Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Kennedy-Brownbeck Bill

NDSS and NDSC Applaud Funding for Kennedy-Brownback Prenatally and Postnatally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act

The National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) and National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC) commend the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for providing funding to implement the Prenatally and Postnatally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act (also known as the Kennedy-Brownback bill in honor of the two Senators who originally championed it).The passage of this important legislation was an extremely high priority for NDSS and NDSC, the original sponsors of the bill in the Senate and the leadership of the Congressional Down Syndrome Caucus. After an extensive advocacy effort, including visits to Capitol Hill by individuals with Down syndrome and their families, the bill was signed into law by former President Bush on October 8, 2008. However, it did not come with any Congressional appropriations to enact the recommendations. Now, MCHB has dedicated $820,000 in funding for each of the next four years.
The funding will be awarded through a federal grant process. Eligible groups--which include hospitals, disability groups, governmental agencies, etc.--are encouraged to apply for the funding in a competitive application. One "applicant" will receive the funding. Although according to the terms of the grant, single disability organizations cannot be the "lead" grantee in the proposal, NDSS and NDSC are partnering with other disability organizations to submit one proposal as a combined "applicant." By the end of the year, an announcement will be made on which applicant wins the competition and receives the funding.

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