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October 22, 2014

Carrington Charitable Foundation's 4th Annual Golf Classic Raises Over $1.4 Million for Wounded Heroes - PRNewswire

ALISO VIEJO, Calif., Oct. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Carrington Charitable Foundation (CCF) today announced that it raised over $1.4 million for wounded Heroes and their families at its 4th Annual Golf Classic event on October 6th, 2014. Held at The Resort at Pelican Hill in...



Staying Above the Rising Waters: How Your Own Personal Emergency Preparation Can Save Your Life - PRNewswire
SHORT HILLS, N.J., Oct. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This article is 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 and programs to empower...

NYC Nursing Home, Gold Crest Care Center, Spotlights the Differences Between Hospice and Palliative Care Services for Chronic or Terminal Illnesses - PRNewswire

BRONX, N.Y., Oct. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Gold Crest Care Center, a leading nursing home in NYC, explains the differences in hospice and palliative care services and spotlights the center's hospice and palliative care service options. For more information, or to speak with a...



AVACEN Medical Announces FDA Clearance of First Medical Device with Internal Game Mode - PRNewswire

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- AVACEN Medical announced today that its AVACEN 100 Class II medical device received 510 (k) OTC clearance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This clearance allows the AVACEN 100 to be marketed over the Internet for: the temporary relief of...



Professional Diversity Network To Host Career Fair In Chicago - PRNewswire

CHICAGO, Oct. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Today Professional Diversity Network, Inc. (Nasdaq:IPDN) announced it will host a Professional & Technology Diversity Career Fair in Chicago for diverse professionals including women, veterans, African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic...



SSI Payments To Increase - DisabiltyScoop
Monthly Social Security payments -- including those for Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries -- will go up next year.

Accomplished Cross-Sector Leader Named UCP Chair - UPC
Effective October 1, United Cerebral Palsy’s Board of Trustees welcomed new members and several new officers to help lead the national nonprofit organization for people with disabilities and their families. UCP has more than 80 affiliates in the U.S. and internationally. Gloria …
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October 21, 2014

Labor Secretary: Shift Away From Subminimum Wage An ‘Example' - DisabiltyScoop
U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez is hoping that states will follow the federal government's lead in moving away from paying people with disabilities less than minimum wage.

Family Wants Apology For Duct-Taped Son - DisabiltyScoop
A teen with autism who was found duct-taped to a goalpost earlier this month has faced backlash over the incident, but his family says they don't want to see criminal charges in the case.

AUCD Welcomes New Staff - AUCD
AUCD is pleased to welcome several new and talented staff to our Central Office team!AUCD is pleased to welcome several new and talented staff to our Central Office! We are excited about the expertise they bring and the contributions we are confident they'll make in working for the network and people with disabilities.

Three-time Paralympian Stephanie Dixon named Canada's Assistant Chef De Mission for the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games - PRNewswire

Note to media: Broadcast-quality B-roll is available at www.SendtoNews.com. High-resolution photos can be downloaded at http://tinyurl.com/lw544ow OTTAWA, Oct. 21, 2014 /CNW/ - The Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) is pleased to announce that three-time Paralympic swimmer Stephanie...



Feds Warn Schools On Bullying Of Kids With Disabilities - DisabiltyScoop
In response to an increasing number of complaints, federal officials are reminding schools of their responsibilities to ensure that students with disabilities are not subjected to bullying.
October 20, 2014

Wounded Warriors Canada Announces 2015 Battlefield Bike Ride - PRNewswire

Canadians will cycle nearly 600km from Vimy Ridge to Nijmegen in commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands TORONTO, Oct. 20, 2014 /CNW/ - Wounded Warriors Canada is proud to announce that they will host their second annual Battlefield Bike...



AUCD Announces 2014 Trainee Scholarship Recipients - AUCD
AUCD is proud to sponsor 20 trainees with scholarships to the AUCD 2014 Conference. The trainees selected come from 17 centers, and represent both LENDs and UCEDDs in over 10 disciplines.

WA State Orders ABA Covered, Past Denials Reconsidered - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

Order issued in wake of state Supreme Court ruling

October 20, 2014

October 20, 2014 -- Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has ordered the state's private insurers tostop enforcing blanket exclusions for medically necessary mental health coverage, such as applied behavior analysis (ABA) for autism,and to reconsider all claimsdating back to 2006 that were denied on the basis of a blanket exclusion.

Kriedler's order was issued in the wake of the Washington Supreme Court's unanimous ruling that such blanket exclusions violate bothstate and federal mental health parity law. While Krielder's order does not specifically reference autism or ABA, it was the result of the Supreme Court's decision in O.S.T. v Regence, a class action suit dealingwith denials of ABA on the basis ofblanket exclusionsfor individuals diagnosed with autism.

“The court ruled decisively on behalf of Washington consumers, and I intend to see that insurers doing business in our state follow through on this decision,” Kreidler said. “I expect the insurers to do a thorough review of all policyholders who may have current and past claims that may be impacted by this decision and to start the process immediately.”

Kreidler's office was assailed last week in a Seattle Times editorial for having left enforcement of the mental health parity law to the courts, rather than taking action on its own.

"He has been slow to stand up for the tens of thousands of families struggling to get necessary care for loved ones with mental illness," the Times wrote. "Astoundingly, his office has not taken a single enforcement action on the law, and a proposed rule to strengthen enforcement has languished in his office for two years."

In his letter to insurers issued today, Kreidler directed that claims for medically necessary services could no longer be denied on the basis of blanket or categorical exclusions. If currentinsurance contracts do contain exclusions, then policyholders must be notified of the "correct coverage standard." Health plans to be issued in 2015 will be reviewed for compliance.

In addition, insurers.were given until March 1, 2015 to identify all mental health claims dating back to 2006 that were denied on the basis of a blanket exclusion and to implement aprocess for allowing improperly denied claims to be re-evaluated.

The provision reflects a proposed settlement between Regence Blue Shield in the state andfederal class action lawsuits in which the insurer would establisha $6 million fund to reimburse out-of-pocket expenses incurred by policyholders for improperlydenied claims.

“With this settlement and the recent (state) Supreme Court decision, the standard for coverage in Washington state is clearly established,” said Eleanor Hamburger, of Sirianni Youtz Spoonemore Hamburger, who represented the plaintiffs.

Hamburger has reached settlementswith the state's three largest private insurers and the state employees health plan, and is representing employees suing Boeing for its denialof autism benefits. The federal class action suit against Regence coveredhealth plans regulated under federal ERISA laws and alleged violations of federal mental health parity law. All of the actions are based on denials of ABA coverage for children with autism.

Mental health parity laws do not require mental health coverage; rather, they require health plans that do cover mental health benefits to cover those benefits at parity with physical health benefits.


Affordable Housing Grant to Help 14 Disabled, Low-Income Citizens Achieve Homeownership - PRNewswire

JACKSON, Miss., Oct. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In its continuing commitment to the community, BancorpSouth Bank has secured a $147,000 grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) to help the University of Southern Mississippi Institute for Disability Studies in...



In Siblings, Autism Signs Often Apparent At 18 Months - DisabiltyScoop
About 20 percent of younger siblings of those with autism are on the spectrum too and they often show symptoms of the developmental disorder as young as 18 months, researchers say.
October 17, 2014

Sixty Low-Income Homeowners to Get Critical Home Repairs Thanks to Housing Grant - PRNewswire

LEXINGTON, Miss., Oct. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- BankPlus, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas), and Community Students Learning Center (CSLC) have teamed up to rehab 60 homes in the city of Lexington, Mississippi, and Leflore County. According to BankPlus...



Minister Bergen Highlights Benefits of Registered Disability Savings Plan - PRNewswire
Welcomes new RDSP Action Group in B.C. VANCOUVER, Oct. 17, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development), joined Don McRae, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation of British Columbia, in marking Registered Disability Savings...

Disney Urged To Include Characters With Disabilities - DisabiltyScoop
Tens of thousands have signed a petition calling for Disney to include characters with Down syndrome in its animated films.

Therapy Pig Wins Reprieve - DisabiltyScoop
After a nearly yearlong battle, a family will get to keep a 65-pound pig in their home that they say offers support for their children with special needs.

AUCD Announces 2014 Emerging Leader Scholarship Recipients - AUCD
The Emerging Leader Scholarship Fund was established to support emerging leaders in the AUCD Network with an emphasis on self-advocates, family members and early career professionals. Recipients receive a travel scholarship and registration funds for the AUCD Conference in Washington, DC, where they gain valuable opportunities in networking, mentorship, and professional growth.

'Historic' Settlement On Autism Benefits Reached In Washington State - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

Regence Blue Shield agrees to cover ABA, other treatments

October 17, 2014

(October 17, 2014) -- Regence Blue Shield, the largest Washington State health insurer, has agreed to settle a pair ofclass action lawsuits by covering medically necessary autism treatments, including applied behavior analysis (ABA), and establishing a $6 million fund to reimburse policyholders for out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of denied claims.

Regence is the last of Washington State's three largest insurers to settle litigation brought under state and federal Mental Health Parity law over lack of coverage for autism treatment.

“With this settlement and the recent (state) Supreme Court decision, the standard for coverage in Washington state is clearly established,” said Eleanor Hamburger, of Sirianni Youtz Spoonemore Hamburger, who prepresented the plaintiffs.“All other Washington health insurers should change their policies now to ensure that children with developmental disabilities get the insurance coverage to which they are entitled.”

Hamburger was referring to a unanimous decision reached last week by the Washington State Supreme Courtin aclass action lawsuit that found Regence's blanket exclusion of treatments on the basis of an autism diagnosis violated the state's 2005 Mental Health Parity Act. Within days, Regence agreed to settle a second class action suit proceding in U.S. District Court affecting its self-insured, or so-called ERISA, plans which are regulated under federal Mental Health Parity law.

The settlement would cover both the state and federalactions and requires approval by both judges.

The proposed settlement wouldrequire coveragefor medically necessary speech, occupational and physical therapies and ABA therapy to treat mental health conditions, including autism.Exclusions,age limits,monetary caps and visit limits would all be prohibited. A $6 million settlement fund would be established by Regence to reimburse policyholders whose previous claims for autism coverage were denied.

"...This proposed Settlement Agreement – now buttressed by the Washington State Supreme Court – fundamentally changes the insurance landscape for all Regence's Washington insureds with developmental disabilities and autism,"according to a motion filed by Hamburger before the state and federal judges hearing the cases. "If approved, the Agreement would expand and align Regence's coverage obligations with the two other large carriers in Washington (Premera and Group Health), resulting in a historic, market-wide expansion of access to medically necessary therapies in Washington State for individuals with developmental disabilities."

Once the two judges issue their preliminary approval, final hearingswill be scheduled in each court and a notice will be sent to all class members about the settlement, the final hearings, and the process for submitting claims for reimbursement of out-of-pocket neurodevelopmental therapy costs.

If the final settlement agreement is approved, Hamburger said sheestimates thatfunds from the $6 million settlement fund could be disbursed to affected families by April or May of 2015.

In addition to the Regence, Premera Blue Cross and Group Health Cooperative actions, Hamburger has won a settlement with the Washington Health Care Authority requiring coverage for state employees and has filed an action against Boeing.

October 16, 2014

Nearly 1.7 Million Households Saved $340 Million In Tax Preparation Fees Thanks To MyFreeTaxes - PRNewswire

ROCKVILLE, Md., Oct. 16, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Up until the final bell of the extended filing season, MyFreeTaxes — the nation's only free online tax preparation and filing initiative available to residents in all 50 states and the District of Columbia earning $58,000 or...



Sub-Human Treatment of the Disabled by New York State Agencies - PRNewswire
ALBANY, N.Y., Oct. 16, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Jonathan Carey Foundation is exposing the ugly truths of what continues in NYS since Willowbrook. NYS Governor Cuomo's Justice Center is treating the disabled as sub-humans and is violating their Civil Rights by denying...

Levo Tinnitus System Receives Health Canada License as a Class 2 Medical Device - PRNewswire

PORTLAND, Ore., Oct. 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Otoharmonics® Corporation, announces that it has received a Class 2 medical device license from Health Canada for the Levo® system, a personalized neuroscience-based sound therapy for use in the temporary relief of tinnitus...



Court Challenge Launched Against the Elimination of Door-to-Door Delivery - PRNewswire

OTTAWA, Oct. 16, 2014 /CNW/ - Representatives from seniors' groups and organizations for people with disabilities joined the Canadian Union of Postal Workers today to launch a major legal challenge to the attempt to end home mail delivery. "In Canada, people should count, not just the...



AUCD Announces 2014 Emerging Leader Scholarship Recipients - AUCD
The Emerging Leader Scholarship Fund was established to support emerging leaders in the AUCD Network with an emphasis on self-advocates, family members and early career professionals. Recipients receive a travel scholarship and registration funds for the AUCD Conference in Washington, DC, where they gain valuable opportunities in networking, mentorship, and professional growth.

Autism Speaks' Lorri Unumb To Speak At TN Law School - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

Will address enacting insurance reform laws in conservative states

October 16, 2014

LEXINGTON, SC (October16, 2014) -- Lorri Unumb, Esq., vice president for state government affairs at Autism Speaks, will address the Belmont University School of Lawon "Legislating Autism Coverage: The Conservative Insurance Mandate" at a Law Review Symposium on Health CareFriday, October 17 in Nashville.

