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April 21, 2017

Preliminary Study Suggests Possible New Treatment for MS - PRNewswire

BOSTON, April 21, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A small, preliminary study may show promise of a new type of treatment for progressive multiple sclerosis (MS). Results from the first six people enrolled in the phase 1 study, a study designed to enroll 10 people, are being presented at...



Most Housing Discrimination Complaints Related To Disabilities - DisabiltyScoop
People with disabilities appear to be disproportionately affected by housing discrimination, with a new report finding that disability issues accounted for over half of complaints last year.

Classroom Behavior Lands 10-Year-Old With ASD In Jail - DisabiltyScoop
A 10-year-old boy with autism was arrested, spent the night in jail and faces a third-degree felony charge, all for allegedly kicking a teacher at school last fall.

Inclusive Technology Wins Second Successive Queen's Award - PRNewswire

MANCHESTER,England, April 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --Inclusive Technology has won Britain's top business award for a second consecutive year. The company has received a 2017 Queen'sAward for Enterprise Innovation, having won a Queen's Award for International Trade in 2016. Inclusive T...


April 20, 2017

ADAPT Community Network Hosts Family Connect Summit For NYC Families On Latest Disability Supports And Services, April 26 - PRNewswire

NEW YORK, April 20, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- ADAPT Community Network (formerly United Cerebral Palsy of New York City) will host a half-day Family Connect Summit for hundreds of families with disabilities and practitioners in the field on Wednesday, April 26th. The event...



Wandering May Be Treatable, Study Finds - DisabiltyScoop
Many kids with disabilities have a tendency to wander away from safe places — with potentially tragic consequences — but a new study suggests that it's possible to mitigate such behavior.
April 19, 2017

Celebrate Volunteerism and Grab a Leash - PRNewswire

SANTA ROSA, Calif., April 18, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Communities around the country are grabbing a leash and coming together with dogs big and small at DogFest Walk n' Roll, a dog- and family-friendly event benefiting non-profit Canine Companions for Independence. This annual...



Ben Affleck To Appear At New Autism Film Festival - DisabiltyScoop
A first-of-its-kind film festival featuring movies tied to autism is set to kick off with some major star power.
April 18, 2017

Most With Autism Steer Clear Of Driving - DisabiltyScoop
Though the majority of young people with high-functioning autism choose not to get behind the wheel, new research suggests that a substantial number seek the independence that driving offers.

Special Education Often An Uphill Battle For Military Families - DisabiltyScoop
With frequent moves and parents who are away for work, obtaining appropriate special education services for children with disabilities in military families can be especially tough.

Judge Finds ‘No Basis' For ADA Claims Against Disney - DisabiltyScoop
A second federal judge has rejected claims from families who sued Disney over changes to disability access, but a lawyer representing the kids and their parents isn't backing down.
April 17, 2017

Coors Light And No Barriers USA Partner To Help People Climb On - PRNewswire

CHICAGO, April 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Coors Light has partnered with No Barriers USA, a nonprofit organization that shares the brand's belief that challenges are opportunities and helps people conquer personal mountains. The relationship began in 2016, and continues this year with...



Cocoon-Like Bed Aims To Keep Kids With Special Needs Safe - DisabiltyScoop
Struggling to keep her wandering son safely tucked away at night, one mom took matters into her own hands, designing a bed that's secure while also providing a calming effect.
April 15, 2017

ABC's ‘Speechless' Honored For Disability Storyline - DisabiltyScoop
A prime-time comedy focusing on a teenager with cerebral palsy and his family is getting a special commendation from the people behind the Emmy Awards.

Undercover Sting Targets Accessible Parking Violators - DisabiltyScoop
DMV investigators are hitting shopping centers and other hot spots to nab people improperly using parking spots designated for those with disabilities.
April 14, 2017

IBCCES Distinguishes Beaches Resorts as Certified Autism Centers - PRNewswire

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., April 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) is proud to welcome Beaches Resorts – the Caribbean's leading luxury-included ®resorts for everyone - to the family of internationally-recognized...


April 13, 2017

The 18th Annual Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port Sells Out In Record Time Thanks To Partnership With Best Buddies Global Ambassador Tom Brady - PRNewswire

MIAMI, April 13, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --Best Buddies International, aglobal nonprofit founded in 1989 by Anthony K. Shriver toestablish a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for pe...



FDA Warns Of Products Claiming To Cure Autism - DisabiltyScoop
The Food and Drug Administration is cautioning that many products claiming to cure or treat autism are bogus and may in fact be dangerous.
April 12, 2017

American Foundation for the Blind Announces Helen Keller Achievement Award Winners - PRNewswire

NEW YORK, April 12, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) today announced the recipients of its 21st annual Helen Keller Achievement Awards, which acknowledge those who have made extraordinary contributions to improving the quality of life of people...



Group Homes Prioritizing Profits Over Safety, Investigation Finds - DisabiltyScoop
A multi-billion-dollar industry that runs group homes and other community-based facilities has largely supplanted institutions, but lax oversight is reportedly putting residents at risk.
April 11, 2017

Story of Remarkable Blind Boy Inspires Kids to Overcome Challenges - PRNewswire

NEW YORK, April 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Lightswitch Learning honors National Poetry Month with the release of their recently published children's picture book, The Boy Who Opened Our Eyes. The book was inspired by a poem written by the author, Elaine Sussman, over 60 years ago for a...



One in Three Teens with Autism Spectrum Disorder Receives Driver's License - PRNewswire

PHILADELPHIA, April 11, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new study from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) finds one in three adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) acquires an intermediate driver's license, and the majority does so in their 17th year. The vast majority...



Microsoft Hosting Job Fair For Those On The Spectrum - DisabiltyScoop
In a bid to help more people with autism land jobs, Microsoft and other Fortune 500 companies are teaming up for a virtual career fair specifically for those with the developmental disorder.

Waterproof Power Wheelchair May Be Headed To Market - DisabiltyScoop
Most power wheelchairs are heavy and work well — but only if they stay dry. A new waterproof chair that's durable, lightweight and quick to recharge could be a game changer.

Teacher, Students Shot In Special Ed Classroom - DisabiltyScoop
A gunman walked into a special ed classroom and opened fire on his wife, a teacher there, and then killed himself, police said. Stray bullets struck two students, one of whom later died.

Stephen Sulkes Honored with First-Ever Golisano Global Health Leadership Award (NY UCEDD/LEND) - AUCD
Stephen B. Sulkes, M.D., a professor at Golisano Children's Hospital and co-director of the Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities, was selected as one of seven recipients of the first-ever Golisano Global Health Leadership Award. Presented by the Golisano Foundation and Special Olympics, the award was presented to Sulkes at a ceremony Sunday, March 19 in Schladming, Austria, at the 2017 Special Olympics Winter World Games. Sulkes was recognized for founding the Rochester student chapter of the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry (AADMD) and encouraging students to get involved with Special Olympics both through Healthy Athletes and as event volunteers and coaches.
April 10, 2017

Equip for Equality: Judicial Intervention Sought To Force Illinois To Provide Critical Resourses For People With Developmental Disabilities - PRNewswire

CHICAGO, April 10, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --The State of Illinois is failing to fulfill its promise to people with disabilities to provide opportunities to live integrated in the community, according to a recent filing in federal court. The filing in Ligas v. Norwood asks a federal...



Congress Weighs Expanding ABLE Act - DisabiltyScoop
As new accounts allowing people with disabilities to save money without jeopardizing their government benefits become increasingly available, Congress is considering changes to the program.
April 7, 2017

Supreme Court FAPE Ruling May Be A Watershed Moment - DisabiltyScoop
The U.S. Supreme Court's decision affirming a high standard for the IDEA mandate that children with disabilities be provided FAPE is likely to have significant implications for years to come.

Mother, Son Reportedly Shamed At Inclusive Playground - DisabiltyScoop
A mom's emotionally raw video about a run-in with a family over the behavior of her 6-year-old son — who has severe autism — has been watched more than 500,000 times on Facebook.

RTC:Rural Researchers Featured in The Conversation Article Highlighting Rural/Urban Divide (MT UCEDD/LEND) - AUCD
The Conversation featured the work of RTC:Rural's geography project in the article "Six charts that illustrate the divide between rural and urban America." Lillie Greiman, M.A., and Andrew Myers, M.A., RTC:Rural Research Associates, with Christiane von Reichert, Ph.D., Professor of Geography at the University of Montana, contributed to an article about the rural/urban divide that was recently published on The Conversation. The article was a collaboration among the UM researchers and sociologists, economists, and historians at universities around the country

Accessibility for all Aggies (TX UCEDD) - AUCD
For the majority of college students getting to their classes is a feasible everyday routine. However, some members of the Aggie family who are physically disabled face a larger challenge. Jordan Cox, environmental design and Spanish senior who has a disability, said after her disability progressed freshman year she began receiving services but did not necessarily feel comfortable using her wheelchair on campus.

Johnson and Thurlow (MN UCEDD) Among Authors of New NLTS2012 Report - AUCD
Director David R. Johnson and Martha Thurlow of the Institute on Community Integration (MN UCEDD) are among the authors of the newly-released report of findings from the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2012 (NLTS 2012). The NLTS 2012, which is part of the congressionally-mandated National Assessment of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004, is based at Mathematica Policy Research, and the research team for the study consisted of key staff from Mathematica and from the Institute on Community Integration.

'Just Kids' Photography-based Exhibit Features Children with Disabilities (GA UCEDD) - AUCD
Georgia Libraries for Accessible Statewide Services (GLASS) exhibits its first photography-based art exhibition - "Just Kids", a documentary and portraiture style look into the lives of families and their loved ones who have an intellectual or developmental disability. The "Just Kids" exhibit, created by photographer Ryan Johnson, who served as community support specialist at the Center for Leadership in Disability (CLD), includes 18 portraits, five of which are of families that are members of the Chattahoochee Valley Down Syndrome Association.

AgrAbility Receives USDA Grant to Educate Vets, New Farmers (TX UCEDD) - AUCD
Texas AgrAbility, a part of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, received a grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture to help educate 725 military veterans and first-time farmers about how to start farming.

STAGED Right (NE UCEDD/LEND) - AUCD
It's the day before the big show, and Cadie Albin is drawing applause from fellow cast members as she pirouettes and pops to the music playing on the loudspeaker. WhyArts artist Courtney Stein is bopping her head in appreciation of the tune as she, her fellow WhyArts volunteers and members of the MMI staff coordinate a big dance number.

Think College Fast Facts Examines Peer Mentoring (MA UCEDD/LEND) - AUCD
This Think College Fast Fact presents the findings of a research study on peer mentoring for students with intellectual disabilities on college campuses. In this piece Briand Friedman, Ph.D., and Laura Eiseman, Ph.D. consider how dimensions of mentoring relationships may interact over time as contexts change by examining status, reference groups, and mentoring mechanisms.

ICI Welcomes New Director (MA UCEDD/LEND) - AUCD
We're delighted to announce that Tom Sannicandro is coming on board as the new director of the ICI. Sannicandro will step into the role being now filled by Bill Kiernan, who will remain at UMass Boston as dean of the School for Global Inclusion and Social Development. SGISD is the graduate school that houses the ICI. Tom brings to this role a deep commitment to the issues impacting people with disabilities.

Ohio Family 2 Family Provides Education to the Bhutanese/Nepali Population in Ohio (OH UCEDD) - AUCD
It is estimated that the Bhutanese population in Ohio is close to 15,000. Approximately 99% of these individuals are on Medicaid. The Asian Community Alliance in Ohio provides culturally sensitive programs and services to empower and strengthen family & community through awareness, collaboration & advocacy and has been working with this population for years. The Alliance recently identified a need in the Bhutanese population related to education on The Affordable Care Act and Medicaid and approached Ohio Family 2 Family to provide this information.

Pittsburgh LEND and ATN Collaboration - AUCD
Dr. Paradiz is the director of a consultancy that provides technical assistance, training and strategic development to organizations and institutions that support individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other disabilities. Dr. Paradiz is the founder of the ASPIE School for middle and high school students with autism. She met with the Pittsburgh LEND leadership, Family and Self-Advocate Trainees. Dr. Paradiz also gave a community presentation about her involvement in research for individuals with ASD co-sponsored by the Merck Family Advisory Committee and the Pittsburgh LEND. She provided a unique perspective about how families play a vital role in research in autism and examples of evidence-based and multidisciplinary approaches to supporting and treating autism.

A&M Athletes Build Prosthetic Hands as Part of 'Helping Hands' Initiative (TX UCEDD) - AUCD
A group of 54 A&M student athletes teamed up Wednesday night in Kyle Field - not to play sports, but to build prosthetic hands for people in third-world countries. The athletes worked in teams to build 18 prosthetic hands for global distribution to people in third world countries who are missing limbs. With 45 minutes on the clock, the athletes, divided into groups of three, collaborated to reach the common goal of successfully building one hand per group.

Neul Named New Director of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (TN UCEDD, IDDRC, LEND) - AUCD
Jeffrey Neul, M.D., Ph.D., division head of Child Neurology and vice chair for Developmental Neurosciences at the University of California, San Diego, has been named the new director of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (TN UCEDD, IDDRC, LEND). He will join Vanderbilt on Aug. 1. Neul succeeds Elisabeth Dykens, Ph.D., professor of Pediatrics, Psychology and Human Development, and the Kennedy Center's director since 2009. As part of a planned transition, Dykens will continue to lead research programs in Prader-Willi, Williams and Down syndromes and will continue her role as co-director of the VKC UCEDD alongside Elise McMillan.
April 6, 2017

New Adaptive Sports Complex Coming To Tulsa - PRNewswire

TULSA, Okla., April 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Center for Individuals with Physical Challenges has announced plans to expand its facility to offer more services to more individuals with physical disabilities. The Center is the only known facility in the nation providing multiple...



