National Council on Disability Releases Transportation Report

The National Council on Disability (NCD) released a report entitled “Transportation Update:  Where We’ve Gone and What We’ve Learned” a comprehensive update of a 2005 study sponsored by the NCD.  The report provides an overview of transportation in the United States, the changes since the last report, and recommends public policy to address new and persistent problems.

Congressional Briefing on Adoption to be Held on June 11

The Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus, Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, National Council on Disability, Child Welfare League of America, National Association of Social Workers, and the American Psychological Association are sponsoring a Congressional briefing on adoption policy and practice on June 11.   The briefing, titled “Rocking the Cradle: Ensuring the Rights of Parents with Disabilities and Their Children,” will highlight the findings of recent report by the National Council on Disability (NCD). The NCD report showed that the foster care and adoption systems have discriminatory practices that prevent prospective parents with disabilities the opportunity to become foster parents and adopt children.

Forum on Medicaid Managed Care This Month

The National Council on Disability (NCD) will be holding a forum on Medicaid managed care in Chicago on March 24. This event is part of a national series that NCD is holding across the nation. Previous forums have been in Kansas and Florida.  After Chicago, upcoming forums will be in California and New York.  The goal of the forums is to hear about the impact of Medicaid managed care on people with disabilities, and to share the Medicaid managed care principles that NCD developed.  The conversation at the forum will inform NCD in its ongoing recommendations to the federal government on the topic of Medicaid managed care.

New Report on The State of Disability Policy in the United States

The National Council on Disability released Strength in Our Differences, its annual disability policy report on the state of disability policy in the United States. The report is organized into four major issue areas: ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), economic empowerment, health care and access to medical treatment, and community integration. The report includes a number of recommendations designed to address barriers to inclusion and full participation in society for the President and Congress to consider.

New Report on the Experiences of Voters with Disabilities in the 2012 Election Cycle

The National Council on Disability (NCD) released a report entitled, “Experience of Voters with Disabilities in the 2012 Election Cycle.“  The report found that people with disabilities continue to confront barriers to voting including physical, architectural, and attitudinal barriers at registration and polling sites and problems accessing accessible voting technology.  The report highlights a barrier that is particularly troublesome for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) – guardianship.  The report makes several recommendations, including one specific to guardianship:

  • NCD recommends that state legislatures and local rulemaking authorities conduct a review of state guardianship laws and modify them where necessary to ensure that all people with intellectual, developmental, or psychiatric disabilities have full access to the right to vote, independent of their legal capacity.

Commission on Election Administration Meets with Disability Advocates; Seeks Public Input

The Commission on Election Administration, created by Executive Order in March 2013 to identify best practices and recommend improvements in the voting experience, met with a panel of disability advocates. The National Council on Disability convened the group to provide input to Commissioners about the experiences of people with disabilities in the voting process. Advocates pointed to numerous improvements that have been made since the passage of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) in 2002 but also stressed that barriers remain. Ongoing problems that the advocates highlighted included guardianship status, long waiting lines, poorly trained poll workers, inaccessibility, and the presumption that individuals with intellectual disabilities are not competent to vote. The Commissioners are interested in learning about any jurisdictions in which the voting experience for people with I/DD works well. The public can provide input to the Commission through its website:

New Resources Released by The National Council on Disabilities

The National Council on Disabilities released two new publications concerning the Medicaid program – A Medicaid Block Grant Program: Implications for People with Disabilities, and The Case for Medicaid Self-Direction: A White Paper on Research, Practice, and Policy Opportunities. The publications can be accessed on NCD’s website:

NCD Recommends Ways to Implement Medicaid Managed Care without Harming People with Disabilities

Last week, The National Council on Disability (NCD), an independent federal agency tasked with providing advice to the President and Congress on policy matters affecting the lives of people with disabilities, released a report titled “Medicaid Managed Care for People with Disabilities: Policy and Implementation Considerations for State and Federal Policymakers.”

More than two-thirds of the 70 million Medicaid beneficiaries receive at least a portion of their services through a managed care plan. Until recently, the vast majority of these enrollees have been people without disabilities, however, now more than half of states are enrolling adults and children with disabilities. In addition, the number of States utilizing Medicaid managed care for long-term services and supports jumped from 8 in 2004 to 16 in 2012. This trend will undoubtedly increase as the Affordable Care Act expands Medicaid eligibility in 2014. Against this backdrop, NCD’s report examines the implications, benefits, necessary principles, and operational features of Medicaid managed care for people with disabilities, and advances recommendations for state and federal policymakers. NCD’s report is based on 22 guiding principles developed by NCD to assist in the design and implementation of managed care for people with disabilities. NCD recommends in the report that these principles be rigorously applied in designing and operating managed care services.

The full report, including the guiding principles and specific recommendations developed by NCD, are available online.

National Council on Disability releases new report

The National Council on Disability released a new report, “Deinstitutionalization: Unfinished Business” and a Deinstitutionalization Toolkit for advocates and policymakers who want to help people transition into the community from institutions. The toolkit includes information and tips to address myths and counter arguments against closing institutions.

Seeking stories from voters with disabilities across the nation

In coordination with the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) and EIN SOF Communications, the National Council on Disability is collecting voting experiences in the form of an open-ended questionnaire from voters with disabilities across the nation during the November 2012 election. Completed questionnaires should be sent to: or sent via postal mail to:
NDRN, 900 Second Street, NE, Suite 211, Washington, DC 20002. A Final Report on the findings will be published in early 2013.