July 31, 2013 | Issue 63
ADVOCACY

"Lead On" PSA made by American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) Interns
Check out a new PSA where 2013 AAPD interns share their experience of the ADA as persons with disabilities. It demonstrates how far we've come and where we need to go to advance the rights of people with disabilities. The video was created with “drive, dedication, and a $0 budget, and the interns are all so proud of the end result.” They ask that we consider the importance of the message and share it widely!
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New Survey Reveals Impact of the Ability Community on Political Landscape
On July 12, the Youth Transitions Collaborative (YTC) released the results of its recent survey of over 1000 individuals with disabilities. YTC calls it “the first survey of its kind to study the political impact of this large community of people with disabilities, their families and caregivers.” According to the U.S. Census, roughly one in five Americans has a disability. The survey highlights the views of an emerging generation of advocates and voters with disabilities who may be more engaged in the political process than previous generations. It found that people with disabilities are as politically diverse as the general populace and are not single-issue voters. Still, voters with disabilities across political affiliations — especially young voters — are likely to vote against candidates who support reducing or eliminating services and supports for people with disabilities.

Read the full Press Release here.
Executive Summary of the survey here.


Subminimum Wage Plan Divides Disability Advocates
Disability advocates are split over a proposal in the U.S. Senate that would establish limits on people with disabilities working for less than minimum wage.
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ADVOCACY AND PUBLIC POLICY

"Separate and Unequal, States Fail to Fulfill the Community Living Promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act" Report
A new report has been released by the United States Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee chaired by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA). The Senate HELP committee's report urges the U.S. Department of Justice to expand its Olmstead enforcement efforts and to bolster the rights for people with disabilities to receive services in the most integrated setting. Included within the report is the recommendation that the Dept. of Justice should expand its Olmstead enforcement efforts to include investigations of segregated employment settings for individuals with disabilities.
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From the News: "Fighting Back Against Wretched Wages"

From the New York Times, Sunday Review Opinion Pages, July 27, 2013. America’s low-wage workers have been making considerable noise lately by deploying an unusual weapon — one-day strikes — to make their message heard: they’re sick and tired of earning just $8, $9, $10 an hour. The bottom 20 percent of American workers by income — 28 million workers — earn less than $9.89 an hour, according to the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal research group. That translates to $20,570 a year for a full-time employee. Their income fell 5 percent between 2006 and 2012. Wages for workers at the 50th percentile — their median pay is $16.30 an hour — have also dipped, falling 3.4 percent, while pay for the top 10 percent rose 3 percent.
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EMPLOYMENT

Employment: Renewed Investments
An article in the AAIDD June issue of Inclusion provides an overview and historic context for employment preparation, strategies, and outcomes for people with intellectual disabilities. While supported employment has expanded little in the last decade, there is a renewed investment nationwide and in some other countries. The renewed developments include improvements in supported employment methods, interest in funding based on outcomes rather than services, concern about the persistence of segregated workshops, the need for qualified supported employment personnel, investment in Employment First policies in states, the emergence of litigation promoting integrated employment over segregation, renewed investment in transition, investments in other countries, and the increasingly clear voice of self-advocates with intellectual and developmental disabilities calling for community jobs and fair pay. (Abstract available at link; complete article and issue availability may be limited.)
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LEGISLATION

Workforce Investment Act
Last week, U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Senate HELP Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA), and Senate HELP Committee Ranking Member Lamar Alexander (R-TN) introduced a bipartisan bill (S. 1356) to reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act. The bill includes a number of changes to Title V, the Rehabilitation Act, intended to strengthen services for youth with disabilities who are transitioning from school to work or postsecondary education. The bill also makes structural changes to the services system. For example, it changes the name of the Rehabilitation Services Administration to the Disability Employment Services and Supports Administration, and moves the Administration from the Department of Education to the Department of Labor. It is scheduled for markup in the full Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee. AUCD sent a letter of support to Senators Harkin and Alexander for their bipartisan work on the Rehabilitation Act. The committee's section by section summary of changes to Title V is posted on AUCD's website.
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POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT

The Importance of Collaborating on Concurrent Work and Education Experiences: Kentucky Experiences
This new brief published by Think College describes how Kentucky postsecondary programs are working with vocational rehabilitation to provide employment opportunities to students with intellectual disabilities who are participating in postsecondary programs.
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TRANSITION

2013 Secondary Transition Institute: Building a Bridge to the Future
Dates: December 2-4, 2013
Location: Town and Country Hotel, San Diego, CA
This will be an excellent professional development opportunity for youth, parents, teachers, administrators, and adult service providers. Themes include: transition to postsecondary education; transition to employment; the parent role in transition; connecting to community support for transition, and more. It is sponsored by the CA Community of Practice and CA Transition Alliance in collaboration with San Diego State University, California Department of Education, WorkAbility I, CA Department of Rehabilitation, and CECY. Online registration and hotel reservations are now open.

Event flyer here.
Hotel reservations flyer here.



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