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About the NCBDDD Consolidation

Critical disability programs and services at risk of being cut or eliminated --
We need you to help put a face on these programs for Congress

KnowBarriers provides life coaching, peer mentoring, and substance abuse prevention to persons living with paralysis

KnowBarriers provides life coaching, peer mentoring, and substance abuse prevention to persons living with paralysis.

The issue
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funds the Paralysis Resource Center (PRC), along with other critical disability programs, through the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD). This year, the President's budget proposes to consolidate all of these programs into one over a three-year period.

The problem
This consolidation is being proposed without any input from the stakeholder community or analysis of the impact on the communities, such as individuals with spinal cord injury and paralysis, who are served by programs supported through NCBDDD. Given that the overall NCBDD budget has already undergone significant cuts in 2011 it is very concerning that the proposed consolidation:

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

The effect
The PRC assists over 200,000 individuals with spinal cord injury and paralysis each year by providing resources focused on promoting health, fostering involvement in the community and improving overall quality of life. The PRC also supports state-of-the-art therapies that improve health and mobility, which are directly improving the quality of life for individuals with spinal cord injuries.

Consolidating all these programs into one funding line could result in a reduction of support for the PRC through the NCBDDD resulting in a reduction, or possible elimination of these critical services. These are services that individuals with spinal cord injury and paralysis depend upon each day. Even with the current level of federal support, the PRC is only able to fund approximately 20% of the requests it receives for grants leaving many worthy programs without the resources they need to make a difference in the lives of families living with spinal cord injury and paralysis.

The strategy
The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, along with other organizations concerned about the proposed consolidation, 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 it annual funding (appropriations) bills, and Report language accompanies this bill and provides Congressional direction from Congress to the Agencies.

How you can help
We need to make sure that Members of Congress support the inclusion of this Report language that will accompany the CDC funding bill. It is the only way the paralysis community will be able to slow down or stop the proposed consolidation.

Use the Reeve Foundation's NCBDDD Toolkit as a guide --download the PDF here -- and contact your Members of Congress here and ask that they support the Report language.

Language Submitted by disability organizations to the Senate 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.

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Continue Christopher Reeve's LegacyPhoto by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders