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July 24, 2014

Congress Weighing Tax-Free Disability Savings Accounts - DisabiltyScoop
A long-stagnant bill that would establish a new way for people with disabilities to save money without jeopardizing their government benefits is starting to make its way through Congress.
July 23, 2014

American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. and Independent Group Home Living Co-Sponsor and Participate in World Team Sports' Inaugural Coastal Team Challenge - Long Island - PRNewswire

HOLBROOK, N.Y., July 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. (APFS) and Independent Group Home Living Program (IGHL) will co-sponsor and participate in Coastal Team Challenge - Long Island on August 12 – 13.  The event, hosted by World T.E.A.M...



UNH (NH UCEDD) Partnering on National Technical Assistance Center for Inclusive Education - AUCD
The National Center on Inclusive Education (NCIE) at the University of New Hampshire Institute on Disability's partnership with the Schoolwide Integrated Framework for Transformation (SWIFT) Center, a national technical assistance center for inclusive education, continues to be strong.

Dr. Charles Drum (IOD NH UCEDD) Is Keynote Presenter at Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity - AUCD
Dr. Charles E. Drum, Director of the Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire, gave the opening keynote presentation at the 30th Annual Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity.

The NH Disability and Public Health Project (DPH) Introduces Obesity Prevention Blogs (IOD NH UCDEDD) - AUCD
The Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire's Disability and Public Health Project (DPH) has launched a series of interactive campaign targeting youth with disabilities and their families. The campaign includes a series of interactive blogs that are regularly updated with new highlights and information.

New Disability Studies Texts Co-Edited by CDHD (ID UCEDD) Associate Director - AUCD
Matthew Wappett, Associate Director at the Center on Disabilities and Human Development and Katrina Arndt, Associate Professor, St. John Fisher College School of Education have edited two new books that re-examine the foundations of disability studies as a field of scholarly inquiry and introduce emerging new scholars who are building upon those strong roots.

Iowa LEND Trainees Receive 2014 Alfred Healy Leadership Award in Developmental Disabilities - AUCD
The Center for Disabilities and Development (CDD), a part of the University of Iowa Children's Hospital, is proud to announce that Kelly Schieltz, Ph.D. and Rachel Nash, MPH are the 2014 recipients of The Alfred Healy Leadership Award in Developmental Disabilities. The Healy Award nurtures in recipients a life-long commitment to leadership in developmental disabilities that will carry on Dr. Healy's legacy for future generations.

ABLE Act Wins Warm Reception At Senate Hearing - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

Bill would allow tax-free savings accounts for people with disabilities

July 23, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC (July 23, 2014) -- The ABLE Act, which would allow tax-free savings accounts for people with disabilities,was warmly received today by a U.S. Senate committee which heard testimony from supportive witnesses, including Bob D'Amelio, a North Carolina advocate who spoke on behalf of Autism Speaks.

The hearing by the Senate Finance Committee's subcommittee on taxation and IRS oversight, was the first by Congress on the bill, S.313, which was introduced in February 2013. Sponsored by Sen. Robert Casey (D-PA), left the bill has 74 co-sponsors; the House version, HR.647, sponsored by Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-FL), has 367 co-sponsors.

"No other bill in Congress has this level of bipartisan, bicameral support," said Casey, who chairs the subcommittee. "This level of support is a testament to the hard work of families and other disability advocates, many of whom are present here today.It is also reflects the importance of what the ABLE Act does."

The ABLE Act (Achieving A Better Life Experience) would mirror Section 529 college savings accounts by allowing families and individuals with disabilities to set aside tax-free savings to pay for housing, education, transportation, job support and other costs. Participants would not lose their Medicaid or Social Security benefits.

“The legislation we are considering today is a step towards making the promise of the Declaration of Independence ring true for all of us,” said Sen. Michael Enzi (R-WY), the ranking member of the subcommittee.

D'Amelio and his wife, Christi, live in Charlotte with their three children, including two sons with autism.

"The current section 529 plans fall short for the many individuals with autism and other disabilities who cannot or choose not to go on to college," D'Amelio testified before the committee. "As much as anything else, the ABLE Act is about fairness. If Christi and I can use a college savings account to provide for our daughter Lindsey's future, why can't we use something similar to take care of Nicholas and Christopher?

"I would love to sleep at night knowing that I was doing everything I could to secure the future of my children. My son Christopher is a very smart young man, but he will need a job coach and at some point a residential program," he continued. "Saddling my daughter Lindsey with a big financial burden is not fair when Christi and I can provide for Christopher.Lindsey is already mature beyond her ten years of age. She knows that she will be looking after Christopher and keeping tabs on Nicholas for her entire life."

Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), right, the lead Senate Republican sponsor of ABLE,said, “It's hard for me to find a reason why anyone would want to get in the way of a bill that allows the parents of a disabled child the opportunity to save their own money for their child's future and to give that child a shot at financial independence.”

Other witnesses included Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers (R-WA), whose son, Cole, has Down syndrome;SaraWolff, a self-advocate and board member with theNational Down Syndrome Society; and Chase Alston Phillips, a financial advisor from northern Virginia.

"Our outdated laws encourage women and men with disabilities to resign themselves to a life of dependence by spending down their assets rather than saving them for future expenses," said McMorris Rogers."Unless families have the resources to hire an attorney to create a special trust or some other complicated savings vehicle, there is no other option to establish financial security without risking access to critical government programs for individuals with disabilities. And that's just not fair."

Because ABLE is a tax bill, it must be first voted out of the House.


Young People With Autism More Prone To Obesity - DisabiltyScoop
Even at young ages, individuals with autism are far more likely to be obese or overweight than their typically-developing peers, a new study finds.
July 22, 2014

Chamber of Commerce, Veteran, Disability, and Civil Rights Leaders Call for Ratification of Disability Treaty - PRNewswire
WASHINGTON, July 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- This morning, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee took the crucial final step toward ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, or Disability Treaty, an international treaty designed to promote the rights and...

Houston Mayor Plans to Award Proclamation at ADA 25th Anniversary Legacy Tour Press Conference, Which Debuts at Abilities Expo, July 25-27 - PRNewswire
HOUSTON, July 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- To commemorate the upcoming 25th anniversary of the historic passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA25), the long-anticipated ADA Legacy Tour will kick off at Abilities Expo Houston on July 25, 2014 at NRG Center (formerly Reliant...

Sofía Lachapelle se une a la revista Ser Padres como bloguera colaboradora - PRNewswire
NUEVA YORK, 22 de julio de 2014 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ -- La revista Ser Padres, proveedora líder de contenidos informativos y estimulantes para el padre hispano de hoy, anunció que la reportera de Telemundo Sofía Lachapelle comenzará a...

Sofia Lachapelle Joins Ser Padres Magazine as Contributing Blogger - PRNewswire
NEW YORK, July 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Ser Padres magazine, the premier provider of informative and empowering content for today's Hispanic parent, announced today that Telemundo reporter Sofia Lachapelle will serve as a regular blogger on SerPadres.com to share her experiences as a mom...

Obama Signs Law Limiting Sheltered Workshop Eligibility - DisabiltyScoop
The transition from school to work for students with disabilities will undergo sweeping changes under a bill President Barack Obama signed into law Tuesday.

UN Disability Treaty Clears Senate Committee - DisabiltyScoop
Two years after rejecting an international disability rights treaty, the U.S. Senate is poised to reconsider the matter.

SD Center for Disabilities Announces Eric Kurtz, PhD as New LEND Director - AUCD
Kurtz has previously served as the Center's Clinical Operations director, Autism Spectrum Disorders Program director, Discipline Head for Autism and Related Disorders with LEND, and is assistant professor of pediatrics. He has several years of clinical experience providing specialized psychological services in clinical, school, and forensic settings. He succeeds Dr. Joanne Van Osdel, who retired in July.

Study: ‘Mindfulness' May Help Moms Reduce Caregiver Stress - DisabiltyScoop
Just six treatment sessions designed to help moms of kids with developmental disabilities manage their stress can go a long way toward reducing depression and anxiety, researchers say.

Disability Disclosure in/and Higher Education: Call for Papers - AUCD
This collection thus seeks to explore the richness of disability disclosure. Building on and extending the work of the "Disability Disclosure in/and Higher Education" conference, this work will explore questions about disability disclosures in all corners of higher education, from a variety of theoretical, methodological, conceptual, and (multi)(inter)disciplinary perspectives. By providing wide-ranging explorations of disability disclosure, this collection will highlight how disability in higher education is not an issue relevant only to those who have disabilities, but one which has far-reaching consequences across higher education. Deadline for Submissions: October 15, 2014

UCEDDs Take Part in a Thank You Video for Senator Harkin for his Dedication of People with Disabilities - AUCD
On July 16, 2014, the Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs (ATAP) presented this " Thank You to Senator Harkin! " video in recognition of the Senator's work on the developing and sustaining this national network. More than a dozen UCEDDs are lead entities on the implementation of the AT Act in their state.
July 21, 2014

Support for Caregivers: Nonprofit Organizational Representative Payee Supports Caregivers and Beneficiaries in Need - PRNewswire

SUGAR LAND, Texas, July 21, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Nearly 30 percent of the adult population in America (65.7 million) is responsible for providing care to someone who is ill, disabled or aged, according to recent studies by The National Alliance for Caregiving.  The need...



seedchange Announces Funding of UNYQ Six Weeks After Online Product Launch - PRNewswire
SAN FRANCISCO, July 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- seedchange announced that UNYQ Design, Inc. completed its first funding round, raising $1,050,000 from strategic and individual investors in the United States, Europe and Asia. UNYQ lets amputees design high-quality, customized covers for...

Long Island Nursing Home The LUX at Medford Celebrates Healthcare Hospitality Week 2014 - PRNewswire
MEDFORD, N.Y., July 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- With summer well underway The LUX at Medford cordially welcomes the community to come and join in celebrating Healthcare Hospitality Week 2014. On July 20th through the 26th, The LUX at Medford opens its doors wide and welcomes physicians,...

Medford Nursing Home Facility Operator Norman Rausman Debuts The LUX, A Reinvented Approach to Rehab - PRNewswire
MEDFORD, N.Y., July 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- It has always been the goal at The LUX at Medford to assist residents in regaining their maximum level of function and to enable their return home after regaining the highest possible level of independence. The goal became a reality when...

Justice Department Developing Disability Training For Police - DisabiltyScoop
Plans are in the works at the U.S. Department of Justice to roll out law enforcement training focused on people with disabilities.
July 18, 2014

Get Smart about Higher Education and Disability Services - PRNewswire
SHORT HILLS, N.J., July 18, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is being released by Nate Herpich on behalf of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Paralysis Resource Center (PRC): The PRC is a national resource which provides a road map of complimentary services...

ADA 25th Anniversary Legacy Tour debuts at Abilities Expo, July 25-27 with Press Conference and Mayoral Proclamation - PRNewswire
HOUSTON, July 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- To commemorate the upcoming 25th anniversary of the historic passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA25), the long-anticipated ADA Legacy Tour will kick off at Abilities Expo Houston on July 25, 2014 at NRG Center (formerly Reliant...

Guide Dogs Appoints RAPP to Brand Work - PRNewswire
LONDON, July 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- RAPP wins combined media and creative brand account    Guide Dogs has appointed RAPP to handle the combined media and creative accounts for its integrated brand campaign. RAPP will handle all brand activity for the UK charity, which...

Nordstrom Spotlights Models With Disabilities - DisabiltyScoop
To hype its trendiest looks for fall, Nordstrom is turning to models with various disabilities clad in everything from designer boots to kids' fashions.

Cerebral Palsy May Run In Families, Study Finds - DisabiltyScoop
Genes may play a bigger role in cerebral palsy than previously thought with researchers finding heightened risk in siblings and other relatives of those with the condition.

Introducing Melody Imoh: New AUCD Program Assistant - AUCD
AUCD warmly welcomes Melody Imoh to our staff as a Program Assistant! Melody brings a wealth of experience and will provide programmatic and operations support across all of AUCD's programs and departments.

Autism CARES Act - AUCD
The Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education, and Support Act of 2014 or the Autism CARES Act (H.R. 4631; S. 2449) will reauthorize the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act of 2011 for five years.
July 17, 2014

Pennsylvania Office of Inspector General Recovers $7.3 Million in Medical Assistance Long Term Care Funds - PRNewswire
HARRISBURG, Pa., July 17, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Inspector General Michael A. Sprow announced today that the Office of Inspector General recovered more than $7.3 million in taxpayer funds for the fiscal year 2013-2014 from individuals who were ineligible to receive long term care...

U.S. Census Bureau Facts for Features: Anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act: July 26 - PRNewswire

WASHINGTON, July 17, 2104 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On July 26, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodations, commercial facilities,...



Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Awards 73 Nonprofit Organizations Quality of Life Grants - PRNewswire
SHORT HILLS, N.J., July 17, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, a leading nonprofit dedicated to enhancing care and improving quality of life for individuals living with paralysis, announced it has awarded $537,550 in Quality of Life grants to 73...

Feds Clarify Obligations To Kids With Autism - DisabiltyScoop
In what advocates are calling a major win, federal officials are for the first time telling states that Medicaid coverage must include treatments like ABA for children with autism.
July 16, 2014

Embracing Diversity In Celebration Of The Americans With Disabilities Act - PRNewswire
SACRAMENTO, Calif., July 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- If you listen carefully, you'll hear individuals, businesses and communities in Northern California joining together and embracing diversity as a tribute to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Disability Awareness Day. On...

Seattle Seahawks Running Back Supports Children Born With Microtia - PRNewswire

LOS ANGELES, July 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Seattle Seahawks running back, Derrick Coleman, Jr. enjoyed a fun afternoon tossing the football and signing T-shirts with children having Microtia (born without one or both ears) and their families at Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes, California...



Travel Advantage Network Assists Individuals with Disabilities - PRNewswire
MILLERSVILLE, Md., July 16, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Travel Advantage Network, a vacation accommodations program, selects a charity each month and fundraises for the chosen charity through a variety of activities. For the month of June, the company supported Abilities Network, a...

Ropes & Gray Ranked #1 for Diversity in 2015 Vault Survey - PRNewswire
NEW YORK, July 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2015 Vault Guide announced that Ropes & Gray has been ranked #1 for overall diversity among U.S. law firms. This is the sixth year in a row that Ropes & Gray has ranked in the Vault top five for overall diversity. Ropes & Gray...

Mobility Ventures Unveils the MV-1 LX The World's First 'Purpose-Built' Universally-Wheelchair Accessible Luxury Vehicle - PRNewswire

SOUTH BEND, Ind., July 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Mobility Ventures, an AM General company, is breaking new barriers with the launch of the MV-1 LX, the first luxury vehicle in the United States designed and built exclusively for people with disabilities. The MV-1 LX has broad...



