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Day of action focuses on CT undocumented's healthcare needs; 7 jurors seated in first Trump criminal trial; ND looks to ease 'upskill' obstacles for former college students; Black Maternal Health Week ends, health disparities persist.

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Seven jury members were seated in Trump's hush money case. House Speaker Johnson could lose his job over Ukraine aid. And the SCOTUS heard oral arguments in a case that could undo charges for January 6th rioters.

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Fears grow that low-income folks living in USDA housing could be forced out, North Carolina's small and Black-owned farms are helped by new wind and solar revenues, and small towns are eligible for grants to boost civic participation..

Iowans with disabilities ask lawmakers to protect special-ed funding

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Tuesday, December 26, 2023   

The Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council has a wish list for the new legislative session.

The group has just released its public-policy agenda, and is asking state lawmakers to increase funding for educational programs.

The council's list includes three main priorities for the New Year: increasing employment opportunities for people living with disabilities, improving community living options, and addressing what the council's Public Policy Manager Carlyn Crowe said she worries could be a dropoff in special educational services for students with disabilities.

"We not only have concerns about how special education may be working for our students in the future," said Crowe, "but also whether there's going to be additional cuts that could really hamper their efforts to educate people with special needs."

Crowe said Iowa's recent adoption of Educational Savings Accounts, which allow students to attend private or charter schools at state expense, will further decrease overall educational support for people living with disabilities.

Crowe added that the increase in people wanting to "age in place" is also creating demands for community living options for those living with disabilities.

Access to employment is another key area for the council.

Crowe said Iowans with disabilities are often overlooked as a solution to the current workforce shortage, so the council plans to work with the Legislature on workforce development to increase access to jobs.

"And also the training they need," said Crowe, "and perhaps other supports if they are interested, for example, in starting their own business."

The Iowa Legislature gavels in January 8.



Disclosure: Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council contributes to our fund for reporting on Disabilities, Education, Health Issues, Mental Health. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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