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Update On Bella's Bill
Senate Bill 105 (“Bella’s Bill”), sponsored by Senator Max Wise has been reintroduced during the 2022 legislative session. This Bill would include cytomegalovirus (CMV) testing as part of the newborn screening program and require Department for Public Health to provide public educational resources related to CMV. Additional information about CMV is located here: www.bellasbill4cmv.com.
Disability Workforce Council Bill
A bill to establish a more permanent disabilities workforce council within the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation received approval Tuesday Feb 1 during a Senate Economic Development, Tourism and Labor Committee meeting. Senate Bill 104, which passed 9-0, would establish the Employment First Council as an advisory council that’s charged with boosting employment opportunities for people with disabilities. “Basically, it’s the idea that everyone has the right to work, and this includes people with significant disabilities,” Sen. Danny Carroll, R-Benton, told committee members. “Disability impacts one in three Kentuckians, so our commonwealth has among the highest rate of people with disabilities in the nation, and at the same time, we have among the lowest rate of people with disabilities who are employed." Only about one-third of Kentuckians with disabilities are employed, and that compares to about 75 percent of those without disabilities.
Bipartisan Legislation Re-Introduced To Strengthen The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
The Alice Cogswell and Anne Sullivan Macy Act would improve services and educational opportunities for students who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, visually impaired, and deaf-blind. The legislation will also enhance reporting and evaluation measures for special education in each state, increase training for teachers and other special education professionals, and reaffirm the Department of Education’s mission and responsibility to ensure an accessible and quality education for all students.This bill is named after Alice Cogswell, the first deaf student that was formally educated in the United States, and Anne Sullivan Macy, Helen Keller’s famous teacher. Please CLICK on the following link: Strengthening the IDEA
How Accessible Content Can Reach A Wider Audience
Accessible content removes the barriers that prevent individuals with disabilities from accessing online content. In America, around 20% of the population has some form of a disability. The electric toothbrush was originally created for people with motor impairment. Today it is an accommodation that benefits everyone. Wheelchair ramps were created for people using wheelchairs. Today our suitcases have wheels; ramps are sometimes easier than stairs. Please CLICK on the following link: How Accessible Content Can Reach a Wider Audience
Sections 508 and 504: Closed Captioning And Web Accessibility Requirements
The Rehabilitation Act, enacted in 1973, is a federal anti-discrimination law that implicates federal and federally funded programs in their treatment of individuals with disabilities. This law replaced and expanded the Vocational Rehabilitation Act to broaden both the protection of individuals with disabilities and the funding for disability programs and services. Please CLICK on the following link: Sections 508 And 504
Kentucky Legislation Important Links
In order to keep our readers up to date on current legislation that impact the deaf and hard of hearing communities in Kentucky, we have included the following links that will allow free subscription access to receive alerts of important bills and Active Regulations (KARs), as well as to track their progress. Other information such as "Who Is My Legislator" and seeing what others are doing at a national level is also included:
Bill Watch: On this Kentucky.gov site, an individual can register for free and set up alerts in order to be notified about bills, as well as being able to track their progress: Bill Watch:
RegWatch: On this Kentucky.gov site, an individual can track administrative regulations (KARs) by just signing up. Once signed up, it allows the individual to select who he/she wants to receive regulation updates/new ones from eg. Education, Workforce Development. Each and every agency and cabinet is in there, and the individual can sign up for as many as required: RegWatch
Kentucky General Assembly Website: This website holds a lot of useful information. Right now, an indivual can go to this site and click on bills, look at all of the 2020 Regular Session Prefiled bills by date, senate/house sponsor, or by index: Kentucky General Assembly Website
LegiScan: This is a national website. It is always interesting to see what others are doing at the national level and see what they report we, in Kentucky, are doing: LegiScan
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