Aug 8, 2009

National Council on Disability Public Consultation

Emerging Trends and People with Disabilities: Public Consultation

The National Council on Disability (NCD) is gathering public input for a study of emerging issues and trends affecting the lives of people with disabilities. Information gathered will be used in the development of NCD's next annual progress report to the President and Congress, "National Disability Policy: A Progress Report," which is required by Section 401(b) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.

How can you participate in our public consultation process? We will briefly outline the purpose, key policy areas of interest, and questions to answer or items to respond to.
The purpose of this public consultation is to gather input to inform NCD's assessment of the status of the nation in achieving policies that guarantee equal opportunity for all individuals with disabilities, and empower individuals with disabilities to achieve economic self-sufficiency, independent living, and inclusion and integration into all aspects of society.
We are seeking input on specific quality of life areas and issues. Your input will be used in the development of recommendations including, but not limited to, recommendations for changes in legislation, regulations, policies, or programs, as appropriate. NCD seeks input from individuals with disabilities, organizations representing a broad range of individuals with disabilities, and agencies interested in or serving individuals with disabilities.

If you are interested in participating in this public consultation, you may want to respond or comment on any of the following quality of life areas or issues of interest:

· Employment
· Education
· Health status and healthcare
· Financial status and security
· Leisure and recreation
· Personal relationships
· Crime and safety
· Homeland security
· Housing
· Technology, Assistive Technology, Telecommunications

If you do want to respond or comment, please follow these basic guidelines:
Be brief: Use one short sentence to explain each point you want to make, as this will help us understand your response or comment. You can add more detail afterwards if you wish.
Focus on what is important to you: Write about what you care most about first. If you want to make more detailed comments, put them in an appendix to your response or in a separate document.

Provide evidence: Your comments will be more convincing if they are supported by evidence or information. If you are responding by regular mail or email, send in copies of supporting documents rather than information about where to find them.
Submit your response as soon as possible: The earlier you send in your views, the longer we have to consider them. This is particularly important if you are providing new information or evidence.

Tell us who you are: Say whether you are commenting as a private citizen, representing other people, or on behalf of an organization.
Let us know if you want your response to be kept confidential: NCD may publish your views as part of the results of the consultation. If you do not want us to do so, state this clearly in your response.

If possible, please react or respond by email: You can even insert your comment(s) or reaction(s) into this document following the questions you wish to answer or the subjects you want to discuss from the list below. If you are not able to respond by email, please share your written comments with us in a format that you choose, but please identify the “policy topic” you are addressing at the beginning of your response.
Now we want to hear from you. Please provide answers and comments in response to the following:

1. What one sentence best describes your idea(s) about how to change federal programs to improve the quality- of-life for people with disabilities?

2. Please describe your idea(s) in more depth:

3. What problem(s) or issue(s) do/does your idea(s) address?

4. If your idea(s) were to become reality, who would benefit the most, and how?

5. What are the initial steps needed to get the idea(s) off the ground?

6. Describe the optimal outcome(s) should your idea(s) be selected and successfully implemented. How would you measure that/those outcome(s)?

7. What is working (best practices) in communities, and does this address a regional/state issue or national issue?

8. What is working that the federal government can utilize to improve already existing programs?

9. What is working in communities that you think has been improving over time?
Your responses and comments will help NCD provide a guide for America’s programs and services to be modernized to reflect the changed and changing needs of people with disabilities in our communities.

Please send your information to NCD by September 15, 2009, in one of two ways:
Email to: Type "Emerging Trends" in the subject line
Or by U.S. mail to:National Council on DisabilityATTN: Emerging Trends Committee1331 F Street NW, Suite 850 Washington, DC 20004

Thank you very much for your time and consideration in response to this public consultation.

Richard La Belle
Executive Director
Family Network on Disabilities of Florida, Inc.
2735 Whitney Rd.
Clearwater, FL 33760
(727) 523-1130/(800) 825-5736