U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Purchases 28 Additional ReWalk Exoskeleton Systems to Support National Multi-Center Trial - PRNewswire

YOKNEAM ILIT, Israel andMARLBOROUGH, Mass., April 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --ReWalk Robotics Ltd.(Nasdaq: RWLK) ("ReWalk"), leading manufacturer and producer of exoskeleton systems, announced today that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) purchased 28 ReWalk Per...



SCAN, Long Beach State University and City of Long Beach Finalize Speaker Lineup for "Aging Reimagined" Colloquium - PRNewswire

LONG BEACH, Calif., April 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- SCAN, a leading senior-focused organization with the mission of keeping seniors healthy and independent, today announced the final speaker lineup for "Aging Reimagined: A Community Approach to Health and Independence." Co-hosted with Long...



Insurance Giant Offers Pro Bono Legal Aid To Those With Disabilities - DisabiltyScoop
Unable to keep up with demand, a disability rights group is teaming up with one of the nation's largest insurers to help people with disabilities navigate the Medicaid appeals process.

Tuesdays with Liz: Timotheus Gordon Surveys People of Color with Autism - AUCD
In this week�s edition of Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All , Liz interviewed Timotheus Gordon, who is a LEND fellow in Illinois. We talked about the development of an online study that he develop about people with Autism and also are people of color.

Welcome Spring 2017 ADA International Fellows & Program Hosts - AUCD
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs' Professional Fellows Division, this program supports 20 mid-career professionals from Brazil, Kenya, Peru, and Tanzania, selected through a competitive process, to participate in a five-week intensive fellowship program at a university-based research and education center for disabilities in the U.S. The program is focused on inclusive education and seeks to strengthen education access for people with disabilities globally.
April 5, 2017

Stem Cells Show Promise For Treating Autism - DisabiltyScoop
A small, but promising study suggests that stem cells from a child's own cord blood may offer an effective treatment for autism symptoms.

In Memoriam: Faith McCormick - AUCD
It is with great sadness that we share news of the passing of Faith McCormick. Many of you may have known Faith during her 10-year tenure as the Director of Programs at the Administration on Developmental Disabilities.

AUCD 2017: Lift Your Voice - AUCD
The power of our collective voices working together to sustain vital supports and services for people with disabilities and their families cannot be denied. The AUCD Conference brings us together to discuss the strategies, innovations, and systems that will allow us to continue to move the needle forward. Join us at the 2017 AUCD Conference as we celebrate successes, learn from past efforts, seek opportunities in the present, and innovate for the future.

Bipartisan legislation introduced to enhance ABLE accounts - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

Nineteen states currently offer ABLE accounts, which allow individuals to save for short- and long-term disability-related expenses on a tax-favored basis.

April 05, 2017

New legislation was introduced late yesterday in Congress to enhance Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) accounts. Nineteen states currently offer ABLE accounts, which allow individuals to save for short- and long-term disability-related expenses on a tax-favored basis. The new legislation – ABLE 2.0 – includes three separate bills:

· ABLE to Work Act would provide additional incentives for savings for ABLE account holders who work. This bill would qualify ABLE accounts for the saver's credit, which allows a dollar-for-dollar reduction in tax liability for lower-income individuals.

· ABLE Financial Planning Act would allow a direct rollover from a college savings account to an ABLE account, making it easier for families whose child receives a diagnosis to reinvest the proceeds of an already-established college savings account.

· ABLE Age Adjustment Act would make individuals who become disabled before age 46 eligible for an ABLE account. Under current law, only those disabled before their 26th birthday are eligible for an ABLE account.

ABLE 2.0 is sponsored in the House of Representatives by Representatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Pete Sessions (R-TX), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), and Jim Langevin (D-RI). The Senate bills are sponsored by Senators Richard Burr (R-NC), Bob Casey (D-PA), and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).

10 Things to Know About the ABLE Act

Parents Education Network (PEN) Announces Leading Psychologist And Learning Disability Advocate, Scott Barry Kaufman, As Keynote Speaker At EdRev 2017 - PRNewswire
SAN FRANCISCO, April 5, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Parents Education Network (PEN) announced today that bestselling author, psychologist and learning disability advocate, Scott Barry Kaufman, will headline the 9th annual Education Revolution (EdRev) Conference on Saturday, April 22,...
April 4, 2017

Pennsylvania Invites Artists with a Disability to Submit Their Visions of Pennsylvania - PRNewswire

HARRISBURG, Pa., April 4, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today Pennsylvania launches its third statewide art contest for artists with a disability, Art: the Universal Language. This year's theme will be Visions of Pennsylvania. Artists of all ages are encouraged to share their...



Autism Alliance of Michigan encourages Michiganders to "Expect the Unexpected" during April's Autism Awareness Month - PRNewswire

DETROIT, April 4, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Adults with autism have one of the highest unemployment rates when compared to their peers with other disabilities. Adults on the spectrum, like all adults, want meaningful work, yet only 16 percent are employed full-time. Of these, many are working...



Edaville Family Theme Park Opens Early for the Season - PRNewswire

CARVER, Mass., April 4, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- For the first time in its history, Edaville Family Theme Park, a renown amusement park, will open its doors early, kicking off the 2017 season on Saturday, April 8. Each year, hundreds of thousands visit Edaville to enjoy over 90 rides and...



Mom, Best Selling Author, Craniosacral Therapist and Founder of The Graham Fund shares a documentary of Hope and Healing - PRNewswire

SYRACUSE, N.Y., April 4, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Graham Fund, A Story of Hope and Healing (DVD documentary) shares the inspiring journey into the frontiers of Dolphin Assisted Therapy – a journey that began when Barb first took her son Graham to the Bahamas. That initial therapy...



States Lack Consensus On Restraint, Seclusion In Schools - DisabiltyScoop
Despite federal officials weighing in years ago, a new analysis finds rules surrounding restraint and seclusion of students with disabilities continue to vary from state to state.

Cities Pressured To Tackle Sidewalk Accessibility - DisabiltyScoop
Nearly three decades after the ADA became law, the courtroom has become a crucial way to force municipalities into compliance with sidewalks and curb ramps.

Tuesdays with Liz: Involving Self Advocates in Autism Research - AUCD
In this week's edition of Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All, Liz interviews Finn Gardiner of ASAN Boston about including self advocates in the development of a database about people with autism with the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center and other organizations.

As White House Goes Blue, Trump ‘Cure' Comment Draws Backlash - DisabiltyScoop
For the first time ever, the White House turned blue for autism awareness, but not everyone affected by the developmental disorder is happy about it.
April 3, 2017

PA Treasurer Joe Torsella, US Senator Casey Announce Opening of ABLE Accounts to Help Individuals with Eligible Disabilities Save for Future Expenses - PRNewswire

HARRISBURG, Pa., April 3, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- PA Treasurer Joe Torsella today announced the opening of the Pennsylvania Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE) Savings Program that provides tax-exempt accounts for individuals with qualified disabilities and their families, during...



Family and Individual Needs for Disability Supports Survey - AUCD
The Arc, in collaboration with the Research and Training Center on Community Living at the University of Minnesota (MN LEND), has launched the 2017 Family and Individual Needs for Disability Supports Survey which seeks to capture perceptions of family caregivers of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) on a range of life-span issues. We are inviting people aged 18 years or older who provide primary un/paid and frequent support to a family member with an intellectual or developmental disability (IDD) living in the United States and its Territories to provide feedback on their experiences. To participate, the individual must be 18 years or older and provide primary unpaid and frequent support to a person with an intellectual or developmental disability living in the United States (and U.S. territories).

‘Sesame Street,' ‘Power Rangers' Could Help Dispel Autism Stereotypes - DisabiltyScoop
As characters with autism debut on "Sesame Street" and in the "Power Rangers" movie, families affected by the disorder say they're optimistic the portrayals will increase understanding.
March 31, 2017

Paralyzed Veterans of America Recognizes Virginia Governor's Mansion for its Accessible Design - PRNewswire

WASHINGTON, March 31, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This week, Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans) announced it has awarded the 2017 Barrier-Free America Award to the Virginia Governor's Mansion, for accessible architectural design demonstrating the importance of equal...



JumpStart Inc. Invests $250K in Monarch Teaching Technologies - PRNewswire

CLEVELAND, March 31, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Cleveland-based venture development organization, JumpStart Inc. has announced a $250,000 investment in Monarch Teaching Technologies, Inc., maker of the popular special education teaching software, VizZle®. The investment comes from a special...



Study: Wait For Developmental Specialists Often 5 Months Or More - DisabiltyScoop
The number of doctors with the expertise to evaluate and treat kids with developmental disabilities is alarmingly low, researchers say, which can delay critical assessments and intervention.

The Separate, Unequal Education Of Students With Special Needs - DisabiltyScoop
Students at the center of an unresolved U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit alleging illegal segregation of those with disabilities say they are stuck on computers and learning little.

May Institute Offers "A Closer Look" at Autism with 30 Topics for 30 Days - PRNewswire

RANDOLPH, Mass., March 31, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- When a child is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), every member of the family is affected. While each experience is unique, there are common challenges that most families face throughout their journeys. These include...


March 30, 2017

Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee And NFL Encourage Local And Diverse Business Owners To Apply For Business Connect Program Before April 1 Deadline - PRNewswire

MINNEAPOLIS, March 30, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee (MNSBHC) and the National Football League are encouraging local and diverse business owners to register for Business Connect before the April 1 deadline. Hundreds of businesses have already...



Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Awards Second Annual High Impact Innovative Assistive Technology Grants - PRNewswire

SHORT HILLS, N.J., March 30, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Paralysis Resource Center (PRC) announced today that it has awarded seven High Impact Innovative Assistive Technology (HIIAT) Grants, totaling $520,996, strengthening the Reeve...



Eleven-Year-Old With Disability Forcibly Baptized, Lawsuit Says - DisabiltyScoop
The parents of an 11-year-old with a disability are suing alleging that the boy was forcibly baptized while out with a Big Brother volunteer, an incident that has haunted him ever since.

AUCD Welcomes Denise Rozell as Policy Strategist - AUCD
Denise Rozell is the Policy Strategist at AUCD working primarily on issues affecting youth in post-secondary education, employment and independent living. Denise has twenty-five years of experience in disability policy at the federal and state level working on almost all issues and legislation affecting individuals with disabilities beginning with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Family Leader Testifies before Congress on Benefits of Medicaid - AUCD
Cyndi Johnson, a mom and member of Family Voices Indiana, testified before the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee to the essential services Medicaid provides. "No parents should have to worry that providing life-saving care to their children might send them into bankruptcy. The Affordable Care Act, and the accompanying changes to Medicaid, quite literally meant the difference between life and death for my daughter, and have given my family a chance to live the financially secure life we've worked so hard to achieve."
March 29, 2017

Chuck E. Cheese's Expands Sensory-Friendly Offerings - DisabiltyScoop
Citing "overwhelming" interest, Chuck E. Cheese's says that it will expand its efforts to be more accessible to kids with autism and other disabilities nationwide.
March 28, 2017

United Spinal Association Publishes Free Accessible Air Travel Guide for People with Disabilities - PRNewswire

NEW YORK, March 28, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- United Spinal Association today announced the publication of an Accessible Air Travel Guide for wheelchair users and other people with disabilities, designed to provide a hassle-free experience at the airport. Wheelchair users and...



Chuck E. Cheese's® Launches National Expansion of 'Sensory Sensitive Sundays' in Partnership with Center for Autism and Related Disorders - PRNewswire

DALLAS, March 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Chuck E. Cheese's® and Center for Autism and Related Disorders™ (CARD) today announced the national expansion of Sensory Sensitive Sundays, a joint event at Chuck E. Cheese's locations across the U.S. and Canada. The program aims to provide children...



Study Looks At How Autism Impacts Parents - DisabiltyScoop
Moms and dads of kids with autism spend less time together than couples with typically-developing children, new research suggests, but that doesn't mean they don't support one another.

Mom Says TSA Agents Traumatized Son With Disability - DisabiltyScoop
A mother who asked TSA agents for alternative screening for her son with sensory processing disorder said they were "treated like dogs" and forced to miss a flight.

Alternative Spring Breaks Allow Students To Give Back - DisabiltyScoop
Once limited to fun in the sun, college students are increasingly spending spring break focusing on social issues, including volunteering with people who have developmental disabilities.

Tuesdays with Liz: Virtual Trainee Liz Koss - AUCD
In this week's edition of Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All Liz interviews Liz Koss, AUCD virtual trainee, about what she does in this role.

Autism Awareness Month Starts April 1: Autism Research Institute turns healthy 50 - PRNewswire

SAN DIEGO, March 27, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In 1967, Dr. Bernard Rimland established the Autism Research Institute (ARI) in San Diego. Dr. Rimland was the first person to denounce the theory that autism was caused by a lack of maternal love, hypothesizing instead an underlying...


March 27, 2017

Wounded Warrior Project Veterans Heal by Brush - PRNewswire

TAMPA, Fla., March 27, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- First, a line of bright green streaked across a field of white. A darker shade of green followed, and next, a dark shade of blue. Brush strokes connected the colors and stretched them to the other side of the canvas, creating a patch...



Collapse Of Health Care Bill Leaves Medicaid Unscathed - DisabiltyScoop
A Republican proposal to overhaul the nation's health care system and fundamentally alter Medicaid is off the table and that's good news for people with disabilities, advocates say.
March 24, 2017

Actor Colin Farrell Speaks from the Heart at Gatepath's Power of Possibilities Event - PRNewswire

BURLINGAME, Calif., March 24, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Actor Colin Farrell was the featured guest at Gatepath's annual The Power of Possibilities event. As a parent of a child with special needs, Farrell has a personal connection to Gatepath's mission of creating a world where...



Sheltered Workshops Get Reprieve - DisabiltyScoop
Officials in one state are reversing course after an outcry over plans to transition people with developmental disabilities from sheltered workshops to community-based settings.