Unumb won the fight for autism insurance reform in her native South Carolina in 2006 then went on with Autism Speaks to help manage the enactment of similar laws in 35 other states. Today, 75 percent of the nation's population is covered under state laws barring the insurance industry's practice of excludingany coverage for autism treatment.

In addition to California, Texas and New York, Unumb helped manage the enactment of reform laws inArkansas, Louisiana,Utah, Nebraska, Kansas and Alaska. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer was persuaded to veto a bill sent to her by the Legislature which would have voided its state mandate.

Tennessee is one of 13 states yet to enact autism insurance reform. Efforts will resume in 2015 with the Legislature to outlaw the insurance industry's exclusionary practices.

Belmont's Annual Symposium will be held on Friday, October 17 at the Baskin Center, home of its College of Law. Unumbis scheduled to speak at9 am.


Harvard Study Finds Psychiatrists Tough To Access - DisabiltyScoop
Making an appointment with a psychiatrist is often an uphill battle no matter if you're insured or if you intend to pay out of pocket, a new study suggests.
October 15, 2014

Mobility Ventures to Showcase New Luxury MV-1 at Taxicab, Limousine and Paratransit Association Annual Convention and Tradeshow 2014 - PRNewswire

SOUTH BEND, Ind., Oct. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Mobility Ventures LLC, designer and manufacturer of the acclaimed MV-1—, the only American vehicle purpose-built and designed from the ground up in support of people who use wheelchairs—is pleased to announce its attendance...



White House Honors Disability Employment Champions of Change - AUCD
Ten people from across the country were honored as Disability Employment Champions of Change at the White House on October 14, 2014 for their efforts to expand employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

NY Care Facilities Rampant with Physical and Sexual Abuse - PRNewswire

ALBANY, N.Y., Oct. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Jonathan Carey Foundation -- Governor Cuomo has ignored pleas for required direct reporting of abuse and neglect of the disabled to go immediately to 911. Instead Governor Cuomo continues to allow most witnessed and reported...



AudioEye Announces New Advisory Board Members - PRNewswire

TUCSON, Ariz., Oct. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- AudioEye®, Inc. (OTCQB: AEYE) ("AudioEye" or the "Company"), creator of the Audio Internet™ patented audio browsing and automated publishing technology platform, today announced that Joyce Bender, and Bernie Kossar have joined...



Teens Charged In Ice Bucket Case - DisabiltyScoop
Five teens have been charged with dumping a bucket containing urine and tobacco spit on a 15-year-old with autism who thought he was taking part in the "ice bucket challenge."
October 14, 2014

Wheelchair Ad Sparks Controversy In Divisive Governor's Race - DisabiltyScoop
How and when it's appropriate to reference a candidate's disability are at issue in a closely-watched governor's race in one of the nation's largest states.

Dr. Bryant-Claxton Named Executive Director of the Institute for Disabilities Studies (IDS) (MS UCEDD) - AUCD
Dr. Beth Bryant-Claxton brings a wealth of experience as a clinical psychologist and administrator into her new role as executive director of The University of Southern Mississippi Institute for Disability Studies. Dr. Bryant-Claxton joined the Institute for Disabilities Studies (IDS), Mississippi's University Center for Excellence in Research, Education and Service (UCEDD), on Oct. 6.

Dr. Joann Yuen Appointed Director of the University of Hawaii Center on Disability Studies - AUCD
Dr. JoAnn Yuen will begin her role as director on January 1, 2015. She has been with the Center on Disability Studies (CDS) at the University of Hawaii since 1999 and has served as associate director since 2013. Yuen is the former chair of the COE Faculty Senate.

"The Inspiration Nurse" Donna Cardillo Hosts Reconnect, Refresh, Refocus: A Retreat for Caregivers to Celebrate National Family Caregivers Month in November - PRNewswire

SEA GIRT, N.J., Oct. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- November is National Family Caregivers Month and a welcome sign to many. In fact, according to the National Alliance on Caregiving, over 65 million Americans care for sick, disabled and elderly family members and friends, saving the...



Teens With Cerebral Palsy Rate Quality Of Life High - DisabiltyScoop
Adolescents with cerebral palsy have a similar quality of life to others their age, a new survey suggests.

Autism Symptoms Eased By Broccoli Extract, Study Finds - DisabiltyScoop
A chemical that's found in broccoli and other vegetables may be able to dramatically improve behavior and social skills in those with autism, researchers say.

AUCD 2014: Which concurrent session will you be attending? - AUCD
You will have a hard time choosing which concurrent session to attend because they are all pretty fantastic. AUCD2014 features nearly 50 concurrents in over 25 hot topics including advocacy, clinical service, postsecondary education, employment, self-determination, and leadership!
October 13, 2014

Haitian Story of Triumph and Survival Featured at NYC Independent Film Festival - PRNewswire
NEW HAVEN, Conn., Oct. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A documentary about hope and healing in the midst of the horrific aftermath of Haiti's 2010 earthquake will be a featured presentation at the NYC Independent Film Festival in the Royal Theatre at the Producers Club, 358 W 44th...

Mobility Ventures to Showcase Latest MV-1 Models at American Public Transportation Association EXPO 2014 - PRNewswire
SOUTH BEND, Ind., Oct. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Mobility Ventures LLC, designer and manufacturer of the acclaimed MV-1 — the only American vehicle purpose-built and designed from the ground up in support of people who use wheelchairs — is proud to announce its attendance...

White House To Spotlight Disability Employment - DisabiltyScoop
Ten people from across the country will be honored at the White House this week for their efforts to expand employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
October 10, 2014

Challenge Yourself to Change Lives at the Fifth Annual Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Washington, D.C. - PRNewswire

WASHINGTON, Oct. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Best Buddies International, a nonprofit dedicated to creating opportunities for friendship, employment and leadership training for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), is pleased to announce that Scott...



Feds Delay Enforcement Of New Caregiver Pay Rule - DisabiltyScoop
The Obama administration says it will delay enforcement of a new rule granting federal minimum wage and overtime protections to in-home care workers who assist people with disabilities.

Parent Training Shows Promise For Kids With Autism - DisabiltyScoop
Monthly home visits to teach parents how to best work with their children with autism can go a long way toward improving kids' interactions, researchers say.

CT Launches Post-Newtown Overhaul Of Behavioral Health Care - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

Autism-specific steps included in plan announced by Governor

October 10, 2014

(October 10, 2014) -- Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy has announced a comprensive overhaul of the state's emergency and lonterm behavioral health care system, includingfour steps specific to upgrading treatment for children with autism. The reforms were required by legislation enacted after the 2012 mass shooting tragedy inNewtown.

“No child in mental health crisis should have to wait days to get access to the treatment they need," Malloy said. "That is why I am announcing a series of strategies that...can be implemented immediately."

The Connecticut plan calls for short-term improvements toemergency care services which, in line with national trends, have experienced increasing admissions of youths with acute behavioral health issues and delays in discharges. Malloy's plan calls for immediate increases in emergencycare capacity with specific accommodations for the autism community.

The longer term changes were developed bythe state Department of Children and Families (DCF) as required under Public Act 13-178, legislation enacted following the Newtown tragedy.

In a review of emergency care services required by children in HUSKY, the state's Medicaid program, nearly half the children with autism enrolled in the programneededto visit anemergency roomover an 18-month period. Nearly half of those visits were because of behavioral, rather than medical, reasons, versus just 7 percent for the overall HUSKY population.

In response, four steps were outlined specific to the autism community:

  • Connecticut will implement the federal government's July 7 directive to provide medically necessary treatment through its Medicaid program forchildren with autism up to age 21. An outline of services is expected October 22.
  • The state will invest up to $1 million to create up tothreeteams of specially trained practitioners to address the unique needs of children with autismreceiving care in Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities and other settings to recommend a successful out-placement.The transition plans may includeevidence-based interventionscovered byprivate insurance or Medicaid,work with children in hospitals orin their homes who are at risk for hospitalization.
  • An in-home care program will be created todivert children with autism aged13-21from inpatient and other residential settings.A $300,000 pilot program will serve 10 children with severely challenging behaviors. "This in-home support pilot will assist adolescents who have autism and who are exhibiting severely challenging behaviors to remain in the community and live successfully at home with their families."
  • Threespecialized inpatient hospital beds will be providedfor individuals experiencing the most acute and complex autismand co-occurring psychiatric disorders. A small number ofindividualsrequire hospitalization because of intense behavior challenges, but Connecticut has been ill-equipped to handle them.

DCF estimates that 156,000Connecticut children may have behavioral health symptoms that would benefit from treatment.

"Families experience a number of barriers to treatment including a highly fragmented system in which access varies according to such factors as insurance status, involvement in child welfare or juvenile justice, race and ethnicity, language, and geographic location," the Department concluded. "In addition, the array of services lacks sufficient inclusion of supports for all children and families that promote nurturing relationships and environments that foster social, emotional, and behavioral wellness. A comprehensive plan is required to guide the efforts of multiple stakeholders in developing a children's behavioral health system that builds on existing strengths and addresses the many challenges that exist."

The Governor's immediate action plan is HERE.

The DCF longterm plan is HERE.

October 9, 2014

SCLAD (Spinal Cord Living-Assistance Development, Inc.) celebrates National Disability Employment Awareness Month with its Esteemed Employee Awards - PRNewswire
HIALEAH, Fla., Oct. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- SCLAD, Inc. is hosting a Luncheon to celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) on October 17, 2014, at the Rusty Pelican in Key Biscayne, Florida. Kathleen Martinez, Assistant Secretary, Office of Disability...

Help for Stuttering is as Close as Your Computer - PRNewswire
MEMPHIS, Tenn., Oct. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a letter by Jane Fraser, president of the Stuttering Foundation: Dear Editor, International Stuttering Awareness Day is Oct. 22, and it's a great time to remind your readers that there is a wealth of...

Pentagon Delays Proposed Rate Cuts For ABA - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

New program would have cut ABA provider rates in half

October 09, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC (October 9, 2014) --The Department of Defense has announced it will delay a planned cut in what it pays providers through TRICARE to deliver applied behavior analysis (ABA) treatment to military kids with autism.

The new demonstration program allows coverage of BCBA/BCBA-D direct services and the tiered service delivery model, which includes BCaBAs and Behavior Technicians, by consolidating existing programs under one uniform benefit for all TRICARE beneficiaries with autism.The cut in reimbursement was among a series of changes included in TRICARE's new consolidated ABA benefit for beneficiaries that is scheduled to take effect October 20.

In a statement, a Department of Defense spokesperson confirmed thatTRICARE will delay any ABA reimbursement rate changes until April 20, 2015.

"The Department understands the concerns caused by the rate change," the DoD said. "In order to address these concerns, the Department has commissioned an independent review of the Demonstration."

Autism Speaks responded to the announcement as a positive sign.

"We are encouraged to see the DoD respond to the concerns of families and providers," said Karen Driscoll, Autism Speaks' associate director for federal government affairs & military relations.


On the 10-Year Anniversary of Christopher Reeve's Passing, Breakthrough in Paralysis Research Prompts Initiative to Fast Track Groundbreaking Therapy - PRNewswire

SHORT HILLS, N.J., Oct. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On the eve of the 10-year anniversary of the passing of actor and activist Christopher Reeve (9/25/52 – 10/10/04), today, the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation launched the most ambitious effort in its history –...



Teliphone Corp. wishes to Announces Final Settlement Agreement with Unifor - PRNewswire
VANCOUVER, Oct. 8, 2014 /CNW/ - Nevada-based Teliphone Corp. (OTCPK:TLPH), a holding corporation in the telecommunications industry.  is pleased to announce that it has executed a settlement agreement with Unifor (formerly CEP, the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers' Union...

Police Investigating After Teen With Autism Found Duct-Taped - DisabiltyScoop
A high school soccer coach and two players have been suspended after a teenager with autism was found duct-taped to a goalpost.
October 8, 2014

Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare Announces Winners of Statewide Contest for Artists with Disabilities - PRNewswire
HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW) honored the winners of a new statewide art contest, "Art: The Universal Language," during a celebration today in the Capitol Rotunda. The art contest was a partnership...

Boston Children's Hospital to lead NIH-funded Rare Diseases Consortium studying autism and intellectual disability - PRNewswire
BOSTON, Oct. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Under a five-year, $6 million grant announced today by the National Institutes of Health, Boston Children's Hospital will lead 10 medical centers in studying three rare genetic syndromes that often cause autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and...

Canadian Paralympic Committee unveils world-leading Paralympic FUNdamentals physical literacy resource for schools across Canada - PRNewswire
NOTE TO EDITORS: High Definition video available for download at www.sendtonews.com Free resource for educators in Canada sets a leading standard for international best practices designed to usher in a new era of inclusiveness to help students of all abilities play and learn...

AUCD 2014: New Plenary Speakers Confirmed - AUCD
AUCD is pleased to welcome several amazing plenary speakers to our 2014 Conference! Don't miss out on these engaging speakers, register today!

Billionaire Urges Disability Hiring - DisabiltyScoop
One of the richest people in the world is calling on employers to join him in hiring people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
October 7, 2014

Billionaire Carlos Slim and Best Buddies International Founder Anthony K. Shriver Call on Employers to Pledge "I'M IN TO HIRE" Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities - PRNewswire

MIAMI, Oct. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Business leaders, celebrities and supporters across the nation are joining billionaire industrialist Carlos Slim and Anthony K. Shriver, founder and chairman of Best Buddies International, today to challenge employers to pledge "I'M IN TO...



