Empowering People with Special Needs!
Empowering People with Special Needs!  

From May 19, 2014

Reauthorization of the Combating Autism Act Introduced in the House

On May 9, the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act of 2014 (H.R. 4631 (link)) was introduced by Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ).   The bill largely extends the research, surveillance, public awareness, and professional training activities under the Combating Autism Act for an additional 5 years.  It does, however, include a few changes.  The bill reforms the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) to promote greater coordination among federal agencies.  The bill also requires the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to re view the existing landscape of services (federal, state, local government, and the private and non-profit sectors), conduct a survey of stakeholders, and make recommendations to enhance coordination, efficiency, and the value of the services currently provided to assist individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  Unfortunately, this bill does not include a name change.  Learn more about the Combating Autism Act on The Arc's website. (link)

Autism – House Subcommittee Hearing Announced

On May 20, the Government Operations Subcommittee of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, chaired by Representative John Mica (R-FL), will hold a hearing on autism spectrum disorders.  The hearing title is “Examining the Federal Response to Autism Spectrum Disorders”.   For more information, see the committee website. (link)

New Guidance on Youth Transition and Vocational Rehabilitation

The Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA), has issued a technical assistance circular (RSA-TAC-14-03 (link)) that addresses a variety of transition-related issues affecting state Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies.  As noted by RSA, the issues addressed in the TAC “pertain to: (1) the effective collaboration between VR agencies and State educational agencies (SEA) for the provision of transition services; (2) the VR process as it relates to referral and application for services, the determination of eligibility, and the development of the individualized plan for employment ( IPE); and (3) the services that may be provided through the VR program.  The guidance contained in this TAC will better enable VR agencies to implement policies and engage in innovative strategies designed to improve the transition of students with disabilities including those with the most significant disabilities, from school to the achievement of integrated employment outcomes and careers.”

National Institutes of Health to Hold Webinars on Education and Employment for People with Disabilities

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that they will be hosting a three-part Disability Employment Awareness Webcast Series to provide information on the employment and inclusion of people with disabilities.  The first webinar in the series will take place on May 27, 2014 from 11am - 12:30pm EST. Learn more at the NIH website. (link)

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