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Overview of Major Federal Disability Laws Kim Musheno Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) National Conference on Disability Inclusion:

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Presentation on theme: "Overview of Major Federal Disability Laws Kim Musheno Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) National Conference on Disability Inclusion:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Overview of Major Federal Disability Laws Kim Musheno Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) National Conference on Disability Inclusion: October 16-18, 2008

2 2 AUCD research, education, service Nonprofit organization that supports a nationwide network of 122 university-based interdisciplinary centers and programs.

3 3 AUCD - NSIP AUCD promotes the full inclusion of people with disabilities as active members in national service through the National Service Inclusion Project. NSIP is a partnership between the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts-Boston and AUCD.

4 4 Major laws covered Rehabilitation Act Americans with Disabilities Act Individuals with Disabilities Education Act – IDEA Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid National and Community Service and Domestic Volunteer Service Act Heart Act Bills to reauthorize and expand community service

5 5 Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Authorizes formula grant programs of vocational rehabilitation, supported employment, independent living, and client assistance. Also authorizes a variety of training and service discretionary grants administered by the Rehabilitation Services Administration. Section 504 is one of the nations first laws barring discrimination base on disability. Simply made it illegal for recipients of federal funds to discriminate on the basis of disability. Modeled on Title VI of Civil Rights Act of 1964.

6 6 Rehab Act – Sec. 504 Applies to: Almost all public school districts Public and most private colleges and universities. Health and social services, programs. Public housing authorities, cities and towns that receive Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) or other federal funds, private for profit or non-profit housing developers, and student housing. Transportation services Applies to the Corporation for National Service

7 7 Rehab Act - employment Section 501 requires affirmative action and nondiscrimination in employment by Federal agencies of the executive branch. Section 503 requires affirmative action and prohibits employment discrimination by Federal government contractors and subcontractors with contracts of more than $10,000. Section all electronic and information technology developed, maintained, procured, or used by the Federal government must be accessible to people with disabilities, including employees.

8 8 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Title I – Employment Title II – State and Local Governments Title III – Public Accommodations

9 9 Title I ADA – Employment Prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment. Title I requires employers with 15 or more employees to provide qualified individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to benefit from the full range of employment-related opportunities available to others. Prohibits discrimination in recruitment, hiring, promotions, training, pay, social activities. Restricts questions that can be asked about an applicant's disability before a job offer is made, Requires that employers make reasonable accommodation to the known physical or mental limitations of otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities, unless it results in undue hardship.

10 10 Title II ADA- State and local governments Must provide equal opportunity to benefit from programs, services, and activities (e.g. public education, employment, transportation, recreation, health care, social services, courts, voting, and town meetings). Must follow specific architectural standards in the new construction and alteration of buildings. Relocate programs or otherwise provide access in inaccessible older buildings, and communicate effectively with people who have hearing, vision, or speech disabilities. Public entities are not required to take actions that would result in undue financial and administrative burdens. They are required to make reasonable modifications to policies, practices, and procedures where necessary to avoid discrimination, unless they can demonstrate that doing so would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program, or activity being provided.

11 11 Title III – Public accommodations Includes restaurants, hotels, theaters, private schools, doctors' offices, homeless shelters, transportation depots, zoos, funeral homes, day care centers, and recreation facilities. Transportation services provided by private entities are also covered by Title III. Must comply with basic nondiscrimination requirements that prohibit exclusion, segregation, and unequal treatment. must comply with specific requirements related to architectural standards for new and altered buildings; reasonable modifications to policies, practices, and procedures; effective communication with people with hearing, vision, or speech disabilities; and other access requirements. public accommodations must remove barriers in existing buildings where it is easy to do so without much difficulty or expense, given the public accommodation's resources. Courses and examinations related to professional, educational, or trade-related applications, licensing, certifications, or credentialing must be accessible.

12 12 An individual with a disability is defined by Rehab Act and ADA as a person who : has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment (even if no impairment in fact exists, e.g. HIV positive)

13 13 ADAA of 2008 ADA Amendments Act of 2008 – Signed on Sept

14 14 Why ADAAA? Supreme Court narrowed definition Sutton v. United – mitigating measures, e.g. glasses, medications, hearing aids, prosthetics Toyota v. Williams – narrowed substantially to mean considerably or to a large degree. Also narrowed scope of major life activity. EEOC regulations defined substantially limits as significantly restricts. Need to restore the law to its original intent

15 15 What does ADAAA do? Specifically overturns Supreme Court decisions that have caused too many people with disabilities whom Congress intended the ADA to cover to lose important protection. Makes it clear that Congress intended the ADAs coverage to be broad, to cover anyone who faces unfair discrimination because of a disability. Uses the findings and purposes to reject Court and agency interpretation of substantially limits as too stringent and directing them to interpret the terms of the definition to create a less demanding standard. Prohibits consideration of mitigating measures in the determination of whether an individual has a disability. Affords broad coverage for individuals regarded as having a disability under the ADA: provides that an individual has a covered disability if he or she was discriminated against based on an actual or perceived impairment, regardless of whether the impairment limits a major life activity, but includes a provision to make it clear that accommodations need not be made to someone who is disabled solely because he or she is regarded as having a disability.

16 16 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act – 1975 Part B - State grants, evaluations, eligibility, IEPs and procedural safeguards Part C – Comprehensive program for Infants and Toddlers Part D – Personnel prep, research, technical assistance, Parent Training Info Centers

17 17 IDEA Guarantees a Free and Appropriate Public Education or FAPE to every child identified as needing special education. Students are guaranteed services in the least restrictive environment. Right to due process – parents have right to challenge decisions about their childs educational services

18 18 Individualized Education Program Team designs program based on individual needs. Educational services may include such related services as special transportation, speech/language therapy, counseling, occupational or PT. Includes transition services for students leaving high school, moving into work, postsecondary education and community life.