Supreme Court Seeks Input On IDEA Case - DisabiltyScoop
The U.S. Supreme Court is asking the Obama administration to weigh in on a case involving who should pay for private school tuition while special education disputes are litigated.

Impaired Prediction Ability May Be Behind Autism - DisabiltyScoop
An inability to place behaviors in context -- such as what usually comes before or after a smile, a cry or a shout -- could be at the root of autism, researchers say.

Join the Conversation: I'm In To Hire Day - AUCD
I'M IN TO HIRE is purposed to promote the business benefits for hiring people living with intellectual and developmental disabilities* (IDD) and motivate employers across the globe to create a more inclusive workplace. Show your support by resharing any post from @ImInToHire. Thank you for supporting our campaign and weighing in on social media.

Professional Diversity Network's Jobs Report Reveals U.S. Hispanics Making Strides in Employment - PRNewswire
CHICAGO, Oct. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Today Professional Diversity Network, Inc. (Nasdaq:IPDN) releases its newest Diversity Jobs Report (DJR) and Diversity Jobs Index (DJI.)  In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, the October report highlights the employment...

Ranking Names Best Cities For People With Disabilities - DisabiltyScoop
A new ranking is offering insight on the nation's best and worst places for people with disabilities to call home.
October 6, 2014

White House Summit and Commit to Inclusion Campaign Launch - PRNewswire
WASHINGTON, Oct. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability, the American Association on Health and Disability, and the Center on Disability at the Public Health Institute are joining the President's Council on Fitness, Sports...

Families Turn To Social Media With Special Ed Complaints - DisabiltyScoop
Social media shaming increasingly is a tactic parents employ when calling, emailing or sitting through IEP meetings does not get the results they seek.
October 3, 2014

U.S. Census Bureau Facts for Features: Veterans Day 2014: Nov. 11 - PRNewswire

WASHINGTON, Oct. 3, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Veterans Day originated as "Armistice Day" on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary marking the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday beginning in...



New "Breakthroughs" PSA from the American Foundation for the Blind to Air in Honor of Blindness Awareness Month - PRNewswire
NEW YORK, Oct. 3, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new public service announcement (PSA) from the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) is scheduled to air on national television this October in honor of Blindness Awareness Month. Through the generous support of Litton Entertainment,...

White House To Convene Disability Summit - DisabiltyScoop
For the first time, a White House event will bring together experts from across the country to address the unique health and fitness concerns of those with disabilities.

Employment Report Shows Signs Of Improvement - DisabiltyScoop
As the nation's jobless rate hit a milestone last month, work prospects for Americans with disabilities appeared to improve just slightly, the U.S. Department of Labor said Friday.

Stetson University and USF Health form first-of-a-kind partnership to help veterans - PRNewswire
GULFPORT, Fla., Oct. 2, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Stetson University College of Law and the University of South Florida are joining forces to help Florida veterans through supportive clinical services, collaborative student training and joint research.  The collaboration will...
October 2, 2014

Government of Canada improves accessibility for Canadians with disabilities in Oshawa - PRNewswire
OSHAWA, ON, Oct. 2, 2014 /CNW/ - Canadians with disabilities will gain better access to programs and services in their community, the Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, announced today on behalf of the Honourable Candice...

Minister Bergen addresses Special Olympics Canada to highlight benefits of Registered Disability Savings Plan - PRNewswire
OTTAWA, Oct. 2, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development), highlighted the benefits of the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) during a meeting of Special Olympics senior representatives from all regions of Canada, who gathered in Ottawa...

New Mobile App Makes Audio Streaming of Newspapers and Magazines Available to Persons with Print Disabilities - PRNewswire

WINDSOR, Conn., Oct. 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- CRIS (Connecticut Radio Information System, Inc.) today announced the release of an Android smartphone app that makes it easy for people who are blind, and those with other print disabilities to access human narrated versions of newspapers...



Time Extended to Oct. 8 to Apply for MTC Policy Advisory Council Vacancies - PRNewswire

OAKLAND, Calif., Oct. 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Metropolitan Transportation Commission – the Bay Area's transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency – is recruiting interested Bay Area residents to fill three vacancies on its Policy Advisory Council. MTC has...



TV Networks Featuring More Characters With Disabilities - DisabiltyScoop
The number of characters with disabilities appearing on broadcast television is on the rise, according to a new analysis.

AUCD Welcomes Shannon Haworth as the new senior specialist for the LEND team at AUCD - AUCD
Shannon Haworth most recently worked for the Partnership for People with Disabilities as the Project Manager for the Virginia state autism implementation grant. She is a former Virginia LEND (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities) trainee.
October 1, 2014

Goodwill® Pledges to Employ and Empower People with Disabilities - PRNewswire

ROCKVILLE, Md., Oct. 1, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Throughout the month of October, Goodwill is proud to stand with the U.S. Department of Labor to support National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). This national campaign raises awareness about the contributions...



It's Time To #CutTheBull - PRNewswire
TAMPA, Fla., Oct. 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Children with physical disabilities are twice as likely to be bullied, impacting their educational, physical and emotional development.* In support of National Bullying Prevention Month, Shriners Hospitals for Children® and...

By Huge Margins Swing Voters in Key Battleground States More Likely to Vote for Candidate Committed to Jobs for People with Disabilities - PRNewswire
WASHINGTON, Oct. 1, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Rsvp for call at 1:30pm TODAY and to receive the dial-in information and caption link http://respectabilityusa.com/events-2/ NEW Bi-partisan poll of key battleground states presented by top pollsters, Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg...

Group Multimedia Art Exhibit Moves Into Oakland - PRNewswire

OAKLAND, Calif., Sept. 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Artful Steps, in collaboration with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), proudly announces a group art exhibit featuring the work of people with developmental disabilities. On the Move includes over 70 works of various mediums...



Former Students Offered Make-Up Special Education Services - DisabiltyScoop
A federal judge is ordering one state to offer services to some 1,800 former special education students who were forced out of public schools two years early.
September 30, 2014

Kessler Foundation Partners with New Jersey Health Foundation To Start Innovative Companies To Change the Lives of People with Disabilities - PRNewswire
WEST ORANGE, N.J. and NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., Sept. 30, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The signing of a formal affiliation agreement that allows Kessler Foundation and New Jersey Health Foundation (NJHF) to work together to advance biomedical research, education and patient care...

Neeld Wilson Receives Veterans of Influence Award - PRNewswire

ORLANDO, Fla., Sept. 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Neeld Wilson was among 25 military veterans who made a significant achievement in their careers in the last year.  He has a strong record of innovation and outstanding performance in work and is active in his community. "There are...



Suit Accuses Papa John's Of Violating ADA - DisabiltyScoop
The EEOC is accusing Papa John's Pizza of discrimination after an employee with Down syndrome was fired, allegedly because he needed the assistance of a job coach.

Birth Control Options Stressed For Teens With Disabilities - DisabiltyScoop
Doctors are getting a reminder that adolescents with developmental disabilities are interested in sex too and their need for guidance and contraception should not be overlooked.

What Happens When Sheltered Workshops Close? - DisabiltyScoop
Vermont closed its last sheltered workshop in 2002. Today, the employment rate of people with developmental disabilities in the New England state is twice the national average.
September 29, 2014

Mass Adult Day Health Alliance Acquired by Civitis Solutions Inc. - PRNewswire
BOSTON, Sept. 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Mass Adult Day Health Alliance, the largest provider of adult day health programs for elders in Massachusetts, announced today that it has been acquired by Civitis Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: CIVI), a national organization of local...

Merck Partners with eSSENTIAL Accessibility to offer app for people with disabilities - PRNewswire
Global healthcare leader now offers a free app that makes it easier for people with disabilities to browse its websites TORONTO, Sept. 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ - eSSENTIAL Accessibility is proud to announce its partnership with Merck, the global healthcare leader working to help the...

Young People With Autism More Sedentary, Study Finds - DisabiltyScoop
Children with autism are far less physically active than their typically-developing peers, researchers say.

Medicaid: States Cannot 'Delay Or Deny' Autism Treatment - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

Federal government further clarifies directive on ABA benefits

September 29, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC (September 29, 2014) -- The federal government has issued guidance to states emphasizing that they can neither delay nor deny medically necessary autism treatments, such as ABA, through their Medicaid programs for individuals up to age 21.

The message was delivered in FAQs posted September 24 regarding the July 7 Informational Bulletin issued by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) concerning autism benefits states must provide through the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT) program. While no specific deadline is set forth in the FAQs, "CMS believes states should complete this work expeditiously and should not delay or deny provision of medically necessary services."

In addition to questions on timing, there was confusion among some states because the July Bulletin did not explicitly state that ABA, the most well-accepted and efficacious therapy for individuals with autism, was a required treatment. In the FAQ's, "CMS made clear that while it did not single out ABA as a mandated treatment, just as it does not mandate other specific treatments, like chemotherapy for children with cancer, all care that is medically necessary for an individual must be provided," said Dan Unumb, executive director of the Autism Speaks Legal Resource Center.

According to the FAQs, this obligation to provide all medically necessary services that can be covered under Medicaid is part of the states' “long-standing EPSDT obligations” to children from birth to 21. Additional information about the states' EPSDT obligations is available HERE.

In the case of autism, medically necessary care includes ABA, which CMS has already indicated is a coverable service observed Unumb. "As indicated in professional literature and as held by numerous court cases, there is no question that ABA is medically necessary for many children with autism and therefore it must be made available based on individual determinations of medical necessity," he said.

Some states have also raised concerns over the cost of providing Medicaid coverage of ABA. “This is not a new issue,” said Unumb. “In almost all of the three dozen states that have mandated coverage for private insurance, nearly every state initially over-estimated the cost of providing ABA, sometimes by more than 1,000 percent.”

Unumb also said it is important to keep in mind the cost-savings of providing ABA. "Studies have shown that providing treatment to children ultimately saves the states taxpayer money by reducing the need for special education and other services and lowering long-term care costs when children reach adulthood."

The FAQs further spell out that while Medicaid State Plan Amendments are not a prerequisite to implement additional mandatory EPSDT coverage, they are strongly encouraged as a means to include the menu of services for ASD treatment as part of the State Plan's comprehensive written statement of services. The FAQs also discuss the relationship between EPSDT services and waiver services and the transition of medically necessary services from limited waiver coverage to broad state plan coverage for EPSDT-eligible individuals.

September 26, 2014

New Details Emerge On Autism Treatment Mandate - DisabiltyScoop
Federal officials are taking steps to clarify new requirements surrounding Medicaid coverage of autism treatments.

Increasingly, Adults With Down Syndrome Face Alzheimer's - DisabiltyScoop
A growing number of families are struggling to care for aging adults with Down syndrome who also have Alzheimer's disease and are losing hard-won skills.

Eight Nonprofit Organizations Will Share Kidzmet's Company Sales - PRNewswire
SANTA BARBARA, Calif., Sept. 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Kidzmet founder Jen Lilienstein announced today that her company will donate 25% of company sales of books and memberships from September 28, 2014 to January 17, 2015 to eight learning advocacy groups committed to...
September 25, 2014

AUCD2014 Hotel Rooms are Filling Quickly - AUCD
Hotel rooms at the Renaissance are filling up fast! Please book your room as soon as possible to ensure a space at the hotel. See the hotel page for more information on rates, how to book and the cut-off date for our negotiated room rate. Book yours today!

2014 Trainee Travel Scholarships - AUCD
AUCD is pleased to announce the availability of 15 travel scholarships of up to $400 each AND 5 volunteer scholarships of up to $400 each to support AUCD Trainees in attending the 2012 AUCD Conference.

All New MV-1 Wheelchair Accessible Minivan - PRNewswire

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Better Life Mobility Center is thrilled to offer its customers new and improved models of MV-1 mobility vans by Mobility Ventures LLC, an AM General Company. This year's model has been improved in many aspects, also coming equipped with new...



Due Process Hearings On Decline - DisabiltyScoop
Fewer special education disputes between parents and school districts are escalating to due process hearings, a new government report finds.
September 24, 2014

Bancroft Taps IBM to Transform the Classroom Experience with Mobile - PRNewswire

ARMONK, N.Y. and HADDONFIELD, N.J., Sept. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced today it is working with Bancroft, a major provider of specialized services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, to manage an innovative, cloud-based educational program....



Taking Iron During Pregnancy May Cut Autism Risk In Half - DisabiltyScoop
A nutrient deficiency that's common among pregnant women could impact the odds of giving birth to a child with autism, researchers say.
September 23, 2014

Study Points To More Reliable Autism Test - DisabiltyScoop
Assessing how quickly the brain responds to sights and sounds could offer a more precise and earlier method to diagnose autism, new research suggests.

Lawsuits Often Fail To Satisfy Either Side Of ADA Coin - DisabiltyScoop
No matter which side they're on, the people involved in disability access lawsuits seem to have one thing in common: supreme frustration.

AUCD Welcomes Leon Barnett as Program Specialist for the OSEP Promise TA Center - AUCD
Leon Barnett received his Master's degree in Leadership for School, Family, and Community Collaboration from The Johns Hopkins University. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Integrative Studies with a concentration in Public and Community Engagement from George Mason University.

AUCD Welcomes Jessica Finkel as Program Assistant - AUCD
Jessica Finkel assists with general office and administrative operations. She is currently working on her Master's degree in Public Policy with a concentration in Nonprofit Management and Leadership at the University of Maryland, College Park. She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Biology from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Aeroplan Partners with eSSENTIAL Accessibility to Offer App for People with Disabilities - PRNewswire
MONTREAL, Sept. 23, 2014 /CNW/ - eSSENTIAL Accessibility is proud to announce its partnership with Aeroplan, Canada's premier coalition loyalty program. Through the partnership, Aeroplan now offers a desktop app that empowers people with physical disabilities to access aeroplan.com....

