Public Interest Government Relations Update

The Social Services Block Grant program, APA's comment on the National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research long-range plan and other advocacy efforts

By Stefanie Reeves, MA, CAE

PI-GRO, CDIP develop policy strategy

PI-GRO worked with the Committee for Disability Issues in Psychology (CDIP) on developing a federal policy strategy on key disability issues including health equity, education and employment. PI-GRO will continue to work with CDIP on pressing issues in Congress and federal agencies related to individuals with disabilities.

APA expresses concern over potential cuts to critical programs

APA joined dozens of other national- and state-level organizations in signing on to an April 23 letter to Congress opposing funding cuts to the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) program.  The SSBG currently provides $1.7 billion in flexible funds to help states meet the needs of their most vulnerable individuals and families. States use SSBG funds for programs such as services for individuals with disabilities, child care assistance, child abuse prevention, child protective services, adoption services, foster care, adult protective services, senior nutrition services and home-based services for older adults. APA and its coalition partners will continue to advocate for SSBG funding.

APA to comment on National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) long-range plan

PI-GRO, in conjunction with CDIP and APA's Science Government Relations Office, is currently working on comments in response to NIDRR’s proposed FY2013-2017 long range plan. Comments are due Monday, June 18, 2012.

APA supports ratification of UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

PI-GRO sent a letter to bi-partisan leadership of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee urging them to hold a hearing on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). President Obama has requested that the Senate ratifies the treaty as soon as possible. The ratification is also one of the key legislative priorities identified by CDIP.

Get Involved

There are a number of ways to get involved with advocacy through APA’s Public Interest Government Relations Office including:
  • Sharing research and clinical expertise with policymakers

  • Attending an advocacy workshop and advocacy day

  • Participating in state/district visits with policymakers

  • Testifying or presenting at congressional hearings or briefings

  • Applying for a fellowship or internship in Washington, D.C.

APA hosts the Public Policy Advocacy Network (PPAN) which allows APA members to take action on the important legislative issues of the day. We encourage you to learn more about PPAN or sign up to receive our alerts.