When Siblings have Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

by Doreen Arcus She would have been 100 this year. Perhaps the most influential person with intellectual and developmental disabilities in modern America, Rosemary Kennedy changed the lives of millions. And she did it through her siblings. Born at a time when families were advised to institutionalize children with disabilities, Rosemary was instead an integral part of Kennedy family life until a prefrontal lobotomy left her incapacitated at age 23. She was particularly close to […]


What appeared to be one of the least restrictive settings for Joey – a one-person group home in the community – became the most restrictive for him, because it was most inappropriate for his complex behavioral needs. BY SUE JENNINGS OUR SON, JOEY, AGE 25, IS BIG, STRONG AND HANDSOME WITH A MISCHIEVOUS SENSE OF HUMOR, AND A DUAL DIAGNOSIS OF AUTISM AND MENTAL RETARDATION. EIGHTY PERCENT OF THE TIME, HE IS JOY TO BE […]

Joining The Fight For Human Rights

Special Olympics has found that people with intellectual disabilities are being excluded from national laws and policies in countries around the world. BY JAVIER VASQUEZ To the rest of the world, human rights are assumed and not questioned. Special Olympics fights for people with intellectual disabilities (ID) to obtain the same human rights as everyone else. Human rights are defined as universal freedoms and entitlements all human beings share, whatever their race, nationality, place of […]

Alabama’s Special Camp for Children & Adults

The impact that a Camp ASCCA experience can have on increasing confidence and the level of independence often remains long after the camp session has ended. BY GLENN ROSWAL AND DANA RICKMAN With more than 25 different activities from which to choose, Camp ASCCA is an exciting place to visit. Each activity area offers a unique experience and allows the camper to succeed on his or her own, as well as in an environment of […]

Training First Responders To Respond Bettter

“The SNAP Program makes a vital contribution to the armamentarium of best practices addressing the unique needs of special populations and their ability to thrive and participate in the community. It will become a time-honored component in the first responders’ toolkit.” – Rick Rader, MD, Medical Liaison, SNAP Program BY BRUCE GARNER Even under the best of circumstances, it is challenging to be a good parent, but when your child has special needs, it gets […]

Youth Empowerment Groups Encourage Self-Advocacy

Groups for youth and young adults may provide opportunity for building a foundation of skills to address core concepts that enable youth to have meaningful participation in the process of planning for their own futures. BY ERIN SEIGH AND LAUREN AGORATUS, M.A. Students with disabilities need to learn how to advocate for themselves in order to foster independence when transitioning to adult life. Groups that encourage the voices of youth and young adults can help […]

Improving Health Worldwide To The Most Underserved

People with intellectual disabilities face health care providers who don’t have the knowledge or willingness to treat them. Despite severe need and higher health risks, people with ID are often denied health services. BY KRISTIN HUGHES SROUR, MBA If you want to help straighten her bones, dig a hole in the ground, have your daughter stand in it and then pack it with soil. Do this every day for six hours. This was the advice […]

NDNRC Releases Statement On Preserving ACA Protections

The National Disability Navigator Resource Collaborative (NDNRC) recently released a statement entitled “Preserve the Protections Provided by the Affordable Care Act.” PRESERVE THE PROTECTIONS PROVIDED BY THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT The Affordable Care Act (ACA) brought about much-needed reforms for health insurance, addressed systemic discrimination, and expanded coverage to millions of Americans who had previously been uninsured. Many of the reforms established by the ACA were a great benefit for people with disabilities, including the […]

Navigating The Maze Of School Choice Options

BY WILLIAM BLACKWELL, ED.D. This article explores several key issues that parents of children with disabilities should consider and questions to ask when thinking about charter schools or voucher programs. Parents of children with disabilities have an endless series of decisions to make regarding their child’s education. These decisions include selecting a public school system that will be supportive of their child’s needs, identifying the appropriate services and supports that the school will provide, and […]

Including Young Children With Disabilities In Typical Early Childhood Settings

BY LAUREN AGORATUS, M.A. AND DENISE BOUYER-HARGROVE It is essential that families are aware their child with special needs has the right to receive care and education in the least restrictive environment along with their age-appropriate peers. Many families are unaware that their child with a disability or special need could be included in a typical child care or preschool program. Also, parents may not be aware that their child transitioning from early intervention to […]