Low Caregiver Wages Take Toll - DisabiltyScoop
For many with disabilities, maintaining a routine is key. But low wages for direct support staff often lead to high turnover and unwelcome change for those who rely on such assistance.

URGENT! Save our Health Care and Community Services - AUCD
TODAY: Continue to contact your Members of Congress and tell them to oppose the American Health Care Act because the caps on Medicaid funding will be extremely damaging to people with disabilities and remove essential services! Use our sample tweets as talking points when communicating with your Representatives.

Health Care Vote Cancelled! - AUCD
AUCD is thrilled to report that the vote on the American Health Care Act scheduled for today was cancelled. This means the Patient Protections and Affordable Care Act and all of the provisions that protect all citizens' right to comprehensive, accessible, and affordable health care and community supports remains in effect.
March 23, 2017

Launch of Alto, America's First Advantage Club for People with Disabilities - PRNewswire
PALO ALTO, California and TEL AVIV, Israel, March 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Alto, America's first advantage club for people with disabilities and their families announces its launch today. Alto is designed to be the essential consumer destination for the 57 million Americans living...

Launch of Alto, America's First Advantage Club for People with Disabilities - PRNewswire
PALO ALTO, California and TEL AVIV, Israel, March 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Alto, America's first advantage club for people with disabilities and their families announces its launch today. Alto is designed to be the essential consumer destination for the 57 million Americans living...
March 22, 2017

Wheelchair Ramp Study Reveals 71% of Tested Ramps Do Not Meet ADA Requirements - PRNewswire

LOS ANGELES, March 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- A recent independent study of seven rubber wheelchair ramps from leading manufacturers, conducted by Sotter Engineering Corporation, revealed that only two of the seven ramps met the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) minimum requirements for...



Special Needs Surfing Event, "They Will Surf Again," Inspires Participants to DREAM BIG - PRNewswire

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas, March 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Dreaming big and overcoming obstacles in spite of the odds, are the inspiration for the "They Will Surf Again" event coming to Port Aransas in June. Houston-based wheelchair accessible vehicle and adaptive equipment provider, Adaptive...



High Court Backs More Robust Standard For FAPE - DisabiltyScoop
In a unanimous ruling with major implications for special education, the U.S. Supreme Court said that public schools must provide students with disabilities more than a minimal benefit.

Autism Speaks Applauds Endrew F. v. Douglas SCOTUS ruling - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

In Endrew, the Court grapples with what level of services are due students with special needs. Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), all students must have access to a free, appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment.

March 22, 2017

“This decision is a victory for students on the autism spectrum. It reaffirms that all publicly funded schools have an obligation to provide all students the supports they need to help them achieve in the classroom. The decision renews our public commitment to help everyone work to reach their potential.”

In Endrew, the Court grapples with what level of services are due students with special needs. Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), all students must have access to a free, appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment – usually taken to mean they should be as integrated as possible with their peers who do not have special needs. The underlying expectation and educational philosophy is that they should be able to access the general curriculum to the greatest extent possible and make meaningful progress.

The analysis becomes more difficult when the needs of a given student are severe enough that he or she cannot realistically be integrated and/or access that curriculum. The question the Court sought to answer in Endrew is what level of progress should be the goal of the supports the schools are required to provide these students – and by extension all students with special needs. The Court held that, “to meet its substantive obligation under the IDEA, a school must offer an IEP reasonably calculated to enable a child to make progress appropriate in light of the child's circumstances.” In so doing, the Court rejected the idea that students with special needs – including those with the greatest needs – are only entitled to services designed to help them achieve the bare minimum amount of progress.


Nike Improves Shoe Accessibility - DisabiltyScoop
Nike is taking steps toward increased accessibility with a new shoe designed to make it even easier for people with disabilities to slip their feet in and out.
March 21, 2017

Celebrities Take Aim At ‘Special Needs' - DisabiltyScoop
With a new short film, a handful of famous faces are using offbeat humor to question whether the needs of people with Down syndrome truly are "special."

Many With Disabilities Fear Medicaid Cuts Will Diminish Independence - DisabiltyScoop
If federal Medicaid money dwindles and states have to find savings, they may be tempted to drop home- and community-based services for people with developmental disabilities.

Los Angeles City and Los Angeles County to Host Major Career Fair at Abilities Expo - PRNewswire

LOS ANGELES, March 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- People with disabilities, their families, caregivers, seniors, wounded vets and healthcare professionals attending Abilities Expo (#AbilitiesExpo) on March 24-26, 2017 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, West Hall A are eagerly anticipating...



‘Sesame Street' Bringing Muppet With Autism To TV - DisabiltyScoop
After being introduced online more than a year ago, Sesame Street's first character with autism is set to make her television debut.

Tuesdays with Liz: Federal Budget Part II - AUCD
In this week's edition of Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All Liz interviews Donna Meltzer (Executive Director of the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities) for the second part of how the President's budget is implemented.
March 20, 2017

Honran a la Universidad Científica del Sur - Escuela de Estomatología (FCS) por su trabajo pionero en salud mundial con el primer Premio Golisano al Liderazgo en Salud Mundial - PRNewswire

SCHLADMING, Austria, 20 de marzo de 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- La Golisano Foundation y Special Olympicas (Olimpiadas Especiales), la mayor organización de salud pública para personas con discapacidades intelectuales (DI), honró a la Universidad Científica del Sur – Escuela de Estomatología...



Seven are Honored for Pioneering Global Health Work with First-ever Golisano Global Health Leadership Awards - PRNewswire

SCHLADMING, Austria, March 20, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Golisano Foundation and Special Olympics, the largest public health organization for people with intellectual disabilities (ID), honored seven healthcare organizations and professionals who are on the frontlines of...



Lions Club International MD 112 gehuldigd voor Baanbrekend Wereldwijd Gezondheidswerk met Allereerste Golisano Global Health Leadership Award - PRNewswire

Honorering Bekendgemaakt tijdens Speciale Olympische Winterspelen in Oostenrijk SCHLADMING, Oostenrijk, 20 maart 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- De Golisano Foundation en de Speciale Olympische Spelen, de grootste publieke gezondheidsorganisatie ter wereld voor mensen met een verstandelijke...



Le MD 112 du Lions Club International reçoit le tout premier Prix Golisano de leadership en santé mondiale pour ses travaux novateurs dans ce domaine - PRNewswire

L'annonce a été faite aux Jeux olympiques spéciaux d'hiver en Autriche SCHLADMING, Autriche, 20mars2017 /PRNewswire/ -- La Fondation Golisano et les Jeux olympiques spéciaux, le plus grand organisme de santé publique destiné aux personnesvivant avec unedéficience intellec...



Supreme Court Nominee's Rulings On ADA, IDEA Have Advocates Worried - DisabiltyScoop
As the U.S. Senate begins confirmation hearings for President Donald Trump's pick for the Supreme Court, concerns are being raised over his record on cases affecting those with disabilities.
March 17, 2017

Katherine L. Myers is recognized by Continental Who's Who - PRNewswire

DAYTON, Ohio, March 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Katherine L. Myers is recognized by Continental Who's Who as a Prominent Professional of the Year in the field of Higher Education. Katherine is the Assistive Technology Specialist for the Office of Disability Services at Wright State...



Adults With Disabilities Become Radio ‘Rock Stars' - DisabiltyScoop
A morning radio show written and produced by adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities is offering social skills and employment training alongside plenty of laughs.

Trump's ‘Skinny Budget' Sows Uncertainty For Disability Programs - DisabiltyScoop
Deep cuts to domestic spending outlined in a budget plan released by the White House this week could have big implications for people with developmental disabilities.
March 16, 2017

Autism May Be Detectable In Blood - DisabiltyScoop
Scientists say they can predict with near perfect accuracy whether or not a child has autism from a blood sample.

Morgan & Morgan, Disability Independence Group Recover $400K from Orlando Housing Authority for Disability Rights Violation - PRNewswire

ORLANDO, Fla., March 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Morgan & Morgan's Belvin Perry, Jr., and Disability Independence Group's Matthew Dietz announce a groundbreaking $400,000 disability rights settlement with the Orlando Housing Authority that could help improve reasonable accommodations for...



Easterseals & A.C. Moore Arts & Crafts, Inc. Launch Crafting A Better World Spring Campaign - PRNewswire

CHICAGO, March 16, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A.C. Moore and Easterseals are ensuring all children have the opportunity to succeed in the earliest years of life in an easy and crafty way through this spring's Crafting A Better World campaign. A.C. Moore is teaming up with...


March 15, 2017

Paralyzed Veterans of America Presents Senator Patty Murray with 2017 Gordon H. Mansfield Congressional Leadership Award - PRNewswire

WASHINGTON, March 15, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --Paralyzed Veterans of America(Paralyzed Veterans) today announced it has honored Senator Patty Murray with the 2017 Gordon H. Mansfield Congressional Leadership Award. Senator Murray has collaborated extensively with Paralyzed Veterans...



Remote Monitoring Replacing Some Direct Support Staff - DisabiltyScoop
People with developmental disabilities are increasingly relying on a mix of sensors, cameras and other electronic devices that can alleviate the need for around-the-clock staff.

Bucking Trend, 9 In 10 With Autism Land Jobs After Training - DisabiltyScoop
When given the right supports and training, a new study suggests that nearly all young people with autism who qualify for supported employment can learn to excel on the job.

Police Learn To Better Understand People With Disabilities - DisabiltyScoop
Using a unique two-way approach, law enforcement officers and individuals with developmental disabilities are learning to interact more appropriately with one another.

Tuesdays with Liz: Federal Budget Part I - AUCD
In this week's edition of Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All Liz interviews Donna Meltzer (Executive Director of the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities) about the process of implimenting the President's budget. This is part 1 of 2. Part 2 will be released next week!
March 14, 2017

9TH Annual Boating & Beach Bash for People With Disabilities - PRNewswire

BOCA RATON, Fla., March 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --The Boating & Beach Bash for People with Disabilities, sponsored by the American Disabilities Foundation, Inc. (ADF), is the largest, free, fun day in America for children and adults with special needs. The 9th annual Bash will be...


March 13, 2017

U.S. Census Bureau Daily Feature for March 14: Court Appearance - PRNewswire

WASHINGTON, March 14, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Following is the daily "Profile America" feature from the U.S. Census Bureau: COURT APPEARANCE Profile America — Tuesday, March 14th. This month in 1879 marked a milestone in women's history and the opportunities available to...



Hollywood Movie and TV Actors with Disabilities Joined Thousands For Inspirational ReelAbilities Film Festival - PRNewswire

CINCINNATI, March 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- A blind state supreme court justice. A deaf teen girl who word slams in sign language. An inner-city schools basketball coach born without fully-formed arms. A double hand amputee meets the love of his life who doesn't see his disability....



For Kids On The Spectrum, Time Change Brings Angst - DisabiltyScoop
The hour lost by springing ahead is an inconvenience to many, but for those with autism who find comfort in sticking to a predictable schedule, it can take weeks to adjust.

Following Outage, Ed Department Wants Feedback On IDEA Site - DisabiltyScoop
After technical problems brought a key government special education website to a screeching halt, federal officials are asking the public for help as they look to reimagine the site.

#SaveMedicaid: Week of Action - AUCD
The House of Representatives introduced the American Healthcare Act on March 6, 2017. If passed, this bill will have devastating effects on access to basic healthcare and Medicaid funded services and supports for America's most vulnerable populations: Children, people with disabilities, seniors, and low income Americans. The bill is moving through the House quickly and will reach the Senate soon. Join us to tell Congress that Medicaid cuts and caps are dangerous and unacceptable!
March 11, 2017

Paralyzed Veterans of America Expresses Grave Concerns for Disabled Air Travelers - PRNewswire

WASHINGTON, March 10, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This week, Paralyzed Veterans of America(Paralyzed Veterans) members have been on Capitol Hill to discuss with Congressional members the organization's 2017 legislative priorities. This advocacy effort included educating lawmakers on...


March 10, 2017

PBS To Broadcast Autism Documentary - DisabiltyScoop
The sensory experiences of people on the spectrum take center stage in a new documentary set to air on television.

Twins Share Unique Bond Even As Chromosome Divides Them - DisabiltyScoop
Life could not be more different for the Toronczak twins — one is an elite college swimmer while the other has Down syndrome and is nonverbal. Nonetheless, the pair share an unbreakable bond.

AUCD Promotes Disability Employment during Developmental Disability and Autism Awareness Months - AUCD
This March and April, the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) is celebrating National Developmental Disability Month and National Autism Awareness/Acceptance Month by hosting a series of Twitter Chats about Employment: #Jobs4All. We will have chats from academic experts, business leaders, disabled entrepreneurs, and more.
March 9, 2017

Paralyzed Veterans of America Urges Protection of VA Specialized Services, CARF Standards in Private Healthcare, Enforcement of VA Staffing Capacity Requirements - PRNewswire

WASHINGTON, March 9, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --TodayParalyzed Veterans of America(Paralyzed Veterans) National President Al Kovach, Jr. testified before the Senate and House Veterans' Affairs Committees, urging support for Paralyzed Veterans'top legislative priorities—en...



Wounded Warrior Project CEO Meets with Congress - PRNewswire

WASHINGTON, March 9, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) chief executive officer Mike Linnington will testify to Congress this morning about the needs of veterans. Linnington, who is a retired lieutenant general in the U.S. Army, will talk about the growing...



Disability Advocates Warn Against Overturning Education Rules - AUCD
Many disability advocates oppose a resolution under consideration in Congress that would do away with education regulations finalized last year by the Obama administration.

