Last Thursday, senior White House officials hosted a live chat on disability policy. Jeffrey Crowley, Senior Advisor on Disability Policy, Rebecca Cokley, Director of Priority Placement in the White House Presidential Personnel Office, and Kareem Dale, Special Assistant to the President for Disability Policy answered questions on a variety of topics, such as employment, healthcare, and housing for people with disabilities. The economy emerged as a major theme in the discussion. Highlights included how President Obama hopes to resolve the current debt ceiling crisis without taking away or limiting access to vital services under Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security. Officials also discussed how the Administration is working to ensure employment for people with disabilities in these difficult economic times. You can watch the chat here.
On July 26th, the U.S. Access Board plans to publish proposed guidelines for accessible public rights-of-way that will be available for public comment for four months. The proposed guidelines address access to sidewalks, street crossings, pedestrian access routes, curb ramps, pedestrian signals, and on-street parking. The Board will conduct a public webinar on August 9, from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. EST to review the proposed rule and to discuss subjects where input from the public is sought. To register for this free webinar, visit www.accessibilityonline.org. The Board will hold two public hearings on the proposed rule: Dallas, Texas on September 12 (9:30 – 11:30am) and Washington, D.C. on November 9 (9:30 – 11:30am). Members of the public will have the opportunity to provide comments on the rule at these hearings. Further details will be included in the published rule.
On Thursday, July 14th from 1-2pm Eastern, Disability.gov will air a live “Virtual” Town Hall meeting to introduce top White House advisors on disability policy. If you have questions about disability-related subjects or issue areas, please submit them online by 6pm on Wednesday, July 13th. To watch this live event, go to Disability.gov’s home page on July 14th at 1pm, and click the button that says “Watch the White House Virtual Town Hall Live!”
The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities has posted recordings and slides from two recent webinars on Social Security, featuring The Arc’s Marty Ford and other presenters. “Social Security 101” explains the basics of the social insurance safety net that is created by the Social Security retirement, disability, and survivors programs. “Current Social Security Reform Proposals: How They Would Affect People with Disabilities” explains the specific reforms that have been proposed by organizations and commissions, and their impact on people with disabilities, the elderly, and families who rely on the Social Security safety net.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will hold a public meeting on June 8th at 9:30 am at its Washington, DC headquarters to examine the use of leave as a reasonable accommodation. Panelists will discuss the appropriate use of disability leave and on complying with relevant regulations.
The monthly White House Disability Call is Thursday May 26th at 3pm. It will feature Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, Department of Education Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Russlynn Ali and the Department of Labor’s Director of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Patricia Shiu. The call-in number is (800) 230-1085 and the passcode is White House Disability Call.
The next monthly White House Disability call will be on Thursday, April 28 at 2:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time. No agenda has yet been made available for this call. The White House encourages callers to dial in about five minutes early, due to the expected high number of callers. To participate, dial (888) 428-4479, and tell the operator that you would like to join the “White House Disability Call.” For live captioning, at the start time of the event, please login by clicking on the link below:
Today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) will hold a “Protect Social Security” press event. Several beneficiaries of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Disabled Adult Children (DAC) benefits will be attending. Joyce Lipman, a long time advocate with The Arc of Maryland and a member of the Board of Directors of The Arc of the U.S., will speak at the event and explain what Social Security means for her daughter who has significant disabilities. For more information, see http://www.strengthensocialsecurity.org
On March 1, the Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Health and Human Services (HHS) will hold an Open Door Forum about their joint efforts to improve the availability of affordable and accessible housing. The call will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. followed by an opportunity to ask questions, Presentation materials will be available after February 25 at www.hhs.gov/od. The call in number is 1-800-837-1935 and the conference ID number is 44280806. If you are not able to participate in the call, an audio recording and transcript will be available approximately one week after the call. See http://www.cms.gov/OpenDoorForums/05_ODF_SpecialODF.asp
The White House Disability Group is hosting monthly calls to provide updates on various disability issues as well as to introduce persons who work on disability issues in the federal government. The White House strongly encourages wide distribution this email so that anyone who wants to participate can do so. Their next call will be Monday, January 10 at 3:00 PM Eastern. To join the call, please dial (800) 230-1093 and select “Disability Call” (instead of code). For live captioning, at time of call, log onto http://www.fedrcc.us//Enter.aspx?EventID=1679107&CustomerID=321