TASH’s 2019 Public Policy Agenda

After three months of discussion, the TASH Public Policy Committee voted in March to approve our 2019 policy agenda. We are pleased to share the results of our Committee’s work with you below. If you have any questions or comments about TASH’s policy agenda, or want to become involved with the committee, contact Tia Nelis at tnelis@tash.org.

Area: Education — TASH supports a vision of high expectations for all students and a commitment to a set of learning goals or standards that are strong, clear, understood, and put into practice. TASH values and supports diversity and recognizes both the legal right to and the reciprocal benefits of inclusive education.

  1. Monitor and provide guidance to members on the Department of Education’s January 17, 2019 initiative from OCR to address the “possible” inappropriate use of restraints and seclusion in U.S. Schools.
  2. Monitor, provide input into and disseminate guidance to members on the OSERS “RETHINK” Initiative to evaluate Results Driven Accountability standards “to improve early childhood, educational, and employment outcomes and raise expectations for all people with disabilities, their families, their communities, and the nation.”
  3. Monitor activities in the Congress for any hearings or legislation to provide oversight on IDEA and ESSA and the introduction of the Higher Education Act Reauthorization.

Area: Human Rights/Civil Rights — TASH’s long-standing position is that of support for families that enable them to care for their child in natural environments, opposition to the use of treatments that are dehumanizing including aversive and restrictive procedures and opposition to the provision of unnecessary medical treatments.

  1. Promote the introduction, passage and enactment of Keeping All Students Safe Act (KASSA).
    Status: Bill language is being finalized; will begin seeking sponsors thereafter.
  2. Support the passage and enactment of the Disability Integration Act (DIA), S.117 and HR. 555 to assure the right for services and supports in integrated community settings.
  3. Provide input into and monitor the development of regulations by CMS on the collection of information and related issues for “Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) Compliance.”

Area: Employment — TASH recognizes the importance of work in the lives of all people as an element of full participation and inclusion in society. TASH calls for rapid and immediate development of individualized and integrated employment for all people with disabilities and the rapid and permanent replacement of segregated activity centers and sheltered workshops. TASH affirms the right of all people with significant disabilities to full participation in community life with supports tailored to individual abilities and needs. Integrated employment is a critical element of community living.

  1. Promote the passage of the Transformation to Competitive Employment Act (S. 260 and H.R. 873) to promote community integrated employment and phase out of Section 14c.
  2. Promote the passage and enactment of the Raise the Wage Act of 2019.
  3. Monitor and prevent any dilution of the WIOA regulations from the RSA on the definition of competitive integrated employment or Section 511.
  4. Promote passage of Disability Incentive Employment Act (S. 255) to increases tax incentives for employers to hire and retain employees with disabilities who receive SSI or SSDI.

Area: Community Living — TASH, an international disability rights organization, calls on state and federal governments to institute policies and practices that provide explicit information in an effective manner to people with developmental disabilities explaining their rights to live where they choose and with whomever they choose and that afford citizens with disabilities the opportunity to live and receive individualized support in typical and socially valued homes of their own.

  1. Promote the continued implementation of the HCBS “Settings” Rule and prevent any attempts to dilute its emphasis on community integration and distortion of the meaning of “choice”
    Status: On-going education of Congressional Representatives.
  2. Promote the continuation of the Affordable Care Act’s use of Medicaid funds for Long-term Care Supports and Services through the renewal of Money Follows the Person and the Spousal Impoverishment Protections, which have been extended until March 31, 2019.
  3. Monitor and prevent any attempts by the CMS and DHHS to allow states to use Medicaid Section 1115 Research & Demonstration Waivers to convert Medicaid to a block grant or to a per-capita cap; provide information on the public comment process for 1115 waivers to members to be able to criticize any such attempts in their states.
  4. Promote passage of Empower Care Act to fund efforts to move individuals with disabilities out of institutions and nursing homes to community living.