GOP Plan To Replace Obamacare Calls For Medicaid Caps - DisabiltyScoop
A Republican proposal to revamp the nation's health care system would fundamentally alter Medicaid, threatening access to community-based services for people with disabilities, advocates say.
March 8, 2017

Veterans Empowered on Wounded Warrior Project Soldier Ride - PRNewswire

TAMPA, Fla., March 8, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --Wounded Warrior Project®(WWP) Soldier Ride® recently rolled through Tampa, where a group of veterans enjoyed riding 36 miles alongside their fellow warriors. WWP program events like this give wounded warriors an opportunity to connect...



Easterseals Disability Film Challenge to Provide An Opportunity for Filmmakers To Change the Way the World Defines And Views Disability - PRNewswire

LOS ANGELES, March 8, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Easterseals, the nation's largest disability services organization, has joined forces with the Disability Film Challenge to provide filmmakers, actors, and other creators--with and without disabilities--the opportunity to create short...



United Cerebral Palsy Of New York City Becomes Adapt Community Network - PRNewswire

NEW YORK, March 8, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, March 8, 2017, the Board of Directors of United Cerebral Palsy of New York City (UCP of NYC) announced that after 70 years of serving New York families with disabilities, the leading human service agency for people with...



Is Teacher Preparation Failing Students With Disabilities? - DisabiltyScoop
Most kids with disabilities spend the majority of their days in general education classrooms, but many teacher training programs offer little preparation for educating these students.

Disability Advocates Warn Against Overturning Education Rules - DisabiltyScoop
Advocates are working to block efforts to rescind Obama-era education regulations, a move they say would weaken accountability for students with disabilities.

Disney Guide Aims To Help Guests With Special Needs - DisabiltyScoop
After her family's fifth trip to Disney World, one mom realized there wasn't a comprehensive guide for guests with special needs, so she decided to write one.

Insurers Face Fines Over ABA Coverage - DisabiltyScoop
Regulators in one state intend to fine insurance companies more than half a million dollars for refusing to cover therapies for children with autism or other developmental disabilities.

Tuesdays with Liz: Nutrition is for Everyone Ambassadors - AUCD
In this week's edition of Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All Liz interviews four Nutrition is for Everyone ambassadors - Sarah Keathley (Arkansas), Lauren Griffiths (Louisiana), Lee Wallace (Tennessee), and Megan Krampe (Oklahoma). These ambassadors speak about the projects in their states that focus on how eating and learning about healthy food is important for everyone, including people with disabilities.
March 7, 2017

New Tool Makes it Easy for Parents to Advocate for their Child's Education in their School and State - PRNewswire

AUSTIN, Texas, March 7, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today at SXSWedu, the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) is launching the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Toolkit on NCLD.org and on Understood.org , a free online resource and community that supports millions of...



YouTube Stars to Fundraise on GoFundMe for Special Olympics and Travel to Austria to Cheer on Athletes in 2017 World Winter Games - PRNewswire

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., March 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- GoFundMe announced today that five top YouTube stars will be part of the first-ever social fundraising collaboration with Special Olympics on the GoFundMe platform: Burnie Burns and Gavin Free of Rooster Teeth, Matt Santoro, Meredith...


March 6, 2017

Researchers Identify Possible Autism Biomarker - DisabiltyScoop
For the second time in less than a month, researchers are reporting a potential breakthrough in their ability to spot autism signs in children who are less than a year old.

Family and Individual Needs for Disability Supports Survey - AUCD
The Arc, in collaboration with the Research and Training Center on Community Living at the University of Minnesota (MN LEND), has launched the 2017 Family and Individual Needs for Disability Supports Survey which seeks to capture perceptions of family caregivers of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) on a range of life-span issues.
March 3, 2017

Special Olympics, Lions International Meet with UN to Discuss How NGO Partnerships Achieve UN Goals - March 4th - PRNewswire

NEW YORK, March 3, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- While international relations remains a top agenda item for political leaders and threats to our global stability continue to trouble the minds of people worldwide, leading global non-profit organizations will meet with United Nations...



FDA Seeks Input On Autism Treatments - DisabiltyScoop
Federal regulators are looking for insight from people with autism and their families as they consider the need for new drug treatments to address the developmental disorder.

Vigils Honor People With Disabilities Killed By Loved Ones - DisabiltyScoop
Vigils were held in more than 40 cities this week as a new report indicates that at least one person with a disability is killed each week by family members or caregivers.

Iowa LEND Trip to Puerto Rico - AUCD
Last month six Iowa LEND trainees from Iowa's UCEDD flew to San Juan as part of a new collaborative partnership project with the University of Puerto Rico UCEDD to provide training and cultural exchange opportunities.

NH-ME LEND Selected to Participate in MCH Diversity & Health Equity Peer Learning Collaborative - AUCD
The New Hampshire-Maine Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (NH-ME LEND) Program was recently selected to participate in the 2017 Diversity & Health Equity Peer Learning Collaborative, supported by the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Bureau, Division of MCH Workforce Development.

WVU CED Feeding & Swallowing Clinic's 1000th Visit - AUCD
On a snowy February morning, the Jackson family from St. Albans, West Virginia traveled to Morgantown to be seen by the Feeding & Swallowing Clinic team at the West Virginia University Center for Excellence in Disabilities (WVU CED). Maxwell Jackson is the Feeding & Swallowing Clinic's 1000th visit, a milestone moment for the WVU CED and a truly special little boy.
March 2, 2017

Wisconsin UCEDD Works with Governor Scott Walker to End Wait Lists for Children with Disabilities - AUCD
UCEDD staff Elizabeth Hecht, Specialist for Public Policy, was invited to attend Governor Scott Walker's 2017 Budget Address when he introduced his budget proposal for $39 million to eliminate wait lists for children with developmental, physical and emotional disabilities eligible for the Children's HCBS waivers. Hecht has worked with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, elected officials, advocates and families for 15 years toward this goal. AIDD grants to advance Family Support under Title II of the Developmental Disability Act of 2000 helped build the family leadership infrastructure that led to this current success.

Is Your Autism Safety Plan Ready? - AUCD
Written in collaboration with key stakeholders and experts within the autism community, A Guide to Safety includes life-saving tips, strategies, and tools to help families strengthen their safety plans.

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Awards Quality of Life Grants to 102 Nonprofit Organizations - PRNewswire

SHORT HILLS, N.J., March 2, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, a national nonprofit dedicated to improving quality of life for individuals living with paralysis, announced it has awarded $721,425 in Quality of Life grants to 102 nonprofit...



Announcement of BrailleSense Polaris by HIMS, Inc. - PRNewswire

AUSTIN, Texas, March 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --Today HIMS Inc. announced the release of BrailleSense Polaris, the first Virtual Braille Tablet for the blind. Polaris is the latest in the popular BrailleSense Notetaker family and features state-of-the-art hardware and software including Andr...



Poll Finds Widespread Use Of ‘Retard' - DisabiltyScoop
Despite the efforts of disability advocates, a new national poll finds use of the word "retard" remains commonplace and many Americans see nothing wrong with it.
March 1, 2017

How Can We Predict Whose MS Will Worsen? - PRNewswire

MINNEAPOLIS, March 1, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In older people with MS, having fatigue and limited leg function is more often seen in people with MS progression than in those without, according to a preliminary study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of...



Represent Partners with Ice Cube to Raise Awareness and Funding for Autism Speaks - PRNewswire

LOS ANGELES, March 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Represent, a social merchandising and marketing platform that enables influencers to create and sell custom apparel, today announced the launch of limited edition apparel campaign with Ice Cube to benefit Autism Speaks. The legendary rapper and...



Special Olympics and Best Buddies International Celebrate 9th Annual Spread the Word to End the Word® Day on March 1st - PRNewswire

WASHINGTON, March 1, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Special Olympics, Best Buddies International, and supporters from around the world will unite today on the ninth annual Spread the Word to End the Word® Day to continue building awareness for society to stop and think about its use of...



Couple Presses ADA Claim Years After Children Removed - DisabiltyScoop
A decade after their sons were taken at birth by state officials who said that their diagnoses made them unfit to parent, a couple is still fighting to assert their rights under the ADA.
February 28, 2017

Providers use Therap to meet North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services' HealthConnex Requirements - PRNewswire

RALEIGH, N.C., Feb. 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Therap Services software for Developmental Disability Providers in North Carolina can be used to meet the new statewide law mandating connection to NC HealthConnex, the state designated HIE. The North Carolina General Assembly has...



Therap Announces Sponsorship of the Michigan Assisted Living Association Annual Conference and Trade Show - PRNewswire

LANSING, Mich., Feb. 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Therap Services, the leading software in the field of intellectual disabilities and LTSS, announced its Gold Level sponsorship of the Michigan Assisted Living Association Annual Conference and Trade Show in Michigan Avenue Lansing, Michigan...



KEPRO Awarded Additional Contract for Florida Preadmission Screening and Resident Review - PRNewswire

HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- KEPRO announced today that it will be serving more citizens of Florida through the Preadmission Screening and Resident Review (PASRR) program on behalf of Florida's Agency for Persons with Disabilities. Through this new contract, KEPRO...



Brain Stem Size May Predict Aggression In Those With ASD - DisabiltyScoop
Biological differences in the brain could explain why some with autism display problematic behavior, researchers say, and pinpointing the root of such issues may lead to interventions.

School Leaders Fret Over Possible Medicaid Changes - DisabiltyScoop
As federal lawmakers consider broad changes to Medicaid, school chiefs from across the country are warning that such modifications could have big consequences for students with disabilities.

Autism Documentary Falls Short Of Academy Award - DisabiltyScoop
"O.J.: Made in America" won the best-documentary Oscar Sunday night, taking the prize over a film focused on autism.

AUCD's Andy Imparato Visits the Pacific - AUCD
For the past ten days, AUCD Executive Director Andy Imparato has been visiting disability organizations and meetings in the South Pacific, hosted by Tafaimamao Lefu Tua Tupuola and Kiriko Takahashi of the American Samoa UCEDD (Ucedd Ascc). He has met with people with disabilities, families, and numerous staff working on disability issues throughout the South Pacific.

AUCD Welcomes John Tschida as Associate Executive Director for Research and Policy - AUCD
John was most recently the director of the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research. At AUCD, he fills the position most recently held by Michael Gamel-McCormick who is moving to the U.S. Senate to be the Disability Policy Director in the office of Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania.
February 26, 2017

Born With Down Syndrome, Shy Teen Competes In Bodybuilding - DisabiltyScoop
Life hasn't been easy for Jon Atkins. At 19, he can read 30 or so words and fine motor skills remain frustrating. But he found something he's pretty good at: bodybuilding.
February 25, 2017

March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month! - AUCD
AUCD, NACDD, and NDRN are proud to celebrate Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month 2017! This month we will increase awareness about developmental disabilities, tell stories of real people who live with a disability, and support our collective work toward inclusion and acceptance. Join us at #DDawareness17: download our resource kit and share your stories!
February 24, 2017

Wounded Warrior Project Connects Veteran to Job That Needs Brains - PRNewswire

NEW YORK, Feb. 24, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A good day at work for Army veteran Danny Benitez is all about brains. Not learning something new, not just making smart decisions – actual, physical, brains. Danny works with researchers at a hospital in New York. For the past 30 years,...



Company Peddling Unproven Autism Treatments Forced To Close - DisabiltyScoop
A drug and dietary supplement maker has been ordered to cease operations after the FDA found that it was falsely marketing products as being able to treat autism and other conditions.

Walgreens Features Model With Down Syndrome - DisabiltyScoop
The smiling face of a 7-year-old with Down syndrome will greet customers at thousands of Walgreens stores this spring as part of an Easter promotion.
February 23, 2017

West Hollywood City Council Approves Steps to Prohibit the City from Providing Financial or Other Benefits to the President of the United States - PRNewswire

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif., Feb. 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The City Council of the City of West Hollywood, at its regular meeting on Tuesday, February 21, 2017, approved an item that directs City of West Hollywood staff to take steps in prohibiting West Hollywood City Hall from doing business...



PA Governor Wolf's 2017-2018 Budget Benefits Individuals with Disabilities - PRNewswire

HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 23, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Department of Human Services' Office of Developmental Programs Deputy Secretary Nancy Thaler joined service providers at the Pennsylvania Advocacy and Resources for Autism and Intellectual Disability (PAR) meeting in...



Speech Solutions: Acapela Group Introduces Aurora and Alessio, its Brand new Italian Children's Voices for AAC - PRNewswire
MONS, Belgium, February 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Acapela Group, the voice solutions expert, today introduces Aurora and Alessio, two new natural-sounding children's voices that will meet the needs of Italian children looking for a voice that reflects their age. For the first time...

Soluzioni per la voce: Ciao! Ti presentiamo Aurora e Alessio, le nuove voci in italiano per bambini e adolescenti create da Acapela Group allo scopo di offrire a tutti una voce - PRNewswire
MONS, Belgio, February 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Acapela Group, gli esperti delle soluzioni per la voce, presentano oggi Aurora e Alessio, due nuove voci per bambini e adolescenti dall'effetto naturale sviluppate per rispondere alle esigenze dei bambini italiani che hanno bisogno di...

United Spinal Association and the 9th Annual ReelAbilities: NY Disabilities Film Festival Co-Presenting 'The Rebound' at JCC Manhattan - PRNewswire

NEW YORK, Feb.23, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --United Spinal Association and the 9th Annual ReelAbilities: NY Disabilities Film Festival will be co-presenting 'The Rebound', a documentary film about the Miami Heat Wheels wheelchair basketball team as they chase a championship. Ree...



Supreme Court Backs Family in Case on Denial of Service Dog in School - AUCD
On Wednesday, February 22, 2017, the Supreme Court issued a ruling finding that a family does not need to exhaust the due process provisions under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) if supports or services for a student with a disability are not directly connected to providing a free appropriate public education (FAPE). In an 8-0 ruling in the case of Fry v. Napoleon Community Schools found that a young girl with cerebral palsy who uses a service dog to assist her with her daily activities, did not complete the due process complaints provided under IDEA before suing the school system to allow her to bring her dog to school.