International Coach Federation Video Spotlights Innovative Coach Training Program - PRNewswire
LEXINGTON, Ky., July 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- As an Executive Coach and the founder of the coaching and training firm Team Power, International Coach Federation (ICF) Master Certified Coach Elena Espinal (Mexico) has partnered with a variety of well-known private- and public-sector...

AUCD Welcomes White House Disability Liaison Taryn Williams - AUCD
"[Taryn] is brilliant, passionate, and outcome-oriented. I cannot imagine a better person to help the White House engage with the disability community as they pursue President Obama's robust agenda," said Andy Imparato, AUCD's Executive Director.

In Debate Over Institutions, Residents Rarely Heard - DisabiltyScoop
As states increasingly close down institutions, one resident who's being forced to move says people like her are often left with few choices.
July 15, 2014

Blind Match Racing World Championships to be held on Lake Michigan in Sheboygan, Wisconsin this September - PRNewswire
SHEBOYGAN, Wis., July 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Some of the world's best sailors will compete for the Blind Match Racing World Championship this September in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.  What is different about this international race is that all sailors are blind. IFDS (The International...

Advance LA to hold its 2nd annual Conference for Young Adults - PRNewswire
SHERMAN OAKS, Calif., July 15, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Help Group's Advance LA is pleased to announce its 2nd annual Advance LA Day for Young Adults Conference, being held on Saturday, July 19th, 9:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m., at American Jewish...

White House Adds New Disability Adviser - DisabiltyScoop
A fresh face is on board at the White House tasked with focusing on disability issues.

Oldest Known Case Of Down Syndrome Offers Insights - DisabiltyScoop
Scientists say they're gaining an understanding of how ancient people treated those with Down syndrome after unearthing the remains of a 1,500-year-old skeleton with features of the disorder.

NC Families Demand Better Autism Insurance At Capital Rally - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

Liz Feld urges BCBS to drop it's opposition in open letter

July 15, 2014

RALEIGH, NC (July 15, 2014) -- With time running short in the current legislative session, families from around North Carolina rallied at the Capitol today to demand the state Senate consider an autism insurance reform bill already passed twice by the House.

At the rally, Autism Speaks President Liz Feld issued an open letter to Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of North Carolina to drop its opposition and cover autism treatment as is done in 37 other states.During the time North Carolina lawmakers have battled over the bill, five other states plus the U.S. Virgin Islands have enacted insurance reform laws, while another six states have strengthened their existing laws.

"We are facing aggressive and expensive opposition for this coverage from Blue Cross Blue Shield and your team of lobbyists," Feld wrote in her letter to BCBS President J. Bradley Wilson. "Historically, BCBShas been committed to supporting the 'most vulnerable' in our society.

"Those living with an autism spectrum disorder need your commitment to include them," Feld said, in urging BCBS to support the bill. "North Carolina residents should not suffer without autism insurance, while residents in 37 other states receive fair coverage."

The open letter coincides with an aggressive newspaper ad campaign launched this week by Autism Speaks taking on BCBS and urging passage.

The North Carolina House of Representatives twice since 2013 has passed legislation that would require state-regulatedprivate health insurers to cover autism treatments, such as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) as well as speech, occupational and physical therapies. BCBS continues to argue that ABA is "experimental" and should be provided in schools at taxpayer expense.

In the House, Speaker Thom Tillis has championed the bill, leading its passage in that chamber and working with Senate leadershipto move the bill in that chamber. In a recent poll commissioned by Autism Speaks, 82 percent of North Carolinians supported autism insurance reform.

The original bill, HB.498, was approved 105-7 last year by the House then referred to the Senate Insurance Committee, chaired by Sen. Tom Apodaca. The bill was never heard.

This year, the House added the autism bill into a Senate regulatory reform bill, SB.493, and returned it to the Senate. The measurewas referred to the Rules and Operations Committee, also chaired by Apodaca.

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Autism Speaks Takes On 'Big Insurance' In NC With Ad Campaign - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

Newspapers ads counter false arguments against autism insurance reform

July 15, 2014

RALEIGH, NC(July 14, 2014) – Autism Speaks, the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization, today announced the launch of newspaper advertisements supporting families affected by autism in their fight towards autism insurance reform in the North Carolina Legislature. The North Carolina Housetwice in two years has passed reform bills, but the Senate has refused to take up the issue.

The ads lay out the medical and economic facts of applied behavior analysis (ABA) that have been misrepresented by Blue Cross Blue Shield and other opponents to autism insurance reform in this year's short session. They also highlight the overwhelming 82 percent public support for this legislation in recent polling.

“It is shameless that Big Insurance companies are fighting against efforts to help children and their families who pay thousands of dollars a year in premiums for coverage that provides no meaningful autism benefits,” said Lorri Unumb, Autism Speaks' vice president for state government affairs. “The Senate must not stand for these barefaced lies and work with the House in finding a solution to help the 1 and 58 children affected with autism across the state.”

In both the 2013 and 2014 sessions the House has passed insurance reform bills, only to see the effort stalled by inaction in the Senate. During that time, Minnesota, Oregon, Utah, Nebraska, Maryland and the U.S. Virgin Islands have enacted reform, while six other states, including Texas and Kansas, have strengthened their original laws.

“How is it that leading medical professionals and 37 other states have concluded the same thing, yet Blue Cross continues to look the other way,” said Unumb. “It's time for the North Carolina Senate to stand with thousands of families who pay $60,000 a year out of pocket forcing some to move out of state.”

Researchers from the UNC Institute for Development Disabilities, American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Institute for Mental Health, the U.S. Surgeon General and countless other professional organizations have all endorsed ABA as an evidence-based treatment that has advanced the development and quality of life for generations of children with autism.

The ads will run Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.


Special Education Funding Lopsided, Report Finds - DisabiltyScoop
The level of federal special education funding sent to states varies widely thanks to an outdated model that favors some locales over others, a new report finds.
July 14, 2014

Three Genesis HealthCare Centers Earn Prestigious Silver Award for Significant Commitment To Quality Care - PRNewswire
KENNETT SQUARE, Pa., July 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Genesis HealthCare, one of the nation's largest providers of skilled nursing and rehabilitation, today announced that three of its Centers have been recognized as recipients of the Silver – Achievement in Quality Award...

Home Care Agency NYC, All Heart Home Care Agency Offers Tips on Staying Cool This Summer - PRNewswire
BROOKLYN, N.Y., July 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- All Heart Home Care Agency, a home care agency NYC offering full service, offers tips for the elderly and disabled on minimizing their exposure to summer heat at home. Following this advice can help reduce the risk of suffering from heat...

Employers missing out: skilled workers with disabilities being overlooked - PRNewswire
Workers with disabilities provide significant benefits to business OTTAWA, July 14, 2014 /CNW/ - Employers consistently overlook a skilled, stable and underutilized segment of the workforce - people with disabilities. According to new research by The Conference Board of Canada,...

South Dakota Adds Consultant To Autism Study - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

Study ordered by Legislature to be completed by Nov. 15

July 14, 2014

(July 14, 2014) -- The South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation (DLR) has hired Health Management Associates to assist with a study on autism treatment and insurance. State agencies began the study in April in response to a billenacted by the Legislature after the Senate refused to consider an autism insurance reform measure passed 57-12 by the House.

The completed study is to be presented to the Governor and the Legislature by November 15. It is being led by the DLR and the state Department of Human Services (DHS).

“A critical part of the process will be considering the many points of view on this issue that exist in South Dakota,” saidDHS SecretaryGloria Pearson. “We need to hear from families, advocacy groups, legislators, policy leaders and others affected by autism spectrum disorders.”

The study willexplore the availability and certification of providers, medicallyaccepted treatments and outcomes, and the costs and benefits of autism services for children.

“The state will also look at the impact of requiring insurance plans to cover the various services associated with autism spectrum disorder so policy makers can make informed decisions,” said DLR Secretary Marcia Hultman.

Based on experience gathered from the 37 states that now require certain private insurers to cover autism treatment, the cost impact has been found to average 31 cents per member per month, or roughly the cost of a 6-piece Chicken McNuggets meal per year.Missouri, in the latest of its annual reports assessing the impact of its 2010 law, found that autism coverage accounted for0.2 percent of total claims costs in the state.

Of the 37 states that have enacted reform, four border South Dakota, including Nebraska which passed its law earlier this year.


Self-Advocates Train To Have Safe Encounters With Police - DisabiltyScoop
Beyond training police officers, there is a new effort underway to prepare people with developmental disabilities for potential encounters with law enforcement.
July 12, 2014

Canadian Paralympic Committee wins Most Valuable Amateur Sport Property award - PRNewswire
OTTAWA, July 11, 2014 /CNW/ - The Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) is thrilled to have won the 2014 Most Valuable Amateur Sport Property award at the Canadian Sponsorship Forum earlier today. The distinction marks the first time the CPC has won the prestigious award created in...

AUCD Strategic Map 2014 - AUCD
The AUCD Strategic Map is intended as a high level view of the vision, focus, and priorities of our organization and network over the next 2-3 years. This map can serve as a guide for our collective work and mission. Your feedback is welcomed through September 2, 2014.
July 10, 2014

Disney Wants Disability Access Suit Thrown Out - DisabiltyScoop
Disney is fighting allegations that changes to its policy for accommodating people with disabilities at its theme parks are in violation of the ADA.

Voters With Special Needs Allegedly Disenfranchised - DisabiltyScoop
Thousands of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are being illegally denied the right to vote, advocates say.

Celebrating Eunice Kennedy Shriver - AUCD
Eunice Kennedy Shriver strove to create a world where all people are included and supported, and played a key role in the creation of our network of LENDs, UCEDDs, and IDDRCs. On the anniversary of her birthday, take a moment to remember her and ask what you can do to be a leader in improving the lives of people with disabilities.

Employment Opportunity: Program Manager, Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), Silver Spring, MD - AUCD
AUCD is currently seeking a dynamic individual to serve as a Program Manager working under the supervision of the Director, Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Technical Assistance. The individual filling this position will manage technical assistance activities of AUCD's cooperative agreement with the Maternal Child Health Bureau (MCHB).

Founding Member Of Legal Resource Center Joins Federal Bench - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

Senate confirms Cheryl Krause for 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals

July 10, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC (July 10, 2014) -- The Senate has confirmed Philadelphia attorney, Cheryl Krause, a founding member of the Autism Speaks Legal Resource Center,to serve on the 3rd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals whose jurisdiction includes Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

"We are thrilled for Cheryl, but will miss her invaluable contributionsprotecting the rights ofthe autismcommunity," said Dan Unumb, executive director of the Autism Speaks Legal Resource Center. "We wish her well in achieving this prestigious position."

Krause wrote a friend-of-the-court brief for Autism Speaks submitted in Burke v Independence Blue Cross that is now before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The case is an appeal of a lower court ruling that families have no right to appeal adverse decisions on insurance claims, but insurance companies do. The matter involves a boy with autism whose family was denied coverage for ABA provided by his parochial school.

In addition, Krause played a key role negotiating a settlement in a federal class action lawsuit against the Philadelphia School District involving the transfer of students withautism between schools to assure greater parent involvement.

A partner with the Philadelphia law firm Dechert LLP,Krause was nominated to the bench by President Barack Obama in February. Her nomination was approved 93-0 by the Senate on Monday.

“I am humbled and grateful to President Obama and the Senate, and in particular (Pennsylvania) Senators (Robert) Casey and (Pat) Toomey, for this opportunity to return to public service and am deeply honored to join the esteemed bench of this Court. I look forward to continuing its traditions of excellence and collegiality,” said Krause, who is a 1989 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and a 1993 graduate of Stanford Law School.

Krause previously served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and as a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court JusticeAnthony M. Kennedy. While a partner at Dechert, Krause has contributedpro bono work,representing disabled children in partnership with the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia (PILCOP) andleading Dechert's partnership with the University of Pennsylvania Law School in a project that supervises law students in providing appeals support for indigent defendants.


Congress Passes Bill Limiting Sheltered Workshop Eligibility - DisabiltyScoop
A bill that would significantly limit young people with disabilities from entering sheltered workshop programs is headed to President Barack Obama's desk.
July 9, 2014

Rethinking College: 25 Minute Film Available Online - AUCD
Rethinking College is a 25 minute film produced by Think College that explores the growing movement to include students with intellectual disabilities in higher education. Through the perspectives of parents, educators, advocates, policy leaders, and most importantly, students, this film illustrates how colleges and universities can provide a setting for all students to grow, learn and build toward better futures.

Clarification of Medicaid Coverage of Services to Children with Autism - AUCD
Today The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released an informational bulletin with respect to services available under the Medicaid program to children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

MCHB's Division of MCH Workforce Development Highlights Diversity and Health Equity - AUCD
For the month of July, MCHB's DMCHWD website highlights diversity and health equity resources from across the portfolio of training programs. Resources from MCHB, the National Center on Cultural Competence, the MCH Navigator, and individual training programs are included, along with articles from trainees of diverse backgrounds reflecting on how their training experience shaped their work and future.

Carol A. Harnett Named President of Council for Disability Awareness - PRNewswire

PORTLAND, Maine, July 9, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Council for Disability Awareness today announced it has appointed Carol A. Harnett, a widely respected consultant, speaker, writer and trendspotter in the fields of employee benefits, absence and disability management, and...



Feds Concerned Over Increased Leeway For IEP Teams - DisabiltyScoop
A move to give IEP teams in one state more latitude over determining graduation requirements for students with disabilities is raising red flags.
July 8, 2014

Fortune 500 Companies Recruit Talent at CAREERS & the disABLED Magazine's Career Expo - PRNewswire
NEW YORK, July 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Equal Opportunity Publications, Inc. (EOP), the leading publisher of diversity recruitment print and online magazines, announces registration is open for CAREERS & the disABLED Magazine's Career Expo, July 18 at the Wyndham New Yorker Hotel in...

Study: Vaccines Safe, Problems ‘Extremely Rare' - DisabiltyScoop
Further allaying fears about a link between vaccines and autism, a systematic review finds that immunizations are generally safe and that the benefits far outweigh risks.

Major Medicaid Breakthrough Announced For Autism - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

States directed to cover medically necessary treatments

July 08, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC (July 8, 2014) -- In a major policy change for Medicaid coverage of autism, a federal agency has directed the states tocover medically necessary treatments for autism for children and young adults,including behavioral health treatments such as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). An estimated one-third of all children with autism receive primary coverage through Medicaid.

The policy changeby the Centers for Medicare & MedicaidServices (CMS) makes clear thatautism treatment must now be addressed within the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT)services of Medicaid which covers low-income individuals up to the age of 21. Because Medicaid is a joint state/federal program, benefits can vary widely from state to state. EPSDT, however, is mandatory.

