Federal Disability Policy Progress Report for 2014 Issued by the National Council on Disability
Oct. 31, 2014
Washington, DC - Since its inception, the National Council on Disability (NCD) has reported on the status of people with disabilities in the United States of America. The 2014 review of National Disability Policy: A Progress Report continues that tradition, fulfilling our statutory mandate with added significance this year as we celebrate our 30th anniversary as an independent federal agency. NCD was first established in 1978 as a small advisory Council within the Department of Education and in 1984 transitioned to its current status as a federal agency.
As we’ve done with previous reports, the 2014 edition details the status of people with disabilities from across the nation, providing policymakers, advocates and other stakeholders with an overview of the progress the United States has made promoting and protecting the rights of individuals with disabilities. The report also identifies opportunities to promote public policies that contribute to a more inclusive environment.
Specifically, this year NCD focuses on seven key areas: the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD), employment access and inclusion, subminimum wage, education outcomes, Medicaid managed care, mental health care, and data trends in disability policy.
“With our 2014 Progress Report, NCD acknowledges the cultural context of the past while setting a vision for the future that is grounded in high expectations for both people with disabilities and the policymakers who are responsible for shaping an inclusive society,” said Councilmember Janice Lehrer-Stein.
Added NCD’s Lynnae Ruttledge, “With the vote on ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities pending in the Senate and the United States celebrating the 25-year anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 2015, NCD urges Congress, the White House, and other decision makers to implement the recommendations made in this report and to champion policies and laws that include and involve all Americans as equals.”
Sampling of NCD’s Recommendations:
-- On the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD): The full Senate should consider, vote on, and pass the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) when it reconvenes in the fall of 2014. Ratification will enable the United States to resume its role as a key leader in international conversations on disability rights and contribute to a global society that is inclusive of people with disabilities.
-- Paying disabled workers a fair wage: The United States Department of Labor (DOL) should adopt and implement NCD’s proposal as reflected in the NCD’s 2012 Report on Subminimum Wage and Supported Employment to phase out 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act, which allows employers to pay people with disabilities wages below the federal minimum wage in reference to people with disabilities.
-- Medicaid managed care: States should ensure that any population that has its Home and Community Based Service (HCBS) system placed into managed care has the corresponding institutional benefit placed within the same managed care framework, offering an opportunity to reduce institutional placement and avoid adverse incentives for the Managed Care Organization (MCO).