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To whom were these recommendations made, and how would you characterize their reception?
The National Council is still reviewing the recommendations made at the hearings on Personal Assistance and thus, no formal recommendations have been submitted to the Congresss. However, it is clear that this issue will require the thoughtful consideration of several Congressional Committees if our nation is to have a comprehensive Personal Assistance policy because these services are currently funded through a variety of programs, including Medicaid, Developmental Disabilities programs and Title XX Social Services Block Grant. As the National Council develops a comprehensive policy for Personal Assistance Services for persons with disabilities, we will carefully consider all of the appropriate Congressional Committees.
Assistive Technology Study
The National Council received $250,000 in fiscal year 1990 to conduct a study on the financing of assistive technology for individuals with disabilities. What is the status of that study?
The National Council on Disability received funding for a national study on financing of assistive technology under Title II of P.L. 100407. As mandated by law, the National Council has named an advisory Committee composed of consumers and their families and experts in relevant areas of assistive technology finance. The advisory committee has met once. The National Council awarded the contract for the 16-month study to United Cerebral Palsy Associations, Inc. The contractor has completed two deliverables, a 2-day forum and a literature review. Two other forums are required by the contract. They will be held in July, 1991 in Portsmouth, Maine and in October, 1991 in Bloomington, Minnesota. Other deliverables appear to be in the process of development and generally, the contractor is meeting the task time framework.
Special Education Study
We provided $400,000 for fiscal year 1990 for a study in the area of special education. What is the precise status of that study?
The National Council awarded the contract to Towson State University to study the effectiveness of education programs in meeting the needs of students with disabilities. This study is to measure the quality of the educational services which students with disabilities using three basic criteria which are: 1) academic achievement, 2) work readiness, and 3) quality of life. In order to study these three basic criteria, the National Council's education project will go into six states and survey parents of students with and without disabilities, educators and employers to gain a better understanding of how students with disabilitis are faring in these three fundamental areas. Specifically, the study will survey 1700 student, 1700 parents and 600 educators and other persons working with these students.
While the six states have not yet been determined, Towson State University has collected data from the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) was well as a variety of other sources collected on students in elementary and secondary education. Using this data, Towson State University has done a specific methodology called "cluster analysis" which separates groups of states which have similar profiles in terms of providing educational services to students with disabilities. The National Council believes that because this project will use both quantitative (such as the cluster analysis and other data collection methodologies) and ongoing qualitative research (such as the surveys which will be done) this study is likely to give the Congress some fresh information about the implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (formerly EHA).
In addition to collecting data and setting up the project, Towson State University has also begun developing the survey instruments which will be used in each of the six states. Clearly, these survey instruments will be critical to the success of this project. Towson State University hopes to begin these surveys in the late spring.
When do you anticipate its completion?
Towson State University is scheduled to submit the final report to the National Council in May of 1992. However, the project is submitting quarterly reports and also meetings with members and staff of the National Council on a regular basis.
What are your preliminary findings?
Since this project is still in its infancy, it is too early to project even preliminary findings. However, the project is gathering some significant data which, when completely analyzed, should give a more complete picture of where and how students with disabilities are receiving educational services.
Will the Council make any policy recommendations based on this study?
Once the report has been completed, it is very likely that the National Council will make policy recommendations which are based on the study's findings. As the Subcommittee is aware, the National Council has been deeply concerned about the education of students with disabilities for some time. By asking the three fundamental questions which we have outlined above, the National Council is confident that this study will lead to sound public policy for students with disabilities and their families
Disincentive to Employment
Following the Council's forum in fiscal year 1990 on Social Security and disincentives to employment, did the Council make policy recommendations to the Congress for program reform?
In November, the National Council sponsored a symposium on the development with of a national employment policy for persons with disabilities. Included in this symposium was a discussion of work disincentives for people with disabilities. The National Council is proud of this symposium because it brought together some of the finest academicians in the country to discuss the critical issues surrounding the employment of persons with disabilities. A monograph outlining the deliberations of the symposium will available in the near future. We will be pleased to make the Subcommittee aware of any policy recommendations which are made as a result of the forum.
What was the outcome of the Council's two "working sessions" with CDC, planned for fiscal year 1990, on the prevention of secondary disabilities?
The results were very good. From one of these sessions, a monograph as been developed on the prevention of secondary disabilities among people with spinal cord injuries.
Did the working sessions result in any concrete plans with CDC for dissemination of finding or policy recommendations?
As indicated above, a monograph was developed from one of the sessions. The National Council in conjunction with CDC and the Association of Minority Health Professions are in the process of planning a national conference on the prevention of primary and secondary disabilities in June of this year.
What is the status of the Council's proposed conference, to be cosponsored with CDC, on the prevention of both primary and secondary disabilities?
The conference on the prevention of primary and secondary disabilities will be held June 5-7, 1991 in Atlanta, Georgia. The conference will be based upon four working papers: Injury, Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Chronic Conditions and Quality of Life. These papers along with input from the conference participants will
serve as the basis for the development of a national plan on the prevention of primary and secondary disabilities.