"The time for walling off EPSDT from autism is over," said Melissa Harris, a CMS official who briefed the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee on thechanges yesterday.

"All children, including children with ASD, must receive EPSDT screenings designed to identify health and developmental issues, including ASD, as early as possible," the CMS policy directs."EPSDT also requires medically necessary diagnostic and treatment services.When a screening examination indicates the need for further evaluation of a child's health, the child should be appropriately referred for diagnosis and treatment without delay.

"Ultimately, the goal of EPSDT is to assure that children get the health care they need, when they need it – the right care to the right child at the right time in the right setting," according to CMS.

Among the autism treatments referenced were speech, occupational and physical therapies.

Dan Unumb, the executive director of the Autism Speaks Legal Resource Center, said the new CMS policy "recognizes that this may have implications for state waiver programs, which are prohibited from covering required services, and indicates that CMS will provide additional technical assistance to states with waiver programs that may be impacted."

Unumb said another benefit of the CMS policy is that it allows services to be provided by both licensed and non-licensed practitioners.A number of states have refused to accept the national certification held by ABA practitioners, insisting instead that they also obtain a state license.


What Is Your State Doing About Autism? - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

Feds issue first state-by-state guide on services, insurance, Medicaid

July 08, 2014

ROCKVILLE, MD (July 8, 2014)-- Federal officials today presented the first state-by-state autism guide on insurance and Medicaid coverage, service delivery, transition services and more. The guide represents a 2012 snapshot of autism in each state, but does not evaluate or compare the quality of services between states or identify best practices.

Read the report here.

At a meeting of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee,Sonya Bowen with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)said the report took about three years to complete and set out to answer three questions for each state:

  • What are states and/or local government doing to provide services for people with ASD?
  • What are the types of services and supports that a person with ASD can access?
  • How are these supports and services funded?

"Prior to this report, there hasn't been a compendium of information across the states," Bowen said. "It's a starting point for where the states have gotten to."

Bowen said there is currently no funding to update the report and noted that researchers identified many gaps in information, particuarly with regards to adult and transition services:

  • What are the ASD-specific services adults need? States cite a lack of available services and supports for this cohort.
  • What activities and tools are in place to support seamless transition(s) from school to adult services (e.g., vocational rehabilitation, employment, other educational opportunities, tracking service history)?
  • How does transition from waiver services happen (for ASD-specific waivers and other waivers)? What is needed to ensure continued support for persons that have aged out of a waiver (e.g., continued case management)?
  • What options are available for those on the waiting list for waivers?
  • How do states with ASD-specific waivers ensure provider availability and access (e.g., applied behavior analysis therapists)?
  • Do all states with a private insurance mandate have providers who will accept private insurance? Is there language in any mandates that might make it prohibitively difficult for people to obtain covered services?
  • What are best practices for serving and transitioning those with ASD across the lifespan?

New International Caregivers Association (ICA) Changes the Course of Dementia Care - PRNewswire

MAPLETON, Maine, July 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The newly formed International Caregivers Association (ICA) has created a revolutionary dementia-care program that will reduce the cost of caring for patients with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias while simultaneously improving their...



EyeComTec Announces Availability of an ECTkeyboard - PRNewswire

GENEVA, July 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- EyeComTec (LAZgroup SA) Dedicated to creation of Assistive technology software, http://eyecomtec.com offers a wide range of products and services designed to enhance the lives of those with physical disabilities.      (Logo:...



Supreme Court Rules On Disability Caregivers - DisabiltyScoop
In a case that could have broad implications, the U.S. Supreme Court says home care workers -- including those caring for their own kids with special needs -- can't be forced to pay union dues.

Job Market Rough For People With Disabilities - DisabiltyScoop
Unemployment among Americans with disabilities inched up last month even as the overall job situation appeared to improve, the U.S. Department of Labor said.
July 7, 2014

U.S. Army Veteran and Automotive Sales Trainer Joe Verde Donates Over $77,000 to Help Place Canine Companions with Wounded Veterans - PRNewswire

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif., July 7, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Joe Verde Sales and Management Training, Inc., today announced that company president Joe Verde has donated a total of $77,900 to the Wounded Veterans Initiative of Oceanside-based Canine Companions for Independence, a nonprofit...



La tecnología y varias herramientas pueden ayudar a las personas mayores con poca visión a mantener su independencia - PRNewswire

SAN FRANCISCO, 7 de julio de 2014 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ -- Cada día, aproximadamente 10,000 norteamericanos cumplen 65 años, y uno de cada seis adultos de esa edad y más tiene una deficiencia de la vista que no se puede corregir con anteojos o lentes de contacto[1]....



Validity Of CDC Autism Rates Questioned - DisabiltyScoop
With autism numbers rising every few years, some researchers in the field are sharply questioning the reliability of the government statistics.

2014 AUCD Award Nominations - AUCD
Who do you know that deserves recognition? Nominate an outstanding individual, group, or program today for an AUCD award.
July 3, 2014

Poll: 82% Support In North Carolina For Autism Insurance Bill - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

Approved twice by House, bill continues to languish in Senate

July 03, 2014

Raleigh, NC (July 3, 2014) –North Carolinians overwhelmingly support insurance coverage for autism, according to asurveyconducted by the conservative polling firm, Public Opinion Strategies. Legislation requiring the coverage has twice passed the state House of Representatives, but continues to languish in the Senate.

Poll results indicate that 82 percent of North Carolina voters support requiring private health insurance companies to cover the treatment of autism. The results further show that the widespread support for the issue extends across ideological and political party lines.

See the poll results here.

Autism affects 1 in 58 children in North Carolina. And while the most effective, proven tool used to treat autism is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), most insurance plans do not cover ABA treatment in North Carolina, as they do in 37 other states. ABA is an intensive, one-on-one treatment that, according to decades of research, can help nearly half of young children with autism achieve normal functioning.In the Legislature, SB.493 has been amended by the Houseto include autism insurance coverage and now awaits concurrence from the Senate.

“The poll confirms what we have believed all along: that North Carolinians want children with autism to have meaningful health insurance coverage,” said Lorri Unumb, Autism Speaks' vice president for state government affairs. “I've been working on this for five years in North Carolina and have heard from families all across the state who desperately need this coverage.This bill will be a lifesaver for thousands of families in North Carolina.”

The poll also shows, by a 39 to 11 percent margin, that North Carolina voters would be more likely to re-elect their state legislator if they knew he/she voted to require that private insurance companies cover the treatment of autism.

“An overwhelming majority of North Carolina voters, across all demographic groups, support the pending state legislation requiring private insurers to treat autism,” said Public Opinion Strategies, “And, by nearly a four-to-one margin, voters are more likely to reward their state legislator at the polls this November for their support of this issue.”

The poll included arguments in opposition to autism insurance reform, such as increased cost to small businesses and the addition of a “mandate,” and North Carolinians still overwhelmingly supported the bill.

This poll was a comprehensive, statewide telephone study among 600 likely voters commissioned by Autism Speaks, the world's leading autism awareness and advocacy organization from May 21-22, 2014. The margin of error is + 4.0 percent.


Waisman Center (WI) Welcomes William E. MacLean, Jr., PhD, as Associate Director - AUCD
Dr. MacLean is currently a professor of psychology at the University of Wyoming and executive director of the Wyoming Institute for Disabilities, also a UCEDD. He will replace Dan Bier, MPA, MSW, CAE, who is retiring in July after 15 years as UCEDD associate director.

New Act Early Ambassadors Selected - AUCD
30 new Act Early Ambassadors have been selected from a group of highly qualified applicants to represent twenty-nine states. Ambassadors will serve as a state, territory or organizational point-of-contact for CDC's national "Learn the Signs. Act Early." (LTSAE) program; support the work of Act Early Teams and other state or national initiatives to improve early identification of developmental delay and disability; and promote adoption and integration of LTSAE resources, including materials to support developmental monitoring.

The Meaning of Brown vs. Board of Education for Children with Disabilities - AUCD
Tony Antosh, Director of the Sherlock Center in Rhode Island, and AUCD's Executive Director Andy Imparato collaborated on this guest post for the American Constitution Society about the meaning of 'Brown v. Board of Education' for children with disabilities.

Center for Development and Disability (NM) Welcomes Marcia Moriarta, PsyD, as New Executive Director - AUCD
The CDD is part of the Department of Pediatrics in the UNM Health Sciences Center and provides a wide array of services, training and resources to support people with disabilities and their families from throughout New Mexico. Dr. Moriarta will replace Cate McClain, MD, the CDD's long-time Director who will be retiring July 1, 2014.

Rural Institute (MT UCEDD) Researchers present update to Interagency Committee on Disability Statistics - AUCD
The University of Montana Rural Institute on Disabilities presented an update on their recent research activities to a subcommittee of the Federal Interagency Committee on Disability Statistics on May 7, 2014. Lillie Greiman, M.A., and Catherine Ipsen, Ph.D., presented "Using National Data to Describe the Context of Rural Disability and Inform Policy and Practice."

President Obama Announces Key Administration Posts to the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities - AUCD
President Obama recently announced his intent to appoint several individuals to key Administration posts on the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities. Julie Petty will be appointed as the Committee Chair, and several individuals with network ties are expected to also be appointed. AUCD is proud that so many of the appointees have network ties and congratulates them all!

Twinsburg's Peak Potential Therapy Offers Specialized Summer Camps for Kids with Autism and Related Disabilities - PRNewswire
TWINSBURG, Ohio, July 3, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- For families with children who have been diagnosed with autism or other disabilities, the normal activities of summer – camp, family outings and other activities can be a serious challenge. To make the summer more enjoyable,...

Irving Oil and New England Special Olympics Celebrate 15 Year Partnership - More than $2.8 Million Raised, Irving Oil Aims to Reach $3 Million This Year - PRNewswire
PORTSMOUTH, NH, July 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ - To celebrate 15 years as a Special Olympics partner, Irving Oil will be contributing a portion of its fuel sales from July 2 to August 5 to the Special Olympics chapters of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and...
July 2, 2014

US Paralympic track athlete Erik Hightower breaks American record and has his racing wheelchair stolen the following day. - PRNewswire
CINCINNATI, July 2, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- June 28th, 2014 proved to be the beginning of a whirlwind 24 hours for US Paralympian Erik Hightower. That morning he competed at the Indy International in Indianapolis in the 100m T54 category of wheelchair racing beating the American...

U.S. District Court Approves Settlement; Individuals With Mental Illness To Live In Community-Based Residences With Support - PRNewswire
HARTFORD, Conn., July 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Approximately 130 people with mental illnesses currently housed in two nursing homes in Connecticut will be able to live in community residences and receive appropriate support services under a settlement approved today by a federal...
July 1, 2014

Achilles Receives Cigna Foundation Grant to Study Effect of Running on Autism - PRNewswire

BLOOMFIELD, Conn., July 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- A Cigna Foundation grant to Achilles International will help determine whether running holds the key to better mental and physical development for children with autism. The Cigna Foundation today announced its $100,000 World of...



US Drug Watchdog Advises All DePuy Pinnacle Hip Implant Recipients Who Have Had or Are Scheduled to Have Revision Surgery to Call Them If They Do Not Yet Have Legal Representation - PRNewswire

WASHINGTON, July 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The US Drug Watchdog is urging all DePuy Pinnacle hip implant recipients who have already had a surgery to replace this specific type of hip implant device, or a revision surgery has been scheduled, to call them immediately at...



Special Needs Group® / Special Needs at Sea® Continue Efforts to Provide Awareness for Special Needs Travel at National Federation of the Blind Annual Convention in Orlando, Fla. - PRNewswire

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., July 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- While the core mission of Special Needs Group® (SNG), www.specialneedsgroup.com, is to make travel a more viable, enjoyable, accessible experience for persons with special needs, just as vital to the company's success is to...



Former Deputy Secretary of Labor, LinkedIn VP, Business Leader to Contribute to UCP's Mission - UPC
  United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) elected ten members to its Board of Trustees during its 2014 Annual Conference in Nashville, Tennessee including three members new to the organization. Seth Harris, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Labor, Pablo Chavez, LinkedIn's Vice …
Read More
June 30, 2014

Supreme Court delivers major blow to government unions, Gov. Pat Quinn in Harris v. Quinn decision - PRNewswire
CHICAGO, June 30, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a groundbreaking ruling today on the case Harris v. Quinn. The Court's ruling states that state governments cannot force-unionize participants in state entitlement programs or force them to pay union dues...

CiCi's Pizza Teams Up With Special Olympics Georgia - PRNewswire
COPPELL, Texas, June 30, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Beginning tomorrow through the end of July, CiCi's Pizza, home of the endless buffet, will raise money for Special Olympics Georgia at three participating CiCi's restaurants in the state. Guests can purchase Special Olympics paper...

Institute on Disabilities at Temple Awarded an 'Exhibits and Public Interpretation Grant' from the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage - AUCD
In 2012, with support from the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, the Institute began the development of A Fierce Kind of Love, a play inspired by Pennsylvania�s Intellectual Disability Rights Movement.

Speak with Your Eyes - Innovative and Portable Device - PRNewswire
LISBON, Portugal, June 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/886924859/eyespeak-beyond-communication   LusoVU presents its new product, EyeSpeak, which will literally allow its users to talk with their eyes.  The system is based on Epson's BT200 smart...
June 28, 2014

Canada to play for gold at 2014 Women's World Wheelchair Basketball Championship in Toronto - PRNewswire
TORONTO, June 27, 2014 /CNW/ - Team Canada will face Germany for the gold medal at the 2014 Women's World Wheelchair Basketball Championship after a thrilling 75-74 win against the Netherlands on Friday at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto, Ont. With the win, Canada secures a...
June 27, 2014

$223 Million in 2013 Property Tax/Rent Rebates to be Distributed Starting July 1 to Older Adults, Residents with Disabilities - PRNewswire
HARRISBURG, Pa., June 27, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Nearly 473,000 older homeowners, renters and people with disabilities across Pennsylvania will be issued rebates totaling $223 million starting July 1, through the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program. "Property tax and rent rebate...

Many Parents Of Kids With Autism Have Autistic Traits Too - DisabiltyScoop
Parents of children with autism are more likely to exhibit traits of the developmental disorder themselves, new research suggests.
June 26, 2014

Student With Autism Gains Legal Win To Use Service Dog - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

U.S. Justice Department settles with NJ school district that banned service dog from classes, school activities

June 26, 2014

(June 26, 2014) -- A New Jersey school district that barred a student with autism from bringing his service dog to classes and after-school activitieshas agreed to reverse its policy under a settlement reached with the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ). The school's ban was found to bein violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

“The old view of service animals working only as guide dogs for individuals who are blind has given way to a new generation of service animals trained to perform tasks that further autonomy and independence for individuals with a myriad of disabilities,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels for the Civil Rights Division. “The Civil Rights Division will vigorously enforce the ADA to ensure that students who use service animals have a full and equal opportunity to participate in all school activities with their peers.”

