HR 620: ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017

This bill would devastate the civil rights of disabled Americans and you need to know about it.

A bill which just passed the House would update the law for disabled Americans for modern times, say Republicans. Democrats say it would set disabled Americans’ civil rights back decades. Here's what you need to know. 

What does HR 620 do?

The ADA Education and Reform Act aims to crack down on frivolous lawsuits, by amending the existing 1990 law to require a “notice and cure” period.

The legislation would require that any person claiming discrimination must first provide written notice, allowing 60 days for an owner to acknowledge receipt of the complaint, plus an additional 120 days before legal action can be initiated. No other civil rights legislation currently on the books contains such a provision, though, some states have enacted legislature to crack down on the frivolous suits themselves. 

What do Supporters say?

Supporters say that the bill will crack down on frivolous lawsuits that benefit lawyers more than disabled Americans. 

"The goal of the Americans with Disabilities Act is to provide access for the disabled – it’s not to give unscrupulous trial lawyers the...

Washington Budget Updates

Washington Budget Updates

Last Monday, President Trump released his Budget Request for FY 2019, which outlined a detailed guide to the budget, tax, and program changes the Administration is seeking for the upcoming fiscal year.  The budget request did not reflect the Bipartisan Budget Agreement (BBA) made last week, which raises funds for both defense and non-defense discretionary programs (the BBA was finalized only days before the release of the budget request). Thus, the budget request reflects lower spending allocations than Congress will be working with for FY19.  Nonetheless, the request is important because it reveals the President’s priorities through proposed funding levels for every discretionary program in the federal budget and their broad fiscal agenda (which dictates much Administration-led public policy).  This being said, it is important to remember that this budget is simply a request, not law.  Congress holds the power of the purse and thus the buck ultimately stops at Capitol Hill. 


This year’s President’s Budget Request dealt a few blows to disability programs.  While the Department of Health and Human Services received a slight increase, the increases were not dealt to disability...

DD Day 2018

Developmental Disabilities Advocates Gather at State Capitol for Annual DD Day


Tallahassee, Fla. (February 14) – Hundreds of Floridians concerned about quality care and funding for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities gathered at the state Capitol today for the annual Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day (DD Day).

Hosted by the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council (FDDC) and The Arc of Florida, individuals, families and caregivers from around the state presented the importance of direct care services and the need for increased state funding for these services during the event’s press conference.

Each speaker presented varying perspectives, experiences and testimonials, with a primary message of “Pay Fair for Care” – a cry to Florida lawmakers to consider the funding of fair wages for direct care staff. Currently, the rates paid to direct care workers are severely affecting the ability for individuals and families to recruit and retain qualified direct care workers as well as causing a decrease in the amount of available caregivers.

“The inability to find direct care assistance leads to many problems for individuals and their families,“ said...

The RAISE Family Caregivers Act

Family Caregivers across the country are helping parents, spouses, children, and adults with disabilities to live more comfortably and independently. They do so much for their loved ones to be able to live at home with families. They help with things such as preparing meals, handling finances, managing medications, dressing, bathing, and other activities of daily living.

This is an enormous job for anyone, but some basic support could make their job easier.

Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine and a Next Avenue Influencer in Aging) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Representatives Greg Harper (R-Miss.) and Kathy Castor (D-Fla.) spearheaded the legislation recently passed by both House and Senate and is being sent to the President to be signed.

What the RAISE Family Caregivers Act Will Do

The RAISE Family Caregivers Act requires the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop, maintain and update an integrated national strategy to support family caregivers. And that support is sorely needed.

“Family caregivers are the backbone of our care system in America. We need to make it easier for them to coordinate care for their loved ones, get information and...

Dare to dream with ABLE United

Did you know there’s a new way for people with disabilities to save money without losing their federal
benefits? It’s called an ABLE United account, and it has already changed the futures of more than 1,000
Floridians by offering them newfound financial stability and independence.

With an ABLE United account, Florida residents with disabilities can save up to $14,000 per year tax-free
without risk of losing Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicaid. The money they save can then be
used toward a wide range of qualifying expenses, such as housing, healthcare, education, transportation,
employment training and other basic living expenses.

The program exists because of recent legislation called the Stephen Beck Jr. Achieving a Better Life
Experience (ABLE) Act. To be eligible for an account, individuals must be a Florida resident and have a
qualifying disability, with onset of that disability occurring prior to age 26.

Similar to a Roth IRA or a 529 college savings plan, an ABLE United account allows individuals to increase
their savings through tax-free growth after choosing from a variety of funds. The individual owns the...