19 19 Sec. 504 and ADA (Title II) Also used to obtain equal access to educational services for students with disabilities that do not qualify under IDEA. E.g. some students with ADD or ADHD, learning disabilities, health needs, communicable diseases such as HIV, or physical disability

20 20 Higher Education Act Just reauthorized and strengthened. Expands Demonstration Projects to Support Postsecondary Faculty, Staff, and Administrators in Educating Students with Disabilities New demonstration projects are authorized to develop Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities. For the first time students within intellectual disabilities are eligible for Pell Grants and Federal work-study funds.

21 21 Social Security Created in 1935 as a social insurance program designed to pay retired workers age 65 or older a continuing income Medicare and Medicaid added in 60s and 70s Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)-- pays benefits to people with disabilities provided that they have been in the work force for a set amount of time and paid Social Security taxes. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) -- pays benefits based on financial need.

22 22 SSDI Eligibility Disability benefits are payable to blind or disabled workers, widow(er)s, or adults disabled since childhood, who are otherwise eligible. The amount of the monthly disability benefit is based on the Social Security earnings record of the insured worker. Based on inability to work because of a medical condition. Must be unable to do work performed before the disability. Disability must last or be expected to last for at least one year or to result in death. Financed with Social Security taxes paid by workers, employers, and self-employed persons.

23 23 SSI Eligibility SSI disability benefits are payable to adults or children who are disabled or blind, have limited income and resources, meet the living arrangement requirements, and are otherwise eligible. Monthly payment varies up to the maximum federal benefit rate, which may be supplemented by the State or decreased by countable income and resources. Financed through general revenues.

24 24 SSI Eligibility SSI payment for an eligible individual is $637 per month and $956 per month for an eligible couple. Generally, the more income you have, the less your SSI benefit will be. If your countable income is over the allowable limit, you cannot receive SSI benefits. Some of your income may not count as income for the SSI program, however.

25 25 Work Incentives Trial work period –if individual earns more than $670 a month for 9 months (not necessarily consecutive) SGA -When worker reaches Substantial Gainful Activity Level, currently $940 per month, the disability payments will stop. (SGA for blind individuals is $1,570.)

26 26 Ticket to Work Authorized under the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Act of Increases choice in obtaining rehabilitation and vocational services through use of tickets. Extends coverage to Medicare offers states option to allow beneficiaries to buy into Medicaid. Work Incentives Planning and Assistance Projects or WIPAs-- funded to assist SSA disability beneficiaries with information about work incentives, benefits planning, and making good choices about work.

27 27 Medicare Medicare is a federal insurance program. Medical bills are paid from trust funds which those covered have paid into. Serves people over 65, whatever their income; and younger people with disabilities. Patients pay part of costs through deductibles for hospital and other costs. Small monthly premiums are required for non-hospital coverage. Eligible after 24 months of SSDI eligibility.

28 28 Medicaid Medical assistance program for low-income people of every age. Available to most SSI recipients. Medical bills are paid from federal, state and local tax funds. Patients usually pay no part of costs for covered medical expenses. A small co- payment is sometimes required.

29 29 National and Community Service Act of 1993 and Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973 The two main laws that authorize community service and volunteer programs. Authorizations expired in 1996 but continue through appropriations. Several bills introduced to reauthorize or expand community service laws.

30 30 Service Legislation S ACTION: AmeriCorps Together Improving Our Nation Act S – Encore Service Act S – Summer of Service Act H.R – Segal AmeriCorps Education Award Tax Relief Act S – Coaching our Adolescents for College Heights Act S – Senior Year Community Service Act

31 31 GIVE Act On June 27, 2007, the House Education and Labor Committee approved the Generations Invigorating Volunteering and Education (GIVE) Act (44-0) To reauthorize and expand the Corporation for National and Community Service Expands AmeriCorp by third to 100,000 and increases authorization for appropriations for some programs Creates National Office of Outreach and Recruitment Consolidates training and technical assistance provisions Failed by one vote on House floor, March 12, Fiscal conservative Republican members complained about its policy to pay people to volunteer and killed the bill.

32 32 GIVE Act consistent with the Administrations principles on reauthorization to: 1. mobilize citizen volunteers to meet the most pressing challenges of our communities; 2. make federal funds more responsive to state and local needs; 3. provide flexibility to leverage federal resources, make federal support more accountable and cost-effective, and increase the effectiveness of the Corporation and its programs; and 4. meet the immediate and long-term needs of communities facing a large scale disaster.

33 33 Serve America Act Senators Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced S on September 12, 2008 Obama, McCain, Dodd, Cochran, and Clinton Amends National and Community Service Act of 1990 Expands opportunities for people of all ages Use service to meet national challenges Supports innovation in nonprofit sector Improve and expand international service

34 34 HEART Act Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2008 – military tax and jobs bill House and Senate approved bill in May. President Bush signed the bill into law on June 17, Includes provision to exclude AmeriCorps benefits from being counted as income for purposes of eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

35 35 McCain and Obama Both claim to be advocates of expanding national service

36 36 Resources ILRU A Guide to Disability Rights Law: Disability Civil Rights: AUCD:

37 37 AUCD Events Annual Meeting and Conference Paving the Way: Pathways to research, education and service Nov Washington, DC Training Symposium on Universal Design (Nov. 10 – 1:30 – 5) – only $50 Plenary on Election Outcomes and Future Policy Direction Annual Disability Policy Seminar April 27-29, 2009, Washington, DC

38 Thank you


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