Under the settlement, the Delran School Districtwill adopt an ADA-compliant policy for service animals and traindesignated staff on thedistrict's obligations underthe ADA, including requirements related to service dogs. The school district, which was credited with working with DoJ on reaching a settlement, will also pay the boy's family $10,000 in compensation.

In its civil rights investigation, the DoJ found that the boy'sservice dog alerts to the student's seizures, provides mobility and body support, and mitigatessymptoms of his autism. The dog wastrained to preventwandering, to disrupt stimming, and to apply deep pressure to prevent or limit meltdowns.

"The student's mother spent six months responding to burdensome requests for information and documentation, and still the school district refused to allow the student to be accompanied by his service dog," the DoJ said in a statement about the settlement. "Despite her efforts, the student was even prevented from bringing his service dog with him on the bus for his school's end of the year field trip.Instead, his mother followed the school bus with the service dog in her car."

Under the settlement, Delran was allowed to change its policies withoutadmitting liability or wrong-doing.


Sheltered Workshop Eligibility May Soon Be Limited - DisabiltyScoop
Federal lawmakers are moving forward with a plan to require most students with disabilities to try competitive employment before they could be employed by sheltered workshops.

Family's Complaint Prompts Insurer To Drop ‘R-Word' - DisabiltyScoop
A major health insurer has agreed to stop using the term "mental retardation" after a family complained when the phrase was used to describe their daughter's condition.
June 25, 2014

Twenty-four Genesis HealthCare Centers Earn Prestigious Bronze Award for Significant Commitment To Quality Care - PRNewswire
KENNETT SQUARE, Pa., June 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Genesis HealthCare, one of the nation's largest providers of skilled nursing and rehabilitation, today announced that 24 of its Centers have been recognized as recipients of the Bronze National Quality Award presented by the American...

Governor Scott Signs Historic Law to Provide Attorneys for Dependent Children with Special Needs; Florida's Most Vulnerable Children Will Have a Voice Beginning July 1, 2014 - PRNewswire
TALLAHASSEE, Fla., June 25, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed into law a measure that will provide attorneys to protect dependent children with special needs who are in the legal custody of the Florida Department of Children and Families...

Curriculum Associates' BRIGANCE® Screens III Approved by Nevada Department of Health and Human Services - PRNewswire
NORTH BILLERICA, Mass., June 25, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Curriculum Associates' BRIGANCE® Screens III has been approved by the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) as part of its early intervention services to meet Part C of the Individuals with...

Autism CARES Teed Up For Final Senate Vote - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

Senate HELP Committee quickly approves bill hours after House passage

June 25, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC (June 25, 2014) -- Less than 24 hours after being approved by the House, legislation renewing the federal government's funding response to autism for another five years cleared Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. It heads now to the Senate floor.

Called Autism CARES, the Senate bill,(S.2449), is sponsored by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), and Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY). The bill would reauthorize the 2006 Combating Autism Act through the 2019 federal budget, calling for $260 million annually in new federal funding, a revamped Interagency Autism Coordinating Council (IACC), and an initiative to address the growing needs of adults with autism. The legislation would also institute stronger accountability controls over the use of federal funding.

Autism Speaks President Liz Feld meets with Senator Menendez (photo right) prior to the House and Senate committee actions

"Autism Speaks thanks Senators Menendez and Enzi, along with the HELP Committee chairman, Sen. Tom Harkin, for keeping the momentum going behind this bill which is so vital to the future of our nation's autism community," said Autism Speaks President Liz Feld. "With the deadline for Congress to complete action now less than 100 days away, we take heart in the leadership demonstrated by these champions to get the job done."

Autism Speaks is part of a coalition of dozens of national disabilities organizations urging Congressional approval of Autism CARES. Other groups include the American Academy of Pediatrics, The Arc, Easter Seals, the March of Dimes, the Autism Society of America, and the Association of University Centers on Disabilities.

The House bill (HR.4631) was introduced just five weeks ago and gained final floor approval last night by voice vote. Amendments drafted by the Senate for S.2449 were incorporatedinto the House bill in order to expedite action.

The new reauthorization bill proposes:

  • Dedicating another five years of federal funding for autism activities at an annual level of $260 million
  • Designating an official in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to implement the IACC's strategic plan
  • Directing HHS, with input from the autism community, to examine the demographics and transition needs of adults on the autism spectrum

Canada to collide with Australia in quarter-finals at 2014 Women's World Wheelchair Basketball Championship in Toronto - PRNewswire
TORONTO, June 24, 2014 /CNW/ - Team Canada will face Australia in the quarter-finals at the 2014 Women's World Wheelchair Basketball Championship following a 59-52 victory over Great Britain on Tuesday at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto, Ont. Canada finished in second place...

Autism Act Clears House - DisabiltyScoop
Congress is one step closer to renewing the nation's primary autism legislation.

House Passes Autism CARES Act Today - AUCD
"AUCD is so pleased to see that Congress has worked in a bipartisan, bicameral way to reach consensus on a bill to reauthorize a law that is so important to so many people with ASD and other DD and their families," stated Kim Musheno, AUCD's Director of Public Policy. "We hope the Senate will take quick action as well."

Autism CARES Rolls Out Of House, Senate Hearing On Tap - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

Autism Speaks lauds legislation that would protect federal autism investment another five years

June 24, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC (June 24, 2014) -- The U.S. House of Representatives tonight approved a five-year extension of federal funding for autism research, monitoring and other activities with strong bipartisan support. A Senate committee plans to take up the bill tomorrow as Congress races a September 30 deadline to get final legislation before President Obama.

Called Autism CARES, the House and Senate bills, would reauthorize the 2006Combating Autism Act through the 2019 federal budget,calling for $260 million annually in new federal funding, a revamped Interagency Autism Coordinating Council (IACC), and an initiative to address the growing needs of adults with autism. The legislation would also institute stronger accountability controls over theuse of federal funding.

"Autism Speaks expresses its gratitude to the House of Representatives and our bipartisan champions, Reps.Chris Smith (R-NJ)and Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA), fordeliveringthe support and priority attention this legislation demands," said Autism Speaks President Liz Feld."Autism is this nation's fastest growing neuro-developmental disability and now costs the United States $239 billion a year. Doing nothing is not an option."

Autism Speaks is part of a coalition of dozens of national disabilities organizations urging Congressional approval of Autism CARES. Other groups include the American Academy of Pediatrics, The Arc, Easter Seals, the March of Dimes, the Autism Society of America, and the Association of University Centers on Disabilities.

The House bill (HR.4631) was introduced just five weeks ago, attracted over 80 bipartisan co-sponsorsand cleared the Energy and Commerce Committee (E&C) with amendments incorporating changes in the Senate bill (S.2449). "Autism Speaks thanks the E&C Chair, Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) and Ranking Member, Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ), for their expeditious consideration of this vital legislation and the Senate amendments," Feld said.

The bill was approved last night by voice vote by the House.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee has scheduled a hearing tomorrow on S.2449, sponsored by Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Mike Enzi (R-WY). Once voted out of committee, the bill would be lined up for final Congressional action on the Senate floor.

The new reauthorization bill proposes:

  • Dedicating another five years of federal funding for autism activities at an annual level of $260 million
  • Designating an official in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to implement the IACC's strategic plan
  • Directing HHS, withinput from the autism community, to examine the demographics and transition needs of adults on the autism spectrum

“Previous autism law including the Combating Autism Act of 2011 made critical investments—continued by this bill—that are working to determine the causes of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), identify autistic children as early as possible to begin treatment, raise critical awareness and develop new therapies and effective services,” said Smith. Click here to read Smith's floor statement.

Doyle said, "We have made tremendous advances in understanding Autism Spectrum Disorders – but this progress will be lost if Congress allows these programs expire. That is why it's so important that Congress pass common-sense, bipartisan, bicameral legislation like the bill before us today."

June 24, 2014

Senator Calls For Expansion Of Community-Based Services - DisabiltyScoop
A new proposal in the U.S. Senate would eliminate a government bias toward placing people with disabilities in institutional rather than community-based settings.

Most States Deficient In Special Education - DisabiltyScoop
Federal education officials are dramatically altering the way they evaluate compliance with special education law and the change means far fewer states are living up to expectations.

Father and Son Racing Duo Inspire Teams to Get Active, Support UCP - UPC
United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) is honored to announce that Team Hoyt, Rick Hoyt of Sturbridge, MA and Dick Hoyt of Holland, MA, will serve as the 2014 Steptember event Ambassadors. Steptember is a four-week event to raise awareness and support for …
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Autism Linked To Pesticide Exposure During Pregnancy - DisabiltyScoop
A new study is adding to evidence that prenatal exposure to pesticides may significantly increase a child's risk of autism.
June 23, 2014

Schneider Disability Reporting Contest Is Now Open - PRNewswire

PHOENIX, June 23, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Center on Disability and Journalism at Arizona State University is accepting entries for the second annual Katherine Schneider Journalism Award for Excellence in Reporting on Disability. Administered by the NCDJ at the...



Canada Conquers China For Third Straight Victory At 2014 Women's World Wheelchair Basketball Championship In Toronto - PRNewswire
TORONTO, June 22, 2014 /CNW/ - Team Canada captured its third consecutive win at the 2014 Women's World Wheelchair Basketball Championship with a 76-53 victory over China on Sunday at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto, Ont. The Canadian side stormed out of the gate with a sense...

Worshippers With Disabilities Search For Acceptance - DisabiltyScoop
It often can be difficult for people with special needs to find churches, synagogues, temples and mosques that are open and accepting, but advocates say that's starting to change.
June 21, 2014

Canada Opens 2014 Women's World Wheelchair Basketball Championship on a High Note in Toronto - PRNewswire
TORONTO, June 20, 2014 /CNW/ - The Canadian Women's Wheelchair Basketball Team opened the 2014 Women's World Wheelchair Basketball Championship with a record-setting 83-53 victory over Japan on Friday at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto, Ont. Canada's 83-point offensive output...

15 Years After Olmstead - Our Committment to Community Living - AUCD
All indications are that we are heading in the right direction. We are working to address many of the most imposing barriers facing those who want to live on their own: finding affordable, accessible housing and improving access to quality support and services tailored to each person's goals.
June 20, 2014

Adaptive R/C Car Races, Sports, Latest Tech, Adaptive Vehicles and More--All at ABILITIES EXPO, June 27-29 - PRNewswire
CHICAGO, June 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Whether one has a disability or takes care of a person who does, they will not want to miss all the latest gadgets, cars, products and services that enhance the potential of those with disabilities, which will be on display at Abilities...

Athlete With Down Syndrome Sues For Right To Compete - DisabiltyScoop
A 24-year-old with Down syndrome is suing in federal court after he was allegedly denied the opportunity to compete in the sport he loves due to his disability.

Schools May Be Underreporting Restraint, Seclusion - DisabiltyScoop
Students were subject to restraint and seclusion hundreds of thousands of times in one school year, a new analysis finds, and that's likely just the tip of the iceberg.

White House Announces New Posts to the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities - AUCD
AUCD congratulates new members Susan Axelrod, James Brett, Dan Habib, Stacey Milber, Susana Ramirez, Ricardo Thornton, Sr., and Betty Williams.

NPR & Pro Publica Feature Stories on Restraint & Seclusion - AUCD
NPR and its public-interest investigative journalism affiliate, ProPublica, are running stories about the widespread use of restraint and seclusion, including the lack of state laws, the data, the need to pass the Keeping All Students Safe Act and the tremendous work of Senator Harkin and Congressman Miller.
June 19, 2014

Pennsylvania to Offer Additional Assistance to Older Adults and Persons with Disabilities - PRNewswire
HARRISBURG, Pa., June 19, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania is partnering with the federal government to help meet the Corbett Administration's goal of improving community-based support to older Pennsylvanians and adults with disabilities, the Pennsylvania Departments of Public...

Golden Tech Hosts 3rd Annual Do Good Event to Support Education - PRNewswire
VALPARAISO, Ind., June 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- On Thursday, August 14th, Golden Tech will be hosting its Do Good Golf Tournament at The Valparaiso Country Club. Funds raised at the 3rd annual Do Good Event will go towards purchasing Braille Notetaker technology to help...

American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. is Major Sponsor and Participant in CanAm Veterans Challenge - PRNewswire
HOLBROOK, N.Y., June 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- On Friday, June 20 through July 4, 2014, American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. (APFS) will be participating in World T.E.A.M. Sports' (WTS) inaugural CanAm Veterans Challenge, a two-nation, 18-day journey starting in Ottawa,...

Beamz Interactive, Inc. Signs Agreement with Australia's Largest Special Needs and Assistive Technologies Supplier - PRNewswire
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., June 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Beamz Interactive, Inc. (OTCQB: BZIC), a leading developer of state-of-the-art interactive music products, today announced an initiative to expand its distribution into the Australian market with its Beamz Education and Healthcare products....

AARP 'Scorecard' Gives California Mixed Grades In Serving Older, Disabled Residents - PRNewswire
SACRAMENTO, Calif., June 19, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- California ranks 9th overall when it comes to meeting the long-term care needs of older residents, but AARP warns much more must be done, at an accelerated pace, to improve the state's health care system around prevention &...

Autism Often Deters Parents From Having More Kids - DisabiltyScoop
Couples who have a child diagnosed with autism appear significantly less likely to have additional children, researchers say, no matter how many kids they already have.
June 18, 2014

Increasing opportunities for children living with intellectual disabilities to participate in physical activity - PRNewswire
Government of Canada partnering with Special Olympics Canada, the RBC Foundation and the Samuel Family Foundation to expand Active Start and FUNdamentals programs OTTAWA, June 18, 2014 /CNW/ - The Public Health Agency of Canada has partnered with Special Olympics Canada, the RBC...

United Spinal Calls for Wheelchair Accessibility of Entire Taxi Fleet in Nation's Capital - PRNewswire

NEW YORK, June 18, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- United Spinal Association today urged the DC Taxi Commission and the DC City Council to more effectively address wheelchair access to taxis and other public transportation in our Nation's capital––vital to the quality of...



Feds Seek Comment On Subminimum Wage Plan - DisabiltyScoop
The Obama administration is moving forward with a plan to ensure that federal contract dollars no longer go toward paying workers with disabilities less than minimum wage.

Grant Puts Faith to Work for People with Disabilities - AUCD
The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center will serve as the lead site for a $500,000 grant focused on building capacity of faith communities, such as churches, mosques, synagogues and other religious organizations, to support employment for members with disabilities.

