2007 Report to the President: Holding Truths To Be Self-Evident
Affirming the Value of People With Intellectual Disabilities
- The President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID)
- Publications, Annual Reports to the President
- Annual Reports
The 2007 Report to the President promotes further understanding on the part of leading government officials, as well as lay Americans, of the inherent value of people with intellectual disabilities, and appropriate public policy which reflects this understanding.
Executive Summary and Recommendations
In fulfillment of its Executive Order to prepare an annual report to the President, the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities submits its 2007 Report, Holding Truths to Be Self-Evident: Affirming the Value of People with Intellectual Disabilities. The Report offers recommendations in the following three areas that impact the daily lives of people with intellectual disabilities:
- The New Freedom Initiative
- Effective and Timely Application of Basic Research
- Heightening Public Awareness of the Value of People with Intellectual Disabilities
The Report addresses the issues and concerns related to these three areas that have been identified by people with intellectual disabilities, their family members, self-advocates and advocates, researchers, service providers, constituency group representatives, and allied Federal and state agencies and organizations.
In the area of the New Freedom Initiative, established to tear down barriers to full community participation for Americans with disabilities, the Report explores ways to further progress for people with intellectual disabilities through the following recommendations:
- Increase access to emerging technology, and base public policy regarding information and technology accessibility on market driven incentives.
- Expand educational opportunities and improve instruction and assessment for students with intellectual disabilities, and support implementation of the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) provisions found in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) by strengthening the dissemination and application of education research and best practices on accessing the general education curriculum for students with intellectual disabilities.
- Promote full access to community life and integrate Americans with intellectual disabilities into the community by improving the availability of community-based housing and necessary staff to support people with intellectual disabilities.
- Encourage State Medicaid Directors, not currently doing so, to initiate and sustain efforts to ensure that all Medicaid-eligible children in every state have access to Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT) services to help reduce the incidence and prevalence of intellectual disabilities, mitigate its effects, and increase access to appropriate health care.
In the area of Research Application, the Committee recognizes an opportunity to speed the flow of basic scientific findings – both positive and negative – into the clinical environment through the following recommendations:
- Foster continued intensified efforts to streamline the translation of basic scientific findings into clinical applications.
- Encourage the vigorous pursuit and development of new technologies and approaches for early screening, detection, diagnosis, amelioration and treatment.
- Establish an Ad Hoc Federal Interagency Council on Research Translation for the Benefit of People with Intellectual Disabilities, with membership from appropriate Federal agencies, advised by pertinent non-governmental organizations.
In the area of Public Awareness, the Report encourages the Federal Government to dispel longheld myths regarding people with intellectual disabilities, and demonstrate their value and competence to Federal, state and local officials, and the American public through the following recommendations:
- Lead by example by including in the State of the Union Address, Weekly Radio broadcast, and other public appearances, statements of support, stories of inspiration and statistical data on the contributions of people with intellectual disabilities.
- Mandate that every program throughout the Federal Government, that was established to address a single or range of specified needs of individuals diagnosed with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individuals, set aside a percentage of its total budget to increase public awareness of the program’s existence and purpose.
- Establish a National Disability History Week to instill in our communities an understanding of the value of people with disabilities.
- Increase the commitment to support DisabilityInfo.gov so that it may better fulfill its mission to provide increased access to vital information and resources.
- Encourage and provide the necessary training to those working in the criminal justice system to facilitate recognition of the competency and value of people with intellectual disabilities to the criminal justice system, both as victims and witnesses.