Health and Human Services Update to Section 504 Regulation: CP Unlimited Public Endorsement
To implement the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of disability, the Department proposes to update and amend its section 504 regulation. The proposed rule would add new provisions that clarify existing requirements under section 504 prohibiting recipients of financial assistance from the Department (recipients) from discriminating on the basis of disability in their programs and activities, including in health care, child welfare, and other human services. The proposed rule includes new requirements prohibiting discrimination in the areas of medical treatment; the use of value assessments; web, mobile, and kiosk accessibility; and requirements for accessible medical equipment, so that persons with disabilities have an opportunity to participate in or benefit from health care programs and activities that is equal to the opportunity afforded others. It also adds a section on child welfare to expand on and clarify the obligation to provide nondiscriminatory child welfare services. The proposed rule would also update the definition of disability and other provisions to ensure consistency with statutory amendments to the Rehabilitation Act, enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008, the Affordable Care Act, as well as Supreme Court and other significant court cases. It also further clarifies the obligation to provide services in the most integrated setting. Finally, the proposed rule would make other clarifying edits, including updating outdated terminology and references.
In response to the HHS request for public comments, CP Unlimited submitted the below in service of a more accessible, equitable, and contemporary lens through which to create a world where people with intellectual and developmental disabilities can achieve fulfilling lives:
“The Executive Leadership of Constructive Partnerships (CP) Unlimited, supports the proposed amendment by HHS to Section 504. The clarified rules allow for a more equitable outlook towards persons with disabilities, ensuring that they are seen by medical providers with the same lens as other individuals, while expanding access to programs and defining standards for equipment that were previously lacking. Applying these parameters and guidelines, we also believe, will create a safer and more independent environment through which people with disabilities can achieve fulfilling lives. Lastly, we support a more integrative model within settings for people with I/DD that facilitates their community presence and integration. All of these necessary adjustments will be both incrementally and holistically beneficial to Americans with disabilities and we support their application throughout the private and public I/DD provider network.”