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What's Happening in Washington

    Help Support Funding for Vital Services and Community Support

    Congressional committees are making funding decisions for key federal programs that provide children and adults with disabilities, older adults, veterans, and other individuals and families served by Easterseals with essential services and supports that help them meet milestones, maintain their health, and live independently in their communities. FY 2020 federal funding requests include: The Child Care and Development Block Grant Program; Early Intervention Grants for Infants and Families Program (IDEA Part C); Head Start and Early Head Start Programs; Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program; Preschool Grants for States Program (IDEA Part B, Section 619); Senior Community Service Employment Program; and the Vocational Rehabilitation State Grants Program.

    Help At-Risk Veterans Find Employment and Stable Housing

    An effort is underway in the U.S. House of Representatives in support of the Homeless Veterans' Reintegration Program (HVRP), the only national program that helps homeless and at-risk veterans develop the skills and training they need to find employment and secure housing. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) program has been a key tool in helping to reduce veteran homelessness by nearly 50 percent since 2010.

    Representatives Kathleen Rice of New York and Greg Walden of Oregon are seeking support in the U.S. House of Representatives to robustly fund HVRP in fiscal year 2020.

    Ask Your Members of Congress to Support the Easterseals 100th Anniversary Congressional Resolution

    UPDATE: On April 11th, the United States Senate approved the bipartisan congressional resolution recognizing Easterseals on its 100th Anniversary and highlighting Easterseals' century of impact in the lives of people with disabilities, veterans, older adults, caregivers, and their families. We are humbled by the Senate's action on Senate Resolution 85 and are grateful for the support and action of Easterseals supporters like you. We especially want to recognize U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman of Ohio for leading this effort and to all the original sponsors.

    H. Res. 100, which was introduced by U.S. Representatives Marcy Kaptur (D-OH-9) and David Joyce (R-OH-14), still needs your support! If your Members of Congress have already sponsored the resolution, you can thank them for their support.

    Support Community Services for People with Disabilities by Extending the Money Follows the Person Program 

    The Medicaid Money Follows the Person (MFP) program makes it possible for individuals with disabilities and seniors to receive their long-term supports in the setting of their choice, for example, in their home rather than in a nursing home. Since the program was created by President George W. Bush, more than 75,000 people with disabilities and seniors have received MFP transition and other services to help support their move back home.

    Congress and the President acted quickly in January to approve a short-term extension, with limited funds, to keep the MFP program going. The program needs a long-term extension before MFP funds run out.

    Bipartisan legislation was recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives (H.R. 1342) and U.S. Senate (S. 548) to extend the program through 2023.

    Read and share these stories from Medicaid enrollees 

    One of every seven Medicaid enrollees is a person with a disability, and now Congress is considering health care proposals that restrict access to critical Medicaid services.

    Read more than 100 stories we've collected from parents of children with disabilities and from adults and seniors with disabilities in the Easterseals family who depend on Medicaid for their health, independence and well-being. Join more than 2,000 people who have already voiced their concern by signing our petition. 

    Current Legislative Alerts: Take Action!

    Each day, decisions are being made in Washington, D.C., that will affect people with disabilities and Easterseals' ability to provide services to them, as well as to meet Easterseals' mission today and for years to come. The unmet needs of people with disabilities will continue to go unaddressed if Easterseals 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. Sign up to receive Easterseals advocacy alerts.

    Funding History of Federal Disability Programs, May 2019 (PDF*)

    This chart, developed by Easterseals 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.

    Easterseals Principles on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reform (PDF*)

    Easterseals supports a rigorous debate on policies and strategies to grow the economy, improve our nation’s fiscal health, and strengthen and protect social programs for our country’s most vulnerable populations. Proposals related to the federal budget, tax reform, deficit reduction, and strategic investments may have a direct impact on the lives of children and adults with disabilities. Easterseals policy decisions on fiscal policy and tax reform will be based on Easterseals Principles on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reform as approved by the Easterseals Board of Directors on October 20, 2017.

    Legislative Landmarks

    Easterseals has been active in public policy advocacy since our founder, Edgar Allen, lobbied the Ohio Legislature to fund appropriate services for children with disabilities in the 1920s. We continue to actively support and promote federal legislation that helps people with disabilities achieve independence.

    Easter Seals Alabama's Legislative Efforts

    Easter Seals Alabama actively supports people with disabilities and their families by appealing to Local and State Officials, Congress and federal agencies to create and support programs that help people with disabilities gain greater independence.

    Day on the Hill

    Legislatures IN the Know (LINK) was initiated in May of 2007 with the first Day on the Hill. Day on the Hill is an effort to build awareness of Easter Seals in the state legislature as well as an opportunity to develop a strategic state government relations plan. Long term, LINK will provide heightened awareness and increased understanding of the issues surrounding disabilities.

    Easter Seals Alabama visited legislators on the Hill February 28, 2008, in a continued effort to educate them about services we provide. Presentations of artwork completed by children with Autism Spectrum Disorder were made to Governor Bob Riley, Lt. Governor Jim Folsom, Jr. and Representative Cam Ward. Administrators and staffers went door-to-door dropping off literature and speaking with senators, representatives and staffers.

    The 2009 Day on the Hill is set for February 26, 2009.

    For additional photos from Day on the Hill, download the 2008 Day on the Hill PDF.

    Alabama Autism Task Force

    Representative Cam Ward and Emily, mother of an autistic childOn March 20, 2007, State Representative Cam Ward and Lt. Governor Jim Folsom, Jr. announced the formation of the Alabama Autism Task Force. House Joint Resolution 23 was passed by the legislature on March 8 and signed into law by Governor Riley shortly afterwards. The task force is made up of state officials, educators, doctors, and members of the academic community to recommend ways to improve the treatment of autism in Alabama.

    Easter Seals Alabama is an active member of Alabama's Autism Interagency Council which governs the Alabama Autism Task Force.

    For more information about the Alabama Autism Task Force, visit

    The 150 Visits Initiative

    U.S. Representative Joe Bonner visiting Goodwill Easter Seals In 2006, Easter Seals affiliates were challenged to create and steward relationships with their members of Congress. The goal was to have 100 members of Congress visit affiliate service sites to see first hand the critical role that Easter Seals has in assisting adults and children with disabilities live, learn, work and play in their communities. The visits connect the decisions Representatives and Senators make to the lives of children and adults with disabilities and their families.

    Last year, the initiative mobilized Easter Seals Alabama's staff to reach out to federal legislators and create an emotional connection with them to Easter Seals' mission and services for individuals and families with autism and other disabilities and special needs. Each of the visits created an opportunity to emphasize the value and cost benefit to society of funding essential services that promote the health, productivity and independence of people with disabilities and special needs.

    By October 2007, Easter Seals affiliates across the country had successfully reached and surpassed that goal. This year, a new resolution has been set to continue the program's successes by setting a goal of 150 additional visits.

    You Can Help!

    Join Easter Seals today in educating and informing public officials about issues that affect individuals with disabilities. View Easter Seals Action Alerts and contact your legislators now!

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