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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
It is because of you, people with disabilities have now begun
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
As you are
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
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
education employment and
In Fiscal Year 1991, the National Council received
$1.475 million to conduct its operations and activities.
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.
The National Council on Disability supported the passage and enactment of the Americans with disabilities Act (P.L. 101
Mainland; Infants at Risk; Employment Tomorrow: Opportunities
for People with Disabilities; wilderness Accessibility; and the reauthorization of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as
Initiated studies on: the financing of assistive technology for individuals with disabilities; health insurance and health-related services; and
assessment of special
order to begin to look at the unique problems of Native
of 1990, which had been drafted by the National Council.
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
and review the operations of,
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.
enabling the National Council to keep abreast of activities in the Federal Government, as well as keeping others informed of
Interagency Committee on Handicapped Research, the Federal
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.
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
PLANNED ACTIVITIES SUMMARY FOR FY 1991
During the 1991
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
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
Disability and Rehabilitation Research
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
Act, employment, education and disability related research.
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
We appreciate the $200,000 this Committee appropriated
the National Council to undertake technical assistance activities
related to the Americans with Disabilities Act. As this Committee
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.
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.