Legislative Action

Easter Seals Public Policy Priorities

Legislative Action Network

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People with disabilities and Easter Seals have a significant stake in government programs. For many children and adults with disabilities, their ability to get an education, earn a living and live independently in the community is dictated by the availability of services and supports, many of which come only from the federal government.

Easter Seals’ legislative priorities for the 113th Congress are listed below.

Affordable Care Act
Congress must maintain the policies within the Affordable Care Act that ensure all people with disabilities have access to comprehensive, affordable health care that meets their individual needs.

Child Care Development Block Grant
Congress must increase funding for child care services as well as support additional training and technical assistance to increase the supply of child care services for children with disabilities.

Deficit Reduction Efforts
Congress must reduce the deficit through means that do not restrict the ability of people with disabilities to access essential services and supports.

Elementary and Secondary Education Act
Congress must reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act so that all students, including students with disabilities, can learn and thrive in school and be career and college ready. Students with disabilities must have their academic progress measured with appropriate assessment tools.

Federal Funding for Programs Serving People with Disabilities
Congress must adopt budget and appropriations legislation that addresses the unmet needs of people with disabilities.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
Congress must maintain the right to a free, appropriate, public education for students with disabilities and expand early education services to young children with disabilities and developmental delays.

Medicaid and Long-Term Services and Supports
Congress must maintain the Medicaid program, including the Early Periodic Screening Diagnosis and Treatment program, and expand outreach services so that all eligible individuals are enrolled. In addition, efforts must be undertaken to strengthen the nation’s system of long-term services and supports through strengthening both Medicaid and alternative financing mechanisms for these services.

Congress must eliminate the cap on outpatient occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech-language pathology services for Medicare beneficiaries. Congress must also extend Medicare coverage for adult day services and other home and community-based services.

Older Americans Act
Congress must reauthorize the Older Americans Act to expand supportive services for the aging population, enhance the Senior Community Services Employment Program, and to increase partnerships between the aging network and community-based services providers.

Preventing Harmful Restraint and Seclusion in Schools Act
Congress must adopt legislation to reduce the incidence of restraint and seclusion of students and to establish minimum student safety standards.

Social Security
Congress must protect the integrity and solvency of Social Security programs, including the Supplemental Security Income program and the Social Security Disability Insurance program.

State Children’s Health Insurance Program
Congress must continue and improve health services under the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Congress must continue to improve transportation policy to increase the mobility of people with disabilities and older adults.

United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
The Senate must ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Congress must increase employment and other support services for veterans through community-based partnership. In addition, Congress must expand supports to caregivers of veterans.

Rehabilitation Act
Congress must improve vocational rehabilitation services by enhancing transition services for youth with disabilities, increasing long-term employment supports for adults with disabilities, refining performance management and expanding partnerships for the vocational rehabilitation system.

Workforce Investment Act
Congress must increase physical and programmatic accessibility within the workforce investment system through WIA reauthorization.