Center on Disability and Development announces the 2014 PATHS Graduates - AUCD
The Postsecondary Access and Training in Human Services (PATHS) program at Texas A&M University is honored to announce the 2014 graduates. This year, 21 young men and women successfully graduated from the PATHS certificate program. The PATHS program is an inclusive certificate program to prepare students with and without disabilities for a career as a Direct Support Professional (DSP) who will work with the elderly or people with disabilities in the community.

Sen. Schumer Introduces 'Avonte's Law' To Address Wandering - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

Bill would fund tracking devices, police training

June 17, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC (June 17, 2014) -- Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) has introduced "Avonte's Law," a bill that would provide $10 million a year in federal funding over five years to local law enforcement agencies to acquire tracking devices to protect children with disabilities who wander and to train police on how to interact with people with disabilities.

The measure, S.2386, is named in honor of Avonte Oquendo, a 14-year-old New York City child with autism who wandered out of his school earlier this year and was later found dead in a nearby river.

"The tragic end to the search for Avonte Oquendo clearly demonstrates that we need to do more to protect children with autism who are at risk of running away," said Schumer, when he first announced the legislation in January.

"Thousands of families face the awful reality each and every day that their child with autism may run away," he said. "Making voluntary tracking devices available will help put parents at ease, and most importantly, help prevent future tragedies like Avonte's."

The bill would allow local law enforcement agencies to apply for federal grants tofund tracking devices, as well as training programs for first responders, school staff,clinicians and the public to helpprevent wandering by children with autism or other disabilities up to the age of 18. In addition, grants would be available to train local enforcement how to "recognize and respond to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities."

The specific tracking resources could include tracking technology,reverse 911 technology,assistive communication technology orthe use of Endangered Missing Advisories.Funding also could be avilable to train local police in federal search-and-rescue guide-lines for special needs children.

The program would be administered by the Attorney General's office which would be required to issue standards safeguarding the privacy of data generated by tracking devices, as well as criteria establishing that the use of trackiing devices offered the "least restrictive alternative" for preventing injury or death.

June 17, 2014

2013 Long Term Disability Claim Payments Increase To $9.8 Billion - PRNewswire
PORTLAND, Maine, June 17, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Council for Disability Awareness (CDA) today released its ninth-annual Long Term Disability Claims Review, an exclusive analysis of long term disability claims data and trends from 19 of America's top disability insurance...

Study Points To Possibility Of Reversing Autism Symptoms - DisabiltyScoop
New research suggests that a decades-old drug may be able to reverse symptoms of autism and now the medication is set to be tested in children with the developmental disorder.

Parents Sue Wal-Mart Over Arrest Of Daughter With Special Needs - DisabiltyScoop
A routine trip to Wal-Mart ended with a 25-year-old with special needs in handcuffs after store officials falsely accused her of stealing hair ties. Now, the woman's family is suing.

Disability An ‘Advantage' For Valedictorian On The Spectrum - DisabiltyScoop
Defying the odds, a teen with autism who was once in a self-contained classroom and relied on a one-to-one aide is graduating high school as his class valedictorian.

Introducing AUCD's 2014 Summer Interns - AUCD
AUCD is proud to welcome two summer interns to our team: Kasem Ahmed and Bertram Nicholls. Kasem is working with the AUCD Legislative team and Bertram is supporting all of our office teams. We are excited to have them both join us and contribute their skills and talents to the office and network.

Complete Inspection Systems Tests Treasury Department's Costly Currency Readers for Visually Impaired, Showing the Devices Are Unable to Differentiate Real from Fake Bank Notes, Denying Meaningful Access to US Currency as Required by Law - PRNewswire

MELBOURNE, Fla., June 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) is readying to distribute an electronic, handheld free currency reader to eligible blind and sight impaired U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents in 2015 that cannot...


June 16, 2014

National Council on Disability Welcomes Phoebe Ball as Legislative Affairs Specialist - PRNewswire

WASHINGTON, June 16, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Council on Disability (NCD), an independent federal agency that advises the President, Congress, and other federal officials and entities on policies and programs affecting Americans with disabilities has added Phoebe Ball...



Online Radio Station for People with MS First of its Kind - PRNewswire
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., June 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Multiple Sclerosis Foundation (MSF) is proud to announce the launch of a new online radio station, MSFocus Radio. Found on the web at www.MSFocusRadio.org, or on mobile devices via a free app, this service of the MSF is a first...

Smartphone App Could Replace Seeing Eye Dogs for the Visually Impaired, Predicts London-based Technology Company - PRNewswire

LONDON, June 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- EYEBRIDGE (http://www.myeyebridge.com/), a first-of-its-kind mobile app from EyeBridge Limited, will provide 27/4 on-demand remote visual assistance for people who are blind or otherwise visually impaired. Within thirty seconds of opening the...



Complete Inspection Systems Tests Treasury Department's Costly Currency Readers for Visually Impaired, Showing the Devices Are Unable to Differentiate Real from Fake Bank Notes, Denying Meaningful Access to US Currency as Required by Law - PRNewswire

MELBOURNE, Fla., June 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) is readying to distribute an electronic, handheld free currency reader to eligible blind and sight impaired U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents in 2015 that cannot...



TRICARE Rolls Out New ABA Program For Military Kids - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

New program would consolidate three current offerings

June 16, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC (June16, 2014) -- The Department of Defense has announced plans to consolidate its three different ABA programs under TRICARE with a new "Autism Care Demonstration" for all TRICARE beneficiaries with autism spectrum disorders.

The announcement was made in the Federal Register, but provided few details on how the new program would work. The new program would replace a one-year pilot program that expires next month, and incorporate two other plan offerings providing coverage for applied behavior analysis (ABA) treatment.

The action comes as Congress considers measures requiring TRICARE to improve ABA benefits, reduce restrictions on access to care, and make the treatment available to all children with developmental disabilities, not just autism.

The Autism Care Demonstration program would start July 25 and run through 2018. The new demonstration allows coverage of BCBA/BCBA-D direct services and the tiered service delivery model, which includes BCaBAs and Behavior Technicians. The demonstration will be phased in, enabling regional contractors to work with beneficiaries to ensure a smooth transition and avoid disruptions in services. Cost-sharing requirements for parents appear unchanged.

The implementation and policy details of the new demonstration have not been published; Autism Speaks will provide additional analysis as more information is provided. Visit TRICARE's updated autism services page here.


Complete Inspection Systems Tests Treasury Department's Costly Currency Readers for Visually Impaired, Showing the Devices Are Unable to Differentiate Real from Fake Bank Notes, Denying Meaningful Access to US Currency as Required by Law - PRNewswire

MELBOURNE, Fla., June 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) is readying to distribute an electronic, handheld free currency reader to eligible blind and sight impaired U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents in 2015 that cannot...



StoryCorps Looks To Record Disability Experience - DisabiltyScoop
As the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act approaches next year, a new project is launching to encourage people within the disability community to share their stories.
June 15, 2014

Complete Inspection Systems Tests Treasury Department's Costly Currency Readers for Visually Impaired, Showing the Devices Are Unable to Differentiate Real from Fake Bank Notes, Denying Meaningful Access to US Currency as Required by Law - PRNewswire

MELBOURNE, Fla., June 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) is readying to distribute an electronic, handheld free currency reader to eligible blind and sight impaired U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents in 2015 that cannot...


June 14, 2014

Complete Inspection Systems Tests Treasury Department's Costly Currency Readers for Visually Impaired, Showing the Devices Are Unable to Differentiate Real from Fake Bank Notes, Denying Meaningful Access to US Currency as Required by Law - PRNewswire

MELBOURNE, Fla., June 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) is readying to distribute an electronic, handheld free currency reader to eligible blind and sight impaired U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents in 2015 that cannot...



Complete Inspection Systems Tests Treasury Department's Costly Currency Readers for Visually Impaired, Showing the Devices Are Unable to Differentiate Real from Fake Bank Notes, Denying Meaningful Access to US Currency as Required by Law - PRNewswire

MELBOURNE, Fla., June 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) is readying to distribute an electronic, handheld free currency reader to eligible blind and sight impaired U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents in 2015 that cannot...


June 13, 2014

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Affirms Class Action to Open State Department to Disabled Foreign Service Officers - PRNewswire
OAKLAND, Calif., June 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) yesterday affirmed a judge's September 2010 decision certifying a class action brought on behalf of all disabled Foreign Service applicants against the U.S. State Department by...

Complete Inspection Systems Tests Treasury Department's Costly Currency Readers for Visually Impaired, Showing the Devices Are Unable to Differentiate Real from Fake Bank Notes, Denying Meaningful Access to US Currency as Required by Law - PRNewswire

MELBOURNE, Fla., June 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) is readying to distribute an electronic, handheld free currency reader to eligible blind and sight impaired U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents in 2015 that cannot...



National Special Olympics To Kick Off - DisabiltyScoop
Thousands of athletes with disabilities from across the country are converging on New Jersey for Special Olympics' largest national games ever.

Mascot Gig Transforms Teen With Autism - DisabiltyScoop
Autism left Andrese Duke, 13, shy and often isolated from his classmates, but that all changed when he took on the role of his school's mascot.

Medi-Cal Funding For ABA Fails, But New Option Emerges - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

DHCS directed to add behavioral health treatment to state's Medicaid program, consult with stakeholders

June 13, 2014

SACRAMENTO (June 13, 2014) -- A $50 million appropriation sought for Medi-Cal to provide behavioral health treatment for autism failed to make the final cut inCalifornia's state budget negotiations. But the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) will be directed to incorporate the treatment in Medi-Cal, which is the state'sMedicaid program, and request the Legislature for an appropriation.

"We are disappointed that this appropriation failed, depriving hundreds of California children with autism with access to medically necessary treatment that can make an enormous improvement in their quality of life," said Kristin Jacobson, state policy chair for Autism Speaks. "This is particularly frustrating given the acknowledgment by at least two state agencies that delaying treatment causes irreparable harm.

"However, we take heart in the Legislature's directive to DHCS to right this wrong by building the benefit into Medi-Cal," she added. "We commend Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (left) for his continued leadership on behalf of the California autism community."

The issue arose in 2013 when the Healthy Families program was shuttered, resulting in the transfer of thousands of children into Medi-Cal.Children who were receiving Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) behavioral treatment in Healthy Families lost the service when they entered Medi-Cal.

An attempt was made in the recently concluded state budget negotiations between the Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown to add a $50 million Medi-Cal appropriation torestore the coverage, but it failed to make the final agreement. In its place, behavioral health treatmentwas determined to bea Medi-Cal benefit and DCHS,which administers the program, was directed tostart the administrative process of including it.

That process will require outreach to federal Medicaid authorities as well as stakeholders.DCHS would need to seek statutory authority on how to implement the new benefit, and determine eligibility criteria, provider participation criteria, utilization controls and a delivery system structure. The department would be required to develop an appropriations request, conditioned on assurances offederal financial participation.

The Legislature directed DHCS to add the benefit when it is federally required.

"We believe ABA coverage is already required under Medicaid givensuccessful lawsuits in other states, such as Florida,and the federal government's recent approvalof ABA benefits added by Louisiana and Washington state," Jacobson said. "The Louisiana and Washington plans now coverbehavioral health treatment as a benefit under EPSDT (Early Periodic, Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment).

"EPSDT benefits may not vary from state to state, so if the benefit is valid in one stateit should be required in all states," she said.


Complete Inspection Systems Tests Treasury Department's Costly Currency Readers for Visually Impaired, Showing the Devices Are Unable to Differentiate Real from Fake Bank Notes, Denying Meaningful Access to US Currency as Required by Law - PRNewswire

MELBOURNE, Fla., June 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) is readying to distribute an electronic, handheld free currency reader to eligible blind and sight impaired U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents in 2015 that cannot...


June 12, 2014

Complete Inspection Systems Tests Treasury Department's Costly Currency Readers for Visually Impaired, Showing the Devices Are Unable to Differentiate Real from Fake Bank Notes, Denying Meaningful Access to US Currency as Required by Law - PRNewswire

MELBOURNE, Fla., June 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) is readying to distribute an electronic, handheld free currency reader to eligible blind and sight impaired U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents in 2015 that cannot...



Autism CARES Endorsed By Leading Disabilities Organizations - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

110 national organizations support new federal funding bill

June 12, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC (June 12, 2014) -- The Consortium of Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), a coalition of 110 national disabilities organizations, has announced its support for Autism CARES, the amended version of legislation before Congress that would preserve federal funding for autism activites over the next five years. The bill has been introduced in the Senate while the House versionhas already cleared committeeand is headed to a floor vote with 79 co-sponsors.

"CCD supports this compromise bill and urges the House and Senate to move the bill forward quickly and not let this law expire," the consortium announcedin a statement signed by representatives ofThe Arc, Autism Speaks, the National Disability Rights Coalition, the Association of University Centers onDisabilities, and the National Respite Coalition.

Autism CARES would reauthorize the Combating Autism Act which expires September 30. Enacted in 2006 and reauthorized in 2011, the law has dedicated over $1.7 billion in federal funding for autism research, prevalence monitoring and training of medical professionals.

Autism CARES would authorize$260 million a year in continued funding for five years for the National Institutes of Health,the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In addition to the new name, the amended bill would:

  • Establish a National Autism Spectrum Disorder Initiative, requiring the HHS Secretary to designate an existing agency official to serve as the key point person in coordinating federal autism efforts and ensuring that these efforts are not unnecessarily duplicative
  • Direct HHS to prepare a report to Congress regarding the needs of young adults and transitioning youth with an autism spectrum disorder or other developmental disability, and the challenges they face transitioning from school-based services to adult services
  • Reform the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) by expanding its role in monitoring and developing a strategic plan for autism spectrum disorder, and by requiring additional non-federal members, including at least two individuals on the autism spectrum, at least two parents or legal guardians of individuals on the autism spectrum, and at least two representatives of leading research, service, and advocacy organizations.




Blinded Vets Foundation Hosts Annual Congressional Awards Ceremony and Flag Day Events - PRNewswire
WASHINGTON, June 12, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Blinded American Veterans Foundation (BAVF) hosts its 29th annual Congressional Awards Ceremony on Thursday, June 12, 2014, followed by its annual Flag Day Picnic on June 14.  The Congressional Awards Ceremony will take...

Complete Inspection Systems Tests Treasury Department's Costly Currency Readers for Visually Impaired, Showing the Devices Are Unable to Differentiate Real from Fake Bank Notes, Denying Meaningful Access to US Currency as Required by Law - PRNewswire

MELBOURNE, Fla., June 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) is readying to distribute an electronic, handheld free currency reader to eligible blind and sight impaired U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents in 2015 that cannot...