Therap Announces Sponsorship of the Developmental Disabilities Nursing Association Conference - PRNewswire

WATERBURY, Conn., Feb. 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --Therap Services, the leading software in the field of intellectual disabilities and LTSS, announced its Signature Level sponsorship of the DDNA 2017 Conference in Dallas, Texas from April 7 – 10, 2017. Therap's certified electronic heal...



Hopebridge opens new Autism treatment clinic on East side of Indianapolis - PRNewswire

INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- At Hopebridge, we are committed to helping children touched by Autism Spectrum Disorder or other developmental delays live the best life possible. With this commitment in mind, we are excited to announce that we have added a second clinic...



Supreme Court Sides With Family In Service Dog Case - DisabiltyScoop
In a unanimous ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court has largely sided with the family of a girl with cerebral palsy who sought to bring her service dog to school.
February 22, 2017

Former Drake University Trustee Files Title IX Retaliation Lawsuit Against School In Disabled Son's Wrongful Sexual Assault Investigation - PRNewswire

DES MOINES, Iowa, Feb. 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- In a first-of-its-kind Title IX retaliation case, a former member of the Board of Trustees of Drake University filed a lawsuit against the school and its officials today for retaliating against him after he spoke out against the University's...



Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Combined With Computer Games At Home Reduces Cognitive Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis - PRNewswire

NEW YORK, Feb. 22, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Patients with multiple sclerosis had better problem solving ability and response time after training with a technology called transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), according to a new study published February 22, 2017 in...



McDonald's Drive-Thru-Only Ordering Violates ADA, Suit Claims - DisabiltyScoop
Many McDonald's locations operate solely as drive-thrus late at night. Now a lawsuit alleges that the practice violates the ADA by shutting out those with disabilities who don't drive.
February 21, 2017

SPEC FEST 2017 Slated For May 20 - PRNewswire

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- SPECTRUM LABORATORY (Spec Labs), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to create original works of film and music within the autism and special needs community announces that their Virtual Reality piece "Use Your Imagination", a musical...



GoFundMe Looks To Help Athletes With Disabilities - DisabiltyScoop
As thousands of athletes with disabilities from around the world prepare to converge upon the Special Olympics, they're getting some help to make their way.

Teen With Intellectual Disability Locked In Legal Limbo - DisabiltyScoop
Six in 10 youths in Florida juvenile justice programs are believed to have developmental disabilities. Experts say some are capable of understanding the legal system, but many never will be.

Report Of Special Ed Cap Prompts Feds To Investigate - DisabiltyScoop
A dozen Texas school districts are being targeted for review in a federal investigation into whether students with disabilities are getting the help they need.

Tuesdays with Liz: Medicaid Cuts, Block Grants and Per Capita Caps - AUCD
In this week's edition of Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All, Liz interviews on Mara Youdelman, the managing attorney at the National Health Law Program on Medicaid. Per capita caps: What are they and what is their potential impact?

Texas Medical School Offers Groundbreaking Assistive Technology to Students With Disabilities - PRNewswire

TORONTO, Feb. 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso) is transforming its web experience for people with disabilities using groundbreaking accessibility software. The technology is part of a comprehensive solution to improve digital...



Special Olympics Georgia Hosts Eighth Annual Polar Plunge Fundraiser - PRNewswire

ACWORTH, Ga., Feb. 21, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Plungers will "bear" the cold waters at Acworth Beach February 25 to support the athletes of Special Olympics Georgia in the eighth annual Polar Plunge fundraiser. The Polar Plunge is one of the "coolest" fundraisers where...



Multiple Sclerosis Receives Brazilian Government Permission to be Treated with HempMeds® Brasil, Flagship Product RSHO™ - PRNewswire

SAN DIEGO, Feb. 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --Medical Marijuana, Inc. (OTC: MJNA), the first publicly traded cannabis company in the United States, subsidiary, HempMeds® Brasiltoday announced that the Brazilian government has authorized a doctor's prescription for the Company's hemp cannabidio...



Phonak Continues to Break Ground With a New Lithium-ion Rechargeable Hearing Aid and Its First Titanium-made Custom Device - PRNewswire

STAEFA, Switzerland, Feb. 21,2017 /PRNewswire/ --Phonak, the world's leading provider of hearing aids and wireless communication solutions, is extending its Belong platform to the Bolero family of BTE hearing aids, including the highly-anticipated lithium-ion rechargeable Bolero B-PR and...



Study Finds Medicaid Waivers Help Parents Stay Employed - DisabiltyScoop
Parents of children with autism are more likely to remain in the workforce if they have access to Medicaid waiver services for their kids, new research suggests.
February 20, 2017

Therap Introduces Business Intelligence Tool for Aggregated Reporting and Trend Analysis - PRNewswire

WATERBURY, Conn., Feb. 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Therap has introduced the Business Intelligence module for aggregating agency-wide data and serving real time ad-hoc reports for various modules. Using this tool, agencies providing services to individuals with intellectual and developmental...


February 19, 2017

Parents Education Network (PEN) Receives Award for SAFE Program - PRNewswire

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 18, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Parents Education Network's SAFE (Student Advisors For Education) program has been chosen by the Northern California Branch of The International Dyslexia Association (NCBIDA) to be honored as a program that makes a difference in the...


February 18, 2017

Disability Policy News In Brief - AUCD

Congress begins process of repealing the Affordable Care Act; Supreme court hears IDEA FAPE case; Trump nominees get hearings; Tuesdays with Liz explains health care debat


Relive 'Building Our Future: Lessons from the Obama Years' - AUCD
During the AUCD 2016 Conference, present and past members of the Obama Administration reflected on top priorities coming into their positions, most significant accomplishments, and lessons they learned to inform the new Trump Administration. This Storify summarizes the session using social media posts.

IDEA Website Back Online Following Outage - DisabiltyScoop
After being down at least a week, a key government special education website has been restored, officials say, but more changes are on the way.

AUCD Expresses Serious Concerns Over Confirmation Hearing of Betsy DeVos - AUCD
The Association of University Centers on Disabilities expresses serious concerns with a number of the responses that Betsy DeVos provided at her confirmation hearing earlier this week, and to urges the Senate HELP Committeeto postpone any votes on her confirmation until Mrs. DeVos has clarified her support for the federal role in ensuring that every child with a disability receive a free, appropriate public education consistent with federal law.

Trump Focus On ASD Misplaced, Advocates Say - DisabiltyScoop
At a White House gathering this week, President Donald Trump expressed concern about a "tremendous increase" in autism, but experts caution that his rhetoric doesn't tell the whole story.

Paralyzed Veterans of America Leader Recognized for Positive Impact on Veteran Advocacy - PRNewswire

WASHINGTON, Feb. 17, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans) Executive Director Sherman Gillums, Jr. has been named among 100 of 2016's most impactful leaders in veteran advocacy by HillVets.The HillVets 100 list annually highlights the most effe...


February 17, 2017

Very Special Performances By Jason Mraz And Grace VanderWaal Announced For The 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games Opening Ceremony In Austria On March 18 - PRNewswire

WASHINGTON, Feb. 17, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The world's largest sports and humanitarian event this year – the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria – today announced two very special performances for the event's Opening Ceremony on Saturday, March 18, 2017....


February 16, 2017

Shining a Light on Autism - PRNewswire
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, England, February 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- New book offers a different perspective on Autism Spectrum Disorders A North East dad is hoping to launch the world's first ever series of children's books to feature a child with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) as...

CENTURY 21 System Raises $3.1 Million for Easterseals in 2016; Grand Total Climbs to More Than $117 Million - PRNewswire

MADISON, N.J., Feb. 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Century 21 Real Estate LLC, franchisor of the iconic CENTURY 21® brand, announced today that in 2016 the CENTURY 21 System raised $3.1 million for Easterseals, the indispensable resource for people and families facing disabilities. Since the...



Special Olympics and GoFundMe Announce Global Sponsorship, Creating Hundreds of Fundraising Campaigns for Teams, Delegations and Athletes to Attend the Special Olympics 2017 World Winter Games - PRNewswire

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Feb. 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Special Olympics announced today their first-ever social fundraising collaboration with GoFundMe. As part of the effort, nearly 500 GoFundMes will be created by teams, coaches, as well as by Olympians, top professional athletes, YouTube...



Green Well Announced Participation in Epilepsy Foundation of Texas' 2017 Stroll for Epilepsy with Ricky Williams - PRNewswire

HOUSTON, Feb. 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Green Well Ventures, a company looking to operate under the Texas Compassionate Use Program, announced they will host a yoga session led by Heisman Trophy winner and UT graduate Ricky Williams as part of the 2017 Stroll for Epilepsy in Houston...



Got an Idea for an Ed Tech Tool to Support Special Education? NewSchools Ignite Might Fund it! - PRNewswire

OAKLAND, Calif., Feb. 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --NewSchools Venture Fund is excited to announce the launch of its next ed tech funding opportunity: the NewSchools Ignite Special Education Challenge. This challenge targets ed tech entrepreneurs with a product that supports Pre-Kindergarten t...



Education Department Records Uptick In Special Ed Enrollment - DisabiltyScoop
The number of American schoolchildren receiving special education services is on the rise.

Dr. Bruce L. Keisling appointed Executive Director of the UTHSC Boling Center for Developmental Disabilities and Shainberg Chair of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities - AUCD
Bruce Keisling has been appointed the executive director of the Boling Center for Developmental Disabilities and Shainberg Chair of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. He has served as associate director of the center for nine years and is the director / principal investigator of the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities program. Dr. Keisling is a clinical psychologist and associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics.

Predicting Autism: Researchers Find Autism Biomarkers in Infancy - AUCD
Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in infants with older siblings with autism, researchers from around the country were able to correctly predict 80 percent of those infants who would later meet criteria for autism at two years of age.

IDEA.ed.gov Website Update - AUCD
On Wednesday, February 8, 2017 the server hosting IDEA.ed.gov crashed. The U.S. Department of Education has not removed the IDEA.ed.gov website. Within the same day, the site was redirected to a new page containing pertinent information relating to IDEA. The Department recognizes the concerns you have with the outage and is working on a long-term solution. The server was managed by a contractor, the Department is currently working to move the site and all files to a new stable host.

U.S. Census Bureau Daily Feature for February 16: College for the Deaf - PRNewswire

WASHINGTON, Feb. 16, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Following is the daily "Profile America" feature from the U.S. Census Bureau: COLLEGE FOR THE DEAF Profile America — Thursday, February 16th. The nation's first college for deaf students traces its beginning to this date in...


February 15, 2017

Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunge Season Kicks Off In Lake Michigan 2/17 - PRNewswire

CHICAGO, Feb. 15, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Polar Plunge will kick off its 2017 season with the SUPER Plunge this weekend in Evanston, IL. It is the first of 22 Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunges around the state (including 7 in Chicagoland) that will benefit Special Olympics...



Charles P. Garcia Joins the Board of London-based Start-up, Conspexit Ltd. - PRNewswire

LONDON, February 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Conspexit, a technology company that is currently focused on developing an intelligent assistant for the visually impaired, today announced the appointment of Mr. Charles P. Garcia to its board. (Photo: http://mma.prnewswire....



In Breakthrough, Researchers Detect Autism Signs In Infants - DisabiltyScoop
For the first time, a new study suggests it's possible to predict within the first year of life if a child will develop autism.

Bethesda Announces Implementation of Therap to Improve Documentation across National Network of Services - PRNewswire

WATERTOWN, Wis., Feb. 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Bethesda Lutheran Communities announces today its selection of Therap Services' electronic documentation platform to support its mission in providing services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The implementation of...



Global Learning Disability Partnering 2010 to 2017 - PRNewswire

LONDON, Feb. 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --SummaryProvides understanding and access to the learning disability partnering deals and agreements entered into by the worlds leading healthcare companies.DescriptionThe Global Learning Disability Partnering Terms and Agreements since 2010 report...



Ben Affleck and Pixar's Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera to be Honored at AUTFEST, the First Annual Film Festival Dedicated to Autism Awareness on April 22-23 - PRNewswire

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Oscar®-winning director, actor and filmmaker Ben Affleck joins Oscar-winning Pixar Animation Studios' filmmakers Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera in receiving special honors at the 1st Annual AUTFEST International Film Festival presented by The...



Temple Grandin Named To Women's Hall Of Fame - DisabiltyScoop
Autism self-advocate Temple Grandin is one of 10 notables who will be inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame later this year.

Managed Care Putting Kids With Disabilities At Risk, Parents Say - DisabiltyScoop
Recent changes to a state program — which provides aid for children whose conditions require round-the-clock care — have caused alarming and widespread problems, an investigation finds.

AUCD 2017 T-Shirts Now Available! - AUCD
We were so impressed by the time, creativity, and skillful design in each of the submissions! After careful consideration, we are pleased to announce that the winning shirt was designed in part by Jess Irwin, DBP trainee and Interventionist/Assessor, at the Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities in Rochester, NY! Congratulations!

AUCD Welcomes Intern Jules Schifferes - AUCD
Juliana "Jules" Schifferes is an intern with AUCD for the Spring of 2017. She comes to us through Broad Futures, an organization designed to help young people with learning disabilities and on the autism spectrum succeed in the workplace.
February 14, 2017

Ascensus Joins State Treasurers, Senators, and Advocacy Groups to Celebrate Introduction of ABLE Investment Program - PRNewswire

DRESHER, Pa., Feb. 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Ascensus, the nation's largest independent retirement plan and college savings services provider, joined members of the National Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Alliance, U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), and advocates of people living...



Paralyzed Veterans of America Looks to the Future with Confirmation of Dr. David Shulkin as Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs - PRNewswire

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans) National President Al Kovach, Jr. today released this statement following the confirmation of former VA UnderSecretary of Health, Dr. David Shulkin, as the new VA Secretary:...



