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National Council on Disability Monthly Bulletin for June, 2008
Date:7/3/2008

WASHINGTON, July 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is the National Council on Disability's monthly bulletin for June, 2008:

The Bulletin, which is free of charge and available at NCD's Web site (http://www.ncd.gov), brings you the latest issues and news affecting people with disabilities. To subscribe to the NCD listserv, go to http://listserv.access.gpo.gov, click on Online mailing list archives, select NCD-NEWS-L, click on Join or leave the list, then complete the short subscription form. Editorial comments can be sent to Bulletin editor Mark S. Quigley (mquigley@ncd.gov).

President Bush Announces NCD Nominees

On June 5, President George W. Bush announced his intention to renominate two NCD members and nominate two new members. The renominees are Marylyn Howe of Massachusetts and Lonnie Moore of California. The new nominees are Heather McCallum of Georgia and Christina Shanahan of North Carolina. Ms. McCallum would replace current board member Cynthia Wainscott. Ms. Shanahan would replace current board member and Vice Chairperson Pat Pound.

Quarterly Meetings

NCD will conduct its next quarterly meeting at the Renaissance Seattle Hotel, 515 Madison Street, Seattle, Washington, beginning Monday, July 14 and ending Wednesday, July 16. The agenda is posted at http://www.ncd.gov/newsroom/quarterly/2008/agenda_july14-16-08.htm.

NCD believes it is vital to hear from communities around the country on what works and what does not for people with disabilities. The purpose of this meeting is to have open discussions about issues such as emergency preparedness, healthcare, employment, and several other subjects of interest to the disability community. We are delighted to have the opportunity to visit Seattle and learn firsthand about the experiences of people with disabilities from the Pacific Northwest region. This is also an opportunity to meet NCD members and staff and offer comments during the public comment sessions.

This meeting is open to the public and free of charge. Times are designated for public comment, supported by a toll-free call-in line, and public input is encouraged and greatly appreciated. Written comments can also be provided by e-mail (ncd@ncd.gov), fax (202-272-2022), or mail (NCD, 1331 F Street, NW, Suite 850, Washington, DC 20004).

Public comment sessions will be held Monday, July 14 from 9:00 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. PDT and on Tuesday, July 15 from 4:30 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. PDT. The toll-free call-in number for Monday and Tuesday is 1-800-779-9513, and the pass code is "NCD Meeting."

An additional public comment session for audience members will be held Wednesday, July 16 from 8:30 a.m. until 9:00 a.m. A reception will be held at the hotel for meeting participants, audience members, and stakeholders from the disability community on Tuesday, July 15 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., immediately following the days' session.

NCD's fall meeting will be held October 6-8, 2008, at the Hyatt Regency Crown Center, 2345 McGee Street, Kansas City, Missouri.

NCD's winter meeting will be January 12-14, 2009, at the Chaparral Suites Hotel, 5001 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, Arizona.

Emerging Trends Public Consultation

NCD is soliciting public input for a study of emerging issues and trends affecting the lives of people with disabilities. Information gathered will be used in the development of NCD's next annual progress report, National Disability Policy: A Progress Report, which is required annually by Section 401 (b) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.

The purpose of this public consultation is to gather input to inform NCD's assessment of the status of the nation in achieving policies that guarantee equal opportunity for all individuals with disabilities, and that empower individuals with disabilities to achieve economic self-sufficiency, independent living, and inclusion and integration into all aspects of society.

The entire document and information on how to respond is available at http://www.ncd.gov/newsroom/publications/2008/public_consultation.html

Your comments will help NCD provide a guide for America's programs and services to be modernized to reflect the changed and changing needs of people with disabilities in our communities.

Please send your information to NCD by July 22, 2008.

ADA Restoration Act Update

In February, NCD released a point-counterpoint document in response to opponents of the ADA Restoration Act. NCD recommended, and remains in strong support of, the restoration of the definition of disability in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The congressional intent of this landmark civil rights legislation was to prevent discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all aspects of society, including employment. Instead, because of a number of Supreme Court decisions, many people with disabilities have experienced discrimination and have been denied ADA protections. The ADA Restoration Act is urgently needed to restore the civil rights of people with disabilities, and NCD will continue to work for ADA restoration.

On June 26, the ADA Amendments Act (formerly, the ADA Restoration Act) (H.R. 3195) passed with bipartisan support in the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 402 to 17. It was then sent to the U.S. Senate for action.

NCD's Righting the ADA report, which contains historical information and a legislative blueprint for restoring the ADA, can be found at http://www.ncd.gov/newsroom/publications/2004/righting_ada.htm.

DOJ Proposes New ADA Regulations

On June 17, the U.S. Department of Justice released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking soliciting comment on proposed amendments to its regulations implementing Titles II and III of ADA. The proposed regulations will, for the first time, establish specific requirements for the design of accessible public facilities such as courtrooms and an array of recreation facilities including playgrounds, swimming pools, amusement parks, and golf courses, making it easier for individuals with disabilities to travel, enjoy sports and leisure activities, play, and otherwise participate in society.

The proposed amendments are intended to implement revised guidelines published by the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board), and to adopt changes necessary to address issues that have arisen since the publication of the original regulations in 1991.

According to DOJ, the new regulations are also intended to provide greater consistency between the ADA Standards and other federal and state accessibility requirements.

For more information, go to http://www.ada.gov/NPRM2008/ADAnprm08.htm. Public comment will be accepted at http://www.regulations.gov. DOJ will hold a public hearing on the proposed regulations on July 15 at the Marriott Hotel at Metro Center, 775 12th Street, NW, in Washington, DC.

More information about the ADA, the proposed regulations, and a public hearing can be obtained on the DOJ's ADA home page at http://www.ada.gov. Information about the ADA is also available on DOJ's toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 or 800-514-0383 (TTY).

Congressional Testimony

On June 4, NCD Vice Chairperson Pat Pound testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Subcommittee on Information Policy, Census, and National Archives. Ms. Pound specifically addressed the question of "Does Federal Statistical Data Adequately Serve People Living with Disabilities?" A copy of her testimony can be found at http://informationpolicy.oversight.house.gov/documents/20080604164238.pdf.

NCD's latest report on disability data, Keeping Track: National Disability Status and Program Performance Indicators, can be found at http://www.ncd.gov/newsroom/publications/2008/Indicators_Report.html.


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SOURCE National Council on Disability
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