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STATEMENT OF SANDRA S. PARRINO

Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman and distinguished Members of the Subcommittee.

I am Sandra Swift Parrino, Chairperson of the National Council on Disability. Accompanying me today are: John Gannon, Council member from Washington, D.C. John is the Chairperson of the National Council's Health Insurance Committee and Ethel Briggs,

Executive Director. I

am pleased to come before you today to

discuss the current and future activities of the National Council

and to solicit your continued support for our agency.

History was made on July 26, 1990, when President Bush signed

into law the Americans with disabilities Act (ADA).

I would like

to thank the Members of this Subcommittee under the leadership of

Senator Harkin for their hard work and dedication in support of the

ADA.

It is because of you, people with disabilities have now begun

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Congress. We are also aware that the implementation of this Act will require tremendous amounts of time and energy. sitting here before you today, I can tell you that the National Council Disability, with your support, will continue making public policy recommendations which will impact on the lives of people with

on

disabilities.

As you are

aware,

the National Council is an independent

federal agency responsible for reviewing all laws, programs, and

policies of the Federal Government and making such recommendations

as it deems necessary to the President and the Congress. There are

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serve

administering programs which

children and adults with disabilities. However, the National Council on Disability is the only federal agency mandated by Congress to address, analyze, and make recommendations on all issues of public policy which affect persons with disabilities.

The National Council is also charged

with reviewing general policies and research priorities of the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research and for providing guidance to the President's Committee on Employment

of People with Disabilities.

The National Council continues to shape public policy for people with disabilities in education, technology, health, of

primary and

secondary disabilities,

education employment and

research.

In Fiscal Year 1991, the National Council received

$1.475 million to conduct its operations and activities.

For

Fiscal Year 1992, the National Council is requesting $1.642 million

to fulfill our Congressional mandate.

I would like to thank the Members of the Subcommittee for

making these funds available to us, and ask for your continued support and funding of special initiatives which are identified by the National Council.

Now, I would like to highlight the accomplishments of the

National Council on Disability in FY 90, our current plans for FY

ACCOMPLISHMENTS DURING FY 90

During FY 1990, the National Council successfully completed a number of important initiatives which positively affected the lives

of people with disabilities and their families.

They are:

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The National Council on Disability supported the passage and enactment of the Americans with disabilities Act (P.L. 101

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Mainland; Infants at Risk; Employment Tomorrow: Opportunities

for People with Disabilities; wilderness Accessibility; and the reauthorization of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as

amended.

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Initiated studies on: the financing of assistive technology for individuals with disabilities; health insurance and health-related services; and

assessment of special

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order to begin to look at the unique problems of Native

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of 1990, which had been drafted by the National Council.

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Prevention of Primary and Secondary Disabilities, which is being sponsored by the National Council, the Centers for

Disease Control and the Minority Health Professionals and

scheduled for June of 1991 in Atlanta, Georgia. Pursuant to its ongoing statutory mandate to establish general

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policy for,

and review the operations of,

the National

Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), the National Council had meetings with the Director of NIDRR to discuss the continued development of the NIDRR five-year plan and areas of concern to the National Council.

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enabling the National Council to keep abreast of activities in the Federal Government, as well as keeping others informed of

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Interagency Committee on Handicapped Research, the Federal
Agency Council, the Federal Task Force on Disability, and the
Interagency Committee on Developmental disabilities reflect
this policy.

o In order for the disability community and others to know more

about the activities of the National Council, circulation of

our newsletter FOCUS, continued to expand.

The newsletter

continues to be a vehicle for communication and helps the

National Council solicit input regarding its activities and

policy development. o The National Council's special report for 1990 will focus on

the historical perspective of the Americans with Disabilities

Act.

PLANNED ACTIVITIES SUMMARY FOR FY 1991

During the 1991

Fiscal Year,

the National Council will

continue its follow-up and monitoring activities pursuant to the Congressional mandate to assess progress made on each of the 45

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Independence. The National Council plans to focus on the status of

the implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act in the 1991 special report.

The National Council will continue to address its statutory responsibilities to establish general policies for the National

Institute

on

Disability and Rehabilitation Research

and the

President's Committee on Employment of people with Disabilities, as well as provide recommendations and advice to the Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration.

To assure coordination of programs and services affecting

people with disabilities, the National Council will continue its

participation in such initiatives as the Interagency Committee on

Handicapped Research, the Federal Agency Council, the Federal Task

Force on Disabled Persons, and other similar coordinating bodies.

Input from consumers is critical to the National Council's process of policy development. As in the past, input will be solicited at consumer forums. Forums will be held on the following topics during this fiscal year: the development of a National

Employment Policy for Persons with Disabilities; reauthorization of

the Rehabilitation Act; Personal Assistance Services: Technology and the Funding of Assistive Devices; Health Insurance and, wilderness Accessibility.

The National Council will continue its ongoing initiatives in such areas health insurance, personal assistance services, prevention, technical assistance on the Americans with Disabilities

as:

Act, employment, education and disability related research.

The

National Council will contract three major studies in the areas of

the education of students with disabilities, health insurance, and

the financing of assistive technological services and devices during this fiscal year, which is mandated by Title II of the Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act

of 1988.

We appreciate the $200,000 this Committee appropriated

for

the National Council to undertake technical assistance activities

related to the Americans with Disabilities Act. As this Committee

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commitment to ensuring that the long overdue promises made by this

law become reality in every corner of this country. Toward this end, we have initiated an activity we are calling "ADA Watch." Modeled after human rights watches now operating over the world, the "ADA Watch" will do exactly what its name implies: Watch--watch as the law is implemented--watch as persons with disabilities-

watch as federal agencies issue regulations and monitor compliance

with the law.

We will watch and we will report what we see.

We

will shine a spotlight on the people affected by this law; we will

keep vigil and we will report how we are progressing toward the

goals of equal opportunity, full participation, independence and economic self-sufficiency for people with disabilities.

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