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National Council on Disability Monthly Bulletin for October 2008

WASHINGTON, Nov. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is the National Council on Disability's monthly bulletin for October 2008:

A Monthly Newsletter from the National Council on Disability (NCD)

John R. Vaughn, Chairperson

October 2008

NCD--30 Years of Disability Policy Leadership--1978-2008

NCD Welcomes New Members

On October 2, the U.S. Senate reconfirmed five NCD members and confirmed three new members who were appointed by President George W. Bush. The current members who were reconfirmed include: John R. Vaughn of Fort Myers, Florida, who remains as Chairperson; Victoria Ray Carlson of Naperville, Illinois; Marylyn Howe of Marshfield Hills, Massachusetts; Chad Colley of New Smyrna Beach, Florida; and Lonnie Moore of Chula Vista, California.

New Council members are: Heather Whitestone McCallum of St. Simons Island, Georgia; Katherine McCary of Midlothian, Virginia; and Tony J. Williams of Clyde Hill, Washington.

Ms. McCallum was selected as Miss America in 1995, the first woman with a disability to be crowned Miss America in the pageant's 75-year history. She also spearheaded the nation's largest multimedia public service campaign to identify early hearing loss, which was created by the Miss America Organization and the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the deaf. The former Miss Alabama grew up in Atlanta. Ms. McCallum replaced outgoing NCD board member Cynthia Wainscott.

Ms. McCary is a Vice President of SunTrust Banks, Inc., reports to the Chairman and the President and CEO, SunTrust, Mid-Atlantic, and has corporate responsibility for the Accessing Community Talent Program, a disability program that seeks to increase the employment of people with disabilities throughout SunTrust's workforce and to increase awareness of marketing opportunities for customers with disabilities. She manages the Corporate Disability Resource Center which provides disability information internally to employees and managers. She acts as disability consultant to SunTrust's 17 Diversity Councils. Ms. McCary replaced outgoing NCD member Milton Aponte.

Mr. Williams is a founding partner and Chairman of Washington Advocates, a Northwest-based public affairs firm with offices in Bellevue and Washington, D.C. The firm represents a wide variety of Northwest companies and organizations. He is the parent of a special needs student. Mr. Williams replaced outgoing NCD member Dr. Young Woo Kang.

NCD Conducts Quarterly Meeting In Kansas City

NCD conducted its Fall quarterly meeting October 6-8 in the nation's heartland in Kansas City, MO, with 64 members of the public attending the meeting.

During NCD's Homeland Security Committee report, NCD heard presentations by Glen White, Ph.D., Director of the Nobody Left Behind Project, Kansas University at Lawrence, Charles Duddy, Emergency Preparedness Director, Gladstone, MO, and Karen Benson, Interim Chair, Governor's Council on Disability and Co-chair, Government, Faith-based and Community Partnership, Missouri Rehabilitation Center, Mount Vernon, MO.

NCD also heard presentations by Scott Raecker, Director, Character Counts, and Member of the Iowa Legislature, former Iowa Governor Robert Ray discussing the success of the Character Counts education program, and a presentation from Susan Crain Lewis, President and CEO, Mental Health America of the Heartlands, discussing the latest trends in mental health.

Sue Sutter, Associate Commissioner, Office of Employment Support Programs, Social Security Administration (SSA) and Richard Balkus, Associate Commissioner, Office of Program Development and Research, SSA, discussed the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act and actions SSA has taken on recommendations from NCD's 2005 report, The Social Security Administration's Efforts to Promote Employment for People with Disabilities: New Solutions for Old Problems

( m).

During the NCD Emerging Trends Committee report, NCD heard presentations by Diane Golden, Executive Director, Missouri Assistive Technology Project, and Tec Chapman, Deputy Director, Division of Mental Retardation/Developmental Disabilities, Missouri Department of Mental Health.

NCD Vice Chairpersons Approved

During the business portion of the NCD quarterly meeting, the Council approved the chairperson's nomination of Pat Pound and Chad Colley to continue serving as NCD vice chairpersons for Fiscal Year 2009.

