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Subject:

political and disability

From:

Lorraine Lavorata <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 11 Oct 2000 21:06:21 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (310 lines)

This was off the campaign website for GW Bush about disabilities. As
educators we may be interested in this as education is discussed. France


 Disabilities

Governor Bush believes that all Americans should have the opportunity to
learn and develop skills, engage in productive work, choose where to live,
and participate in community life.  Although progress has been made over the
last two decades -most prominently with the passage of the Americans with
Disabilities Act in 1990 - Governor Bush believes that much more needs to be
done.  Governor Bush has proposed a "New Freedom Initiative," $1.025 billion
over 5 years to expand access to assistive technology, to further integrate
Americans with disabilities into the workforce, and to remove barriers to
full participation in community life for all Americans.




Governor Bush's Approach

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Independent Living:  Assistive and universally designed technology can
significantly enhance the independence and quality of life for people with
disabilities.  Governor Bush will remove the federal barriers to assistive
technology by increasing funding for research, improving federal
coordination, and improving access to assistive technology. Education and
homeownership are other keys to independent living, and Governor Bush will
expand access to quality education and homeownership.

Expand Work Opportunity:  As President, Governor Bush will work to ensure
that Americans with disabilities can claim their rightful place in the
workforce.  Under the ADA, workplaces are less forbidding that they once
were.  But many still find it difficult or impossible to get to the
workplace.  Therefore, Governor Bush will pass measures to make
transportation more accessible and affordable and to aggressively promote
telework.  In addition, Governor Bush will ensure that Americans with
disabilities do not lose their disabilities benefits once they take a job.

Access to Community Life:  Governor Bush believes that we should work
together to eliminate barriers to full participation in civic life.
Americans with disabilities should have full access to community-based care,
quality mental health services, access to the political process, and access
to ADA-exempt organizations such as religious organizations and clubs.


Governor Bush's "New Freedom Initiative"

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Governor Bush has proposed a comprehensive "New Freedom Initiative" to help
ensure that all Americans with disabilities have every chance to use their
own skills and make more of their own choices to pursue the American dream.

To increase access to technology for Americans with disabilities and expand
opportunities to function, learn, and live independently, as President,
Governor Bush will:

Triple the Rehabilitative Engineering Research Centers' budget for assistive
technologies.

Create a new fund to help bring assistive technologies to market.

Increase tenfold the funding for low-interest loan programs to purchase
assistive technologies.
In addition, Governor Bush will:

Work with Congress to increase funding for special education with the goal
of meeting the federal obligation under the Individuals with Disabilities
Education Act.

Focus Title I funds on earlier grades to identify children with
disabilities, and invest $5 billion over five years to establish the
"Reading First" program.

Reform HUD's Section 8 rental voucher program for people with disabilities
to permit recipients to use up to a year's worth of vouchers to finance the
down payment on a home.

To further integrate Americans with disabilities into the workforce,
Governor Bush will:

Provide $20 million in federal matching funds to states to guarantee
low-interest loans for individuals with disabilities to purchase computers
and other equipment necessary to telework from home.

Support legislation to make a company's contribution of computer and
Internet access for home use by employees with disabilities a tax-free
benefit.

Promote innovative transportation solutions for people with disabilities by
providing $45 million in funding for 10 pilot programs run by state or local
governments in regional, urban, and rural areas.

Establish a competitive, $100 million matching grant program to promote
access to community-based alternative methods of transportation.

Sign an Executive Order to support effective and swift implementation of the
"Ticket-to-Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act" that gives Americans
with disabilities the ability to choose their own support services and
maintain their health benefits when they return to work.

Support full enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and provide
$25 million in technical assistance to help small businesses comply with the
Act.

To increase access for Americans with disabilities into community life,
Governor Bush will:

Sign an Executive Order supporting the most integrated community-based
setting for individuals with disabilities, pursuant to the Supreme Court
decision in Olmstead.

Create a National Commission to recommend reforms of the mental health
service delivery system and support improving access to the polls and ballot
secrecy for people with disabilities.

Provide $10 million in matching funds annually to increase the accessibility
of organizations that are currently exempt from Title III of the ADA, such
as churches, mosques, synagogues, and civic organizations.