Model With Down Syndrome Launches Fashion Line - DisabiltyScoop
Little more than a year after making headlines for strutting the runway at New York Fashion Week, a model with Down syndrome is back at the iconic event to debut her own clothing line.
February 13, 2017

America's Top Military Heroes Honored - PRNewswire

PALM BEACH, Fla., Feb. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Four of America's bravest military heroes, who just happen to be dogs, were honored Thursday night for their outstanding achievements and service to our country. A glittering crowd of more than 100 top U.S. military brass,...



New Platform for Applied Behavior Analysis Instruction Debuts, Aims To Streamline Therapy - PRNewswire

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Guiding Technologies Corporation, announced today the official launch of GAINS™ (Guidance Assessment and Information System), the first haptic feedback guidance and assessment software program for providers of ABA-based instruction. It debuted...



Special Needs Group® / Special Needs at Sea®, the Leading Global Provider of Special Needs Equipment, to Celebrate 10th Anniversary on Feb. 14 - PRNewswire

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Feb. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Special Needs Group® / Special Needs at Sea® (SNG) www.specialneedsgroup.com, the leading global provider of special needs equipment rentals, will celebrate its 10th anniversary of delivering an accessible world on Feb. 14, 2017. Since...



APHA Disability Section Call for 2017 Awards Nominations - AUCD
Do you know someone who has made a significant contribution through scholarship, teaching, practice and/or advocacy to advance the health and quality of life of people with disabilities or an especially dedicated student? Now is the time to nominate a colleague for one of the 2017 APHA Disability Section Awards!
February 12, 2017

Senators Want Answers On IDEA Website Outage - DisabiltyScoop
Lawmakers are demanding answers from the U.S. Department of Education after a key government special education website went down.
February 10, 2017

Career and technical education bill passes U.S. House - Autism Speaks - Advocasy
Legislation with bipartisan support offers path for those with autism to prepare for employment

Today the U. S. House voted 405 to 5 to approve H.R. 5587, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, legislation that would reauthorize career and technical education (CTE) programs and help students with autism gain skills necessary for employment.

September 13, 2016

Washington, DC - Today the U. S. House voted 405 to 5 to approve H.R. 5587, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act,legislation that wouldreauthorize career and technical education(CTE)programs andhelp students with autismgain skills necessary for employment.

With approximately 50,000 people with autism entering adulthood each year in the United States, access to employment opportunities and pre-employment or transition programs, like CTE, are critical.Youth with disabilities are more likely to be successfully employed if they have acquired work and skills training during their secondary school years.

H.R. 5587 ensures that schools provide work-based learning to help students acquire employability and technical skills. The bill would also increaseaccess to earlier career exploration and guidanceas well as improvecoordination with existing pre-employment and transition programs.

The legislation cleared the House Education and the Workforce Committee earlier this year with unanimous support and wassponsored by Reps. Glenn Thompson (R-PA), co-chair of the House CTE Caucus, and Katherine Clark (D-MA).

Autism Speaksapplaudsthe passage of H.R. 5587 in prioritizing accessible and inclusive career and technical education programs. Autism Speaksadvocateswillcontinue to workcloselywithmembersfrom the Senate Health, Education,Labor, and Pensions committee on introducing the Senatereauthorization of theCarl D. PerkinsCareer and Technical EducationAct.

“TheHouse passage of the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21stCentury Actis a decisive step forward by Congress to provide accessible education and a path to employment for individuals with disabilities and autism," saidAngela Geiger president and CEO of Autism Speaks.“We are thrilled that members of both parties have come together toprioritize future independent living opportunities for individuals in the autism community. Our advocates look forward to working closely with the Senate to move this critical legislation to the president's desk.”

All students deserve educational opportunities that best prepare them for the next step in life after secondary school, whether it iscontinuingeducation or a career.For many Americans, employment is a criticalpart of fulfillingand productive lives.

Register tohereto make your voice heard on education policy.

Why supporting caregivers should be a national priority - Autism Speaks - Advocasy
by Angela Lello, senior director for public policy at Autism Speaks

Family caregivers play a hugely important role in providing supports to individuals with autism throughout their lifetime. The primary source of all long-term care in America is unpaid, informal caregiving which is valued at over $500B annually.

September 15, 2016

Family caregivers play a hugely important role in providing supports to individuals with autism throughout their lifetime. The primary source of all long-term care in America is unpaid, informal caregiving which is valued at over $500B annually.

Many family caregivers – including parents such as myself, siblings, grandparents and other family members – provide ongoing supervision and assistance with tasks of daily living such as feeding, bathing and navigating the world for individuals with autism. Caregivers provide support to children as well as adults. This support is almost never compensated. Most caregivers are women, but increasingly men are taking on caregiver roles for their loved ones with autism.

Caring for adults with autism can be daunting. Some individuals need caregiving throughout their lifetime and services are not provided in a cohesive, purposely-built system, but rather exist in a patchwork of different programs and services that vary within and across states.

Many family caregivers must provide support without any assistance from public sources. The vast majority of supports are funded through Medicaid, which many people must wait to access because of years-long waiting lists.

Are you a caregiver? Learn more:Your Dollars@Work: Online Course for Caregivers of Adults with Autism!

In fact, the amount of care provided by informal family caregivers exceeded total Federal Medicaid expenditures in 2015 and only 1 in 1000 family caregivers receive the support they need.

Supports like respite can help family caregivers. Respite gives unpaid family caregivers short relief from the daily duties and ongoing responsibilities of caring for someone with autism. Other caregiving supports, such as attendant care, can help alleviate some of the physical burden associated with providing ongoing care to an individual with a disability. Other supports help individuals live more fulfilling lives and connect with their community while staying with family caregivers.

Without support, family caregivers can be emotionally and physically taxed and may become unable to continue providing care and the quality of everyone's life can be negatively impacted.

Despite the significant role caregivers provide in supporting individuals with autism, there is no national strategy to assist or support them. That's why we need to pass the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregiver Act, H.R. 3099. The bill requires Congress to develop a national strategy to support family caregivers.

If you or someone you love is a caregiver, now is the time to make your voice heard.

Add your name to the letter here and ask the Congress pass RAISE.

Bills move to improve financial security for those with disabilities - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

The Senate Finance Committee today moved to the full Senate the ABLE to Work Act, sponsored by Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), and the ABLE Financial Planning Act, sponsored by Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), bipartisan bills that would improve financial resources for individuals with disabilities.

September 22, 2016
The Senate Finance Committee today moved to the full Senate the ABLE to Work Act, sponsored by Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), and the ABLE Financial Planning Act, sponsored by Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), bipartisan bills that would improve financial resources for individuals with disabilities.
After a decade-long push by advocates on the federal and state level, the first tax-preferred ABLE savings accounts were established this year to empower families to save for disability-related expenses. The legislation moved today by the committee would enhance the landmark ABLE Act enacted in 2014. The ABLE Act has been heralded as one of the most important pieces of disability legislation since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Specifically, the ABLE to Work Act enhances the ABLE Act of 2014 by supporting individuals with disabilities who are employed by permitting them to deposit additional funds earned through work into ABLE accounts without forfeiting benefits. Additionally, the ABLE Financial Planning Act aims at empowering families to roll over 529 college savings plans to ABLE accounts for disability-related expenses.
“I am excited this legislation to strengthen the ABLE Act has advanced out of committee and can soon be considered by the full Senate,” said Senator Burr. “The ABLE to Work Act is about promoting employment and independence for people with disabilities. It will allow people with disabilities to save more money if they have a job and earn an income, and it will also make them eligible for the Saver's credit. I'm also pleased to see the Committee advance the ABLE Financial Planning Act, which will allow families with a special needs child to have more control over their financial futures. I'm urging my colleagues in the Senate to pass this legislation as soon as possible.”
“Advancing these pieces of legislation moves us one step closer to building on the foundation of the ABLE Act,” Senator Casey said. “Fundamentally, these efforts are about breaking down barriers for those with disabilities so they have a fair shot to achieve their dreams.”
According to a recent release:
The ABLE to Work Act expands on the goals of the ABLE Act by encouraging work and self-sufficiency. The legislation allows individuals and their families to save more money in an ABLE account if the beneficiary works and earns income. Specifically, an ABLE beneficiary who earns income from a job could save up to the Federal Poverty Level, which is currently at $11,770. The bill will also allow ABLE beneficiaries to qualify for the existing Saver's Credit when they put savings in.”
The ABLE Financial Planning Act would allow families to roll over savings in a 529 college savings plan into an ABLE account. Many families save for a child's college education by opening a 529 account, sometimes before their child is even born, only to learn later that their child has a severe disability like autism. In other cases, a child could incur a disability from an accident. In such instances, these families have funds locked in a 529 that they could use to help cover their child's lifelong expenses. If they withdraw the funds for anything other than college expenses, they face taxes on their withdrawals. The ABLE Financial Planning Act would help these families by allowing them to roll over the funds in their 529 account into an ABLE account for their child.

Your voice counts: National Voter Registration Day, Sept. 27th - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

Voting is a fundamental right shared by all Americans. Up until the 1990s with the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), many individuals with disabilities were excluded from the voting process, a cornerstone of American democracy.

September 27, 2016

Voting is a fundamental right shared by all Americans. Up until the 1990s with the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), many individuals with disabilities were excluded from the voting process, a cornerstone of American democracy. Today, the ADAand other federal laws ensure that people with disabilities have an equal opportunity to vote.

This year, September 27th is recognized across the country as National Voter Registration Day. For decades, disability advocates fought for equal voting rights. As individuals registerto vote, clarification of voting rights for individuals with disabilities is paramount for progressing an accessible and inclusive voting process.

Key issues facing the autism community and other individuals with disabilities in the voting process are competence, legal guardianship and voter assistance. Individuals with disabilities may be excluded from the voting process due to state voter competence laws or because election officials, poll workers, or service providers impose their own voting requirements. Variousfederal lawsprohibit discrimination based on disability in the voting process, primarily the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Are you an autism voter? Take our pledge to vote here.

It is important to remember that every voice and vote matters. Individuals with a developmental or intellectual disability have the right to vote. Individuals living in a developmental center, group home, or other places providing residential have the right to vote. Individuals with a guardian, depending on the terms of the guardianship, have the right to vote.

Individuals with disabilities may require assistance with voting. People with disabilities have the right to get help with voting and to decide who will help them vote. A person with a disability can get help from a friend, family member, caregiver, residential service provider or almost anyone else of his or her choosing except an employer or union member. The person can also ask a poll worker for assistance with voting. Individuals have the right to have someone show how to use the voting machine on Election Day and for extended time to vote.

Many state voting laws require a certain level of competence to vote. These laws vary state to state. If a state chooses to impose a voter-competence requirement, that requirement cannot be so broad that it takes away the right to vote of people who are capable of voting. For example, a voter-competence requirement cannot single out people who have a guardian. In virtually all states, only a court can find that a person is not competent to vote.

Useful Links

AUTISM AND THE RIGHT TO VOTE: Learn more about autism and the right to vote here.

NATIONAL DISABILITY RIGHTS NETWORK: Accessthe National Disability Rights Networkto learn more information on state laws affecting voting for people with disabilities and general voting information.

VOTER REGISTRATION DEADLINES BY STATE: Find your state voter deadlines for voter registration here.

A GUIDE TO THE VOTING RIGHTS OF PEOPLE WITH MENTAL DISABILITIES: Check out this voter guide from the Bazelon Mental Health Law and National disability rights network here.


U.S. House passes biomedical innovations legislation - Autism Speaks - Advocasy
The landmark bill now heads to the U.S. Senate

The U.S. House of Representatives has overwhelmingly passed biomedical innovations legislation known as the 21st Century Cures Act by a vote of 392-26.

December 02, 2016

WASHINGTON, DC– The U.S. House of Representatives has overwhelmingly passed biomedical innovations legislation known as the 21st Century Cures Act by a vote of 392-26. The legislation outlines provisions to increase funding of the National Institutes of Health, modernize clinical trials, and accelerate the rate of innovations including the development of personalized and precision medicines.

Autism Speaks worked closely with grassroots advocates and champions in Congress to include provisions that would accelerate biomedical innovations for individuals with autism and better include patients in the drug approval process.

The 21st Century Cures Act was authored by Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Ranking Member Diana DeGette (D-CO), full committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA), and Health Subcommittee Ranking Member Gene Green (D-TX).

“With today's overwhelming bipartisan vote, we took a giant leap forward on the #Path2Cures,”said Chairman Upton and Rep. DeGette. “21st Century Cures is the innovation game-changer that patients, their loved ones, and the nation's researchers and scientists so desperately need. The White House has expressed its enthusiastic endorsement of this critical legislation.”

The Obama administration applauded the legislation in a statement from the White House Press Secretary, indicating the President's intention to sign the legislation and urging the Senate to act soon. The statement highlighted that the legislation “invests nearly $3 billion to continue the President's signature biomedical research initiatives, the BRAIN and Precision Medicine Initiatives, over the next decade to tackle diseases like Alzheimer's and create new research models to find cures and better target treatments.” The statement added that, “It further advances the drug approval process by taking steps like modernizing clinical trial design and better incorporating patients' voices into FDA's decision-making processes.”

Advocates are now urging the Senate to quickly pass this legislation to unlock the power of science and innovation for the autism community.

For more information about the 21st Century Cures Act from the Energy and Commerce Committee, clickhere.


Experts and advocates gather for 2016 Autism Law Summit - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

The Autism Law Summit is a gathering of parent advocates, individuals with autism, autism service providers, lawyers, lobbyists and legislators from across the United States who are interested in the politics and policy of autism spectrum disorders related to health insurance, Medicaid and transition to adulthood.

