care Act navigators in their
Long Term Services and Supports – Update on California and Kansas
California’s Cal MediConnect demonstration to integrate and coordinate healthcare for
individuals dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid will not move forward as planned in one of
eight pilot counties. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) performed a
performance audit of the sole insurer selected for the duals demonstration in Orange County
and found numerous problems. Orange County has the second largest population (57,000) of
dually eligible individuals in the state. The demonstration is to begin April 1 in the remaining
seven counties. CMS approved the Kansas 1115 Waiver Amendment allowing the state to provide
long term supports and services (LTSS) to individuals with intellectual and developmental
disabilities (I/DD) through managed care. Kansas contracts with three for-profit health insurance
companies for the delivery of all Medicaid services. The Kansas legislature delayed the inclusion
of I/DD long term services “and supports (LTSS) for one year after the start of KanCare, the
Kansas managed care program. CMS imposed an additional one-month delay on the start of
KanCare for I/DD LTSS due to questions it had about the program , including concerns about
individuals receiving some but not all of the waiver services they need. Kansas is the first state to
use private health insurers as managed care organizations for managed LTSS for individuals with
Education – Department of Education Releases Charter Schools Program Non-Regulatory
The US Department of Education released Charter Schools Program Non-Regulatory Guidance for
charter schools that receive federal funds allowing them to use weighted lotteries in admissions in
favor of disadvantaged students as long as lotteries are permissible under a state’s charter school
law. “Disadvantaged” students include students who are economically disadvantaged, students with
disabilities, migrant students, limited English proficient students, neglected or delinquent students,
and homeless students. Federal startup funds are provided to charter schools in order to evaluate
and expand the number of high quality charter schools across the nation.
Education – Department of Education Releases State Reports on No Child Left Behind
The US Department of Education released reports for six of 35 states it has monitored concerning
their No Child Left Behind waivers. The reports for Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Michigan,
Mississippi, and New York represent the department’s second, more intense round (Part B) of
monitoring. The reports of the first round (Part A), conducted in 2012, can be found on the
department’s website. The reports indicated that states are having problems intervening in
schools with the biggest achievement gaps. The department found that Mississippi needed to
revise its plans for supporting students with disabilities transitioning to college and career ready
Education – Department of Education Names Commissioner of National Center for Special
The US Department of Education named Joan McLaughlin to a six-year term as Commissioner of
the National Center for Special Education research (NCSER). NCSER has a $50 million research
portfolio that supports six research and development centers that focus on early childhood, high
school students with serious behavior disorders or with autism spectrum disorders, math instruction,
reading instruction for students who are deaf or hard of hearing, and assessment and accountability.
Civil Rights/Olmstead – Department of Justice Releases A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
to Amend the Americans with Disabilities Act Regulations
The US Department of Justice released a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend the
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations in order to incorporate the changes made by the
ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008. The NPRM makes changes to Titles II and III ADA regulations
to amend the definition of disability which was broadened by the ADAAA and expand the definition of
major life activities by including major bodily functions. The NPRM inc ludes examples of impairments,
such as intellectual disability, that should easily be found to substantially limit a major life activity and
cause the necessary individualized assessment of the impairments to be simple and straightforward.
The Title I ADA regulations were amended by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in
March 2011. The NPRM will align the definitions in Titles II and III with those in Title I. The NPRM is
open for comment for 60 days until March 31, 2014.
Health Care – How Has the Affordable Care Act Helped You?
As the Affordable Care Act (ACA) continues to roll out, it’s important to show its impact on the
disability community. The best way to show the benefits of the ACA is by sharing stories of individuals
who are benefiting from the consumer protections provided in the law. And there are many: An end to preexisting condition exclusions, elimination of high cost insurance because of a disability or medical
condition, and an end to annual and lifetime limits to coverage.
We are looking for stories of individuals with disabilities who have benefited from the Affordable Care
Act and need your help. Please share your story or the story of someone you know!
Disability Policy Seminar – Early Registration Now Open
Make your plans to attend the 2014 Disability Policy Seminar in Washington, DC April 7-9. This event
is the biggest and best opportunity for advocates to advance the grassroots movement for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Register now and book your room at the Grand Hyatt in downtown Washington D.C. for a special early registration rate at www.disabilitypolicyseminar.org and find out more details about the stimulating
program on tap for this year’s event. But act soon – special rates on rooms ends March 4.
Hosted by: The Arc, Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD), National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD), Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE), and United Cerebral Palsy (UCP)
Promotional Support Provided by: Sibling Leadership Network
Paul Marchand Internship in Disability Policy – Applications for the Summer 2014 Session Due Feb 15
For 38 years, Paul Marchand was a dedicated disability policy advocate and recognized leader working
on behalf of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and the entire disability
community. Upon his retirement in 2011, The Arc, with substantial contributions from United Cerebral
Palsy, other organizations, and individuals with whom Paul worked during his decades in Washington, established an internship to honor Paul and to continue to cultivate disability policy advocates. The
Paul Marchand Internship Fund will provide $3,000 per semester or summer session to assist interns
pursuing careers in public policy advocacy for people with I/DD. See Application information and
Internship FAQs for more information.
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423