In Part II of Series, English Professor Glenn Willis Asks "Dear America, Where Do We Go From Here?" - PRNewswire

PLEASANT HILL, Calif., Sept. 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Pickup up where "Dear America, Do You Hear What I Hear?" left off, Glenn Willis, Ed.D., has dedicated his new book to all the middle class citizens who still yearn for the mythical American dream and believe that change is...



All Heart Homecare Agency, a Brooklyn Home Health Care Provider, Offers Fall Prevention Tips - PRNewswire

BROOKLYN, N.Y., Sept. 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Leading Brooklyn Home Health Care provider All Heart Homecare Agency offers useful fall prevention tips to help people avoid accidents during the Autumn months. Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140923/147810 Autumn is an...



Feds Look To Boost Disability Employment - DisabiltyScoop
A new advisory committee is in the works that will be tasked with helping government officials improve job prospects for people with developmental disabilities across the country.
September 22, 2014

Special Olympics Launches New Global "Play Unified" Youth Campaign to Champion Social Equality - PRNewswire
WASHINGTON, Sept. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Special Olympics is launching a new global "Play Unified" youth campaign that will inspire and mobilize youth around the world to connect with people with intellectual disabilities and create more inclusive communities, leading to a...

Court Rejects Wakefield Lawsuit - DisabiltyScoop
Andrew Wakefield, whose now-discredited research first sparked concerns of a link between autism and vaccines, cannot pursue a defamation claim related to the matter, a court has ruled.

Deal Reached On Tax-Free Disability Savings Accounts - AUCD
Federal lawmakers say they�ve reached a deal to move forward on legislation that would establish a new way for people with disabilities to save money without jeopardizing their government benefits. Members of the U.S. Senate said Friday that they have an agreement that will allow the Achieving a Better Life Experience, or ABLE, Act to proceed.

TRICARE Launches New Consolidated ABA Demo Program - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

Autism Speaks seeks input on changes from military families, providers

September 22, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC (September 22, 2014) -- The Department of Defense has issued a new Comprehensive Autism Care Demonstration program, which consolidates the current three TRICARE programs covering ABA for beneficiaries with autism. Autism Speaks is analyzing the new program and has requested input from TRICARE beneficiaries and ABA providers on the changes.

"We will be reviewing feedback from stakeholders to understand how the new program will impact families and access to care," said Karen Driscoll, Autism Speaks' associate director for federal government affairs & military relations. "We urge military families and ABA providers to email us their input and recommendations at militaryfamilies@autismspeaks.org."

The new demonstration program sets an October 20 implementation date, and a retroactive effective date of July 25, 2014. To review the new policies, go HERE.

TRICARE currently has limited ABA coverage through its Basic, ECHO Autism Demonstration, and ABA Pilot programs. The new Demonstration program would consolidate and replace those offerings into one uniform benefit.


Senate Announces Bipartisan 'Path Forward' On ABLE Tax-Free Accounts - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

Agreement on disabilities savings accounts emerges from Senate Finance Committee

September 22, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC (September 22, 2014) -- The Senate Finance Committee announced that it has reached abipartisan agreement to move the ABLE Act allowing the creation of tax-exempt savings accounts for people with disabilities.Congress is expected totake up the bill after it returns from the November mid-term elections.

The agreement was announced by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), [on left]the committee chairman, and Orrin Hatch (R-UT), [on right]the ranking member, along with the lead Senate sponsors of the bill, Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Richard Burr (R-NC).

“Under the leadership of Senators Casey and Burr, the Senate has generated positive momentum on the ABLE Act," according to the committee statement. "Thanks to constructive and bipartisan dialogue, the bill sponsors, collaborating with Chairman Wyden and Ranking Member Hatch, have reached a policy agreement that will serve as the foundation for final passage. We are committed to working with our House colleagues to ensure this legislation will be passed in a bipartisan, bicameral manner and sent to the President's desk in the lame duck session.”

Autism Speaks commended the statement as a positive breakthrough.

"Autism Speaksthanks the leaders of the Senate Finance Committee for committing to finalize thisbill which will make such a critical difference in the lives of Americans withdisabilities," said Stuart Spielman, senior policy advisor and counsel."With rising povertyand high unemployment plaguing the disabilities community, ABLE sends a signal thatindividuals and families will be able to help themselves without suffering adverse consequences.

"We look forward to quick action when Congress returns so that the bill can get to President Obama and become law," Spielman said.

The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Acthas attracted extraordinary support. S.313 has 74 cosponsors, including the Senate's Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).The House version, HR.647, sponsored by Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-FL), is cosponsored by 380 of the House's 435 members.

The ABLE Act would allow tax-exempt Section 529 savings accounts, such as now permitted for college savings, for people with disabilities. The accounts could be used to pay for housing, medical, educational, transportation and other expenses.


CITGO Lemont Refinery Employees Beautify Shady Oaks Camp - PRNewswire

HOMER GLEN, Ill., Sept. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Team CITGO, a volunteer group of CITGO Lemont Refinery employees, continued its dedication to community service by helping prepare Shady Oaks Camp for another year of supporting adults and children with physical and developmental...


September 19, 2014

The Mental Health at Work® Challenge kicks off its cross-Canada series with the Economic Club of Canada. - PRNewswire
Canadian Business Leaders and Mental Health Advocate Margaret Trudeau sign a ground-breaking MOU to take immediate action to address mental illness in the Canadian workplace TORONTO, Sept. 19, 2014 /CNW/ - Margaret Trudeau, along with representatives from the Economic Club of...

Victory Living Programs Hosts "Queen Witch for the Day" Luncheon to Support Individuals with Disabilities - PRNewswire
FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., Sept. 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Ladies far and wide are invited to join in a "wicked" fabulous celebration that will culminate in crowning the "2014 Queen Witch for the Day." This Halloween-themed luncheon that promises to offer lots of laughter and love will raise...

September is Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) Awareness Month - Scheduled events, activities and important partnerships announced throughout the month! - PRNewswire

NEW YORK, Sept. 19, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An entire month is dedicated to one of the most common forms of inherited neuropathies – Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) – a debilitating neuromuscular disease affecting the arms, hands, feet and legs, causing extreme...



Deal Reached On Tax-Free Disability Savings Accounts - DisabiltyScoop
Federal lawmakers say they've reached a deal to move forward on a bill that would establish a new way for people with disabilities to save money without jeopardizing their government benefits.

For Adults With Autism, ABA Coverage Scarce - DisabiltyScoop
As insurance coverage for applied behavioral analysis becomes increasingly available for children, options remain limited for adults on the spectrum.

Special Issue of Medical Care Highlights Health Disparities at the Intersection of Disability, Race and Ethnicity - AUCD
It's well established that Americans with disabilities and those in underserved racial/ethnic groups face significant disparities in access to health care. Now, researchers are beginning to examine the unique patterns of health care inequalities experienced by racially and ethnically diverse patients with disabilities, according to a special October supplement to Medical Care. The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health.
September 18, 2014

More than 1 million people learn dying can still include a lot of living - PRNewswire

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Sept. 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Many people equate a conversation about hospice as being told they must give up. However, more than 1 million people across the nation have learned just the opposite. They've been touched by the National Hospice and Palliative Care...



Report: Nearly 1 In 3 With Disabilities In Poverty - DisabiltyScoop
A confluence of factors ranging from prejudice to the complexity of support systems are leaving people with disabilities disproportionately impoverished, a congressional report finds.

Poverty For Americans With Disabilities Rises, Now Double U.S. Rate - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

Congress urged to pass ABLE to address as need grows more urgent

September 18, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC (September 18, 2014) -- As unemployment and poverty decline across the nation, both indicators for Americans with disabilities are now double the national average and poverty is on the rise, a Senate committee reported today. The release ofthe U.S. Census Bureau statistics prompted renewed calls on Congress to pass the ABLE Actto dramatically increase the private resources available for adults with disabilities to pay for their housing, medical, transportation and other needs.

“If almost 30 percent of people with disabilities are living in poverty; a rate that is going up; and the unemployment rate for people with disabilities continues to be double that of people without disabilities, and only 20 percent participate in the workforce, then we face a serious problem – indeed, a crisis," said Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee.

"We are far from meeting the ADA's goal of economic self-sufficiency for people with disabilities," said Harkin [pictured (right)with ranking member Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN)], referring to the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that he authored in 1990. “To state the obvious, not being part of the workforce contributes powerfully to the incidence of poverty."

The Census Bureau data showed the rate of poverty in America in 2013 declined overallto 14.5 percent; but the rate for people with disabilities increased to 28.8 percent. Separately, the latest unemployment data shows joblessness nationwide has declined to 6 percent, but for those with disabilities it stands at 12.8 percent. Less than 20 percent of the 29 million Americans with disabilities over 16 years of age participate in the workforce compared with nearly 70 percent of those without a disability.

For the autism community, an estimated half-million Amerricans with ASDs are expected to "age out" of school-based supports as they reach age 21 over the next 10 years, accelerating the need for housing, employment and adult services.

Harkin released a committee report, "Fulfilling the Promise: Overcoming Persistent Barriers to Economic Self-Sufficiency for People with Disabilities," assessing the housing, employment, transportation and other barriers facing Americans with disabililties. The findings were based on interviews with 400 Americans with disabilities living in poverty.

Among those findingswere:

  • Living with a disability in America can be both economically and socially costly
  • Many people with disabilities fear that earning or saving too much money could cause them to lose access to supports that they need to live independently in the community
  • People with disabilities often cannot save for emergencies and unanticipated challenges
  • People with disabilities continue to report experiencing employment discrimination, discriminatory wages, inaccessible workplaces, and persistently low expectations about what they can accomplish

The Achieving A Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act (S.313/HR.647) now before Congress would allow tax-exempt savings accounts for individuals with disabilities without losing their eligibility for Social Security supplemental income, Medicaid and other public benefits. Holding more than $2,000 in lifetime savings under current law puts those benefits at risk. ABLE accounts could be used to pay for housing, medical, transportation, educationaland other needs.

Alexander andSen. Robert Casey (D-PA), the original Senate sponsor of S.313, urged passage of the bill and several witnesses who testified before the HELP committee also saidABLE could be a valuable tool to tackle poverty.

"There is no way to save for emergencies and other things to help pull them out of poverty," said Becky Duncan Massey, aTennessee state senator who has worked 21 years as a disabilities provider. "The $2,000 limit that was established when the program was started is equal to almost $13,000 in today's dollars. The ABLE act could help with this."

The bill (HR.647) awaits a House floor vote; S.313 awaits Senate action. Supporters, including Autism Speaks, are urging Congress to vote on the legislation before it recesses for the November elections. The ABLE bills have gained cosponsorships from 80 percent of the House and 75 percent of the Senate, including Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).


Ability Dynamics, LLC. Announces Release Of The RUSH76™ Chopart - PRNewswire
TEMPE, Ariz., Sept. 18, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Ability Dynamics, LLC a developer of next-generation prosthetic devices announced today the release of the RUSH76™ Chopart Plate. It is specifically designed for people with Chopart amputations as well as Lisfranc, Pirogoff, Boyd...
September 17, 2014

Government of Canada helps Canadians with disabilities get jobs - PRNewswire
TORONTO, Sept. 17, 2014 /CNW/ - Mike Lake, Member of Parliament for Edmonton–Mill Woods–Beaumont, on behalf of the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism, highlighted the Government of Canada's contribution to...

Canadian Business SenseAbility to help companies access the benefits of hiring people with disabilities - PRNewswire
TORONTO, Sept. 17, 2014 /CNW/ - Canadian Business SenseAbility, a national, not-for-profit organization run by private sector business leaders, launched today in Toronto. The organization was created to help more Canadian companies access the benefits of hiring people with disabilities....

Vote On UN Disability Treaty Blocked - DisabiltyScoop
An effort in the U.S. Senate to bring a vote on an international disability rights treaty has been squashed.

Leading Organizations Select Professional Diversity Network As Exclusive Recruitment Partner - PRNewswire
CHICAGO, Sept. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Today Professional Diversity Network, Inc. (Nasdaq:IPDN) announced it has been selected as the exclusive diversity recruitment solutions provider for several leading organizations targeting women, Hispanic and African American professionals,...
September 16, 2014

2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games Team Canada Roster Announced! - PRNewswire
TORONTO, Sept. 16, 2014 /CNW/ - Special Olympics Canada is proud to announce the full roster of Team Canada members who will be headed to the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games next summer in Los Angeles, California. This is the largest delegation Special Olympics Canada has sent to...

States Move Forward With Expanded ABA Coverage - DisabiltyScoop
Months after federal officials ordered them to do so, states are starting to include coverage of treatments like ABA for kids with autism within their Medicaid programs.

Kanye West Faces Backlash Over Wheelchair Incident - DisabiltyScoop
Kanye West is taking heat for calling out two concertgoers for not standing up only to find out that they had disabilities.

