The Arc joined with 78 other endorsing organizations to oppose removing the six disability questions from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS). These questions are the backbone of the data we have about people with disabilities and help shape our programs and funding. They are being threatened with removal from the survey because some survey respondents, Members of Congress, and others view the questions as intrusive or unnecessary. The Census Bureau is doing a content review of the questions on the ACS and is looking for the statutory references and programmatic uses of the data. The CCD response can be found on the CCD website.
The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) has published a special issue of its journal Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. The special issue focuses on perspectives from the AAIDD community on the current and proposed conventions for classification and naming of intellectual disability (ID). The Arc’s Marty Ford, Annie Acosta, and T.J. Sutcliffe contributed an article, “Beyond Terminology: The Policy Impact of a Grassroots Movement.” The special issue includes a summary of AAIDD’s proposed recommendations for the World Health Organization as it revises its International Classification of Diseases.
President Obama proclaimed December 3 the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. In issuing the proclamation, the President said, “(W)e press forward, renewing our dedication to embrace diversity, end discrimination, remove barriers, and uphold the rights, dignity, and equal opportunity of all people.” It is anticipated that the President will send the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to the Senate for ratification in the near future.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has issued interim final rules, with requests for comments, regarding direct fee payment rules and eligibility requirements for non-attorney representatives. The rules are effective August 29, 2011, with comments due by September 26, 2011. SSA has also issued a new policy interpretation ruling, effective July 28, 2011. Under the new ruling, people seeking disability benefits can no longer simultaneously file a new application while also pursuing a review of their claim by the Appeals Council, for the same type of benefits. Instead, claimants will have to choose one option or the other. The new ruling does not affect people’s ability to simultaneously apply for Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance.