On March 1, 2013, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB will sequester approximately $85 billion in Fiscal Year 2013 spending as mandated by the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011.
OMB recently calculated that sequestration will require an annual reduction of roughly 5 percent for nondefense programs and roughly 8 percent for defense programs. However, given that these cuts must be achieved over only seven months instead of 12, the effective percentage reductions will be approximately 9 percent for nondefense programs and 13 percent for defense programs. These large and arbitrary cuts will have severe impacts across the government.
This overview on sequestration and its effects on special populations includes information related to: Medicaid, Social Security, and CHIP programs; Medicare; the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA); Education and Special education (IDEA); the Head Start Program; and Housing.
Medicaid, Social Security, and CHIP: While Medicaid, Social Security, and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are exempt from the talks, most other health programs will be affected.
While Social Security payments are not affected, sequestration would force the Social Security Administration (SSA) to furlough most of their workforce, causing SSA offices to close earlier or permanently. Beneficiaries who visit these offices or call the 1-800 number will most likely have to wait longer for services. The furlough would also impact the ability of disability claims, retirement claims, and disability hearings to be processed.
Medicare: The sequester includes a two percent cut to Medicare, as well as much larger cuts to federal healthcare agencies. The Medicare cut is big — $11 billion just this year, according to the White House budget office. These cuts will affect those who receive Medicare, including Dual Eligible’s (those who receive both Medicare and Medicaid).
This would also result in billions of dollars in lost revenues to Medicare doctors, hospitals, and other providers, who will only be reimbursed at 98 cents on the dollar for their services to Medicare beneficiaries.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): Sequestration would reduce access to behavioral healthcare. If sequestration takes effect, up to 373,000 seriously mentally ill adults and seriously emotionally disturbed children could go untreated. This would likely lead to increased hospitalizations, involvement in the criminal justice system, and homelessness for these individuals.
In addition, close to 8,900 homeless persons with serious mental illness would not get outreach, treatment, housing, and support they need through the Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH) program. Admissions to inpatient facilities for people in need of critical addiction services could be reduced by 109,000, and almost 91,000 fewer people could receive substance abuse treatment services.
Education and Special education (IDEA):
Title I: Title I education funds would be eliminated for more than 2,700 schools, cutting support for nearly 1.2 million disadvantaged students. This funding reduction would put the jobs of approximately 10,000 teachers and aides at risk. Students would lose access to individual instruction, afterschool programs, and other interventions that help close achievement gaps.
Special Education (IDEA): Cuts to special education funding would eliminate Federal support for more than 7,200 teachers, aides, and other staff who provide essential instruction and support to preschool and school-aged students with disabilities.
Head Start: Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for approximately 70,000 children, reducing access to critical early education. Community and faith based organizations, small businesses, local governments, and school systems would have to lay off over 14,000 teachers, teacher assistants, and other staff.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD): Under sequestration, HUD would not renew about 125,000 Tenant Based Rental Assistance vouchers (Section 8). This would affect over 300,000 individuals across the country. Half of Section 8 households have children, 40 percent are disabled, and 20 percent are elderly.
Marc Irlandez, Director of Technology & Life Labs
Each year, millions of Americans donate to countless worthy causes. United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) is lucky enough to be one of those causes, and we are so grateful for all of our supporters.
As UCP moves forward, the ways in which people support us is evolving—and one of the most interesting approaches is not through money, but through ideas. We want to know: what would make the life of an individual with a disability better, or easier, or more accessible? And how would it be done? Instead of UCP deciding our path forward, we are asking you, your neighbors, your friends, anyone and everyone to tell us your ideas, so we can incorporate them in our strategy, bring them to life, and share them with others.
In 2012, UCP, our affiliates and global partners joined together to establish the first annual World Cerebral Palsy Day, an international day of awareness about cerebral palsy. As part of the day, we introduced the “Change my World in 1 Minute” contest. We asked people with disabilities from around the world to create a one minute video telling us what could be created, developed or modified, that would change their world and how. We received a staggering 500 submissions, and from this incredibly diverse pool, a specially appointed committee selected three finalists: a solar-powered wheelchair, a fold-up motorized wheelchair, and a documentary about people living with cerebral palsy in the 21st century.
The next phase of the “Change my World in 1 Minute” contest is the most exciting; we are challenging, the world’s inventors, craftsmen, makers and hackers, tinkerers and anyone who thinks they can bring one of these ideas to life, to compete for a share of a $25,000 prize. So if you or someone you know could build or create one of these ideas, let us know! We are so excited about this contest—not only will we get to see the world’s creativity at work, but the final products will make a significant difference in the lives of people living with disabilities.
Through our nearly 100 affiliates around the country, UCP works to enact real change—to revolutionize care, raise standards of living and create opportunities—and impact the lives of millions living with disabilities. Ideally, we want to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with a spectrum of disabilities by providing services and support to more than 176,000 children and adults everyday— one person at a time, one family at a time. For more than 60 years, we have continued to push for the social, legal and technological advances that will enable people with disabilities to live a life without limits.
For the estimated 57 million Americans and 650 million people around the world living with disabilities, World CP Day and the “Change my World in 1 Minute” contest is more than just a single day or awareness or a cash prize. It is a daily recognition of their lives—and the need to increase accessibility and independence for everyone.
It’s an innovative approach for a nonprofit: Asking for ideas instead of dollars. Then rewarding the people who can make those ideas a reality.
We are empowering our community to challenge the world to solve specific problems. Not problems and solutions that we deem best. We want to help create solutions for issues that are important within our local communities and around the world. “Change my World in 1 Minute” is about collaboration and becoming part of the solution, moving from asking for money or help to empowering the community to take the lead and make the change.
Colleagues and friends,
Over the last few days, we have seen the incredible devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy impacting millions of Americans along the Eastern seaboard. The thoughts and prayers of the entire UCP network are with those that have been impacted by this massive storm, particularly our northeast affiliates and the communities they serve. As we begin the process of recovery, know that we stand ready to help in any way we can.
Individuals with disabilities often are disproportionately impacted during times of disaster. A variety of barriers may already exist, such as lack of transportation and inaccessible buildings, and other barriers are either created or worsened by the disaster itself. Our UCP affiliates were well prepared for Hurricane Sandy—but the loss of power, flooding and infrastructure problems have made providing services and ensuring the safety of their clients that much more difficult. Their commitment and dedication to both their clients and staff is remarkable, and yet characteristic of how our affiliates rise to meet each occasion or adversity.
If you are in an affected area and are in need of assistance, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has information and support available. Click on the states listed below for local emergency response information.
As our UCP affiliates continue to provide assistance to those impacted in their communities, we encourage you to help support their work. Each of our affiliates in the states impacted by the storm is listed below, or use our local resources guide to determine which is in your area.
Hurricane Sandy is an unprecedented disaster and its impacts continue to be felt. It is during these times of crisis that communities must come together to rebuild. Thank you to everyone involved in the emergency response effort, our entire UCP network and all of those who are working to ensure that people with disabilities can live a life without limits.
UCP President & CEO
United Cerebral Palsy
How to help:
Click on the name of your state below to access local emergency information, or on the name of your local affiliate to support their work.
In a press release today, the US Department of Education released guidelines that schools should follow to enure the safe and carefully considered use of this controversial practice in dealing with children with behavioral problems.
As noted by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO), there is no evidence that using restraint or seclusion is effective in reducing the problem behaviors that cause these techniques to be utilized. Furthermore, there have been cases of alleged abuse, including deaths, related to the use of restraint or seclusion of children in public and private schools.
Read the full resource document from the Department of Education.
Read the UCP Press Release about the new guidelines.
The World Health Organization recently released, Born Too Soon: A Global Action Report on Preterm Birth. The report features the first-ever estimates of preterm birth rates by country and is authored by a broad group of 45 international multi-disciplinary experts from 11 countries, with almost 50 organizations in support. This report is written in support of all families who have been touched by preterm birth. Findings show that rates of preterm births are increasing however premature babies can be saved now with feasible,cost-effective care. An Executive Summary highlights the key findings of the report.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media at Saint Vincent College issued a joint statement on the use of technology and interactive media with young children. The statement is meant to provide research-based guidance to all those who care for young children as they consider if, when and how to use technology and interactive media in early childhood programs (schools, centers, family child care) serving children from birth through age 8. Read the full Statement.
The New York Times recently featured an article about the importance of financial planning for families of people with disabilities. The article provided links to a few different calculators that help families plan for their loved one's financial future. Read the article online or head straight to the calculators:
The National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities recently published findings from a survey of state aging and disability services. State Aging and Disability Agencies in Times of Change, highlights the roles and responsibilities of state aging and disabilities agencies during this unprecedented era of state agency reorganization, re-conceptualization of state government, and restructuring of long term services and supports delivery systems and financing.
The 2011 survey captured a snapshot of the states in a period of transition and change. Key elements driving continued change include the economic environment, Affordable Care Act implementation, uncertainty in the federal budget particularly with the failure of the Congressional Super Committee, changes in state level leadership, and the 2012 elections.
The Athletic Equity Symposium held in June 2011 brought together diverse academic, administrative, organization, and education experts as well as advocates and athletes with disabilities to discuss policy issues and changes that can be made at the national, state and local levels to ensure full participation of children, youth and young adults in sports and physical activity. A strategic plan was created to accomplishing the goal of full participation in sports and physical activity. Click here to read these proceedings and the strategic plan from the meeting. The last page of the proceedings document contains links to other resource documents used to inform the discussion.
Most states receive federal funding to transition persons on Medicaid living in institutions to community living (often referred to as Money Follows the Person Demonstration). This report, Money Follows the Person: A 2011 Survey of Transitions, Services and Costs, from the Kaiser Family Foundation looks at the current status of the program including current enrollment, and per capita spending.
The American Academy of Pediatrics released a new clinical report, "Providing a Primary Care Medical Home for Children and Youth With Cerebral Palsy".
The report reviews the aspects of care specific to cerebral palsy that a medical home should provide beyond the routine health care needed by all children such as diagnosis, planning for interventions, authorizing treatments, and follow-up, and optimizing health and well-being for children with cerebral palsy and their families.
A new statistical brief from the US Census Bureau shows that 2.8 million school age children live with cognitive, vision, hearing, ambulatory, self-care or independent living difficulties. The report also includes data on attendance in public or private school and comparisons between metropolitan and rural areas.
Early Intervention programs help children ages 0-3 with developmental delays or disabilities. Intervention is vital during this very early time because this is a crucial time of development where a child learns and develops at the fastest rate. Every state is mandated by the federal government to provide services but how well does your state do?
Easter Seals has just published a report, Our Nation’s Children At Risk: A State-by-State Report on Early Intervention that provides a state by state snapshot of early intervention services. The full report is available online. You can also read more about early intervention on UCP's My Child Without Limits Website.
The CDC recently released this American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)-endorsed curriculum which is designed to educate future pediatricians on identifying, diagnosing, and managing autism spectrum disorders through case-based scenarios. The curriculum is a flexible, interactive learning tool that emphasizes practical skills for patient and parent interaction. The full curriculum and videos are available online
A new clinical report from the American Academy of Pediatrics explores the multi-faceted issues and needs faced by families of children with disabilities such as health care services, social and financial support, care coordination,and transition services--and how these families can best be served.
Parent-Provider-Community Partnerships: Optimizing Outcomes for Children With Disabilities explores the challenges of developing effective community-based systems of care and offers suggestions to pediatricians and policy-makers regarding the development of partnerships among children with disabilities, their families, and health care and other providers to maximize health and well-being of these children and their families.
This State Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) Scorecard is the first of its kind: a multidimensional approach to measure state-level performance of LTSS systems that provide assistance to older people and adults with disabilities. Performance varies tremendously across the states with LTSS systems in leading states having markedly different characteristics than those in lagging states. Yet even the top-performing states have some opportunities for improvement.
The Scorecard examines state performance across four key dimensions of LTSS system performance: (1) affordability and access; (2) choice of setting and provider; (3) quality of life and quality of care; and (4) support for family caregivers. It is designed to help states improve the performance of their LTSS systems. It also underscores the need for states to develop better measures of performance over a broader range of services and collect data to more comprehensively assess the adequacy of their LTSS systems.
How does your State fare?
The basic purpose of this chart book is to answer the question of whether working age (18-64) people with disabilities in the United States experience health disparities similar to those experienced by members of racial and ethnic minority groups in the United States. The report also explores the role of disability in the context of national efforts to address health disparities. Are the socio-economic and health experiences of people with disabilities similar to other recognized minority groups in the United States, such as underserved racial and ethnic groups? Read more...
People with disabilities often lack access to health care services. Minority persons with disabilities are doubly burdened. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Advisory Committee on Minority Health recently released "Assuring Health Equity for Minority Persons with Disabilities: A Statement of Recommendations and Principles" with the hopes of ensuring that the needs of this population be specifically addressed to ensure that the benefits of health care reform are available to all.
The younger brothers and sisters of children with autism appear to be at greater risk of developing the condition than had been thought, according to research published in the Journal of Pediatrics. The study, "Recurrence Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Baby Siblings Research Consortium Study" found the recurrence rate to be 18%. Previously, the recurrence rates had been estimated to be between 3% and 10%,