Uber Accused Of Disability Discrimination - DisabiltyScoop
The ride-sharing service Uber is facing accusations that its drivers discriminate against people with disabilities, in one case allegedly locking a passenger's service dog in the trunk.
September 15, 2014

Ein saudischer Geschäftsmann mit Wohnsitz in Genf gratuliert dem saudischen Fußballteam für Sportler mit besonderen Bedürfnissen zu einer weltbedeutenden Errungenschaft - PRNewswire

GENF, September 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Ein saudischer Geschäftsmann mit Wohnsitz in Genf gratuliert dem saudischen Fußballteam für Sportler mit besonderen Bedürfnissen zu einer weltbedeutenden Errungenschaft, denn das Team gewann am 23. August 2014 in Brasilien zum...



Un homme d'affaires saoudien basé à Genève félicite le nouveau record du monde remporté par l'équipe de football saoudienne composée d'athlètes avec des besoins spéciaux - PRNewswire

GENEVA, September 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Un homme d'affaires basé à Genève félicite l'équipe de football saoudienne composée d'athlètes avec des besoins spéciaux qui a battu le record du monde en remportant pour la troisième fois la Coupe du...



Un empresario saudí felicita el nuevo logro mundial del equipo de fútbol saudí de atletas con necesidades especiales - PRNewswire

GINEBRA, September 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- - Felicitación de un empresario saudí con sede en Ginebra por el nuevo logro mundial obtenido por el equipo de fútbol saudí de atletas con necesidades especiales  Un empresario saudí con sede en Ginebra expresa su...



Medicaid Coverage for ABA By States Accelerates - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

In response to federal directive, states adding ABA coverage, facing litigation

September 15, 2014

NEW YORK (September 15, 2014) -- In response to a July directive from the federal government to step up Medicaid-fundedtreatment forautism, a number ofstates are quickly moving forward to add benefits for behavioral health treatment. One state--Hawai'i--has been hit with a class action suit for failing to provide the coverage.

The Autism Speaks Legal Resource Center (ASLRC) has been working with advocatesandstateofficials from around the country onimplementing the July 7 directive from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), said Dan Unumb, ASLRC's executive director.

One-third of all children with autism receive primary insurance coverage throughMedicaid; including secondary coverage, half of all American children with autism are impacted. Medicaid is a joint federal/state program.

"This a game-changer for the autism community," Unumb said. "How soon this will play out in each state and kidsget treatment remains to be seen, but the ball is moving down the field."

Among the highlights sincethe CMS announcement was issued:

  • California has moved forward with plans to require coverage of behavioral health treatment, including applied behavior analysis (ABA), starting Monday. An estimated 12,000 children will gain coverage through Medi-Cal, including 6,000 who currently have no coverage for treatment.
  • Nevada is hosting a public workshop today to start implementing behavioral health treatment coverage through its Medicaid program.Based on the public input and further review, the state will submit a Medicaid plan change to CMS for approval.
  • Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloyhas directed his administration to develop a "full range" of autism treatments, including ABA, to be covered through the state's Medicaid program. Further details are to be provided in October at a meeting of the Autism Spectrum Disorders Advisory Council.
  • A federal class action suit has been filed against Hawai'i for denying ABA benefits through its Medicaidprogram for autism treatment.The complaint, Egan vMcManaman, estimates that 1,500 to 1,900 children under the age of 21 would be affected.

Autism Services Focus Of New Push - DisabiltyScoop
Federal officials say they're embarking on a new effort to identify best practices to meet the needs of individuals with autism from childhood to adulthood.
September 12, 2014

Farm Gives Adults With Autism A Chance To Grow - DisabiltyScoop
On a 1.2-acre plot of land in the heart of Chicago, young adults with autism are getting invaluable lessons -- lessons that may soon be replicated around the country.

AUCD Welcomes Farrah Ahamad as Public Policy Intern - AUCD
Farrah Ahamad is the Public Policy Intern at AUCD. In 2014, she graduated from the George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs with a Masters of Arts degree in International Development Studies, focusing on Public Private Partnerships and Civil Society. In the long term, Farrah plans to take all she has learned and apply it to the systems in her home country of Trinidad and Tobago, including policies propelled and supported by AUCD.

AUCD Welcomes Paul Gottlich as Meetings Intern - AUCD
Paul Gottlich serves as the intern for this November's AUCD UNLEASED Annual Conference. He received a Bachelor's degree in Middle East Foreign Policy and International Business/Marketing from The Johns Hopkins University where he focused on US-Turkish relations and marketing/event planning for start-up companies.

Senator Looks To Ease Burden For Parents In IDEA Disputes - DisabiltyScoop
A federal lawmaker says he wants to level the playing field for parents involved in special education disputes with their child's school district.
September 11, 2014

Nearly 8 In 10 Kids Don't Get Developmental Screenings - DisabiltyScoop
The vast majority of American children may not be receiving recommended screenings for developmental delay, the CDC says.

President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities Holds 2014 Meeting - AUCD
The President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities held their 2014 meeting September 3-5. The committee how has significantly more members with intellectual disabilities and strong representation from the AUCD network.

California To Start Medicaid Coverage Monday for ABA For Autism - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

State is first to act on federal directive, up to 75,000 kids could be affected

September 11, 2014

SACRAMENTO, CA (September 11, 2014) – As many as 75,000 primarily low-income California children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) will become eligible for a life-altering form of treatment through Medi-Cal starting Mondaywhen California becomes the first state to implement a federal directive to step up Medicaid coverage for children with autism.

Up to 12,000 of these children are expected to utilize the new benefits, according to Autism Speaks and a coalition of California and national advocacy groups. They have joined with California Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg in praising the state's move.

“Through this decision we have achieved and cemented the original vision of SB-946, which is full coverage under both private and public health plans for behavioral health treatment,” said Steinberg [left], referring to the autism insurance reform law he authored in 2011. “This important milestone will ensure that all children in California, regardless of their insurance or economic status, will have access to life-changing treatments for autism spectrum disorders.”

On Monday, theCalifornia Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) will issue an All-Plan Letter tothe state'sMedi-Cal managed care plans directing them to start covering behavioral health treatment, such as applied behavior analysis (ABA), for individuals with autism up to age 21. Medi-Cal insures more thanfive million children, approximately half of the children in California. Until now, autism treatment has not been available to low-income Californians withautism who are Medi-Cal beneficiaries.

While 75,000 children could be eligible, experience in California and other states has shown about 1 in 6 will ultimately utilize behavioral health treatment based on medical necessity and other factors.

Approximately 4,000 to 6,000 of the affected children currently receive no treatment, including children who lost these critical services last year in the Healthy Families to Medi-Cal transition. Another 6,000 to 7,000 of the affected children now receive behavioral health treatment through the Regional Centers; that will continue until a transition plan is developed for transfer into Medi-Cal plans.

“This is a landmark moment for California's autism community and positions the state as a national leader in delivering meaningful coverage to treat autism, the fastest growing developmental disability in the United States,” said Dan Unumb, executive director of the Autism Speaks Legal Resource Center. “Behavioral health treatment can dramatically improve the lives of many people with autism, enabling them to mainstream into our schools and society while reducing taxpayer costs for special education and longterm support services. This is a huge step in our ongoing efforts to ensure that all families across the country have access to essential healthcare.”

“After years of having to inform children and families on Medi-Cal who desperately needed treatment for autism that the state had no help for them, it's incredible to be able to tell families we can help connect them to this life-altering treatment, right away,”said Kristin Jacobson, president of Autism Deserves Equal Coverage. “We commend the California Department of Health Care Services for moving quickly to ensure that all California children get the behavioral health therapy they are entitled to, thereby making a difference in the lives of thousands of vulnerable California families.”

Maria Cruz of Los Angeles has a 9-year-old daughter, Shirley, who was diagnosed with autism when she was 7. Because Medi-Cal has yet to provide behavioral health treatment for autism, Shirley not only was diagnosed very late, but also has never had any treatment for her autism. She was turned down for treatment by the Regional Center and school district and has had nowhere else to turn.

“I am delighted that my daughter will be able to get the treatment she so desperately needs,” Cruz said. “Everywhere I have gone so far the door has been shut in my face. Now our lives can get better.”

In April, Maria traveled 14 hours round trip by bus from Los Angeles to Sacramento for the autism awareness rally to ask legislators to help her daughter. “I asked them please to help my daughter – and now they are. I am so happy!”

Jazzmon Wilson from the Sacramento area has two children on the autism spectrum. Her youngest son Joshua is now getting ABA from the ALTA Regional Center. When he was 2 years old, her oldest son Timothy received the treatment from the Regional Center of the East Bay where he made great gains. But when Timothy turned 3, he was determined ineligible for further Regional Center services and his ABA was terminated.

Jazzmon's insurance, Medi-Cal, did not cover ABA, so for the next three years, Timothy received no treatment. His behavior deteriorated and many of the gains he had made were lost. He has recently secured some ABA from his school district and started making progress again, but that service is ending in mid-October.

“I have seen the benefits of ABA, both for Timothy and Joshua,” said Wilson. “I can't let what happened to Timothy happen to Joshua. I lost services once for Timothy and it took me almost three years to get them back. He can't lose them again.

“Our family wouldn't survive,” Wilson said. “I am so relieved that I will be able to get treatment from Medi-Cal for Timothy and Joshua. I can sleep again at night.”

September 10, 2014

The Stuttering Association for the Young Announces George Springer as Spokesperson - PRNewswire
NEW YORK, Sept. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- SAY: The Stuttering Association for the Young announced today that George Springer, celebrated Houston Astros right-fielder, has become SAY's Spokesperson.  George Springer and SAY will raise stuttering awareness and education...

Saunders Creates New Job Opportunities for Americans Who Are Blind or Have Disabilities - PRNewswire

READFIELD, Maine, Sept. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Jeddie Alexander has been blind since 1985, but he earns a paycheck every two weeks as a key member of the Dallas Lighthouse production team and supplier of US-Works™ products.  Saunders Mfg. Co., Inc. is creating new...



Extraordinary Conceptions Hosts Educational Reception on Surrogacy and Egg Donation in Italy and Switzerland - PRNewswire
SAN DIEGO, Sept. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Extraordinary Conceptions, a leading international egg donor and surrogacy agency based in San Diego County, will be hosting its free upcoming educational reception in Europe. Extraordinary Conceptions' executive director, Mario Caballero,...

Extraordinary Conceptions organise en Italie et en Suisse des conférences informatives sur la Gestation Pour Autrui (GPA) et le don d'ovocytes. - PRNewswire
-- Un intérêt grandissant a poussé Extraordinary Conceptions à revenir en Europe en Septembre pour aider les couples et individuels à devenir parent d'intention. SAN DIEGO, 10 septembre 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Extraordinary Conceptions, une agence...

Majority of Workers Don't Aspire to Leadership Roles, Finds New CareerBuilder survey - PRNewswire
CHICAGO, Sept. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Most American workers are not aiming for the corner office, according to a new CareerBuilder survey. Approximately one third (34 percent) of workers aspire to leadership positions, with only 7 percent aiming for senior or C-level...

Influx Of Residents With Disabilities Leads To Clashes - DisabiltyScoop
An increasing number of young people with disabilities are moving into housing that largely serves the elderly and the mix of populations is not without tension.
September 9, 2014

Ai Squared "AMPs" Up Digital Accessibility via SSB BART Group - PRNewswire

MANCHESTER, Vt., Sept. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Ai Squared, makers of ZoomText, the world's number one screen magnifier and screen reader for the visually impaired, continues its drive to help more Americans with disabilities by adopting SSB BART Group's (SSB) Accessibility Management...



Hearing Speech and Deafness Center (HSDC) Names Lindsay Klarman as Executive Director - PRNewswire
SEATTLE, Sept. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Hearing Speech and Deafness Center (HSDC) today announced the appointment of a respected leader in the field of speech and hearing sciences, Lindsay Klarman as executive director. In her role, Klarman will be responsible for furthering the...

FastTrack RTW Services & Solutions Releases White Paper Describing Benefits of Automating the Traditional Transferable Skill Analysis (TSA) and Labor Market Survey (LMS) Processes - PRNewswire
BEDMINSTER, N.J., Sept. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- FastTrack RTW Services & Solutions, a division of Kamine Technology Group, LLC, announced the release of a White Paper which describes the positive impacts of using next generation automation to update the traditional Transitional Skills...

Accessibility Problems Dog Amtrak - DisabiltyScoop
The nation's passenger rail system remains plagued by accessibility problems with poor planning hampering efforts to improve accommodations for people with disabilities, an audit finds.

Police ID Suspects In Ice Bucket Case - DisabiltyScoop
Police say they have suspects in the case of a teen with autism who thought he was taking part in the "ice bucket challenge" but reportedly found himself covered in urine and feces instead.

Therapy For Infants May Stave Off Autism - DisabiltyScoop
An intervention for kids exhibiting signs of autism as young as 6 months is showing promise, researchers say, with most infants in a new study shedding their delays.
September 8, 2014

Pennsylvania Hosts Third-Annual Disability Employment Summit with Job Fair and Remarks by Former Governor Tom Ridge - PRNewswire
CAMP HILL, Pa., Sept. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Department of Public Welfare Secretary Beverly Mackereth and Department of Labor and Industry Secretary Julia Hearthway today kicked off the third-annual Pennsylvania Disability Employment Summit (PADES), which will feature keynote...

Revolutionary MV-1 Wheelchair-Accessible Vehicle Now Available in more than 100 U.S. Dealerships - PRNewswire
SOUTH BEND, Ind., Sept. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Mobility Ventures LLC, designer and manufacturer of the acclaimed MV-1, the only American vehicle designed and purpose-built from the ground up in support of people who use wheelchairs, today announced that it has reached a milestone of more...

