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Attention Caregivers: SSDI Benefits For Dependents With Special Needs May Not Last Forever!

Caregivers of dependents with special needs who receive Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) benefits must fully understand the nature, scope and duration of these benefits to effectively plan for the financial future of their dependent. When SSDI benefits are payable based on a parent’s working record to their adult dependent with special needs, the Social Security Administration (SSA) considers this type of benefit as a “child’s” benefit. It is this form of eligibility that this […]

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Holiday Gift Guide

As the holiday season quickly approaches, caregivers and parents of children with special needs are considering what new toys, games and learning tools are appearing on the market and which of those might be a good fit for their child. To help families through their toy purchasing decisions, EP’s editors have compiled a selection of some new products as well as some classic choices, each of which offer fun ways to improve motor skills, balance, […]

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Anyone Can Sleep in the Top Bunk!

BY LAURA WHITAKER In 2014, Extra Special People (ESP) officially became the proud owner of 70 acres of beautiful, empty land in northeast Georgia – and Camp Hooray, a place where accessibility will be a foundational feature rather than a rushed afterthought, was one step closer to becoming a reality. Worried? Anxious? Not even close. If Toni Boyd could have described her emotions on the day she dropped off her daughter Samantha at summer camp […]

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Perceptions of Self

AMERICAN ACADEMY OF DEVELOPMENTAL MEDICINE & DENTISTRY BY H. BARRY WALDMAN DDS, MPH, PHD, STEVEN P. PERLMAN DDS, MSCD, DHL (HON) AND MATTHEW COOKE, DDS, MD, MPH “Prior to the twentieth century, social attitudes reflected the view that persons with disabilities were unhealthy, defective and deviant. For centuries, society as a whole treated these people as objects of fear and pity. The prevailing attitude was that such individuals were incapable of participating in or contributing […]

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Breaking Barriers

BY GRACE NAH AND BRITTNEY NORRIS Recently Tobii Dynavox, a leader in assistive technology for communication, expanded their mission for improving the quality of life for even more people through a new device called Indi™. This first-ever direct-to-consumer speech tablet provides a communication solution for individuals of all ages with speech and language disabilities, including those with autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, Rett syndrome and Intellectual disabilities. “We truly believe that everyone deserves and should […]

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Changing The Landscape Of Health For People With Intellectual Disabilities

SUBMITTED BY SPECIAL OLYMPICS The room quiets as Nathan McClain addresses a team of his peers about the importance of health and increasing awareness about fitness and sport at an April training in British Columbia. McClain, a 22-year-old from Little Rock, Arkansas, is among a growing group of self-advocates sharing the message about inclusive health for people with intellectual disabilities, or equitable access to quality health care, education, and services throughout communities. McClain is an […]

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How A Child Developmental Passport Can Help Families

BY DEEPA SRINIVASAVARADAN Developmental Passports can be used by parents to track the health, wellness, and development of their child. These are available in both English and Spanish for families. A STATE EXAMPLE The Child Developmental Passport in NJ was developed in collaboration with the State Ambassador of the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC’s) Learn the Signs, Act Early Program and the Help Me Grow and Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems Initiative of the NJ Department […]

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Special Education And Early Intervention Resources For Families And Professionals

BY LAUREN AGORATUS, M.A. The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), funds a Technical Assistance and Dissemination Network with resources for all stakeholders with an interest in special education and early intervention, including parents, self-advocates, educators, early interventionists, school districts, state Departments of Education, other service providers, researchers, policymakers, and legislators. WHICH TYPES OF RESOURCES ARE AVAILABLE? There are many different kinds of resources available to families and professionals. These include […]

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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 […]

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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 […]