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					   VOLUME 11, ISSUE 45
   NOVEMBER 13, 2006

   ACTION ALERTS are URGENT messages for you to send to elected officials and need your
   IMMEDIATE RESPONSE. The coding below indicates the status of the alert:

            •    New alerts are noted in red with the * * * symbol.
            •    Ongoing alerts are noted in green with the === symbol.

   Use the link(s) below to visit The Arc’s online Action Center today and take action:


   Use the link below to review the update(s) on important issues and events:

             •    NONE THIS WEEK

   November 2006 Elections

             •    American voters returned House and Senate Democrats to the majority in the
                  U.S. Congress. With two newly elected Independent Senators (Joe Lieberman in CT
                  and Bernie Sanders in VT) pledging to caucus and vote with Democrats, the Senate
                  Democrats have a majority of 51 seats (gaining six new seats). In the 110th Congress,
                  Senate Republicans will hold 49 seats. In the House, Democrats gained 27 seats,
                  bringing their majority to 229 seats. The House Republicans hold 197 seats. However,
                  nine House seats remain undecided. In addition, voters also elected several new
                  Democratic governors, with Democrats now leading 28 states.

   Social Security

             •    The Social Security Administration (SSA) posted a warning about a new e-mail
                  scam, with the e-mail subject, “Cost-of-Living for 2007 update.” The e-mail
                  appears to be from the Social Security Administration. Then, readers are directed to a
                  Web site that looks like SSA’s Web site, asking them to confirm their identities by
                  providing a Social Security number, bank account information, and credit card
Weekly news and information on disability public policy related to mental retardation, cerebral palsy and other disabilities
                 1660 L Street, NW ● Suite 701●Washington, DC 20036 ● phone 202.783.2229 ● fax 202.783.8250

                  information. For more information about this warning, visit
         Report this email scam
                  or other suspicious activity to 1-800-269-0271 or use online form at

   Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

             •    The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in the Winkelman v. Parma City
                  School District, an Ohio case from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, on whether
                  non-lawyer parents can represent their own child in federal court for an IDEA
                  case. The Supreme Court’s decision in this case will be important for low-income
                  parents, especially since many cannot afford attorneys, which could reduce their access
                  to the federal courts. Some legal experts, however, worry that a child’s interests could
                  suffer if non-lawyers represent them in legal settings. Parties are submitting briefs and a
                  date for oral argument has not yet been set.


             •    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) changed the new local
                  coverage determination (LCD) for power mobility devices (PMD), eliminating a
                  requirement that an individual be “unable to independently stand and pivot” to
                  qualify for access to high functioning mobility devices. In addition, CMS refined
                  the PMD fee schedule, raising reimbursement levels after consumers, manufacturers and
                  vendors vigorously protested. These changes are designed to improve the Medicare
                  pricing accuracy, support high quality and service, provide value for Medicare and its
                  beneficiaries, and ensure that beneficiaries who need mobility assistance receive needed
                  modern medical care. The new rules and fees become effective November 15.

   U. S. Congress – Lame Duck Session

             •    The 109th Congress reconvenes today for its lame duck session, and the elections
                  of the Senate and House majority and minority leadership for the 110th Congress
                  are expected over the next several days. For House Republicans, however, the
                  leadership elections may be delayed until December. In the Senate, work is expected to
                  begin on committee assignments for the next Congress.

             •    This segment of the lame duck session (today until Congress leaves for
                  Thanksgiving) is likely to be brief, with any major legislative decisions likely to
                  be considered in December.

             •   Republican congressional leaders, President Bush and congressional Democrats
                 will have many competing priorities on the legislative agenda of the entire lame
                 session. The priorities could include the following:
                 o Republican congressional leaders would like to pass energy legislation, one or more
                    trade deals, a civilian nuclear treaty with India and a handful of other bills.

