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Congressional Forum - "Disability in the Budget: Why It Matters"

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

National Council on Disability 
in Collaboration with the House Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus

May 10, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Council on Disability, an independent federal agency that advises the President, Congress and other federal agencies about policies affecting the lives of people with disabilities, will hold a public Congressional Forum examining “Disability In The Budget: Why It Matters” Thursday, May 12, 2011 at 3:00 p.m. in hearing room 2322 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

“People with disabilities pay taxes, go to college, work and rely on Medicaid to live in the community. We are mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, neighbors and coworkers in every community across the nation, but to date real life concerns facing over 50 million Americans with disabilities have been largely absent from current budget debates,” said Jonathan Young, Chairman of the National Council on Disability, the independent federal agency that drafted the legislation which eventually became the Americans with Disabilities Act. “With Thursday’s congressional forum – the first of its kind in NCD’s thirty-year history – we seek to change that and put disability in the forefront where it belongs.” 

“As Congress discusses critical topics such as job creation, health care, and education – Americans with disabilities should be a part of the conversation,” said Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Co-Chair of the bipartisan Disabilities Caucus, whose son, Cole, has Trisomy 21.  “The ADA and disability policies and programs should be about fulfilling the abilities and ambitions of each and every American to the fullest extent possible.  They should not be about creating and perpetuating dependence on the federal government.”

Congressman James Langevin (D – RI, 2nd District), Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus and the first quadriplegic Member of Congress said, “I am fortunate to have access to critical supports and services to help me do my job.  Unfortunately, if the unexamined costs of the proposed budget cuts are not addressed, there could be millions of Americans with disabilities who run the very real risk of being stuck inside when they could be learning in a classroom, working in a boardroom, or serving with me in Congress. We should not let the value of human capital be eclipsed in the rush to impose fiscal constraints.” 

Thursday’s Details
 Disability in the Budget: Why It Matters
Date/Time: Thursday, May 12 at 3:00 p.m., Eastern Time
Hosted by:  National Council on Disability in collaboration with the House Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus
Location: 2322 Rayburn House Office Building*


Panel 1 
•    The Honorable Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R – WA, 5th District), Co-Chair, Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus, Washington, DC
•    The Honorable James Langevin (D – RI, 2nd District), Co-Chair, Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus, Washington, DC

Panel 2
•    The Honorable Kevin Concannon, Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC

Panel 3
•    Ms. Kelly Stuart Woodall, Executive Director, Association of Self-Advocates of North Carolina, Raleigh, NC
•    Mr. Ed Lorenzen, Executive Director, The Moment of Truth Project, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, Washington, DC
•    Ms. Bonnie Miller, Parent and Coordinator of the Pennsylvania Self-Determination Consumer and Family Group, Greencastle, PA

Invitation to Testify: Congressional offices are invited to provide testimony in-person or otherwise join the forum. To ensure optimal participation, NCD kindly requests that Members of Congress interested in providing testimony in-person indicate in advance by notifying Anne Sommers, NCD Director of Legislative Affairs and Outreach, at Members of Congress may also submit written testimony to NCD’s record within ten business days of the forum (Deadline: May 26). 

Advocacy organizations and interested members of the public are invited to attend and to submit testimony to NCD’s written record by May 26. Written testimony is limited to five pages, double-spaced, and should include name, organizational affiliation, if any, and contact information. All written testimony should be sent to Anne Sommers

*The accessible lift at the Independence Avenue entrance to the Rayburn building is out of service.  Wheelchair users or others with accessibility needs should enter the Rayburn building at horseshoe drive off South Capitol Street or through any of the buildings listed at:

An official website of the National Council on Disability