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Obama Budget Brings Mixed Bag For People With Disabilities

Posted Feb 14 2011 8:07pm

President Obama has released his proposed budget. From Disability Scoop: Obama Budget Brings Mixed Bag For People With Disabilities .

As far as special education, there is a slight increase proposed:

In a plan featuring flat or reduced spending for many programs, special education got a boost. President Barack Obama included $200 million in extra funds for state grants for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, and added $50 million to help young children with disabilities.

The increase is “modest” for an $11.5 billion program, says Deb Ziegler of the Council for Exceptional Children, which lobbies on behalf of special educators. But, she adds, “in this budget climate, we’re appreciative of anything we get.”

While not fully funding IDEA, this is good in light of republican plans to cut Special Ed funding.

On the other hand, support of adults is not faring well:

Other programs for Americans with disabilities are likely to fare worse. Under Obama’s proposal, funding to ensure voter access for people with disabilities will be eliminated. And there will be $104 million less in federal money available to build new housing for those with disabilities.

What’s more, a program that administers federal grants to promote the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in the community is slated to be cut nearly in half.

“There’s a lot of stuff that’s very concerning,” says Ari Ne’eman, president of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network. “Everybody recognizes that these are difficult fiscal times but we need to make sure that we aren’t sacrificing the long-term rights and opportunities for people with disabilities.”

These are indeed difficult fiscal times. But we need to support people with disabilities. All people, not just children.

More at Disability Scoop .

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