App Enables Blind and Visually Impaired Individuals to Identify U.S. Currency Notes with Android Smartphone - PRNewswire

HILLIARD, Ohio, Sept. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Apps4Android today announced the release of an updated version of their no-cost-to-the-user, U.S. currency note identification app called "IDEAL Currency Identifier (ICI)." Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140905/143452...



Students with Special Needs Tackle Coding - PRNewswire
LOS ANGELES, Sept. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With an increase of coding initiatives sweeping the nation, one group in particular stands to benefit from technology centric new economy skills education: students with special needs. Joining the coding movement this fall are...

Inclusion Rates For Special Education Students Vary By State - DisabiltyScoop
Where a child lives may significantly impact whether they are placed in an inclusive or segregated classroom, a new national analysis suggests.
September 5, 2014

Outrage After Ice Bucket Challenge Turns Ugly - DisabiltyScoop
Police are investigating after a teen with autism who thought he was taking part in the popular "ice bucket challenge" reportedly had urine and feces dumped on him instead.

Unemployment Ticks Up Among Those With Disabilities - DisabiltyScoop
The unemployment rate for Americans with disabilities climbed last month, the U.S. Department of Labor said Friday.

Happy Preparedness Month! - AUCD
Celebrate by ensuring you and your family are prepared for an emergency. CDC has focused on children's preparedness for the past week. Learn some of the ways children's needs are unique in an emergency and how your family can prepare.
September 4, 2014

Downs Designs Raises Over $10,000 in 24 Hours; Clothes for Kids With Down Syndrome Most Popular on Kickstarter - PRNewswire

MENTOR, Ohio, Sept. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Downs Designs' $10,000 fundraising spike from a Kickstarter campaign in a span of 24 hours has been an unprecedented and much-needed boost for the small business dedicated to providing clothes that fit and look great for children with Down...



Otoharmonics Receives FDA 510(k) Clearance for the Levo® System - PRNewswire

PORTLAND, Ore., Sept. 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- For use in temporarily relieving the symptoms of tinnitus, the Levo System is a personalized, neuroscience-based sound therapy.   Leveraging the brain's natural cognitive abilities, Levo identifies and maps an individual's unique...



Kids With Autism See Big Gains With Tablets - DisabiltyScoop
Even with intervention, many children with autism continue to struggle with communication, but new research suggests that using iPads and other tablets can help maximize language skills.
September 3, 2014

September Is National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month - PRNewswire

SUNRISE, Fla., Sept. 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Every 48 minutes someone in the U.S. is paralyzed from a spinal cord injury and approximately 1.2 million people in the U.S. live with such an injury. Congress enacted a resolution last July, designating September as National Spinal Cord Injury...



Orbis Receives 2.75 Million Dollar Contribution from Al Ueltschi Estate - PRNewswire

NEW YORK, Sept. 3, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Orbis, a leading global non-governmental organization that works to eliminate avoidable blindness, is honored to announce a multi-million dollar contribution from the estate of the late Albert L. Ueltschi. As co-founder of Orbis,...



NY Times Article Op-ED: The Truth About Down Syndrome - AUCD
New York Times Op-Ed - The Truth About Down Syndrome. It's associated with more happiness than you might think.

Autism Speaks Presents On Advocacy At South Korea Conference - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

Dan, Lorri Unumb share government relations experience at SENDEX

September 03, 2014

KINTEX, SOUTH KOREA (Sept. 3, 2014) -- Autism Speaks senior leadership team members Dan and Lorri Unumb [below, standing left] shared the latest developments with autism and government relations in the United States at the SENDEX international convention on special education and assistive technology.

Lorri Unumb, vice president for state government affairs, deliveredthe opening presentation, "Let Me Hear Your Voice: Autism and Politics in America,"at the three-day exhibition/conference, which attracts attendees from throughout Asia who work with seniors and people with disabilities.

Dan Unumb, executive director of the Autism Speaks Legal Resource Center, shared his experiences with enforcement and litigation issues surrounding autism legislation.

Victoria Nam and Stanley Park of the Autism Society of Korea (ASK), [standing, right] are parents of young adult sons with autism and led the Unumbs on tours of autism-related facilities during their stay in South Korea.


Second Start Announces Selection of Next Executive Director - PRNewswire
SAN JOSE, Calif., Sept. 2, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Board of Directors of Second Start Learning Disabilities Programs Inc., is pleased to announce the promotion of their Chief Operations Officer: Tara Bevington as the next Executive Director. Ms. Bevington has...

UAlbany Professor Awarded $1.2 Million from U.S. Department of Education to Groom the Next Generation of Special Education Professors - PRNewswire

ALBANY, N.Y., Sept. 2, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- University at Albany Professor Kevin P. Quinn has been awarded a special education leadership grant from the U.S. Department of Education to develop new leaders in special education doctoral programs. The project was just one of 14...



People With Disabilities Held For Years Without Trial - DisabiltyScoop
Whether or not they committed a crime, defendants with intellectual disabilities can spend years -- and in some cases, decades -- locked up with no opportunity to argue their innocence.

Journal Retracts Autism Study Citing ‘Serious Concerns' - DisabiltyScoop
A new study suggesting that decade-old data from the CDC provides evidence of a link between autism and vaccines has been retracted amid concerns about its validity.

Study: Follow-Up Critical After Developmental Screenings - DisabiltyScoop
Kids with developmental delay are far more likely to receive the early intervention services they need if pediatricians follow up after conducting routine screenings, researchers say.

School Districts Stressed By Lack Of Trained Specialists - DisabiltyScoop
A shortage of psychologists and other highly trained specialists is driving some school districts to new extremes when it comes to hiring special education staff.

Mom-To-Be Sues To Have Accommodations In Delivery Room - DisabiltyScoop
A woman who is profoundly deaf is suing a local hospital to ensure that a sign language interpreter will be available when she gives birth in the coming weeks.
September 2, 2014

U.S. Senate Recognizes September As "National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month" - PRNewswire
MIAMI, Sept. 2, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- U.S. Senate Resolution 533, introduced by Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, designates September 2014 as "National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month". This designation is especially timely given the progress being made toward a cure for...

San Francisco-based Startup WHILL Closes Series A Funding Round; Reaches $11 Million from 500 Startups, Sun Systems Co-Founder Scott McNealy and Top Japanese Investors - PRNewswire

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- WHILL, Inc. a San Francisco based start-up that makes the world's first personal mobility devices with All Direction 4WD, announced today that it has closed $11 million in Series A funding. The investment will be used to manufacture and...



Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind Announces 4th Annual Light the Way 5k Saturday, September 20th - PRNewswire
WASHINGTON, Sept. 2, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind (CLB) will host its 4th annual Light the Way 5k Fun Walk & Run on Saturday, September 20, 2014, beginning at 8:00 a.m. at Nationals Park. The annual event benefits the programs and services...

New York Social Security Disability Lawyer Adnan Munawar Weighs in on Report Easing Concerns over Social Security Disability Claims - PRNewswire
NEW YORK, Sept. 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Chad Stone, the chief economist at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, is attempting to quell the fears perpetrated by what he calls "myths" that Social Security Disability payments are out of control in his article published in U.S. News...
August 29, 2014

NYTimes.com: The Truth About Down Syndrome - AUCD
New York Times Op-Ed - The Truth About Down Syndrome. It's associated with more happiness than you might think.

In-Home Caregivers Often Lack Training, Oversight - DisabiltyScoop
Many in-home caregivers say they feel overwhelmed and unqualified as they struggle to help individuals with serious illnesses and disabilities.
August 28, 2014

ADA Suit Against Disney May Expand - DisabiltyScoop
The number of families looking to sue Disney over changes to its theme park access policy for people with disabilities is growing substantially.

Head Size Not A Predictor Of Autism, Researchers Say - DisabiltyScoop
There's long been talk of a connection between autism risk and infant head size, but a large new study suggests that no such link exists.
August 27, 2014

Youth With Disabilities Sharpen Skills To Meet The School Year Head On - PRNewswire
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Aug. 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- As high school and college campuses across the state gear up for the new school year, several Southern California students with disabilities are prepared and well equipped to tackle the challenges ahead. Through the 2014 Leadership Week...

USC Eye Institute ophthalmologists implant first FDA-approved Argus II retinal prosthesis in western United States - PRNewswire

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Lisa Kulik saw fireworks for the first time in nearly 30 years this July 4 holiday, thanks to a groundbreaking retinal implant co-invented by Mark Humayun, M.D., Ph.D., an internationally renowned clinician-researcher at the University of...



Autism Speaks' Dan Unumb Weighs in On Medicaid Change - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

Kaiser HeaIth News examines impact of federal directive to states to expand autism coverage

August 26, 2014

(August 26, 2014) -Kaiser Health News (KHN) has examined how the states are reacting tothe federal government's July directivetocover medically necessary treatments for autism for individuals under age 21. An estimatedone-third of all children with autismreceive primary coverage through Medicaid.

Theannouncementby the Centers for Medicare & MedicaidServices (CMS) makes clear thatautism treatment mustbe addressed under Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT)serviceswhich cover Medicaid-eligible children up to the age of21. The states are now assessing how to implement the change.

While coverage ofapplied behavioral analysis"isn't explicitly required" by the new guidance, KHN noted,advocatesexpect it to be covered.

"Since ABA is the most accepted, effective treatment that isn't experimental and investigational, you can't just exclude it entirely," Daniel Unumb, executive director of Autism Speaks' Legal Resource Center told KHN.

In California, where the state has already begun steps to expand Medicaid coverage, an additional 6,000 children with autism could benefit under the new federal guidelines, said Kristin Jacobson, co-founder and president of Autism Deserves Equal Coverage.

“For them it's going to be a huge deal,” said Jacobson, who worked with Autism Speaks to help enact California's 2011 autism insurance reform law.

Unumb said over a dozen states had reached out to himforguidance on how to implement the new directive.

Read more from Kaiser Health News.

Hundreds to Rally at Minneapolis Social Security Office in Protest of Community Office Closures Across U.S. - PRNewswire

MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 27, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Hundreds of union activists from the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) will rally at the Minneapolis Social Security Field Office Wednesday, Aug. 27 to shed light on the Social Security Administration's plan to close...



Report Finds Fewer Federal Workers With Disabilities - DisabiltyScoop
Despite a push to increase hiring of people with what are known as "targeted disabilities," the participation of such individuals in the federal workforce has actually declined.
August 26, 2014

Jewelry, Accessories and Home Décor made by individuals with disabilities. - PRNewswire

WASHINGTON, Aug. 26, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- St. Coletta Shops (www.stcolettashops.com) is a social enterprise selling handmade jewelry, accessories and home décor made by individuals with intellectual disabilities.  Operated by the nonsectarian, nonprofit St. Coletta of...



Haitian Amputees' Story of Triumph and Survival to Premiere at Portland Film Festival - PRNewswire
NEW HAVEN, Conn., Aug. 26, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- documentary about hope and healing in the midst of the horrific aftermath of Haiti's 2010 earthquake will be a featured presentation at the Portland Film Festival on Saturday, Aug. 30, at 2:30 p.m. at Cinema 21 (616 NW 21st...

Many With Autism Lack Knowledge On Sex, Study Finds - DisabiltyScoop
Adults with autism face a greater risk of sexual victimization than their typically-developing peers, researchers say, and a lack of education could be part of the reason why.

Rule On Overtime Pay For Caregivers Prompts Pushback - DisabiltyScoop
Officials in one state say that new federal rules requiring overtime pay for caregivers could mean diminished services for people with disabilities and increased institutionalization.

Suit Alleges ADA Violations At DMV - DisabiltyScoop
Just because she has a disability, Pam Dickens must prove every year that she's a safe driver in order to keep her license. Now, Dickens and others are suing to get the requirement dropped.

Former Professional Baseball Player Joins AudioEye Team - PRNewswire
TUCSON, Ariz., Aug. 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- AudioEye®, Inc. (OTCQB: AEYE) ("AudioEye"), creator of the Audio Internet® patented audio browsing and automated publishing technology platform, today announced that Robbie Dromerhauser has joined the Company as a Senior Managing...
August 25, 2014

New Medicare Rules Rob ALS Patients of Their Voice, Says ALS Patient Lee Abramson - PRNewswire
WASHINGTON, Aug. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The new level of awareness of ALS from the "Ice Bucket Challenge" should be directed at improving the quality of life for patients as well as finding a cure. Congress, however, has gone in the opposite direction, with incredibly...

Doctors Get New Recommendations For Diagnosing Disabilities - DisabiltyScoop
A major pediatricians' group is issuing new guidelines for physicians diagnosing intellectual and other developmental disabilities.
August 22, 2014

Outrage After Special Education Students Forced To Sort Trash - DisabiltyScoop
A school district is apologizing for having students in special education dig through trash for recyclables to earn money as part of a functional skills program.

Study Offers Clues To How Autism Develops - DisabiltyScoop
Kids with autism retain extra brain connections that other children weed out during development, researchers say in a new study that suggests drugs may be able to correct the issue.
August 21, 2014

Support Growing For Autism Behavior Therapy - DisabiltyScoop
A new government-backed review finds that there is substantially more evidence for behavior therapy in treating autism than even just a few years ago.
August 20, 2014

Minister Bergen Highlights Six Enabling Accessibility Fund Projects and the Call for Proposals in the Kootenay Region - PRNewswire
CRANBROOK, BC, Aug. 20, 2014 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development), highlighted Government of Canada support for six community projects aimed at improving accessibility for people with disabilities. The funding, which totals $140,723, is...