October 19, 2016

The Autism Law Summit is a gathering of parent advocates, individuals with autism, autism service providers, lawyers, lobbyists and legislators from across the United States who are interested in the politics and policy of autism spectrum disorders related to health insurance, Medicaid and transition to adulthood.

At this year's Autism Law Summit, advocates and leaders from across the country attended sessions on a wide array of disability-related topics in conjunction with the Southwest Conference on Disability.

Speakers included members of the Autism Speaks Government Affairs team; Dan Unumb, Executive Director of the Autism Legal Resource Center; and a variety of legal experts and service providers. Attendees also heard from guest speaker, John J. Pitney, Jr. – celebrated political scientist and author of “The Politics of Autism: Navigating the Contested Spectrum.”

“The Autism Law Summit is the ultimate gathering of ‘doers' in the autism world,” said Lorri Unumb, Vice President of State Government Affairs at Autism Speaks. “Smart, passionate people come to share strategies and hatch plans for shaping autism law and policy, and to spend quality time with friends from across the country who understand your life. It is the highlight of my advocacy year, and many of the Summit attendees expressed the same feeling.”

Summit attendees were briefed on tremendous strides in insurance reform earlier this year. On the state level, the Autism Speaks advocacy team led the effort to pass meaningful autism insurance coverage in the state of Oklahoma – the 44th state to do so. The State team continues efforts to expand coverage in other states, including a critical push for benefits for Ohio.

Attendees also heard updates on the impact of Office of Personnel Management's announcement that its carriers would be directed not to exclude coverage of applied behavior analysis (ABA)?for individuals with autism starting in 2017. The FEHB program covers 8.2 million federal employees, retirees and dependents.

In keeping with Autism Speaks' “Next 10 Vision” of decreasing the time from a diagnosis of autism to accessing effective intervention, much time was spent discussing

implementation and enforcement of autism insurance laws. Speakers provided practical advice for ensuring that individuals with autism are able to access the services they are entitled to under their health benefit plans.

The Autism Law Summit also addressed policy issues related to transition to adulthood, including post-secondary education, employment, vocational rehabilitation, transportation, and HCBS services.

“We are thrilled at the amount of energy committed to finding solutions for the diverse transition needs of the autism community,” said Angela Lello, senior director of Public Policy at Autism Speaks. “The Autism Speaks Autism Law Summit is a tremendous step forward at leveraging the passion and expertise of advocates and leaders across the country to help individuals reach their fullest potential.”


U.S. Senate approves landmark biomedical innovations legislation - Autism Speaks - Advocasy
Already approved by the U.S. House, the bill heads to President Obama's desk

The U.S. Senate passed biomedical innovations legislation known as the 21st Century Cures Act by a vote of 94-5. The legislation outlines provisions to increase funding of the National Institutes of Health, modernize clinical trials, and accelerate the rate of innovations, including the development of personalized and precision medicines.

December 07, 2016
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Senate passed biomedical innovations legislation known as the 21st Century Cures Act by a vote of 94-5. The legislation outlines provisions to increase funding of the National Institutes of Health, modernize clinical trials, and accelerate the rate of innovations, including the development of personalized and precision medicines. The House gave its approval to the legislation by a vote of vote of 392-26 and it now heads to President Obama for his signature.
Autism Speaks worked closely with grassroots advocates and champions in Congress to include provisions that would accelerate biomedical innovations for individuals with autism and improve patient input in the drug approval process.
The 21st Century Cures Act was authored by Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Ranking Member Diana DeGette (D-CO), full committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA), and Health Subcommittee Ranking Member Gene Green (D-TX).
“After three years, our legislative work is finally complete. 21st Century Cures is ready for the president,” said Upton and DeGette. “With this innovation game-changer, a new day for medical research is on the horizon. Today's vote is for patients and their loved ones. We all have more reason for hope.”
The Obama administration applauded the legislation in a statement from the White House Press Secretary after the legislation passed the U.S. House of Representatives, indicating the President's intention to sign the legislation and urging the Senate to act soon. The statement highlighted that the legislation “invests nearly $3 billion to continue the President's signature biomedical research initiatives, the BRAIN and Precision Medicine Initiatives, over the next decade to tackle diseases like Alzheimer's and create new research models to find cures and better target treatments.” The statement added that, “It further advances the drug approval process by taking steps like modernizing clinical trial design and better incorporating patients' voices into FDA's decision-making processes.”

Ohio becomes the 45th state to pass autism insurance reform - Autism Speaks - Advocasy
UPDATE: Governor Kasich has signed HB 463 making Ohio the 45th state to enact autism insurance reform

On the final night of a two-year session, the Ohio legislature passed HB 463, which included a provision that will bring autism insurance coverage to thousands of Ohio families impacted by autism.

December 13, 2016

On the final night of a two-year session, the Ohio legislature passed HB 463, which included a provision that will bring autism insurance coverage to thousands of Ohio families impacted by autism. HB 463 requires coverage for medically necessary treatments of autism, including applied behavior analysis (ABA) for individuals under the age of 14 years.

After passing a more robust version of autism insurance reform, HB 350, in a House committee earlier this session, advocates faced significant opposition from outside groups concerned with potential costs for employers.

Representative Cheryl Grossman and other supporters in the legislature worked tirelessly to develop compromise language, which was amended into HB 463 during the final days of the lame duck session. Despite the addition of several amendments unrelated to autism, HB 463 passed by a vote of 26 to 5 in the Ohio Senate after it was approved in the House late Thursday afternoon. The bill was signed into law by Governor John Kasich on January 4, 2017.

“Working with an extraordinary group of friends and experts to make Ohio forty-fifth in the nation to offer this coverage has been one of the most rewarding goals I have accomplished as a state representative.One of the gifts of being a public servant, are the people you meet and the stories you learn. The autism community is an example of people who are the very best. They work together for one important goal. Our world is a better place when you are privileged to be with such special friends,”" said champion of autism insurance reform, Ohio Representative Cheryl Grossman.

Marci Ingram, a parent advocate, has been advocating for autism insurance reform in Ohio for almost a decade. “I am so grateful for the tireless devotion from our Autism Speaks government affairs team and the local volunteers who put in countless hours to make Autism parity the law in Ohio. I am equally grateful for the Ohio legislative leaders who had the courage to push for a compromise that made this bill possible. The winners are our families who have young ones on the autism spectrum who will now have the early intervention that is critical for best outcomes. I am proud to be a part of this team victory,” said Ms. Ingram.

“While the bill is not perfect, it is a foot in the door for Ohio families who have been trying every year since 2007 to get autism insurance passed,”said Lorri Unumb, vice president of state government affairs for Autism Speaks. “We are grateful to the Ohio legislators who worked hard behind the scenes to make this happen.”

Through executive order of Governor Kasich, coverage for ABA and other medically necessary treatments for autism have been required in state employee health plans and qualified health plans like those sold on the Health Insurance Marketplace in Ohio since 2014.


President Obama signs landmark biomedical innovations legislation - Autism Speaks - Advocasy
Bipartisan bill aims to accelerate medical innovation, including development of personalized medicines that could benefit those with autism

President Barack Obama on Tuesday signed the landmark biomedical innovations bill known as the 21st Century Cures Act to increase funding of the National Institutes of Health, modernize clinical trials and accelerate the rate of innovations, including the development of personalized and precision medicines that could benefit people with autism.

December 14, 2016

President Barack Obama on Tuesday signed the landmark biomedical innovations bill known as the 21st Century Cures Act to increase funding of the National Institutes of Health, modernize clinical trials and accelerate the rate of innovations, including the development of personalized and precision medicines that could benefit people with autism.

In a signing ceremony at the White House, President Obama said, "We are bringing to reality the possibility of new breakthroughs to some of the greatest health challenges of our time."

Autism Speaks worked closely with grassroots advocates and champions in Congress to include provisions that would potentially accelerate biomedical innovations for people with autism and improve patient input in the drug approval process.

Earlier this month, the Senate approved the legislation by a vote of 94-5. The Senate acted after the House passed the legislation by a 392-26 margin.

The legislation was authored by Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Ranking Member Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), full committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-N.J.), Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-Pa.), and Health Subcommittee Ranking Member Gene Green (D-Texas). It was also driven through the support of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee leadership, Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.).

“After three years, our legislative work is finally complete. Twenty-first Century Cures is ready for the president,” said Upton and DeGette at the bill's passage. “With this innovation game-changer, a new day for medical research is on the horizon. Today's vote is for patients and their loved ones. We all have more reason for hope.”

“There is no doubt that more funding is needed to advance research into causes and better interventions for autism,” said Angela Geiger, Autism Speaks president and CEO. “This legislation provides funding for research programs that will help better inform our understanding of autism.”

To date, Autism Speaks' MSSNG project has sequenced more than 7,000 whole genomes from families affected by autism – making it the world's largest genomic database on autism. More than 90 leading investigators have already received approval for accessing the database and its cutting-edge analytic tools to advance their work, deepening understanding of autism and paving the way for personalized treatments. Through the data and new knowledge provided by MSSNG, Autism Speaks is powering the translation of basic research into improved diagnostics, therapies and life supports.

Precision medicine is a game-changing opportunity for autism,” said Mat Pletcher, Autism Speaks interim chief science officer. “We are learning much about the potential to segment it into many disorders through our MSSNG genome project. This legislation will not only fuel inquiry in this area, but brings the patient in to inform the regulatory process to better understand treatment need.”


Autism Speaks legislative wins in 2016 - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

The Autism Speaks Advocacy team and grassroots advocates across the country are hard at work in Washington and across the country pushing public policies that will directly impact the lives of all American children and adults with autism.

October 04, 2016
Empowering Science and Research

The year started strong as Autism Speaks successfully advocated for an increase in research for the NIH and Congress and President ultimately signed an omnibus appropriations bill that includes $2 billion more than the previous level of $30.1 billion which was the NIH's largest budget increase in a decade.

In December, President Barack Obama signed the landmark biomedical innovations bill known as the 21st Century Cures Act to increase funding of the National Institutes of Health, modernize clinical trials and accelerate the rate of innovations, including the development of personalized and precision medicines that could benefit people with autism. Autism Speaks worked closely with grassroots advocates and champions in Congress to include provisions that would potentially accelerate biomedical innovations for people with autism and improve patient input in the drug approval process. The law provides an additional $4.8 billion for the NIH over 10 years, including for the Precision Medicine and BRAIN initiatives.

Transition Victories

Autism Speaks is spearheading tremendous progress in Congress to address employment and transition needs for young adults with autism. This year the US House approved H.R. 5587,Carl D. Perkins Career and Technology Education Act, legislation that would reauthorize career and technical education (CTE) programs and help students with autism gain skills necessary for employment. Autism Speaks worked with the Education and the Workforce Committee to ensure the legislation requires work-based learning to help students acquire employability and technical skills. The bill would also increase access to earlier career exploration and guidance and improve coordination with existing pre-employment and transition programs. We expect that Congress will consider this legislation in 2017.

The ABLE Act continues to be rolled out across the country, with ten states already offering tax-preferred savings accounts for disability-related expenses, most of which can be purchased across states lines. Additionally, the US Senate Committee on Finance passed several improvements to the federal legislation, including the ability to roll over contributions from a 529 college savings account to an ABLE account. These provisions are likely to be considered again as part of tax reform next year.

The education of lawmakers on a variety of issues continues. In May of this year, the U.S.House Small Business Committee, led by Chairman Steve Chabot,helda hearing on the role that small businesses can play in employing individuals with developmental disabilities. The hearing included Lisa Goring, executive vice president of programs and services at Autism Speaks and entrepreneurs employing those with autism from across the country.

Advancements in healthcare coverage

Advocates celebrated tremendous strides in insurance reform earlier this year when the Office of Personnel Management announced its carriers would be directed not to exclude coverage of applied behavior analysis (ABA)?for individuals with autism starting in 2017. The FEHB program covers 8.2 million federal employees, retirees and dependents. On the state level, the advocacy team led the effort to pass meaningful autism insurance coverage in the states of Oklahomaand Ohio, the 44thand 45th states to do so.

The National Defense Authorization Act restores 2015 reimbursement rates for ABA providers to prevent further reductions in access to treatments for military dependents due to 2016 rate cuts.

Critical Safety Wins

Advocates have also celebrated strategic victories aimed at keeping individuals with autism safe. Autism Speaks has also played a key role when the US House and the US Senate passed versions of safety and wandering legislationS. 2614,betterknown asKevin andAvonte'sLawto make individuals with autism safer in their communities. This legislation will be considered again in the new Congress thanks the leadership of our champions on the hill and grassroots advocates across the country.

What's Next?

The advocacy team is partnering closely with self-advocates and families of loved ones with autism to continue to find policy solutions to meet the unmet needs of for those with autism and invites all advocates across the country to make their voices heard.

Get involved here.


UCP Receives Motorola Solutions Foundation Innovation Generation Grant - UPC
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UCP Releases 2016 Case for Inclusion Report - UPC
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Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (TN UCEDD, LEND, IDDRC) Member Developing App to Help Children with Disabilities Who Have Challenging Behaviors - AUCD
A Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (TN UCEDD, LEND, IDDRC) special education researcher has been awarded a $1.5 million grant by The Institute of Education Sciences to develop an app for use by parents who have young children with disabilities who also exhibit challenging behaviors.

Oklahoma's New Portal Seeks to Help Thousands on Medicaid Waiver Waiting List (OK UCEDD/LEND) - AUCD
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FA Olmstead Session (GA and IA UCEDD) - AUCD
Earlier this fall Sue Jamieson, prominent civil rights lawyer and lead attorney in Olmstead v. L.C., travelled to Iowa to speak at the HousingIowa Conference about the history of the landmark Supreme Court decision and the importance of housing in community integration. The session also featured Iowa's Money Follows the Person coordinator Brooke Lovelace and program participant Monnie Hall, and was moderated by Caitlin Owens, who along with Brooke works for Iowa's UCEDD at the Center for Disabilities and Development. Sue is the Disability Law Project Co-Director at the University of Georgia's Institute on Human Development and Disability (one of Georgia's two UCEDDs).

