Over the last few days, the White House has hosted several calls on topics relating to the President’s proposed FY2012 Budget. These calls covered a variety of topics that include: science and technology research and development, minorities, energy and environment, healthcare, arts and humanities, programs for people with disabilities, social safety net, and education. In this blog entry, we will focus on three of these calls: Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Latinos; programs for people with disabilities; and education.
During the call about Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Latinos, there were two strong points made: 1) the importance of education for the youths of these communities, and 2) the importance of small business as a way for these communities to support themselves and educate their youth. The budget and fact sheets relating to minorities and the budget can be found at http://www.whitehouse.gov/winningthefuture.
For the call on the Budget and People with Disabilities, the discussion involved how the proposed budget will the future for people with disabilities. To do so, the Budget will: Increase funding for the education of children with disabilities, encourage workforce innovation, support workers with disabilities, reduce the backlog of social security claims, expand disability research, strengthen independent living, assist programs for youth with disabilities, strengthen anti-discrimination enforcement, provide housing for persons with disabilities, expand research into autism spectrum disorders (ASD), help families care for aging family members and relatives with disabilities, support employment of people with disabilities in the federal workforce, and expand passenger rail options. During the call, Mr. Khareem Dale and Mr. Jeff Crowley broke down the budget into portions such as $24 million will go to the Labor Department in the form of grants so that One-Stop Centers will be more accessible to people with disabilities, $10 million will go towards making technology more accessible, $8 million will go to the Department of Education specifically for Special Olympics and related programs, HUD will receive $196 million for housing programs for people with disabilities, and a $200 million increase for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to provide state grants so that a high quality education is provided to children with disabilities. For more information visit: http://www.whitehouse.gov/winningthefuture.
The last call deals with Education in the Budget. During the first half of the call, the President’s proposed budget for FY2012 was discussed on a general basis. During the second half of the call, different programs were discussed that will be affected by the budget. These programs include the Early Learning Initiative and PROMISE (which deals for SSI for families with children with disabilities from birth to five years old and the childrens’ educations). Parts B and C of IDEA were discussed – including an increase of $11 million allocated to the States. Cloud technology, which would make technology more accessible for people with disabilities, was also discussed. This technology is being researched by NIDRR. For more information on the portion of the budget dealing with the Department of Education, please visit: http://www2.ed.gov/about/overview/budget/budget12/index.html.