The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness receives $2M for research, awareness - PRNewswire

AMBLER, Pa., Aug. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) has received a $2M contribution from an anonymous donor to support the organization's on-going efforts to raise awareness about the disease, advance research, encourage testing, and...



Maria Shriver and Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom to Return as Honorary Co-Chairs of the 11th Annual Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle - PRNewswire

CARMEL, Calif., Aug. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Best Buddies International, a nonprofit dedicated to creating opportunities for friendship, employment and leadership training for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, is pleased to announce that journalist...



IDEAL Group Apps4Android Releases Innovative Knowledge Mining App For People With Print Disabilities - PRNewswire

HILLIARD, Ohio, Aug. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- IDEAL Group Apps4Android today announced the release of "Document Knowledge Miner," an Android application that enables individuals with print disabilities to acquire knowledge from digital documents, even if the documents were not...



A Tribute to Senator James M. Jeffords, A True Public Servant - AUCD
Jim Jeffords was a man of the people---a gentle, soft-spoken man, always seeking to do the right thing. He was a man of integrity, wit, and wisdom---with a twinkle in his eye. He was a humble man, always willing to take the first step to accomplish the goal---though often shunning the limelight and giving credit to others. His primary purpose was to serve the greater good. Often, when he met with constituents visiting his Senate office, as he was running out of the office for a floor vote or committee meeting...he would wave his hand in the air in a grand gesture and state "I am off to do good"...with a broad smile on his face. The truth is, he really meant it.

Menendez, Autism Speaks Celebrate Enactment of Autism CARES - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

At New Jersey event, Sen. Bob Menendez hails signing of $1.3 billion funding bill

August 20, 2014

PARAMUS, NJ (August 20, 2014) -- Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), the lead Senate sponsor of the Autism CARES Act, celebrated the signing of the bill into law at an event here with representatives of Autism Speaks andNew Jerseydisabilities groups. The new law, which authorizes $1.3 billion in new federal research funding over five years, was signed earlier this month by President Obama.

"The Autism CARES Act not only provides for the continuation of vital federal efforts, but ensures they provide better outcomes,” said Menendez. (Pictured left with Valentine Center Executive Director Janet Mino and one of her students.)

View event video below

“The law now ensures that we continue research into potential causes, new early diagnostic and intervention techniques, and more effective supports and services for those with autism and their families, and it pays attention to the unique needs facing those transitioning to adulthood and to independent lives.

“We have to be vigilant and united in our support—to put a focus on transitioning youth and adult services—so that children with autism are able to fulfill their God-given potential and become successful, independent adults,” he said.

Menendez spoke at the ECLC of New Jersey's Bergen P.R.I.D.E. Center, celebrating the new lawwith autism advocates.

"Senator Bob Menendez has been a reliable and effective champion for the nation's autism community, delivering once again with the enactment of the Autism CARES Act,” said Stuart Spielman, Autism Speaks' senior policy advisor and counsel.

“The unanimous Senate vote for the bill masks the hard work by Senator Menendez and our other Congressional champions in overcoming challenges that could have derailed continued federal funding for autism research," he added. "Autism CARES is a thoughtfully crafted piece of legislation that protects federal investment in autism for years to come while creating a role for the federal government in addressing the needs of our rapidly growing population of Americans with autism.”

Autism CARES reauthorized the landmark 2006 Combating Autism Act for through 2019 at an annual funding level of $260 million. The funding will be used primarily for autism research grants awarded by the National Institutes of Health. Autism CARES will also ensure the continued funding of autism prevalence monitoring; training of medical professionals to detect autism; and continued efforts to develop treatments for medical conditions associated with autism.

The federal government will be required under the new lawto inventorythe current state of adult services and report to Congress where gaps exist and how to most effectively address those needs. Autism CARES alsodirects the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) toavoid unnecessary duplication in research studies anddevelop annual updates to an autism strategic plan.The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services willbe responsible forimplementing the strategic plan and reporting to Congress on progress.


New fischertechnik Partnership Brings STEM Learning Tools to Students with Special Needs and Autism - PRNewswire
SANBORN, N.Y., Aug. 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The fischertechnik Division of Studica recently partnered with Minnick Schools to bring some of the fischertechnik learning kits to students with learning disabilities, special needs, behavioral issues and autism.  Together they aim...

Down Syndrome Laws Stir Debate - DisabiltyScoop
A growing number of states are requiring that a Down syndrome diagnosis be accompanied by accurate information about the disorder, but not everyone is pleased by the new mandates.
August 19, 2014

Toyota of Naperville reminds customers about mobility options - PRNewswire

NAPERVILLE, Ill., Aug. 19, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Estimations made by the Centers for Disease Control in 2012 stated that one in five Americans, or approximately 53 million people, have some kind of disability. Physical disabilities that make it difficult for people to perform...



Mazda Racer Liam Dwyer Ready to Race Again - PRNewswire

IRVINE, Calif., Aug. 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- When Hollywood scripts a racing movie, they tend to go overboard.  Having an injured U.S. Marine Staff Sergeant winning a professional race, in only his second start, just miles from where he grew up, on the third anniversary of his...



Tony Ferlenda named CEO at the National Fragile X Foundation - PRNewswire

WALNUT CREEK, Calif., Aug. 19, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Fragile X Foundation (NFXF), the world's leading advocacy organization for people affected by all Fragile X-associated Disorders, has named Tony Ferlenda as chief executive officer. He will begin on August 25,...



VIA Rail's New Accessible Cabin for Two Makes its Inaugural Trip from Vancouver on the Canadian - PRNewswire
MONTRÉAL, Aug. 19, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - VIA Rail Canada (viarail.ca) is proud to announce that the Canadian leaving Vancouver tonight will include, for the very first time, a newly renovated Park car featuring an accessible cabin designed for people with disabilities. This new cabin...

New Sites Added To Autism Treatment Network - DisabiltyScoop
Two more medical centers will soon join a national network designed to provide a one-stop shop for autism care.

Plan For Special Education Substitutes Draws Concerns - DisabiltyScoop
With too few teachers on staff as the school year kicks off, one school district may rely on long-term substitutes for many special education classes.

Albert Pujols "Pinch Hits" To Support 20th Anniversary Of The Toys"R"Us Toy Guide For Differently-Abled Kids® - PRNewswire

WAYNE, N.J., Aug. 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Toys"R"Us® today announced the release of its 20th Anniversary edition of the Toys"R"Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids®, an easy-to-use toy selection resource for those who know, love and shop for children with special needs....



Developmental Disorders More Common Than A Decade Ago - DisabiltyScoop
The number of children with disabilities is on the rise, largely due to growth in incidence of mental and developmental disorders, researchers say.
August 18, 2014

TV Series To Examine Life During Transition - DisabiltyScoop
A new show focusing on the experiences of five young adults with intellectual disabilities is coming to television.
August 16, 2014

Ice Bucket Donations Surpass $10 Million to The ALS Association - PRNewswire

WASHINGTON, Aug. 16, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, The ALS Association announced it has surpassed $10 million in "Ice Bucket" donations. Specifically, as of Saturday, August 16, 2014, The ALS Association has received $11.4 million in donations compared to $1.7 million during the...


August 15, 2014

Despite Pleas, Brothers With Disabilities Set To Lose Home - DisabiltyScoop
Three aging brothers with developmental disabilities who have been fighting to remain in the only home they have ever known will likely see it demolished in the next few weeks.

Advocates Cracking Down On Sheltered Workshops - DisabiltyScoop
A nationwide effort is underway to lodge federal complaints against sheltered workshops that are not fully complying with the law.

Oregon To Order Sweeping ABA Coverage - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

Successful litigation against insurers leads to state order

August 14, 2014

SALEM, OR (August 14, 2014) -- Acting in response to a string of successful lawsuits against the insurance industry, an Oregon state agency announced today that it would prepare a directive requiring all private health insurers to cover applied behavior analysis (ABA) for autism.

“Recent court decisions have brought clarity that coverage for ABA therapy should be required of all insurers,” said Insurance Commissioner Laura Cali. “After evaluating the latest ruling made in Oregon last week, we have determined there are limited circumstances in which denial of coverage for ABA therapy as a treatment for autism may be reasonable. We hope the bulletin will provide more certainty to Oregon families who seek this treatment.”

Cali was referring to last week's decision by U.S. District Court Judge Michael Simon striking down the use of a "developmental disability exclusion" by insurers to deny claims for ABA treatment for autism. The ruling came in a class action lawsuit brought by two families against Providence Health Plans.

Simon found that the disabilities exclusion violated federal and state mental health parity law.

In a previous case, McHenry v PacificSource Health Plans, the court struck down the insurer's claims that ABA was "experimental" and "educational," rather than medical, in nature. The health plan administered by theOregon Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB)is currently beingsuedfor its refusal to cover ABA, while in neighboring Washington state a series of decisions in class action suits have run against insurers.

Last year, Gov. John Kitzhaber signed legislation requiring state-regulated health plans to cover ABA, but the requirement would not take effect until 2016.

The Oregon Insurance Division, which is part of the state Department of Consumer and Business Services,has the authority to issue bulletins to clarify requirements of insurance companies under the Oregon Insurance Code and other state and federal laws.

"This bulletin will explain that insurers cannot exclude coverage of ABA therapy for autism from their policies," the Insurance Division announced in a statement. "As with other types of medical services, insurers can make coverage decisions based on whether the therapy is deemed appropriate and medically necessary for an individual patient, but they cannot broadly deny payment for ABA therapy."

The statewill begin drafting the bulletin "immediately" and share the draft withconsumers, advocates, insurers, and other interested parties, for comment and feedback. The division also promised todevelop a "transparent and consistent approach" for resolving current and future consumer complaints and enforcing the bulletin.

The Insurance Division has drawn fire in the mediafor purportedly maintaining a cozy relationship withthe state's insurance industry.As reported by The Oregonian, adraft memo analyzing the 2013 autism insurance reform bill was shared with a lobbyist for Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield while the bill was still before the Legislature.

Cali took over as director shortly after the episode and told The Oregonian she was making improved autism insurance coverage a priority for the Insurance Division.

August 14, 2014

Increasingly, Parents Push For Inclusive Playgrounds - DisabiltyScoop
With local governments tight on funds, families are stepping up to ensure that community playgrounds offer a fun space for all children no matter their abilities.

‘Love Hormone' Not Responsible For Autism, Study Finds - DisabiltyScoop
While some children with autism may benefit from taking oxytocin, low levels of the so-called "love hormone" do not appear responsible for causing the developmental disorder, researchers say.
August 13, 2014

Sedgwick SVP Denise Fleury receives 2014 DMEC Partnership Award - PRNewswire

MEMPHIS, Tenn., Aug. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Sedgwick, the leader in technology-enabled claims and productivity management solutions, announced that Denise Fleury, senior vice president of disability and absence management, received the 2014 Partnership Award from the...



Rethink Announces New Tool to Help Teachers Support Students with Behavioral Challenges - PRNewswire
NEW YORK, Aug. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- School districts across the country are beginning to adopt a new tool that will make it easier for educators to help students overcome behavioral challenges -- an impediment to academic progress for students. Rethink, an education technology...

Federal Judge Removes Key Roadblock To ABA Insurance Coverage - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

In Oregon class action suit, judge rejects 'developmental disability exclusion' widely used to deny claims

August 13, 2014

PORTLAND, OR (August 13, 2014) -- A "developmental disabilityexclusion" widely used by insurers to deny claims for applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy for autism has been rejected in Oregon by a federal judge as a violation of federal and state mental health parity law.

Ruling in a class action lawsuit brought against Oregon's Providence Health Plan, U.S. District Court Judge Michael Simon ruled that "an insurer cannot provide coverage for a service for one child and deny coverage for the same service for another child solely because the second child suffers from a developmental disability."

The complaint, A.F. and A.P. v Providence Health Plan,was brought by two families raising children with autism and was certified as aclass action covering all Providence policyholders earlier this year.

Simon ruled that the blanket exclusionviolated the federal 2008 Wellstone Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, Oregon's Mental Health Parity Act and a 2007 Oregon statute regarding medical coverage for autism. According to the decision, "Providence cannot simultaneously purport to cover autism and yet deny coverage for medically necessary ABA therapy through its Developmental Disability Exclusion consistent with the Oregon Mental Health Parity Act."

Simon also made clear he considers ABA to be medical treatment, as opposed to a service provided by schools.

"The case is significant in holding that developmental disabilities exclusions are prohibited as'separate treatment limitations' applicable only with respect to mental health benefits," said Dan Unumb, executive director of the Autism Speaks Legal Resource Center. "The case is also useful in its discussion of othertreatment limitations, such as 'experimental' exclusions and 'medical necessity' exclusions that are often more restrictivelyapplied to exclude ABA coverage for autism.

"Finally, it is important just for making clear that coverage of ABA treatment for autism is a benefit with respect to a service for a mental health condition covered under mental health parity," he said. "Even if autism or related treatment may also be characterized as “developmental,”this does not in any way remove thiscondition from the protections of the mental health parity act."

In the course of the litigation, questions arose over the enforcement practices of the Oregon Insurance Division. External review boards over the course of several years ordered private insurers more than 20 times to cover autism treatment, but the state agency failed to enforce compliance, as reported by Willamette Week.

The report cited efforts by Paul Terdal, an Autism Speaks volunteer advocate, to improve the state's enforcement efforts.


