Legislative & Advocacy Information
Easterseals Bay Area actively supports legislation and funding that helps people with disabilities achieve independence. As a member of our community, you have the opportunity to shape policy around the causes you believe in and improve the lives of those around you. Join us in making the world a better, more inclusive place – through advocacy, we can help people of all ages and abilities reach their full potential.
CalABLE Provides Tax-free Savings Accounts for People with Disabilities
The CalABLE Savings Plan enables Californians to save for disability-related expenses by putting money in tax-advantaged investments, while protecting their eligibility for public benefits programs providing a greater measure of security for people with disabilities.
CalABLE allows individuals with qualifying disabilities to save up to $15,000/year for a total amount of $100,000 with earnings accumulating tax-free. Withdrawals are tax free if used for qualified disability expenses, such as education, housing, transportation, employment training and support, assistive technology, and more.
Federal Funding for Programs Serving People with Disabilities
As advocates, we are always working to encourage state legislators and Congress to increase funding for services and supports to assist people with disabilities and their families.
We’re particularly focused on ensuring continued and increased funding for:
- The Autism Cares Act
- Education and Special Education (IDEA Parts B and C) (U.S. Department of Education)
- Head Start (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
- Maternal and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
- Supported Employment State Grant Program (U.S. Department of Education)
- Vocational Rehabilitation State Grant Program (U.S. Department of Education)
The 2020 Census — Make Sure You’re Counted!
The 2020 U.S. Census is coming up in April. As California’s diverse regions prepare for the census, community-based organizations and local leaders are playing key roles in helping to get the word out about how important the census is. The census helps determine the distribution of federal funding, gathers information about the population that is valuable to policymakers and businesses alike, and is the basis for reapportionment and redistricting.
If you would like to get involved, read our tips to help us give a voice to people with disabilities:
Write a letter to your local newspaper, Representative, or Senator. Help educate the community about inclusion and people with disabilities.
Meet your state Representative and Senators either at their office or at a fundraiser or town hall. Share a personal story to educate them about people with disabilities.
Get Active in your community. Speak up at public forums, school board meetings, or other events and encourage your elected officials to remember people with disabilities while in office.
Facts & Figures
- 1 out of every 59 children is diagnosed with autism.
- For boys, the number is one out of every 37 children.
- Early intervention has proven effective in helping children with autism reach their full potential. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “it is the most powerful tool we have to make a difference in the lives of children with Autism.”
- Nearly half a million teens with autism will enter adulthood over the next decade.