Governor Bush's Record

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As Governor of Texas, Governor Bush has increased opportunities for
individuals with disabilities, ranging from committing additional resources
for community-based services and encouraging employment, to increasing
access to public facilities and making appointments to state boards,
commissions, and the Texas Supreme Court. Specifically, Governor Bush has:

Increased Access to Services


Worked with the Legislature to increase funding for community-based services
by more than $1.7 billion, a 72 percent increase since taking office.


In September 1999, Directed the Texas Health and Human Services Commission
(HHSC) to conduct a comprehensive review of all services and support systems
available to people with disabilities in Texas and make recommendations on
how Texas can improve its programs for people with disabilities.


Signed legislation creating a pilot voucher program for personal assistance
services.


Promoted and signed legislation that created the Children's Health Insurance
Program providing access to health care for every child up to 200% of the
poverty level, including children with disabilities.


Signed legislation that requires that at least one member of the board of
the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation be a consumer
of MHMR services, or a family member of a consumer of those services.

Increased Access to Employment


Released first-ever Texas data about state employees showing that
professional level employment of persons with disabilities in state
government is increasing.


Encouraged state agency directors to increase employment of persons with
disabilities and to use the Job Accommodation Network to make reasonable
accommodations.


Employed college students with disabilities in the "Governor's Fellowship
Program."


Signed legislation that strengthened non-discrimination based on genetic
testing.

Increased Access through Appointments


Appointed an accomplished attorney with a disability to the Texas Supreme
Court.


Appointed many Texans with disabilities to serve on state boards and
commissions such as the Science and Technology Council, the Board of
Architectural Examiners, the Board for Nursing Facility Administrators, and
many disability-related boards.

Increased Education Access


Promoted and signed legislation that provided for increased local control of
education, including increased district and campus accountability for
performance of students with disabilities.


Signed revisions to the Texas Education Code allowing assistive technology
devices to follow students to new school districts or to adult service
providers.


Required the Texas Education Agency to provide parents of special education
students a comprehensive, easily understood document setting forth their
legal rights and responsibilities.


Signed legislation that increased the use of Spanish in the development of
individualized special education plans as necessary.

Increased Technology Access


Created a Governor's Office website that includes disability information.


Signed legislation that requires state agency websites to be accessible to
persons with disabilities.


Signed legislation that ensured accessible telecommunications services to
Texans with disabilities.


Signed legislation creating and expanding a specialized telecommunications
device assistance program for people with disabilities.

Increased Access to Communities, Public Facilities and Homes


Signed legislation that improved accessible parking for persons with
disabilities, including increased fines for violators.


Signed legislation that strengthened the state architectural barriers act
which includes a system of building plan reviews and inspections.


Promoted and signed legislation creating funding for preservation of
historic Texas county courthouses, that can include ADA renovations.


One of fewer than five states, whose accessibility standards have been
certified by the U.S. Department of Justice as equivalent to the ADA
accessibility guidelines.


Signed legislation that requires "visitability," basic access, in publicly
funded, single family homes.


Signed legislation that defined assistance dogs to include guide and support
dogs and increased penalties for non-admittance to public facilities by
persons using such dogs.


Signed legislation that requires reasonable accommodations for jurors who
are deaf or hard of hearing.


Provided training for Governor's Office employees on the requirements of the
Americans with Disabilities Act.


Completed renovation of the Governor's Mansion and office building to
increase accessibility for people with disabilities.

In addition, Governor Bush's Presidential Campaign Is Accessible to People
with Disabilities:


Campaign office is accessible to individuals using wheelchairs.


Campaign events are translated into sign language.


Campaign phones are accessible to hearing impaired individuals through a
Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD).


Campaign Website accessible to individuals with disabilities and Bobby
compliant.


Campaign materials are accessible for individuals with visual impairments
and are available in Braille and large print from the campaign.


Position Proposals

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
----


Fact Sheet:  New Freedom Initiative

Fact Sheet:  Work Opportunities For Every American


[Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view this file.  To download Acrobat
Reader please visit the Other Tools portion of the Toolbox section (link in
left navigation bar).  In the Other Tools section you will also find a link
to Adobe's Accessibility Reader.  This version of Adobe's Reader helps make
Adobe PDF files accessible to users with visual disabilities.]

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