Congress To ‘Combat' Autism No More - DisabiltyScoop
In a win for self-advocates, lawmakers said this week that they will no longer seek to include the term "combating" in the title of the nation's primary autism legislation.

Autism CARES Co-sponsors - Autism Speaks - Advocasy
May 09, 2014
S.2449 (2)

Sen. Robert Menendez [D-NJ]
Sen. Michael Enzi [R-WY]

HR. 4631 (79)

Rep. Chris Smith [R-NJ4]
Rep. Michael F. Doyle [D-PA14]

Co-sponsors

ALABAMA
Rep. Robert B. Aderholt [R-4]
Rep. Spencer Bachus [R-6]

ALASKA
Rep. Don Young [R-At Large]

ARKANSAS
Rep. Tim Griffin [R-2]

CALIFORNIA
Rep. Jared Huffman [D-2]
Rep. Anna Eshoo [D-18]
Rep. Buck McKeon [R-25]
Rep. Adam Schiff [D-28]
Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard [D-40]
Rep. Juan Vargas [D-51]

CONNECTICUT
Rep. John B. Larson [D-1]
Rep. Rosa DeLauro [D-3]
Rep. Elizabeth Esty [D-5]

DELAWARE
Rep. John Carney [D-At Large]

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton [D-At Large]

FLORIDA
Rep. Jeff Miller [R-1]
Rep. Gus Bilirakis [R-12]
Rep. Tom Rooney [R-17]
Rep. Ted Deutch [D-21]

GEORGIA
Rep. Sanford Bishop [D-2]
Rep. David Scott [D-13]

ILLINOIS
Rep. Dan Lipinski [D-3]
Rep. Mike Quigley [D-5]
Rep. Pete Roskam [R-6]
Rep. John Shimkus [R-15]
Rep. Aaron Shock [R-18]

INDIANA
Rep. Jackie Walorski [R-2]
Rep. Andre Carson [D-7]

IOWA
Rep. Bruce Braley [D-1]

KANSAS
Rep. Lynn Jenkins [R-2]
Rep. Kevin Yoder [R-3]
Rep. Mike Pompeo [R-4]

MARYLAND
Rep. Chris Van Hollen [D-8]

MASSACHUSETTS
Rep. Jim McGovern [D-2]
Rep. Joseph Kennedy III [D-4]

MICHIGAN
Rep. Candice Miller [R-10]

MINNESOTA
Rep. Keith Ellison [D-5]
Rep. Collin Peterson [D-7]

MISSISSIPPI
Rep. Gregg Harper [R-3]

MONTANA
Rep. Steve Daines [R-At Large]

NEBRASKA
Rep. Jeff Fortenberry [R-1]
Rep. Lee Terry [R-2]

NEVADA
Rep. Joe Heck [R-3]

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Rep. Carol Shea-Porter [D-1]

NEW JERSEY
Rep. Leonard Lance [R-7]

NEW YORK
Rep. Peter T. King [R-2]
Rep. Steve Israel [D-3]
Rep. Carolyn McCarthy [D-4]
Rep. Michael Grimm [R-11]
Rep. Carolyn Maloney [D-12]
Rep. Chris Gibson [R-19]
Rep. Louise Slaughter [D-25]

NORTH CAROLINA
Rep. Mark McIntyre [D-7]
Rep. Mark Meadows [R-11]
Rep. George Holding [R-13]

OHIO
Rep. Marcy Kaptur [D-9]
Rep. Steve Stivers [R-15]

PENNSYLVANIAPALASKAALASALSASKAALAPENNSYLVANIA
Rep. Chaka Fattah [D-2]
Rep. Mike Kelly [R-3]
Rep. Jim Gerlach [R-6]
Rep. Patrick Meehan [R-7]
Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick [R-8]
Rep. Tom Marino [R-10]
Rep. Allyson Schwartz [D-16]
Rep. Timothy F. Murphy [R-18]

TENNESSEE
Rep. Phil Roe [R-1]
Rep. Marsha Blackburn [R-7]

TEXAS
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee [D-18]
Rep. Michael Burgess [R-26]
Rep. Pete Sessions [R-32]

UTAH
Rep. Jim Matheson [D-4]

VERMONT
Rep. Peter Welch [D-At-Large]

WASHINGTON
Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rogers [R-5]

WEST VIRGINIA
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito [R-2]

WISCONSIN
Rep. James Sensenbrenner [R-5]

VIRGINIA
Rep. Jim Moran [D-8]
Rep. Frank Wolf [R-10]

June 11, 2014

Complete Inspection Systems Tests Treasury Department's Costly Currency Readers for Visually Impaired, Showing the Devices Are Unable to Differentiate Real from Fake Bank Notes, Denying Meaningful Access to US Currency as Required by Law - PRNewswire

MELBOURNE, Fla., June 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) is readying to distribute an electronic, handheld free currency reader to eligible blind and sight impaired U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents in 2015 that cannot...



Royal P. Walker, Jr., JD, Retires from University of Southern Mississippi's Institute for Disability Studies - AUCD
Royal P. Walker Jr. retired on May 30, 2014, as Executive Director of the USM Institute for Disability Studies and will soon begin a four-year term on the National Council on Disability. AUCD is grateful to Royal for his leadership as a Director and former Board President and wish him well in his future endeavours!

Her Highness Sheikha Arwa Al Qassimi Joins Board of Sightsavers Following Work With Food for Change and Other Philanthropic Initiatives - PRNewswire

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, June 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Sightsavers (http://www.sightsavers.org/ and http://www.sightsavers.net/[middle_east]/sightsavers_middle_east/default.html) is pleased to announce that Her Highness Sheikha Arwa Al Qassimi has officially joined the board. A member...



Complete Inspection Systems Tests Treasury Department's Costly Currency Readers for Visually Impaired, Showing the Devices Are Unable to Differentiate Real from Fake Bank Notes, Denying Meaningful Access to US Currency as Required by Law - PRNewswire

MELBOURNE, Fla., June 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) is readying to distribute an electronic, handheld free currency reader to eligible blind and sight impaired U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents in 2015 that cannot...



Military Families Make Push For Increased ABA Coverage - DisabiltyScoop
Currently, access to applied behavior analysis is limited for kids with developmental disabilities whose parents serve in the military, but efforts are underway to change that.
June 10, 2014

Property Tax/Rent Rebate Application Deadline Extended to End of Year - PRNewswire
HARRISBURG, Pa., June 10, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The deadline for older adults and residents with disabilities to apply for Pennsylvania's Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program has been extended from June 30 to Dec. 31. "The department has extended the program deadline to...

Independent Living Centers Champion Olmstead Decision All Year Long - PRNewswire
SACRAMENTO, Calif., June 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Fifteen years ago, the Supreme Court called upon the Americans with Disabilities Act as the basis for the Olmstead Decision, declaring that segregating people with disabilities in institutions is discrimination and against the law....

Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester receives 2014 Merit Award for Program Excellence from Boys & Girls Clubs of America for Inclusive Programing - PRNewswire

BOSTON, June 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester recently received a prestigious Merit Award for Program Excellence at the 108th National Boys & Girls Clubs of America's Conference in San Francisco, CA. The Awards are sponsored by the MetLife...



Complete Inspection Systems Tests Treasury Department's Costly Currency Readers for Visually Impaired, Showing the Devices Are Unable to Differentiate Real from Fake Bank Notes, Denying Meaningful Access to US Currency as Required by Law - PRNewswire

MELBOURNE, Fla., June 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) is readying to distribute an electronic, handheld free currency reader to eligible blind and sight impaired U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents in 2015 that cannot...



Google To Assist With Autism Research - DisabiltyScoop
Google is partnering with the nation's largest autism advocacy organization in what's being called an unprecedented move that could transform what's known about the developmental disorder.

CARA 2014 Marches Ahead In Congress Under New Name - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

AutismCARES federal funding bill introduced in Senate, House version heads to floor

June 10, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC (June 10, 2014) -- Legislation to renew and rename the Combating Autism Act was introduced in the Senate while a House version cleared committee and was sent to the House floor. Renamed Autism CARES (the Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education and Support Act), the legislation is now identical in both houses of Congress and would continue federal funding for autism research and other activites atanannual $260 million level for another five years.

Without action by Congress by September 30, federal funding for autism first dedicated through the Combating Autism Act in 2006 and then reauthorized in 2011, will lapse.

Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) below and Michael Enzi (R-WY)introduced a Senate version (S.2449) of AutismCares which, in addition to the name change, included other adjustments from the House bill ((HR.4631) that was introduced May 12 by Reps. Chris Smith R-NJ) and Mike Doyle (D-PA), the co-chairs of the Congressional Autism Caucus.

The House Energy & Commerce Committee added the Senatechanges toHR.4631, which had been named the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act (CARA) of 2014,and then sent the bill to theHouse floor for a vote.

“The bipartisan Autism CARES Act represents our strong commitment to continuing the groundbreaking work being done to address autism and build the foundation for these efforts for years to come,” saidMenendez.

“I am particularly pleased this bill includes provisions based on my legislation, the AGE-IN Act, to better address the needs of individuals with autism as they grow into adulthood and no longer have the support of school-based programs," he said. "I'm optimistic the House will quickly adopt this language as they continue work on their bill so we can speak with one voice about the importance of reauthorizing these vital programs.”

First enacted in 2006 and then reauthorized in 2011, the Combating Autism Act has dedicated over $1.7 billion to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) forresearch grants, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to monitor autism prevalence, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to train medical professionals in early detection. The House and Senate bill would authorize another five years of funding at the current appropriations level of $260 million.

"Today's action by the House E&C Committee is matched with amajor announcementby Google and Autism Speaks to advance significant breakthroughs in autism research," said Stuart Spielman, senior policy advisor and counsel at Autism Speaks.

"This collaboration proves that investments from both the private and philanthropic sectors can provide unique opportunities to accelerate scientific efforts to address this urgent public health crisis," he said. "The committee's actionreflects the ongoing federal commitment to provide a research foundation that is now being leveraged by private partners. Autism Speaks is encouraged by bipartisan leadership in both houses of Congress to reauthorize the federal government's signature legislation dedicated to addressing autism."

Since the House bill was introduced May 12,the total number of co-sponsors hasclimbed to75. In addition, 36 national disabilities organizations, including Autism Speaks, have endorsed the reauthorization effort.

Both the House and Senate bills would continue federal funding for five years, reconstitute the Interagency Autism Coordinating Council (IACC) and strengthen accountability over federal research funding to avoid any duplication of effort.

A "National Autism Spectrum Disorder Initiative" would be created byelevating an existing official at HHStoserve as the key point person coordinating the federal government's various autism efforts. In addition,a new study would be commissioned to focus on theneeds of young adults and transitioning youth with an autism spectrum disorderor other developmental disability, as well as thechallenges they face transitioning from school-based services to adult services.

Changing the name of the law to Autism CARES, Menendez said would "more accurately reflect the nature of the programs without alienating the very people these programs serve."


Blinded Vets Foundation Sets 29th Annual Congressional Awards Ceremony - PRNewswire
WASHINGTON, June 10, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Blinded American Veterans Foundation (BAVF), at its 29th annual Congressional Awards Ceremony on Thursday, June 12, 2014, will present its George "Buck" Gillispie Award for Meritorious Service to U.S. Representatives Tulsi...

Complete Inspection Systems Tests Treasury Department's Costly Currency Readers for Visually Impaired, Showing the Devices Are Unable to Differentiate Real from Fake Bank Notes, Denying Meaningful Access to US Currency as Required by Law - PRNewswire

MELBOURNE, Fla., June 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) is readying to distribute an electronic, handheld free currency reader to eligible blind and sight impaired U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents in 2015 that cannot...



Autism Costs May Top $2 Million Per Person - DisabiltyScoop
The lifetime cost of caring for just one individual with autism can be as high as $2.4 million, researchers say.

Brothers Complete 40-Mile Journey For Cerebral Palsy - DisabiltyScoop
A teen trekked 40 miles over the weekend, braving the heat and rain, all while carrying his brother who has cerebral palsy in an effort to raise awareness of the condition.
June 9, 2014

AudioEye Exhibiting Patented Audio Internet® Accessibility Platform at Global M-Enabling Summit in Washington D.C. - PRNewswire
WASHINGTON, June 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- AudioEye®, Inc. (OTCQB: AEYE) ("AudioEye"), creator of the Audio Internet® patented audio browsing and automated publishing technology platform, today announced that it will be featured at the technology Showcase and will be...

Contacta Launches its US Manufactured Large Area Hearing Loop Systems - PRNewswire
HOLLAND, Mich., June 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Contacta Inc. has today announced the HLD large area hearing loop product platform will be manufactured in the USA. Designed and developed in collaboration with Contacta's leading hearing loop installation specialists, this major investment in...

Complete Inspection Systems Tests Treasury Department's Costly Currency Readers for Visually Impaired, Showing the Devices Are Unable to Differentiate Real from Fake Bank Notes, Denying Meaningful Access to US Currency as Required by Law - PRNewswire

MELBOURNE, Fla., June 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) is readying to distribute an electronic, handheld free currency reader to eligible blind and sight impaired U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents in 2015 that cannot...



Complete Inspection Systems Tests Treasury Department's Costly Currency Readers for Visually Impaired, Showing the Devices Are Unable to Differentiate Real from Fake Bank Notes, Denying Meaningful Access to US Currency as Required by Law - PRNewswire

MELBOURNE, Fla., June 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) is readying to distribute an electronic, handheld free currency reader to eligible blind and sight impaired U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents in 2015 that cannot...



Technology Gaining Foothold In Special Education - DisabiltyScoop
Special education programs are increasingly relying on tablets, apps and other technology to help students with disabilities despite scant research to support the practice.
June 8, 2014

Complete Inspection Systems Tests Treasury Department's Costly Currency Readers for Visually Impaired, Showing the Devices Are Unable to Differentiate Real from Fake Bank Notes, Denying Meaningful Access to US Currency as Required by Law - PRNewswire

MELBOURNE, Fla., June 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) is readying to distribute an electronic, handheld free currency reader to eligible blind and sight impaired U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents in 2015 that cannot...



More than 100 from Visual Effects and Related Industries Talk Shop with Exceptional Minds Young Adults with Autism - PRNewswire

SHERMAN OAKS, Calif., June 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- More than a hundred visual effects associates and others in related fields came to talk shop with 25 exceptional young men and women at yesterday's open house held at the Exceptional Minds vocational school for young adults with...



Complete Inspection Systems Tests Treasury Department's Costly Currency Readers for Visually Impaired, Showing the Devices Are Unable to Differentiate Real from Fake Bank Notes, Denying Meaningful Access to US Currency as Required by Law - PRNewswire

MELBOURNE, Fla., June 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) is readying to distribute an electronic, handheld free currency reader to eligible blind and sight impaired U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents in 2015 that cannot...


