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NCD Quarterly Newsletter - Winter 2016

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Next Quarterly Meeting

Dates: Thursday and Friday, February 11-12, 2016
Location: Florida Hospital Nicholson Center, Education Center 2, 404 Celebration Place, Celebration, Florida 34747
Matters Considered: The Council will hear policy presentations on the topics of mental health services in higher education; guardianship; updates since the release of NCD’s “Breaking the School to Prison Pipeline” report last fall; Medicaid managed care and the direct care workforce; and emerging technology in employment and education. The Council will also receive reports from its standing committees; and receive public comment during four town halls, on the topics of mental health services in higher education; guardianship; challenges of the direct care workforce; and emerging technology.

A more detailed agenda, information about the town halls, and information about accommodations can be found in the Federal Register notice ( Information about the meeting’s public comment opportunities follows below.

Latest Reports

Implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA): A Roadmap for People with Disabilities

Implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA): A Roadmap for People with Disabilities is the first in a series of three reports regarding the implementation, impact, and enforcement of ACA.

This first report in the series provides a roadmap for monitoring the implementation of ACA and for making sure that this important federal law supports the outcomes the disability community has prioritized. The report seeks to:

  • Provide an overview of future healthcare implementation decisions that must be made by both private insurers and state and federal officials;
  • Outline approaches to maximizing ACA’s positive impact on people with disabilities while limiting risks to the disability community that could result from unwise implementation c hoices; and
  • Evaluate the policy options facing states as they consider expanding and reconfiguring Medicaid.

Report at:

The Impact of the Affordable Care Act on People with Disabilities: A 2015 Status Report

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is especially important to people with disabilities who often rely on a broad range of health care services and supports and are more impacted by changes that occur within the healthcare system. Accordingly, in this second part of the ACA report series, NCD provides a snapshot of how early implementation of ACA has impacted the disability community.


The report utilizes a formal literature review, interviews with key informants in ten states with diverse ACA implementation approaches, and a 50-state review of state policies involving key ACA provisions, such as decisions involving Medicaid expansion and selected essential health benefits of particular interest to people with disabilities. The resulting report provides a snapshot of the experience of people with disabilities at a time that the implementation of ACA is in its relative infancy, in the hopes of informing policy decisions now and in the future.


Report at:

Monitoring and Enforcing the Affordable Care Act for People with Disabilities 

Monitoring and Enforcing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for People with Disabilities is the final report in a three-part series on ACA from NCD, each report considering a different aspect of ACA’s implementation, impact, or ongoing enforcement.


In this, the final installment in the series, NCD examines key legal safeguards in ACA implementation regulations that can help people with disabilities secure essential care and supports. The report also outlines legal duties; identifies the parties responsible for fulfilling those duties; and in some instances, explores potential avenues for redress where applicable.


By identifying issues for monitoring by the disability community nationally and in individual states, the report seeks to ensure that Americans with disabilities have the tools to fully share in ACA’s promised benefits and assess the impact ACA has had not only on the health of people with disabilities but also on the advancement of the goals of the ADA – equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency.


Full report at

Current Policy Work

NCD’s Council Members and staff are currently or will soon be engaged in policy work on the following topics:

  • Affordable Care Act 
  • Federal self-driving car initiatives 
  • Challenges to the direct care workforce
  • Medicaid managed care implementation
  • Small Business Administration’s 8(a) Business Development program
  • Mental health legislative proposals
  • Mental health services in higher education
  • Emerging technology in employment and education
  • Rights of parents with disabilities

NCD in the News

Media coverage is a crucial component of increasing public awareness. It also provides an opportunity for the Council to get out in front of and help frame important policy discussions. NCD issued statements on, was interviewed about, or provided guidance on a number of topical issues since the Fall 2015 newsletter. Highlights include:

  • On January 6, NCD Raised Constitutional Rights Concerns on President’s Gun Control Proposal. Specifically, NCD flagged issues surrounding the fear that SSDI recipients assisted by representative payee in financial matters could lose their Second Amendment rights.
  • On November 17, NCD Chair Clyde Terry authored an editorial for the blog highlighting “Economic Independence for Americans with Disabilities” that was sent to 93K Twitter followers, 35K Facebook friends, and’s 56K blog subscribers in addition to NCD’s listserv subscribers. The opinion piece detailed the value of owning and operating our own businesses.
  • On November 2, NCD released “Self Driving Cars: Mapping Access to a Technology Revolution.” Many large news outlets took note of the report release and carried information about the report, including the Boston Globe, Miami Herald, International Business Times, and Reuters, among others. In the wake of the recent White House announcement of their commitment to self-driving vehicles and the transformation of how we move while improving the safety of our streets and the Senate’s continued interest on the topic, including a proposed hearing, NCD’s work in this area will continue in earnest in an effort to shape the policy conversations as they unfold. 

NCD in the Community

On December 3, 2015 NCD Chair Clyde Terry joined other federal representatives for a roundtable discussion at the annual TASH conference in Portland, OR on “IDEA Principles for the Future: Forging a Framework for Education Equality.” Chair Terry explained NCD’s role monitoring implementation of federal disability legislation, including education policies. Chair Terry also participated in a listening session about HCBS Settings Rule Implementation and was afforded the opportunity to hear from and ask questions of people with disabilities, practitioners, and family members affected by the rule.  

Public Square

Upcoming Public Comment Opportunities

NCD will host four themed town halls at its upcoming Council meeting in Celebration, FL, February 11-12, 2016. Information shared during the Town Hall sessions will inform NCD’s work in these areas as research projects on these topics are undertaken in the year ahead. The location for each session will be at the Florida Hospital Nicholson Center, Education Center 2, 404 Celebration Place, Celebration, Florida 34747. Those not able to attend in person can always send their comments via email to: or call-in with their comments, although priority will be given to those who attend in-person.

To better facilitate the town halls, any individual interested in providing public comment is asked to register his or her intent to provide comment in advance by sending an email to with the subject line “Public Comment” with your name, organization, state, and topic of comment included in the body of your email. All emails to register for public comment at the quarterly meeting must be received by Wednesday, February 10, 2016. Due to time constraints, NCD asks all commenters to limit their comments to three minutes.

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