2017 EHDI Meeting Scholarships for LEND Audiology Trainees - AUCD
AUCD has made available six (6) scholarships of up to $500 each to support LEND audiology trainees in attending the in Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Meeting on February 26-28, 2017 in Atlanta, GA. All current LEND audiology trainees are eligible to apply. However, priority will be given to trainees from programs that do not currently receive supplemental funding and trainees that have not attended the EHDI Meeting in previous years. Application deadline: January 29, 2017.

UI Earns No. 1 Ranking in University Website Accessibility (IA UCEDD) - AUCD
The University of Iowa ranks first in the nation in an assessment of how accessible its websites are to people with disabilities. UI topped the list of 140 American universities, according to rankings presented at an Educause conference poster session by Jon Gunderson of the Division of Disability Resources and Education Services at the University of Illinois - Champaign/Urbana.

CT LEND has had an Exciting New Start this Year - AUCD
The CT LEND has had an exciting new start this year. Nine UCONN graduate students from various disciplines, two Yale Developmental-Behavioral Pediatric fellows, four community trainees, and four Human Services/Family Studies students from Goodwin College fill our conference room at UCONN Health each Friday. We welcome family faculty and several UCEDD staff members to each weekly seminar as well.

Four UCEDDs (TN, TX, MN, KY) Collaborate to Put Faith and Jobseekers with Disabilities to Work - AUCD
A new manual outlines how faith communities can support members with disabilities in finding and maintaining employment. The manual was spearheaded by the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (TN UCEDD) and its partners at the Human Development Institute (KY UCEDD), the Texas Center for Disability Studies (TX UCEDD), and the Institute on Community Integration (MN UCEDD). All four UCEDDs facilitated the two-year Putting Faith to Work project as an activity of the National Collaborative on Faith and Disability.

Teacher Draws On Experience As Student With Disability - DisabiltyScoop
Once unsure if she would be able to graduate high school because of her uncontrollable seizures, Xenia Boiko decided to become the special education teacher she wishes she'd had.

Toni M. Whitaker, MD Appointed as University of Tennessee Boling Center LEND Director - AUCD
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MNLEND Nov 2016 Forum Video Released - AUCD
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Lack Of Uniformity In Newborn Testing Under Review - DisabiltyScoop
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All-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Expands Range of Eligible Vehicles in FCA US Automobility Program - PRNewswire

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Chrysler Brand, the Leader in Minivans, Partners With World Mobility Leader BraunAbility to Unveil Game-changing Wheelchair-accessible Chrysler Pacifica - PRNewswire

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Toyota And Super Producer Bryan Michael-Cox Honor Music Veterans And Emerging, Young Artists - PRNewswire

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Hundreds of organizations — including many of the nation's leading autism and disability advocacy groups — have written to President Donald Trump in an effort to dispel fears about vaccines.
February 8, 2017

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Father, Son With Cerebral Palsy Aim For 500 Bands In 365 Days - DisabiltyScoop
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February 7, 2017

UCB, Inc. and the Epilepsy Foundation of Georgia Launch EFWorks to Help Georgians with Epilepsy Find Employment - PRNewswire

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February 6, 2017

Gene therapy restores hearing in deaf mice… down to a whisper - PRNewswire

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February 3, 2017

Study: For Those With Autism, Fixations Can Be Beneficial - DisabiltyScoop
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Award-winning Actor Colin Farrell to Deliver Keynote Address at "The Power of Possibilities" Event - PRNewswire

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February 2, 2017

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Disability Advocates Threaten To Sue Over Special Education Cap - DisabiltyScoop
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February 1, 2017

Trump Education Pick Advances Despite Special Ed Worries - DisabiltyScoop
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Self-Driving Cars Could Lift Disability Employment - DisabiltyScoop
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AUCD's Letter Expressing Concern Regarding Betsy DeVos's Responses to Questions about Education for Students with Disabilities - AUCD
AUCD has submitted a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, expressing serious concerns with several responses to questions that Betsy DeVos provided at her confirmation hearing to be the next Secretary of Education. As the Senate moves to vote on her nomination, AUCD calls upon Mrs. DeVos to clarify her support for the federal government's role in ensuring that every child with a disability receives a free, appropriate public education in a manner that is consistent with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Tuesdays with Liz: Affordable Care Act Part III - AUCD
This week's edition of Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All Liz interviews Caitlin Morris and Dee Mahan. They both work on health policy for FamiliesUSA and staff a new coalition called "Protect our Care."
January 30, 2017

Onix Expands Equidox Product Offering By Adding End-To-End Document Conversion Services - PRNewswire

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RTC:Rural Brings National Attention to Importance of Accessible Housing in Rural Communities (MT UCEDD) - AUCD
The lack of accessible housing is one of the biggest barriers people with disabilities face in their communities. Having a home that suits one's needs facilitates self-care and accessing the community, critical elements of independent living. Living in a home that doesn't meet one's needs can make accessing community more difficult and even impossible.

Innovative Trainings in Deaf-Blindness (ND UCEDD) - AUCD
Children who have deaf-blindness miss out on opportunities for learning that other children receive incidentally or naturally as those without sensory impairment have access to the many sights and sounds from their environment. These missed opportunities can result in a sense of isolation from others and problems in communication skill development, concept formation, and overall learning. In the school setting deaf-blindness is considered a disability of access to the visual and auditory information provided in educational environments.

Condo-Like Housing Model Offers Independence With Supports - DisabiltyScoop
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January 28, 2017

Victory Living Programs to Host 7th Annual "Cheeseburger in Paradise" Event - PRNewswire

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Kids' Books Recognized For Disability Storylines - DisabiltyScoop
Three children's books are being honored alongside this year's picks for the Caldecott and Newbery Medals for focusing on the experiences of those with special needs.

‘Royal DJs' With Special Needs Life Of The Party - DisabiltyScoop
Thanks to technology and some motivated parents, a group of young adults turned DJs are rocking the house despite their significant disabilities.

Three UCEDDs Receive Nearly $150,000 in Grants from the Special Hope Foundation - AUCD
The Special Hope Foundation is pleased to announce that three University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) were selected for funding of their training projects. The grants will support a variety of programs providing training for healthcare providers, interpreters and other health professionals in integrating a culturally responsive framework in healthcare services for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. All projects include Self-Advocates as leaders, trainers and in oversight roles. The applications were carefully reviewed and considered by the Foundation's Board and staff as well as the Special Hope Foundation's Self-Advocate Advisory Committee and medical providers at the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry (AADMD), with whom the Special Hope Foundation partners in all Request for Proposals (RFP) funding cycles.
January 27, 2017

Jacoti Named as Global Mobile Awards 2017 Nominee for the Best Use of Mobile for Accessibility & Inclusion Category - PRNewswire

WEVELGEM, Belgium, January 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Jacoti Hearing Suite, an innovative set of hearing applications created by Jacoti bvba, has been named a Global Mobile Awards 2017 Nominee. Products entered in this prestigious program are judged by a preeminent panel of more than...



Effect of Medicaid Expansion on Workforce Participation for People With Disabilities - AUCD
Individuals with disabilities are significantly more likely to be employed if they live in a state that has expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, a new study has found. Researchers at the University of Kansas co-authored a study that found a 6 percentage-point difference in employment rates among working-age adults with disabilities in states that expanded Medicaid and those that chose not to.
January 26, 2017

Help Heal Veterans and Eagle's Healing Nest Join Forces - PRNewswire

WINCHESTER, Calif., Jan. 26, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Help Heal Veterans (Heal Vets), the nation's largest provider of free therapeutic arts and crafts kits to U.S. veterans and active-duty military personnel, is partnering with Eagle's Healing Nest, a place for veterans to heal...



AUCD Welcomes Sheida Khamsi (KS UCEDD) as the 2017 Spring Assistant Virtual Trainee - AUCD
Sheida Khamsi is the Spring 2017 Assistant Virtual Trainee. She is also a UCEDD trainee at the Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities at the University of Kansas. Within AUCD, Sheida's role is to work with the Virtual Trainee to enhance diversity within the AUCD network and generate and implement new ideas for effective communication and connection between all Centers and Programs.

Relive the Harkin International Employment Summit - AUCD
In its inaugural year, the Harkin Summit began a tradition of bringing together change agents to develop strategies for increasing disability employment around the world. Relive this important event through Storify!

100% of Its New Ph.D.s in Business Disciplines Found Professor Jobs in 2016, The PhD Project Reports - PRNewswire

MONTVALE, N.J., Jan. 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- A full 100% of the minorities who completed Ph.D. degrees in business in 2016 as participants of The PhD Project found faculty employment by year's end -- countering the mistaken popular belief that job opportunities for new professors are...



IDEA Concerns Linger Over Education Nominee - DisabiltyScoop
Citing concerns about her views on IDEA, disability advocates are asking lawmakers to delay a vote on the nominee to head the U.S. Department of Education.
January 25, 2017

California, New York, Florida Lead Top 10 States with Most Residents Stuck In Disability Insurance Backlog - PRNewswire

BELLEVILLE, Ill., Jan. 25, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- California, New York and Florida top the list of states with the most residents waiting in the massive Social Security disability backlog, according to Allsup, which updated its state ranking of claimants in the backlog. Allsup is...



Register Today! AUCD Leadership Academy - AUCD
The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) in partnership with the Center for Leadership in Disability at Georgia State University (GSU) is pleased to announce that it is accepting applications for the inaugural AUCD LEADERSHIP ACADEMY. The academy will be held on the downtown GSU campus in Atlanta, Georgia on June 25-30, 2017.

Building Our Future: Election Outcomes and What's Next - AUCD
At our 2016 Annual Meeting, prominent members of Congress spoke about priorities for the coming years, as well a post-election debrief and ideas on the potential directions of the new Administration.
January 24, 2017

Sutherland Bipolar Center Announces Contest for Deluxe Coldplay Concert Experience - PRNewswire

BOULDER, Colo., Jan. 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Robert D. Sutherland Memorial Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to improving both the lives of people with bipolar disorder as well as their families, announced they are hosting an online drawing fundraiser to raise money that will help...



NFL Looks To Accommodate Fans With ASD - DisabiltyScoop
In what's being called a first, the NFL will make Sunday's Pro Bowl "autism friendly," offering fans on the spectrum noise-canceling headphones, stress-relief squeeze toys and a safe room.

GI Treatment May Improve Behavior In Kids With Autism - DisabiltyScoop
Researchers say they are cautiously optimistic about a small study that showed that fecal transplants improved both gastrointestinal and behavioral symptoms in children with autism.

‘Life, Animated' Gets Oscar Nod - DisabiltyScoop
A film chronicling the coming-of-age story of a man with autism has been nominated for an Academy Award.

Tuesdays with Liz: Affordable Care Act Part II - AUCD
On this week's edition of Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All Liz interviews Stephanie Meridith (Information and Dissemination Coordinator at the Kentucky UCEDD) about why the Affordable Care Act (aka "Obamacare") is so important to her family.

K4Connect Unveils Enhanced Connected-Life Software Platform for Senior Living Communities - PRNewswire

RALEIGH, N.C., Jan. 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- K4Connect, a mission-centered technology company that creates solutions to serve and empower older adults and individuals living with disabilities, today announced the release of its latest version of K4Community (Version 1.5), its...



Seattle Public Schools Selects AudioEye to Provide Web and Technology Accessibility Services - PRNewswire

TUCSON, Ariz., Jan. 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- AudioEye, Inc. (OTCQB: AEYE) ("AudioEye" or the "Company") today announced that the governing School Board for the Seattle School District No 1 voted unanimously selecting AudioEye as its vendor for ensuring that the web content of all Seattle...


January 23, 2017

Aramark Named a Top 50 Employer for People with Disabilities - PRNewswire

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Aramark (NYSE:ARMK), a global leader in food, facilities management and uniforms, has once again been named a Top 50 employer for providing a positive working environment for people with disabilities by CAREERS & the disABLED magazine....



Pennsylvania Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program Applications Now Available - PRNewswire

HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 23, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Application forms for the Department of Revenue's Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program are now available for eligible residents to begin claiming rebates on property taxes or rent paid in 2016. It costs nothing to apply for a...



USTA and Deloitte Announce Wide-Ranging Relationship - PRNewswire

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Jan. 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Deloitte announced today a long-term and wide-ranging agreement with The United States Tennis Association (USTA). As part of the agreement, Deloitte will sponsor both the U.S. Davis Cup and U.S. Fed Cup teams, as well as become an official...



Steve Way Joins LifeVac as Official Spokesperson - PRNewswire

SPRINGFIELD GARDENS, N.Y., Jan. 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- LifeVac, the revolutionary device that has successfully removed an object from a blocked airway and prevented choking deaths, welcomes Steve Way, comedian, motivational speaker and disability awareness advocate to the LifeVac team...



Google Calls Attention To Disability Rights - DisabiltyScoop
A doodle on Google's homepage is paying homage to a pioneer of the disability rights movement and encouraging visitors to learn about advocacy efforts.
January 22, 2017

Disability References Removed From White House Website - DisabiltyScoop
As President Donald Trump took office, nearly every reference to disabilities on the White House website disappeared.
January 20, 2017

Clinic Offers One-Stop Shop For Adults On The Spectrum - DisabiltyScoop
Though many pediatricians specialize in autism, few physicians are equipped to care for adults with the developmental disorder. A new clinic is designed to address this growing need.

AUCD Asks: What Makes America Great? - AUCD
Today, Donald Trump is being inaugurated as President of the United States. His campaign slogan, "Make America Great Again," has inspired many Americans. At our 2016 conference, we asked attendees: What makes America great? What inspires you?
Last updated : April 23, 2017 - 04:01:02
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