National Summit on Disability Policy Update

Planning for NCD's 2010 National Summit on Disability Policy is underway. The purpose of the Summit is to help set a national policy agenda for 2010-2020 designed to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities. Policy papers on issues of critical importance to people with disabilities are being prepared in advance with the cooperation of NCD's many stakeholders, and these papers will be used to establish the tracks for discussion and policy development during the summit. Topics will include civil rights (including voting issues), employment, education, healthcare, transportation, housing, homeland security (including emergency preparedness); disability statistics, and international disability issues.

NCD's Current Issues

NCD's current list of issues and projects underway include reports on:

-- The Current State of Health Care for People with Disabilities

-- Invisible Wounds: Serving Service Members and Veterans with PTSD and TBI

-- The Rehabilitation Act: Outcomes for Transition Age Youth

-- Effective Homeland Security Practices for Use by Communities and People

with Disabilities

-- National Disability Policy: A Progress Report

-- 2008 Housing Initiative

-- Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act:

Implementation Evaluation and Recommendations for Reauthorization

-- Workforce Infrastructure in Support of People with Disabilities:

Matching Human Resources to Service Needs

-- Improving the Participation Rate of People with Targeted Disabilities in

the Federal Workforce

NCD Thanks Advisory Committee Members

After a year of thoughtful dialogue, NCD voted at its Kansas City quarterly meeting to undertake a new initiative to re-focus the process by which NCD gathers input from youth, culturally diverse populations and about international issues. NCD discontinued the formal use of advisory committees, thanking its current and former advisory committee members for their hard work, dedicated service, and their valuable advice and input.

NCD stressed its long-standing invitation to stakeholders to continue to send suggestions and ideas on all issues, including those related to youth, cultural diversity, and international. Suggestions on how NCD can best reach out to youth, culturally diverse populations, and the international disability community can be sent to Mike Collins, Executive Director, at

International Committee Formed

Due to NCD's involvement with the Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs (G3ict) and NCD's involvement with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Council members voted to create an International Committee to continually monitor international issues and to learn about developments in other countries that may assist NCD in promoting programs, policies, and practices that result in full inclusion of people with disabilities worldwide.

NCD Releases Rehabilitation Act Youth Transition Report

In an effort to highlight October as Disability Employment Awareness Month, NCD released a report titled The Rehabilitation Act: Outcomes for Transition-Age Youth ( s.doc) on October 28. The report calls on Congress and the U.S. Department of Education to enact changes to current service delivery practices that are designed to improve transition outcomes for youth with disabilities.

This report is a comprehensive assessment of the impact of the Rehabilitation Act on the employment and postsecondary education outcomes of eligible transition-age youth.

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, together with the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975, set in motion policy changes that have allowed many thousands of children and youth with disabilities in the United States to gain the educational and vocational skills needed to transition to living, working, and participating as adults in community life.

According to NCD Chairperson John R. Vaughn, "The public sector VR program has been providing employment-related services to young adults with disabilities for decades, and currently serves more than 50,000 youth each year, but the results of the study confirm that relatively little is known about the extent and effectiveness of VR transition services. As a result, state VR agencies continue to devote substantial resources to this population without the benefit of methodologically sound evaluation approaches."

"The ever-increasing number of transition-age youth with disabilities who will exit secondary education programs and attempt to enter the workforce over the next decade will create tremendous challenges for VR agencies. While many current service delivery approaches hold promise, little empirical information is available that will allow VR agencies to accurately predict the amount and type of services required to assist transition-age youth to meet their employment goals, or the outcomes that should be anticipated for individuals served through the program," Vaughn concluded.

NCD Quarterly Meetings

NCD's Winter meeting will be held January 12-14, 2009, at the Chaparral Suites Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The Spring quarterly meeting will be held March 30-April 1 in Washington, DC.

The Summer quarterly meeting will be held in Minneapolis, MN.

About the NCD Bulletin

The NCD Bulletin, which is also available at NCD's Web site (, brings you the latest issues and news affecting people with disabilities. To subscribe to the NCD listserv, go to, 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 at (

SOURCE National Council on Disability
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