June 7, 2014

Complete Inspection Systems Tests Treasury Department's Costly Currency Readers for Visually Impaired, Showing the Devices Are Unable to Differentiate Real from Fake Bank Notes, Denying Meaningful Access to US Currency as Required by Law - PRNewswire

MELBOURNE, Fla., June 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) is readying to distribute an electronic, handheld free currency reader to eligible blind and sight impaired U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents in 2015 that cannot...



Complete Inspection Systems Tests Treasury Department's Costly Currency Readers for Visually Impaired, Showing the Devices Are Unable to Differentiate Real from Fake Bank Notes, Denying Meaningful Access to US Currency as Required by Law - PRNewswire

MELBOURNE, Fla., June 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) is readying to distribute an electronic, handheld free currency reader to eligible blind and sight impaired U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents in 2015 that cannot...


June 6, 2014

Complete Inspection Systems Tests Treasury Department's Costly Currency Readers for Visually Impaired, Showing the Devices Are Unable to Differentiate Real from Fake Bank Notes, Denying Meaningful Access to US Currency as Required by Law - PRNewswire

MELBOURNE, Fla., June 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) is readying to distribute an electronic, handheld free currency reader to eligible blind and sight impaired U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents in 2015 that cannot...



Employment Hurdles Remain For People With Disabilities - DisabiltyScoop
Even as some signs point to an improving job market, the unemployment rate for Americans with disabilities is up slightly, the U.S. Department of Labor said Friday.

Complete Inspection Systems Tests Treasury Department's Costly Currency Readers for Visually Impaired, Showing the Devices Are Unable to Differentiate Real from Fake Bank Notes, Denying Meaningful Access to US Currency as Required by Law - PRNewswire

MELBOURNE, Fla., June 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) is readying to distribute an electronic, handheld free currency reader to eligible blind and sight impaired U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents in 2015 that cannot...



Background Checks For In-Home Care Workers Often Optional - DisabiltyScoop
In many states, there are no requirements that home health workers undergo any kind of background check before providing in-home care to individuals with disabilities, a new report finds.
June 5, 2014

United Spinal's 3rd Annual Roll on Capitol Hill: Wheelchair Users Unite to Improve Disability Policies - PRNewswire

NEW YORK, June 5, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- United Spinal Association and advocates from its membership division, National Spinal Cord Injury Association (NSCIA), will gather in Washington, D.C. on June 22-25 for Roll on Capitol Hill to shape policies that impact the health,...



Toys"R"Us® Celebrates the Inspiration and Personal Victories of Athletes Participating in the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games - PRNewswire
WAYNE, N.J., June 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- With the start of the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games just over a week away, Toys"R"Us® employees throughout the tri-state area in stores, its headquarters in Wayne, NJ and its distribution center in Flanders, NJ are ready to...

"The Victory Aces," Victory Living Programs' Volleyball Team, Heads to the Special Olympics USA Games - PRNewswire

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., June 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- For some, playing a sport is about the training, the mental focus and of course, the win. For members of the Victory Living Programs volleyball team, the Victory Aces, playing a sport is about so much more. It's about commitment,...



Complete Inspection Systems Tests Treasury Department's Costly Currency Readers for Visually Impaired, Showing the Devices Are Unable to Differentiate Real from Fake Bank Notes, Denying Meaningful Access to US Currency as Required by Law - PRNewswire

MELBOURNE, Fla., June 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) is readying to distribute an electronic, handheld free currency reader to eligible blind and sight impaired U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents in 2015 that cannot...



Complete Inspection Systems Tests Treasury Department's Costly Currency Readers for Visually Impaired, Showing the Devices Are Unable to Differentiate Real from Fake Bank Notes, Denying Meaningful Access to US Currency as Required by Law - PRNewswire

MELBOURNE, Fla., June 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) is readying to distribute an electronic, handheld free currency reader to eligible blind and sight impaired U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents in 2015 that cannot...



Impromptu School Transfers Halted Under Agreement - DisabiltyScoop
A federal judge signed off this week on a settlement that formally ends a school district policy of transferring kids with autism from school to school with no warning to their families.
June 4, 2014

Allied Specialty Vehicles Names Matt Ford President of ElDorado Mobility - PRNewswire

ORLANDO, Fla., June 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Allied Specialty Vehicles (ASV), a leading manufacturer of motor vehicles for commercial, fire & emergency and recreation markets, today announced that Matt Ford has been named president of ElDorado Mobility. Ford will lead the company...



Nick Nanton and JW Dicks to Executive Produce New Documentary Film - PRNewswire

ORLANDO, Fla., June 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Emmy® Award Winning Director and Producer Nick Nanton, Esq. and Emmy® Award Winning Producer JW Dicks have joined Shaina Koren and Mike Esposito, independent filmmakers and co-founders of Shaina Koren Cinematography, to produce a new...



Complete Inspection Systems Tests Treasury Department's Costly Currency Readers for Visually Impaired, Showing the Devices Are Unable to Differentiate Real from Fake Bank Notes, Denying Meaningful Access to US Currency as Required by Law - PRNewswire

MELBOURNE, Fla., June 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) is readying to distribute an electronic, handheld free currency reader to eligible blind and sight impaired U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents in 2015 that cannot...



Comic Book Adds Character With Disability - DisabiltyScoop
In an effort to better reflect modern life, comic book mainstay Archie and his pals are set to get their first-ever friend with a disability, the series' creators say.

Major Disabilities Groups Sign On To CARA 2014 - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

36 organizations urge Congress to renew autism funding law by Sept. 30

June 04, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC (June 4, 2014) -- A coalition of 36 national disabilities organizations, including Autism Speaks, the American Academy of Pediatrics, Easter Seals, The Arc, National Down Syndrome Societyand March of Dimes, is urging Congress to pass the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act of 2014 (CARA) before the current law expires September 30.

Working through the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, the coalition has urged Congress "to ensure that action is taken quickly to reauthorize this before the law expires in September.

"With the increasing prevalence of ASD, we cannot scale back our national effort by letting provisions of the Combating Autism Act sunset," the CCD coalition told Congress.

Since it was enacted in 2006 then renewed in 2011, the Combating Autism Act has dedicated $1.735 billion in federal funding for research, prevalence monitoring and training of medical professionals. If not renewed by Congress by September 30, the funding authorizations will expire, jeopardizing the federal government's response to the skyrocketing growth in autism diagnoses.

Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Mike Doyle (D-PA), the co-chairs of the Congressional Autism Caucus, introduced CARA 2014 last month. The bill, (HR.4631), has gained 70 co-sponsors. The bill was amended last week and sent to the House Energy & Commerce Committee for consideration as early as next week.

"While a number of federal ASD efforts were in existence prior to the Combating Autism Act, the law has dramatically increased the number, scope, pace, and coordination of ASD research, surveillance, public education, and professional training efforts," the CCD coalition said. "This comprehensive strategy is accelerating our efforts to better understand this increasingly prevalent developmental disability.

"Because of this law, today there is growing awareness in our schools, doctors' offices, and communities about ASD and how to best serve individuals and families. Among its many notable achievements are an increase in the proportion of infants screened for ASD, an increase in the proportion of children diagnosed by three from 12 to 18 percent, and continuing improvements to decrease the time between diagnosis and intervention."

The coalition members include:

  • American Association of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • ACCSES
  • American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • American Association on Health and Disability
  • American Dance Therapy Association
  • American Occupational Therapy Association
  • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  • Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs
  • Association of University Centers on Disabilities
  • Autism Speaks
  • Autism National Committee
  • Brain Injury Association of America
  • Children's Hospital Association
  • Council for Learning Disabilities
  • Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation
  • Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund
  • Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children
  • Epilepsy Foundation
  • Easter Seals
  • Family Voices
  • IDEA Infant Toddler Coordinators Association
  • Lutheran Services in America Disability Network
  • March of Dimes
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness
  • National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities
  • National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
  • National Down Syndrome Society
  • National Respite Coalition
  • Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered
  • School of Social Work Association of America
  • SourceAmerica
  • The Advocacy Institute
  • The Arc of the United States

Complete Inspection Systems Tests Treasury Department's Costly Currency Readers for Visually Impaired, Showing the Devices Are Unable to Differentiate Real from Fake Bank Notes, Denying Meaningful Access to US Currency as Required by Law - PRNewswire

MELBOURNE, Fla., June 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) is readying to distribute an electronic, handheld free currency reader to eligible blind and sight impaired U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents in 2015 that cannot...



Stress In Pregnancy Linked To Autism-Like Traits - DisabiltyScoop
Mothers who experience greater stress during pregnancy appear to be at increased risk of having children with autism-like traits, a new study suggests.

School District Defends Teacher In Toilet Brush Incident - DisabiltyScoop
A special education teacher who gave her students a toilet brush and cleanser as a graduation gift is not facing discipline despite calls from at least one parent that she be fired.

CARA 2014 Co-sponsors - Autism Speaks - Advocasy
May 09, 2014
HR. 4631 (72)

Rep. Chris Smith [R-NJ4]
Rep. Michael F. Doyle [D-PA14]

Co-sponsors

ALABAMA
Rep. Robert B. Aderholt [R-4]
Rep. Spencer Bachus [R-6]

ALASKA
Rep. Don Young [R-At Large]

ARKANSAS
Rep. Tim Griffin [R-2]

CALIFORNIA
Rep. Jared Huffman [D-2]
Rep. Buck McKeon [R-25]
Rep. Adam Schiff [D-28]
Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard [D-40]
Rep. Juan Vargas [D-51]

CONNECTICUT
Rep. John B. Larson [D-1]
Rep. Rosa DeLauro [D-3]

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton [D-At Large]

FLORIDA
Rep. Jeff Miller [R-1]
Rep. Gus Bilirakis [R-12]
Rep. Tom Rooney [R-17]
Rep. Ted Deutch [D-21]

GEORGIA
Rep. Sanford Bishop [D-2]
Rep. David Scott [D-13]

ILLINOIS
Rep. Dan Lipinski [D-3]
Rep. Mike Quigley [D-5]
Rep. Pete Roskam [R-6]
Rep. John Shimkus [R-15]
Rep. Aaron Shock [R-18]

INDIANA
Rep. Jackie Walorski [R-2]
Rep. Andre Carson [D-7]

IOWA
Rep. Bruce Braley [D-1]

KANSAS
Rep. Lynn Jenkins [R-2]
Rep. Kevin Yoder [R-3]
Rep. Mike Pompeo [R-4]

MARYLAND
Rep. Chris Van Hollen [D-8]

MASSACHUSETTS
Rep. Jim McGovern [D-2]

MICHIGAN
Rep. Candice Miller [R-10]

MINNESOTA
Rep. Keith Ellison [D-5]
Rep. Collin Peterson [D-7]

MISSISSIPPI
Rep. Gregg Harper [R-3]

MONTANA
Rep. Steve Daines [R-At Large]

NEBRASKA
Rep. Jeff Fortenberry [R-1]
Rep. Lee Terry [R-2]

NEVADA
Rep. Joe Heck [R-3]

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Rep. Carol Shea-Porter [D-1]

NEW JERSEY
Rep. Leonard Lance [R-7]

NEW YORK
Rep. Peter T. King [R-2]
Rep. Steve Israel [D-3]
Rep. Michael Grimm [R-11]
Rep. Carolyn Maloney [D-12]
Rep. Chris Gibson [R-19]
Rep. Louise Slaughter [D-25]

NORTH CAROLINA
Rep. Mark McIntyre [D-7]
Rep. Mark Meadows [R-11]
Rep. George Holding [R-13]

OHIO
Rep. Marcy Kaptur [D-9]
Rep. Steve Stivers [R-15]

PENNSYLVANIAPALASKAALASALSASKAALAPENNSYLVANIA
Rep. Chaka Fattah [D-2]
Rep. Mike Kelly [R-3]
Rep. Jim Gerlach [R-6]
Rep. Patrick Meehan [R-7]
Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick [R-8]
Rep. Tom Marino [R-10]
Rep. Allyson Schwartz [D-16]
Rep. Timothy F. Murphy [R-18]

TENNESSEE
Rep. Phil Roe [R-1]
Rep. Marsha Blackburn [R-7]

TEXAS
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee [D-18]
Rep. Michael Burgess [R-26]
Rep. Pete Sessions [R-32]

UTAH
Rep. Jim Matheson [D-4]

WASHINGTON
Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rogers [R-5]

WEST VIRGINIA
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito [R-2]

VIRGINIA
Rep. Jim Moran [D-8]
Rep. Frank Wolf [R-10]

June 3, 2014

American Foundation for the Blind Announces 2014 Helen Keller Achievement Awardees - PRNewswire
NEW YORK, June 3, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) has announced the recipients of its prestigious Helen Keller Achievement Awards that will be held in New York City on June 17th. The awards will be presented to Christine Ha, Winner of U.S....

Complete Inspection Systems Tests Treasury Department's Costly Currency Readers for Visually Impaired, Showing the Devices Are Unable to Differentiate Real from Fake Bank Notes, Denying Meaningful Access to US Currency as Required by Law - PRNewswire

MELBOURNE, Fla., June 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) is readying to distribute an electronic, handheld free currency reader to eligible blind and sight impaired U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents in 2015 that cannot...



US Drug Watchdog Urges Recipients of DePuy Pinnacle All-Metal Hip Implants to Seek Second Opinion Regarding Condition of Implant Device - PRNewswire

WASHINGTON, June 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The US Drug Watchdog says, "We are now urging recipients of the DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implant to call at us 866-714-646 so we can explain why we think it is a very smart idea to get a second opinion from a orthopedic surgeon who was not...


June 2, 2014

In Shift, Supreme Court Moves Away From ‘Mental Retardation' - DisabiltyScoop
A recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling clarifying what constitutes intellectual disability also marked a major milestone in efforts to put an end to use of the term "mental retardation."

American Mint Announces 1-Year Anniversary of S. Wilson Pollock Center for Industrial Training Working On-Site - PRNewswire

MECHANICSBURG, Pa., June 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- American Mint, LLC President Kevin Sacher proudly announced the 1-year anniversary that the S. Wilson Pollock Center for Industrial Training (PCIT) has been working on-site at American Mint's U.S. headquarters.  Established as...



Cookies for a Cause - Sweet Tomatoes & Souplantation Restaurants Host Annual Cookie Fundraiser to Benefit Easter Seals Services for Children and Adults with Disabilities - PRNewswire

CHICAGO, June 2, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Sweet Tomatoes & Souplantation restaurants have kicked off their companywide cookie fundraiser for Easter Seals! Now through June 30, Sweet Tomatoes & Souplantation will donate $1.00 to Easter Seals for each bag of homemade cookies...