Weekly news and information on disability public policy related to mental retardation, cerebral palsy and other disabilities
                 1660 L Street, NW ● Suite 701●Washington, DC 20036 ● phone 202.783.2229 ● fax 202.783.8250

                 o President Bush would like to see the authorizing of domestic wiretapping by the
                   National Security Agency and the confirmation of Robert M. Gates as Secretary of
                   Defense and John R. Bolton as Ambassador to the United Nations. Senate
                   Republicans and Democrats, however, expressed strong doubt that the wiretapping
                   legislation and the Bolton nomination will succeed, given the strong Democratic
                   opposition and the impending power shift.
                 o Congressional Democrats would like to finish the ten remaining appropriations bills,
                   a move strongly supported by the Democratic leaders. They also are interested in
                   passing a nuclear agreement with India, an offshore oil-drilling bill, legislation to
                   prepare for a potential flu pandemic or biological attack; and a package of middle
                   class tax breaks, including the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), which helps
                   employers to hire employees with disabilities.

   Fiscal Year 2007 Appropriations

             •    Since the House and Senate are behind in passing their Fiscal Year 2007
                  appropriations bills, they are expected to enact another Continuing Resolution
                  (CR) this week to keep federal programs operating. This CR will probably last until
                  December for a final push before the 109th Congress adjourns. Given the results of the
                  November elections, predictions about what each party will do during the lame duck
                  session are difficult to make.


             •    This Thursday and Friday, the Department of Health and Human Services’
                  Medicaid Commission will hold its final meeting. Disability community advocates,
                  including the Disability Policy Collaboration, will be testifying during the public
                  comment period. The Commission will then vote on the recommendations to be
                  incorporated in its final report.

   Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

            •    On November 16 (from 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. ET), the U.S. Department of
                 Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS)
                 will be hosting the Building the Legacy: IDEA 2004 Part B Final Regulations
                 Webcast.” Some of the topics covered are:
                 o How IDEA Part B final regulations aligned with the No Child Left Behind Act to
                     ensure students with disabilities receive the same high-quality education as their
                     peers without disabilities.
                 o How the regulations were developed in response to public comment, and how the
                     complete user-friendly package was created to clarify changes to the final regulations
                     as a result of those comments.
                 o The resources the Department will make available to help you implement the IDEA
                     Part B final regulations.
                 o Answers to some of the most frequently asked questions concerning the final
                 Click here - - to register for the
                 FREE Web cast.

Weekly news and information on disability public policy related to mental retardation, cerebral palsy and other disabilities
                 1660 L Street, NW ● Suite 701●Washington, DC 20036 ● phone 202.783.2229 ● fax 202.783.8250

             •    The five partnering national organizations, including United Cerebral Palsy and
                  The Arc of the United States, will soon hold the first planning meeting for the
                  2007 Disability Policy Seminar. Please hold the dates of March 4-6, 2007 to attend
                  this major event. With the huge changeover in leadership in the 110th Congress, this
                  Seminar will be key to advancing the priority policy initiatives of the developmental
                  disabilities community.

             •    Easter Seals Project ACTION (Accessible Community Transportation In Our
                  Nation) is sponsoring a free audio conference on Wednesday, December 13,
                  2006. The conference is entitled Pathway to Mobility: Assessing the Path of Travel for
                  Transit Customers and will run from 2:00-3:15 pm (Eastern Time). To join the call, dial
                  1-800-860-2442 and let the operator know that you want to join the Easter Seals Project
                  ACTION audio conference.

             •    The disability community in Washington, DC will celebrate the launch of the
                  yearlong Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Road To Freedom bus tour,
                  organized by the National Coalition for Disability Rights. The bus tour is designed
                  to expose mainstream audiences across the country to the ADA and the history of the
                  disability rights movement. For more information about the tour, visit

Weekly news and information on disability public policy related to mental retardation, cerebral palsy and other disabilities
                 1660 L Street, NW ● Suite 701●Washington, DC 20036 ● phone 202.783.2229 ● fax 202.783.8250

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