Aug 2011 Oppose

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Help Save the NRC and Other Disability Programs

CHADD and other disability groups oppose consolidation of critical NCBDDD programs and services at risk of being cut or eliminated. We need your help NOW by contacting your Members of Congress and putting a face on these programs

The Issue
Through its National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funds CHADD's National Resource Center on ADHD (NRC), along with other critical programs affecting people with limb loss, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, paralysis, autism and other disabilities. This year, the President's budget proposes to consolidate all of these programs into one over a three-year period. (For more information, read the blog by CHADD former president Mary Durheim.)

The Problem
This consolidation was proposed without any input from the people these programs serve, nor with an analysis of how this consolidation would affect the lives of children and families struggling with ADHD and other conditions these NCBDDD programs support.The entire budget for NCBDDD was significantly cut for 2011, so it isspecially concerning that this proposed consolidation:

-- Combines ALL disability programs into ONE line item in the federal budget.
-- Reduces the amount of overall funds to distribute to disability programs.
-- Provides NO direction on how these funds shall be allocated.

The Effect
The NRC directly and personally provides information and resources to almost 10,000 individuals every year with science based information about all aspects of ADHD.  It is the ONLY source for ADHD information where parents, adults with ADHD, professionals, or the general public can actually speak with a real person, a trained health information specialist who can provide information and resources about diagnosis, treatment, educational rights, social skills programs, legal issues, and more.  Consolidating all these programs into one funding line could result in a reduction of support for children and adults with ADHD through the NCBDDD. This would result in the reduction or possible elimination of this one-of-a-kind resource center.  The NRC and other programs like it serve thousands of individuals and family every day, doing so in a cost-effective way and empowering people to take charge of their own lives.

The Strategy
Until Congress acts, this is just still a proposal. CHADD and with other organizations concerned have submitted Report language to the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee directing the CDC to evaluate the impact of consolidation on affected communities before moving forward with the plan. This Subcommittee provides funding to the CDC through its annual funding ("appropriations") bills, and Report language accompanies these bills and provides Congressional direction from Congress to the federal agencies, including CDC.

How you can help
Our goal is to make sure that all Members of Congress [create CapWiz link here] support the inclusion of this Report language that accompanies any CDC funding bill. It is the only way the ADHD community and our friends will be able to slow down or stop the proposed consolidation. Contact your Members of Congress, briefly tell them your story, and URGE them to oppose this consolidation of NCBDDD programs for people with disabilities.


Here's the Report Language submitted by disability organizations to the Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee:

"Disability Community Support
The Committee is greatly concerned and has significant reservations about the budget consolidation that CDC has proposed for disability initiatives through the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD). The Committee believes that, as proposed, such a consolidation would jeopardize the progress that has been made on behalf of people with disabilities, as well as the partnerships that have developed with key advocacy and stakeholder organizations. Therefore, the Committee cannot support the proposed budget consolidation in the FY 2012 appropriation. The Committee directs the CDC to report on the evaluation of the impact of any proposed changes to current programs and existing sub-lines for the 2013 appropriation process before implementing any such consolidation. CDC has not demonstrated, as evidenced by its consolidation Strategic Plan, that it has considered sufficiently the needs and essential elements of support for the included categories of individuals with disabilities. The Committee further directs that CDC, prior to budgeting for and executing a consolidation or change in support, complete and forward to Congress a disability community needs assessment that outlines the included categories of individuals needs, validates the value of such a consolidation, considers the input of the disability community's partner groups, and establishes the basis for any proposed efficiencies and commonalities. Further, the Committee expects CDC to provide concurrently a statement that establishes in detail how existing support for this community will be impacted."