For Those With Autism, Hospitals May Be Ideal Training Ground - DisabiltyScoop
A transition program offering intensive, specialized on-the-job training for young people with autism is proving highly effective at helping individuals land jobs.
May 30, 2014

In Emergencies, People With Disabilities Often An Afterthought - DisabiltyScoop
Serious barriers continue to jeopardize the well-being of people with disabilities in the wake of disasters and in other emergency situations, a new federal report finds.

Woman Hit With Bill After Brother's Death At Institution - DisabiltyScoop
A New York woman who says her brother with intellectual disability was killed two years ago at a state institution where he lived is now being billed $11.67 million for the man's care.
May 29, 2014

Union Activist Highlights Needed Changes in Benefits Transition Process for Veterans - PRNewswire

WASHINGTON, May 29, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Veterans Affairs (VA) Local 1738 Shop Steward Eric Jenkins testified today before the House Veterans Affairs Committee's Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs'...



NJ.com: 'Autism Community Benefits From Affordable Care Act' - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

ACA, mental health parity lead to end of caps on ABA coverage

May 29, 2014

(May 29, 2014) -- Families facing expensive autism treatments are finding some positive results in New Jersey's implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to an article published today on NJ.com.

The main focus of parental concern is payment for Applied Behavior Analysis, or ABA, therapy. In such sessions, an ABA specialist instructs the child on the basics — recognizing objects, learning to point, using scissors or makinng eye contact — by laborious repetition.

“With some kids, that requires really intensive services,” Autism Speaks'director of state government affairs Judith Ursitti told NJ.com.

The ACA prohibits yearlyand lifetime dollar caps on essential health benefits, including behavioral therapy and habilitative services.As a result, a $36,000 annual cap on ABA benefits in New Jersey's 2009 autism insurance reform law was voided.

“New Jersey is one of the few states that have said these dollar caps are illegal under federal health care parity,” Ursitti told NJ.com.

Insurance carriers in other states are attemptingto get around the prohibition on dollar caps by converting them into limits on the number of visits.

“It's ridiculous,” Ursittisaid. “It's a cap.” In some cases, she said, plans have limited coverage to eight hours of treatment a week.

Read the full article here.

Learn more about the ACA and autism here.


Trafigura Foundation Supports HelpMeSee Campaign to Eliminate Blindness Caused by Cataracts - PRNewswire

NEW YORK, May 29, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- HelpMeSee – a global campaign to eliminate blindness caused by cataracts – today announced a strategic, collaborative partnership with the Trafigura Foundation – a world-class foundation, committed to helping people...



Parents Lose Bid To Bar Son With Special Needs From Marrying - DisabiltyScoop
It's going to take a lot more to keep a 27-year-old group home resident from marrying the woman he loves than a court ruling and his parents' objections.

Effective Communication for People with Disabilities Before, During, and After Emergencies Evaluated in New NCD Report - AUCD
A new report by the National Council on Disability (NCD), an independent federal agency, examines the accessibility of communication before, during, and after emergencies for people with sensory disabilities (deaf, hard of hearing, blind, low-vision, deaf-blind, and speech disabilities) as well as people with intellectual, developmental, and/or psychiatric disabilities.
May 28, 2014

Press Conference and Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg Friday Morning to Kick Off Special Olympics Georgia State Summer Games - PRNewswire
ATLANTA, May 28, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Members of the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) kick off State Summer Games by lighting the "Flame of Hope" at 9 a.m. Friday, May 30 at Philips Arena's CNN Center entrance for the LETR Final Leg. The torch passing is part of a press...

U.S. Census Bureau Facts for Features: Anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act: July 26 - PRNewswire

WASHINGTON, May 28, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On July 26, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodations, commercial facilities,...



Feds Pledge Millions To Tackle Disability Employment - DisabiltyScoop
The federal government is offering up millions of dollars for states to develop initiatives designed to increase employment of people with disabilities.

House Committee to Take Action on Autism Bill - AUCD
Since its enactment, the Combating Autism Act has impacted millions of individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities and their families. Congress must reauthorize the Combating Autism Act before September 30, when most of its provisions will expire.

CARA Clears First Vote In Congress - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

House, Senate working to finalize bipartisan bill

May 28, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC (May 28, 2014) -- A House panel today quickly approved the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act (CARA), HR.4631, adopting amendments worked out withsupporters in the Senate.

The voice vote by theHouse Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, chaired by Rep. Joe Pitts R-PA) left, was the first on the bill since it was introduced May 12 by Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Mike Doyle (D-PA). The bill now goes before the full House Energy and Commerce Committee.

View the hearing below

“Today's subcommittee markup was an important first step towards passing a very important piece of legislation," said Stuart Spielman, senior policy advisor and counsel, Autism Speaks. "We must protect the federal investment in autism and ensure that it is as efficient and effective as possible going forward. We look forward to working with the House and Senate to ensure the best bill possible is signed into law to address this crisis.”

The Combating Autism Act, enacted in 2006 and then renewedin 2011, will expire September 30 unless reauthorized by Congress. The law has dedicated $1.7 billion in federal funding for autism research, prevalence monitoring and training of medical professionals.

"In addition to reauthorizing existing provisions, the bill will require a study on the needs of autistic youth transitioning into adulthood and the available services to help them as adults" said Pitts. "We have worked closely with our Senate colleagues to strengthen this bill and continue the important research to identify better prevention strategies, diagnostics, treatments, and even a cure."

Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), who chairs the full House Energy and Commerce Committee, said, "In the face of growing prevalence, it is critical that we continue to support those with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families by supporting autism research and passing H.R. 4631."

Since the law was first enacted in 2006, the prevalence of autism has jumped 123 percent.

The ranking Democrat on the subcommittee, Rep. Frank Pallone, said, "Extending the current programs already underway is still critical....The amendment reflects ongoing bipartisan and bicameral efforts to achieve consensus legislation."

Pallone said House supporters are working closely with SenatorsTom Harkin (D-IA), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), RobertMenendez (D-NJ) and Mike Enzi (R-WY)"to ensure the bill moves forward expeditiously."


Partnerships and Relationship-Building Boost Philanthropy's Effectiveness - PRNewswire
WASHINGTON, May 28, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) today released its spring issue of "Responsive Philanthropy," featuring pieces by top voices in the philanthropic sector. The release closely follows the May launch of...
May 27, 2014

Effective Communication for People with Disabilities Before, During, and After Emergencies Evaluated - PRNewswire

WASHINGTON, May 27, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new report by the National Council on Disability (NCD), an independent federal agency, examines the accessibility of communication before, during, and after emergencies for people with sensory disabilities (deaf, hard of hearing,...



Supreme Court Rejects Bright-Line Test For Intellectual Disability - DisabiltyScoop
A closely divided U.S. Supreme Court struck down a strict IQ cutoff for determining who has intellectual disability.

App In Works To Screen For Autism - DisabiltyScoop
With evidence that computer software may be able to spot signs of autism just as well as trained experts, researchers are looking to make the technology widely available via an app.

Medicaid Funds Increasingly Going To Community-Based Services - DisabiltyScoop
Spending on home and community-based services is on the rise as fewer dollars go to institutions, a new federal government report finds.

Study Finds Reading Possible Despite Low IQ - DisabiltyScoop
For students with intellectual disability, functional skills are often prioritized over academics, but a new study finds that children with low IQ are capable of learning to read.

What is Your "One Day" Wish for a Life with Multiple Sclerosis? - PRNewswire

NEW YORK, May 27, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- To raise awareness of multiple sclerosis (MS), the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation, composed of MS organizations circling the globe, among them the National MS Society, is encouraging people to join together and share...


May 23, 2014

Deal In Congress Would Discourage Sheltered Workshops - DisabiltyScoop
A bipartisan deal is paving the way for Congress to require most people with disabilities to try competitive employment first before they could be employed by a sheltered workshop.

State Earmarks $11 Million To Keep 6 In Institution - DisabiltyScoop
Lawmakers have slated $11 million to keep open an institution that houses just six people with disabilities -- and could soon have as few as four -- thanks to a protracted legal battle.

In the News: 'Sweeping New Bill Seeks to Help Students with Disabilities, but it May Not Go Far Enough' - AUCD
The overhaul, Imparato said, would require sheltered workshops to ask any new participants whether they've seen a vocational rehabilitation counselor. If they haven't, they would be referred to one. That counselor would work with them to help find a job in the competitive workforce "and make a determination that they've made a reasonable effort at competitive integrated employment before winding up in a sheltered workshop," Imparato said. The bill is "trying to prevent young people from being tracked."

UCP RELEASES ANNUAL REPORT ON STATES SERVING AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES - UPC
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Kaelan Richards: 202-973-7175, krichards@ucp.org UCP RELEASES ANNUAL REPORT ON STATES SERVING AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES  8th annual Case for Inclusion report ranks, compares states on Medicaid outcomes Washington, D.C. (April 17, 2014) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) …
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UCP ANNOUNCES 2014 AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE - UPC
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Kaelan Richards: 202-973-7175, krichards@ucp.org UCP ANNOUNCES 2014 AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE Annual awards honor exceptional people, programs and partnerships across the UCP affiliate network Washington, D.C. (April 14, 2014) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) is honored to announce the …
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WORLD CP DAY 2014 IDEAS ANNOUNCED - UPC
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                      CONTACT:   January 20, 2014                                                                Kaelan Richards: 202-973-7175                                                                                                                  krichards@ucp.org $50,000 prize pool for anyone who can bring the ideas to life! More than 400 ideas submitted through “Change My World in 1 Minute” contest to help people with disabilities around …
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UCP HOLDS FIRST INTERNATIONAL DESIGN-ATHON - UPC
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Kaelan Richards: 202-973-7175, krichards@ucp.org UCP HOLDS FIRST INTERNATIONAL DESIGN-ATHON More than 100 hackers, makers and inventors gather to design and create accessible design prototypes Washington, D.C. (November 9, 2013) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP)'s Life Labs, a technology and grassroots-focused initiative dedicated to identifying, …
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UCP ANNOUNCES WORLD CEREBRAL PALSY CHALLENGE SUCCESS - UPC
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Kaelan Richards: 202-973-7175, krichards@ucp.org UCP ANNOUNCES WORLD CEREBRAL PALSY CHALLENGE SUCCESS  International fundraising and fitness event raises more than $180,000 in U.S., $1.6 million worldwide Washington, DC (November 8, 2013) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) has …
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JOIN UCP IN CELEBRATING WORLD CEREBRAL PALSY DAY - UPC
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Kaelan Richards: 202-973-7175, krichards@ucp.org JOIN UCP IN CELEBRATING WORLD CEREBRAL PALSY DAY  Share your ideas and help to change the world for people with cerebral palsy and other disabilities Washington, D.C. (October 2, 2013) – Do you …
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UCP ON NEW DEPARTMENT OF LABOR RULE - UPC
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Kaelan Richards: 202-973-7175, krichards@ucp.org UCP ON NEW DEPARTMENT OF LABOR RULE Washington, DC (September 20, 2013) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) released the following statement in response to a final rule from the U.S. Department of Labor aimed …
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UCP RESPONDS TO LONG TERM SERVICES AND SUPPORTS COMMISSION REPORT - UPC
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Kaelan Richards: 202-973-7175, krichards@ucp.org UCP RESPONDS TO LONG TERM SERVICES AND SUPPORTS COMMISSION REPORT Washington, DC (September 19, 2013) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) released the following statement in response to the Commission on Long-Term Care's Final Report to …
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2013 WORLD CEREBRAL PALSY CHALLENGE BEGINS TODAY! - UPC
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Kaelan Richards: 202-973-7175, krichards@ucp.org 2013 WORLD CEREBRAL PALSY CHALLENGE BEGINS TODAY! More than 1,500 participants commit to 10,000 steps a day to raise awareness and support for people with CP and other disabilities Washington, DC (September 4, 2013) – United …
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The Arc and UCP React to Offensive Language to People with Disabilities in The Wolf of Wall Street - UPC
For Immediate Release                                                  Contact (The Arc): Kristen McKiernan January 13, 2014           …
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Documentary 'Questions of Discrimination' Examines Screening for Mental Health Disabilities - AUCD
The documentary "Questions of Discrimination" portrays national and state disability advocates discussing the impact questions of "character and fitness" which screen for mental health disabilities have on applicants and diversity in the legal profession. AUCD's Andy Imparato is featured in this documentary.

House Approves Better Access to ABA For Military Kids - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

TRICARE reforms included in new Defense bill; Senate is next

May 22, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC (May 22, 2014) -- The U.S. House of Representatives today approved a new Defense budgetwhich includesa requirement that TRICARE dramatically improve access to applied behavior analysis (ABA) for all military children with developmental disabilities. Action moves next to the Senate.

The TRICARE amendment to the National Defense Appropriations Act for FY 2015 would provide access to ABA for all children with developmental disabilities, improve coverage to address medically recommended treatment levels, and allow for coverage of the ABA tiered-service delivery model which includes Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts and ABA Technicians.

The amendment is virtually identical to the Caring for Military Children with Developmental Disabilities Act sponsored by Reps. John Larson (D-CT) and Tom Rooney (R-FL). A companion measure in the Senate is sponsored by Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Marco Rubio (R-FL).

“The House stood up for military families today- moving us one step closer to ensuring that children with developmental disabilities covered by TRICARE have access to the care they deserve,” said Larson. “The bottom line is that this is the right thing to do.

"We must be doing everything we can to ensure that those who have sacrificed so much for our nation have the peace of mind that their children will be able to access the care they need," he said.

“Families across the country face incredible challenges in raising children with development disabilities,” said Rooney. “I've seen this firsthand with my two nephews. For our military families, these challenges can be particularly daunting. Passing this amendment helps ensure that the children of our troops and military retirees have access to the health care services they need.”

Similar legislation cleared bothhouses of Congress in 2012,but the measure was watered down in conference committee to a one-year pilot program. Launched last summer, the programhas been problematic and has served very few children.

Including the pilot, TRICARE now has three different programs delivering ABA services in three different ways, but none of themare permanent. TRICARE has reported to Congress it plans to consolidate the three programs into a new demonstration whichwould also be temporary. The Larson/Rooney amendment works to make ABA coverage a permanent medical benefit under TRICARE.

May 22, 2014

Impact: Feature Issue on Stories of Advocacy, Stories of Change from People with Disabilities, Their Families, and Allies (1988-2013) - AUCD
The just-released 25th anniversary issue of the publication Impact from the Institute on Community Integration brings together powerful personal stories from individuals with disabilities, their families, and allies to provide a snapshot of how the disability rights movement has touched individual lives over the past 25 years.
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