May 10, 2018: Letter Opposing a Proposed Delay in Addressing Racial Disproportionality in Special Education
CPR submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Education (ED) opposing a proposed two year delay in requiring compliance with regulations that address racial disproportionality in special education. School districts are currently in the process of implementing regulations under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that address significant disproportionality based on race and ethnicity. In our experience, the students with disabilities who are segregated, denied equal educational opportunities and receive low-quality education are disproportionately students of color. These regulations are needed to ensure that every child has the same chance to receive a quality education. Any delay to the effective date of the regulations would hurt students and undermine the pressing need to promote equity in the IDEA. To read the letter CPR submitted, please see this PDF. For more information, please see this page from the National Disability Rights Network. To submit your own comments, please visit this link.
April 6, 2018: Alabama’s Governor Ivey Announces Funding for New Behavioral Health Services
Governor Kay Ivey announced on Friday that Alabama has set aside $11 million in its recently passed budgets for the Alabama Department of Mental Health to expand behavioral health services for Medicaid-eligible children and youth. When combined with federal matching funds, the money is expected to generate more than $36 million in total spending during the 2019 fiscal year, which begins October 1.
The funding will expand services provided at home or in the community to two groups of young people. One group is children and youth with severe emotional disturbance. The other group is children and youth with autism spectrum disorder. Read the Governor’s full press release.
February 1, 2018: Massachusetts’ MFP Residential Waiver Accepting New Applicants
Massachusetts has begun accepting new applications for its MFP Residential Supports waiver, in anticipation of new waiver capacity becoming available on April 1, 2018. Both the Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) Residential Habilitation waiver and the MFP Community Living waiver have current openings, and are accepting new applications on a rolling basis. Learn more about these Medicaid-funded waiver programs, the home and community-based services they provide, and how to apply.
January 8, 2018: Letter to DOJ in Response to Olmstead Guidance Withdrawal
More than 200 disability organizations have signed on to a letter from the disability community to the Department of Justice expressing concern about the recent withdrawal of Olmstead Guidance. Learn more here.
December 26, 2017: Statement on the Department of Justice’s Withdrawal of Olmstead Employment Guidance
On December 21, the U.S. Department of Justice rescinded its Statement on Application of the Integration Mandate of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Olmstead v. L.C. to State and local Governments’ Employment Service Systems for Individuals with Disabilities. We are extremely concerned about the withdrawal of this guidance document, both because it sends the wrong signal to public entities that are seeking to comply with the ADA and because it may reflect a diminished concern with the importance of providing employment services in the most integrated setting. Learn more here.
October 30, 2017: Alabama Agrees to Provide Intensive Home Based Services to Youth with ASD and SED
The State of Alabama has signed a Settlement Agreement to provide a range of intensive home-based services to thousands of Medicaid-eligible youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or Serious Emotional Disorder (SED). The Agreement, entered in response to a demand letter and proposed ESDPT class action lawsuit prepared by the Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program (ADAP) and the Center for Public Representation (CPR), requires the State to provide five home-based services are modeled after those ordered in the landmark EPSDT case, Rosie D. v. Romney. The Agreement also requires the State to make significant improvements to its EPSDT screening and assessment process, to eliminate access and eligibility restrictions on existing mental health services for children and youth with SED, to develop medical necessity and program specifications for each new home-based service, and to seek funding over the next two years to develop these new services. Read the Settlement Agreement.
October 11, 2017: Georgia Advocacy Office et al v. The State of Georgia et al
CPR filed a class action lawsuit in federal court alleging that the State of Georgia has discriminated against thousands of public school students with disabilities by providing them with a separate and unequal education. Learn more here.
September 27, 2017: Disability community defeats Congress’ attempt at devastating cuts to Medicaid!
Read the latest updates and learn more about our advocacy work to protect our Medicaid.
Event: Congressional Briefing on WIOA Advisory Committee Report – Monday, October 2, 2017
In 2014, Congress passed bicameral, bipartisan legislation, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). This legislation recognized barriers people with disabilities face securing jobs and careers and called for the convening of a committee of stakeholders to develop recommendations to mitigate and solve these challenges. CPR’s Director of Advocacy, Alison Barkoff, served on the committee.
The Advisory Committee issued its final report on September 15th, 2016, and provides a consensus vision and roadmap for significantly increasing employment and disrupting poverty in job seekers with disabilities. The briefing on October 2nd will review the key findings of the Advisory Committee and recommend legislative remedies for Congress to consider.
August 15, 2017: Statement from the Center for Public Representation on the events in Charlottesville
The Center for Public Representation condemns the hateful racism, bigotry and anti-Semitism that occurred over the weekend in Charlottesville. People with disabilities have experienced hate and violence on the basis of their race, religion, sexual orientation, as well as because of their disabilities, from groups like the white nationalists and neo-Nazis involved in the attacks over the weekend. As an organization that advocates for equality and inclusion, CPR stands in solidarity with all who oppose hatred, discrimination and violence in any form.