U.N. Joint Conference on Technology
What will be the Council's financial contribution to the international conference on technology, which it plans to hold in conjunction with the United Nations in fiscal year 1992?
The National Council is planning to support this conference financially through contributions, registration and exhibitors' fees. Members and staff of the National Council will work on the planning and implementation of this conference along with representatives of the Center on Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs of the United Nations.
Assistance to Foreign Countries
To which foreign countries is the Council providing technical assistance and advice in development of disability policy?
As you know, the Americans with Disabilities Act has received international publicly. The National Council has received numerous telephone calls and been contacted personally by many foreign countries, such as France, China, Japan, and the Soviet Union. What assistance, specifically, is the Council providing these countries?
At the present time, the National Council is providing primary information to these countries. However, the Chinese government has invited us to develop a bilateral agreement and to conduct a first hand, review of the status of people with disabilities in China.
Printing and Reproduction Increase
The Council is requesting a 33.3 percent increase in funding for printing and reproduction, from $30,000 in fiscal year 1991 to $40,000 in fiscal year 1992. Again, the reasons for this request are unclear. The Council does mention in its justification plans to regularly print materials in braille and to produce tape recordings, but does not single this out as a new activity.
What new or expanded activities would the Council undertake with the additional funding it has requested for printing and reproduction?
The National Council plans to spend the additional funds on publications and materials developed regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act, such as fact sheets and brochures.
Is the Council presently producing materials in braille and tape recordings?
Presently, the National Council produces a limited quantity of its materials in braille and on cassette tapes. However, in FY 92 the National Council anticipates increasing the number of documents it is currently publishing, and will therefore increase the production of materials as well as the number of items in braille and on tapes.
What dollar amount did the Council spend on the production of braille and tape recordings in fiscal year in 1990, and what does it plan to spend for fiscal year 1991?
The National Council spent $2000.00 in fiscal year 1990 on braille material and tape recordings. The National Council has budgeted $2500.00 for fiscal year 1991.
The Council is requesting an 80 percent increase in funding for communications, from $20,000 in fiscal year 1991 to 36,000 in fiscal
year 1992. The only identifiable reason for the increase included in the Council's justification is a desire of the Council to increase distribution of its quarterly newsletter from 20,000 to 25,000 individuals a 25 percent increase in distribution.
Why then, exactly, is the Council requesting an 80 percent increase for communications?
The National Council is requesting the increase in communication cost in order to be responsive to many requests via telephone and mail for information on the American with Disabilities Act. In addition, the additional funding allows for the increase in postage costs.
The Council states in its justifications that it anticipates a 15
The National Council budgeted an additional $10,000 for the current space it occupies, an increase to $75,000 and $25,000 for additional space requested by the National Council for storage.
The Council is requesting a 35.5 percent increase in travel funds for fiscal year 1992 (from $152,000 to $206,000), but offers in its justifications no unusual circumstances as would merit such an escalation.
Please provide additional detail on your request.
The National Council is requesting the increase in travel funds for fiscal year 1992 to cover the costs of members, staff, consumer advisors and individuals invited to serve as witnesses at the National Council's various forums. In additional to the mandated four quarterly meetings, the National Council plans to sponsors at least four forums that are scheduled separately from the meetings. Members and staff of the National Council serve on various Interagency task Forces and Committees which require travel costs.
The increase travel cost is to also allow for the members and staff to accept requests to speak at various conferences, meetings and symposiums held on the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The Council expects to maintain current staffing levels, and yet has asked for an 11.4 percent increase for full-time salary expenses for fiscal year 1992. Inflation over the next year is estimated at about 4.1 percent.
How does the Council justify its request for an 11.4 percent salary increase for full-time permanent employees?
The additional 7.3 percent increase is. to cover the costs of withingrade step increases for employees who are performing at the fully successful level or above.
The Council has requested $15,000 for "employee awards" for fiscal year 1992.
To who and in what amounts have "employee awards" been granted during fiscal year 1990, and fiscal year 1991 staff to date?
In fiscal year 1990 the following staff received monetary awards.
Public Relations Specialist
Plaques and certificates are also granted to staff as a means of recognition in addition to monetary awards.
To date, no awards have been granted for fiscal year 1991. The
What was the basis, in each instances, for making the award?
The Executive Director and the Executive Secretary were granted awards for outstanding work performance. In addition, these two individuals had performed extra work duties, outside of their job description, due to staff vacancies. The other three staff were granted awards for the performance of exceptional services, which was not a part of their job descriptions, to the National Council.
Senator HARKIN. Thank you. The subcommittee will stand in recess until 10 a.m., Thursday, March 14, when we will meet in SD192 to hear from the National Institutes of Health.
[Whereupon, at 4:27 p.m., Tuesday, March 12, the subcommittee was recessed, to reconvene at 10 a.m., Thursday, March 14.]