The 4th Annual Research-to-Policy Roundtable took place in the afternoon of December 3rd following the release of the 2014 Compendium of Disability Statistics. Mark Periello, President of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), expressed his excitement to transition from the data and statistics driven discussions from the Compendium release in the morning to discussions on how stakeholders can to apply data and statistics in developing and implementing policies to assist in driving systematic change for people with disabilities.
Ellen Nissenbaum, Senior Vice President for Government Affairs at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (the Center), presented on the Budget Outlook for 2015 and Looming Action on SSDI, providing an overview and discussion of potential implications of the November 2014 elections for persons with disabilities. The Center anticipates large fiscal cuts to non-defense discretionary (NDD) and low-income entitlement programs based on similar data gathered since 2010. The Center also anticipates NDD spending to fall below a historical low, as well as NDD caps to return to sequestration levels. Nissenbaum outlined the factors for the recent growth in the Disability Insurance (DI) rolls, the increasing difficulty of getting on DI, the higher poverty rates for DI beneficiaries, and the Social Security Administration (SSA) reduced ability to sustain program activities and customer service.
These presentations were followed by a panel led by Henry Claypool, executive Vice President of AAPD, including representatives from National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), Administration on Community Living (ACL), Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA), Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), and Social Security Administration (SSA). The panel discussed two recent significant pieces of legislation for individuals with disabilities and federal agency partnerships—Section 503, federal contractors hiring people with disabilities and Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act (WIOA). With the implementation of the WIOA, the Department of Labor, Department of Education (DoE), and Health and Human Services (HHS) are working together to assist persons with disabilities in exciting new ways. NIDRR is transitioning from DoE to become the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), otherwise known as the “Institute,” and moving to ACL under HHS. Sharon Lewis, Principle Deputy Administration at ACL, and John Tschida, Director of NIDRR both addressed the challenges of navigating the transition of one federal agency into another; and one thing is clear, both the Institute and ACL are interested in seamless transition for grantees and multiple stakeholders.
According to Tschida, the number one organization priority for the Institute is a successful operational transition into ACL but “the mission” has not changed. In its new incarnation, NIDRR will continue promoting and producing new knowledge and promoting its effective use. The current grant management system and its archival data is being transferred to ACL and FY15 funding priorities will no longer be published through DoE but through ACL. Community living, employment, and health and function will continue to be key areas of the long-range plan while balancing across populations.
Transcripts of the 2014 Compendium and 4th Annual Roundtable event are now available at the event website – videos are forthcoming!
The 2014 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium is available online or may be downloaded for FREE. Technical assistance is available at 866/538-9521, relay 711, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEW! Download the 2014 Disability Statistics Annual Report. This report is a companion volume to the Compendium, highlighting trends in popular topics.