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The Federal Government reopened on October 17, 2013. The budget agreement that Congress passed the day before extends funding for federal agencies through January 15, 2014 and raises the federal borrowing limit through February 7, 2014. The agreement also requires the House and Senate to craft a Fiscal Year 2014 budget blueprint by December 2013. This blueprint will be the foundation for future tax and funding decisions.
The implications for people with disabilities and Easter Seals are significant. This budget debate will set the parameters for potential changes to Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security as well as funding levels for programs like the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) and early intervention for infants and toddlers with disabilities. It will also explore potential changes to the tax code.
Government Relations staff will continue to work to protect and advance services and supports for people with disabilities and the ability of Easter Seals to be successful in meeting community needs. Watch Easter Seals Advocacy webpage for additional information in the weeks ahead. Your voice will be critical to ensure that people with disabilities can live, learn, work and play in their communities.
Easter Seals is calling on its supporters to join in a final push to convince the U.S. Senate to approve the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD), an international agreement based on our Americans with Disabilities Act. Last year, the Convention fell just 5 votes short of passage. The CRPD will help make sure that people with disabilities are afforded a basic level of civil rights no matter where in the world they live. It is also critical to Americans with disabilities as they work, learn and travel abroad. Approval by the Senate is the final step in the United States’ approving the CRPD. It is absolutely critical that Senators hear from constituents like you in support of the CRPD.
Each day, decisions are being made in Washington, D.C. that will affect people with disabilities and Easter Seals' ability to provide services to them, as well as to meet Easter Seals' mission today and for years to come. The unmet needs of people with disabilities will continue to go unaddressed if Easter Seals is not engaged in educating public policy makers about people with disabilities' disproportionate reliance on government for health, education, employment, transportation and other needed services.
People with disabilities and Easter Seals have a significant stake in government programs. For many children and adults with disabilities, their ability to get an education, earn a living and live independently in the community is dictated by the availability of services and supports, many of which come only from the federal government.
This chart, developed by Easter Seals Office of Public Affairs, tracks the funding history of federal disability programs. The chart divides the information by agency, listing underneath each agency specific programs that matter to children and adults with disabilities.