President Obama Signs Bipartisan Autism CARES Act Into Law - Autism Speaks - Advocasy
Bill authorizes $1.3 billion in new federal funding for autism
August 08, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC (August 8, 2014) – President Obama signed the Autism CARES Act today, which dedicates $1.3 billion in federal funding for autism over the next five years. Autism CARES—introduced by Sens. Menendez (D-NJ) and Enzi (R-WY) and Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Mike Doyle(D-PA)—enjoyed broad bipartisan support in both the Senate and the House.

“Autism Speaks commends President Obama and our Congressional leaders for taking action on behalf of the millions of families affected by autism, which continues to rise at an alarming rate,” said Autism Speaks President Liz Feld. “These families are our champions and this critical legislation would not have been possible without the voices of tens of thousands of grassroots advocates from across the country.”

Autism CARES reauthorizes the landmark 2006 Combating Autism Act for another five years at an annual funding level of $260 million. The funding will be used primarily for autism research grants awarded by the National Institutes of Health. Autism CARES will also ensure the continued funding of autism prevalence monitoring; training of medical professionals to detect autism; and continued efforts to develop treatments for medical conditions associated with autism.

“Since 2006, the prevalence of autism has risen at an alarming rate to 1 in 68, including 1 in 42 boys. Given this epidemic, there has never been a greater need for these types of bipartisan efforts to make autism a federal priority,” said Feld. “We applaud Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Michael Enzi (R-WY) and Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Mike Doyle (D-PA) for their continued leadership and commitment to autism families.”

Autism CARES also tasks the federal government with surveying the current landscape of adult services and reporting to Congress where gaps exist and how to most effectively address those needs.

“There is a particularly acute need to serve young people with autism as they transition to adulthood and need new housing, employment, transportation, and other services," Feld added. “Autism CARES will be critical to identifying these challenges and the ways that the federal and state officials can address them.”

The bill also empowers the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) with the task of avoiding unnecessary duplication and making recommendations to implement a strategic plan. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is required to take charge of implementing the plan and reporting to Congress on progress.

Read the official White House statement here.

August 12, 2014

Nation's 911 System Inching Towards Greater Accessibility - DisabiltyScoop
A new federal rule is paving the way for 911 services to become more accessible for people with disabilities.

Despite Laws, ABA Therapy Often Hard To Come By - DisabiltyScoop
Even in states with laws requiring health insurers to cover autism therapy, parents say they're hitting walls when they try to access such services.

Airlines Face Stiff Fines For Disability Complaints - DisabiltyScoop
Airlines are facing the steepest penalties for mistreating passengers with disabilities as the total number of citations imposed on carriers is soaring, a new analysis finds.
August 11, 2014

Leidos Sponsors The 34th National Veterans Wheelchair Games In Philadelphia - PRNewswire

RESTON, Va., Aug. 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Leidos (NYSE: LDOS), a national security, health and engineering solutions company, is a Platinum Sponsor of the 34th National Veterans Wheelchair Games scheduled for Aug. 12-17 in Philadelphia, Pa.  The Games are presented by Paralyzed...



AUCD Welcomes Ben Jackson as Disability Policy Leadership Fellow - AUCD
W. Ben Jackson III is currently serving as the AUCD Disability Policy Fellow for 2014-2015. He graduated from The Dickinson School of Law at The Pennsylvania State University in May of 2104. Prior to joining the AUCD he worked with Project HEAL (Health, Education, Advocacy and Law) at the Kennedy Krieger Institute as a law clerk. As a law clerk with Project HEAL he was responsible for researching and drafting memorandums on special education law. He directly advocated for clients by drafting complaints for the Maryland State Department of Education for alleged violations of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (2004). He also worked to ensure his clients had appropriate accommodations and placements by advocating during Individualized Education Program meetings.

Masters In Special Education Program Guide Identifies the 50 Best Private Special Needs Schools in the United States - PRNewswire
AVALON, N.J., Aug. 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The website Masters In Special Education Program Guide has published a resource entitled 'The 50 Best Private Special Needs Schools in the United States,' including facilities from across the nation. The website's editors selected the...

DREAM Makes Dreams Come True for Students With Intellectual Disabilities - PRNewswire
MILLERSVILLE, Pa., Aug. 11, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- When many high school students with an intellectual disability graduate, their options are limited to sheltered workshops or staying at home. That won't be the case for one student who will attend Millersville University of...

Obama Signs Autism Act Renewal - DisabiltyScoop
With little fanfare, President Barack Obama signed a reauthorization of the nation's primary autism legislation that includes more than a billion dollars in federal funding.

President Signs Autism CARES Act into Law - AUCD
President Obama signed the Autism CARES Act into law on August 8. AUCD's Director of Public Policy wrote this blog post about the law.
August 7, 2014

Minister Bergen announces investment to help Canadians with disabilities in Victoria gain entrepreneurial skills - PRNewswire
VICTORIA, Aug. 7, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development), announced today that the Government of Canada is helping Canadians with disabilities develop the skills and experience they need to find jobs. The Greater Victoria Economic...

CIBC Team Next members Josh Cassidy, Stephanie Dixon and Cody Caldwell look to inspire kids with disabilities to mark one-year countdown to TORONTO 2015 Parapan Am Games - PRNewswire
Canadian Paralympian and Parapan Am hopeful visit with kids at Variety Village and Holland Bloorview TORONTO, Aug. 7, 2014 /CNW/ -  CIBC (TSX: CM) (NYSE: CM) - Canadian Paralympians Josh Cassidy and Stephanie Dixon and Parapan Am hopeful Cody Caldwell joined CIBC today in...

United Spinal Partners with Airshells to Provide Air Travelers with Disabilities Protective Safety Bags for Wheelchairs - PRNewswire

NEW YORK, Aug. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- August 6th, United Spinal Association today announced a partnership with Airshells.us to provide people living with disabilities access to safety bags designed to protect foldable and rigid wheelchairs from damage during air travel. The...



Canadian Parapan Am hopefuls ready for TO2015! - Canadian Paralympic Committee Celebrates One Year to Go to the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games - PRNewswire
OTTAWA, Aug. 7, 2014 /CNW/ - With today marking one year to go to the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games, the Canadian Paralympic Committee celebrates the spotlight shining on athlete hopefuls training for Toronto. "Are You Ready?" asks the Toronto2015 Parapan video released this...
August 6, 2014

Minister Bergen launches New Call for Proposals for the Enabling Accessibility Fund for Small Businesses - PRNewswire
NANAIMO, BC, Aug. 6, 2014 /CNW/ - The Enabling Accessibility Fund call for proposals was launched today by the Honorable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development) at the Nanaimo Association for Community Living, giving eligible small businesses in all provinces and...

Independent Author Lila Rhodes Publishes Fourth Book in Albin and the Jouster Series - PRNewswire

LYNNWOOD, Wash., Aug. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Author Lila Rhodes is proud to announce the latest installment in her easy-to-read series, titled Entering The Castle. The book is available for sale on Amazon as a Print-on-Demand book through CreateSpace Independent Publishing...



UC, Partners Awarded Funding to Address Health Care Gaps - AUCD
The University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Nursing, along with the UC College of Medicine and partners at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and UC's University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, has received almost $1 million to develop programs to grow in number and better prepare practitioners to meet the primary care and mental health care needs of the Ohio Medicaid population.
August 5, 2014

Schumer Urges Congress To Move Quickly On Tax-Free Savings Plans - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

Autism Speaks, other disabilities organizations line up for ABLE

August 05, 2014

NEW YORK (August 5, 2014) -- Surrounded by supporters from Autism Speaks and other national disabilities organizations, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today urged Congress to move quickly on the ABLE Act which would allow tax-free savings accounts for Americans with disabilities.

“Caring for some of our most vulnerable disabled children, and managing the huge financial cost that comes along with that care, must be a top priority for everyone, and not just their families," said Schumer."Creating tax-advantaged savings accounts, similar to IRAs, will allow parents to put away more money for their disabled child, without losing key government disability services and benefits that they need now.

"Unfortunately, cases of autism and other disabilities are on the rise and passing this bipartisan legislation is more important than ever," he added. "I'm strongly urging my colleagues to get on board with this plan and pass this bill.”

Sponsored by Sen. Robert Casey (D-PA) and Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-FL) in the House, the ABLE Act (S.313) would authorize the creation of Section 529 tax-free savings accounts to cover the medical, housing, educational, transportation and other expenses for people with disabilities.Crenshaw's House bill (HR.647) wasreported out of the House Ways and Means Committee last week and awaits a floor vote when Congress returns from its August recess.

ABLE (Achieving aBetter Life Experience) Act has 75 cosponsors in the Senate and 380 in the House.

Autism Speaks President Liz Feld said, "Children with autism grow up to be adults with autism and they have challenges and needs across their lifespan and they change as they grow. A medical savings account that istax-free is going toallow parents to plan, to save and to provide for their children long after they're gone."

In addition to Autism Speaks, representatives from the National Down Syndrome Society, the National Fragile X Foundation, and the United Cerebral Palsy of New York City.

August 4, 2014

Coleman Grant Of $125,000 To Fund Have Dreams Academy Workplace Training Program For Young Adults With Autism - PRNewswire
EVANSTON, Ill., Aug. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A $125,000 grant from the Coleman Foundation will fund the pilot and launch of Have Dreams Academy at Have Dreams, a local autism resource nonprofit.  Have Dreams Academy is an autism-specific workplace training program...

Quinn Signs Legislation To Address Disparities In Long Term Care - PRNewswire
SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Aug. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Thousands of Illinois seniors who receive care in their own homes or in institutions received good news today as Governor Quinn signed into law Senate Bill 2773. The legislation establishes a task force with the...

PA Lottery Cash 5 Ticket Worth $325,000 Sold in Westmoreland County - PRNewswire
MIDDLETOWN, Pa., Aug. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A jackpot-winning Pennsylvania Lottery Cash 5 ticket worth $325,000 from the Saturday, Aug. 2, drawing was sold at Sheetz, 7821 Route 30, Irwin. The ticket correctly matched all five balls, 01-02-06-24-34, to win a prize of...

2014 AUCD Registration Open - AUCD
Reserve your space today for the highly anticipated AUCD Conference. This year's AUCD Conference theme reflects our goal of achieving an elevated level of engagement with our respective and collective communities, networks, and well beyond in order to better inform, enhance, and enrich the work we all do to improve the lives of people with disabilities and their families.

AUCD Conference Proposals - AUCD
The proposal process for the AUCD 2014 Conference is currently closed and teams of peer reviewers are scoring proposals. Notifications will be sent out to the primary submitting individual in early August of 2014. Thank you for submitting, and we hope to see you at the Conference!

60,000 Rubber Ducks Will Splash into the Chicago River August 7 For Special Olympics Illinois - PRNewswire
CHICAGO, Aug. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- 60,000 rubber duckies will drop off the Columbus Bridge into the Chicago River on August 7, 2014 at 1 p.m.!  The 9th Annual Windy City Rubber Ducky Derby to benefit Special Olympics Illinois enthralls people of all ages who watch the...
August 1, 2014

Safeway Inc. and The Safeway Foundation Fundraising Campaign to Support Programs for People with Disabilities - PRNewswire
PLEASANTON, Calif., Aug. 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Safeway Inc. (NYSE: SWY) and The Safeway Foundation today launched a campaign that will fund important programs that assist people with special needs. Through the Support for People with Disabilities campaign, during the month of August,...

Autism Act Wins Senate Approval - DisabiltyScoop
Just before leaving Washington for a month-long break, the U.S. Senate acted to renew the nation's primary autism legislation, sending the measure to the president's desk.

White House Gala Honors Special Olympics - DisabiltyScoop
Katy Perry and Stevie Wonder were just a few of the celebrities on hand at a White House gala honoring Special Olympics.

More With Disabilities Finding Work - DisabiltyScoop
The jobless rate for people with disabilities improved somewhat last month, the U.S. Department of Labor said Friday.

Employment Opportunity: Director of Development and Communications, Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), Silver Spring, MD - AUCD
AUCD, a leading national disability organization, is currently seeking a dynamic individual to serve as Director of Development and Communications. AUCD has seen tremendous growth in the last 15 years and this position will help to build and strengthen existing capacity, visibility and impact by leading the overall development efforts of the association as well as assisting in the coordination of communications strategies and activities.

Autism CARES Act Passes Senate - AUCD
Late on July 31, the Senate passed the Autism CARES Act by unanimous consent. The bill now goes to the President for signature.

Federal Government Enhances Job Opportunities for People with Disabilities - PRNewswire

WASHINGTON, July 31, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- ACCSES, the voice of more than 1,200 disability service providers across the nation, joins its members, people with disabilities, and their allies to celebrate the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) which was signed into...



Grant Writing and Grant Management Tool Kit For Self-Advocates - AUCD
AUCD created this toolkit based on feedback from self-advocates who participated in these Self-Advocacy Organizational Development Grants, who expressed interest in writing grant applications. This toolkit is designed to help more self-advocacy organizations apply for grant in the future.

Senate Approves Bipartisan Deal To Protect Federal Autism Funding - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

$1.3 billion reauthorization bill heads to President Obama

July 31, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC (July 31, 2014) -- The U.S. Senate tonight approved the Autism CARES Act, which would dedicate $1.3 billion in federal fundingfor autism over the next five years. The bill was introduced and passed across party lines, and now goes to President Obama for his signature.

"The Senate has now joined with the House of Representatives in sending a clear and bipartisan message -- the federal government will not abandon three million Americans with autism in the midst of a public health crisis," said Autism Speaks President Liz Feld. "Autism Speaks commends Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Michael Enzi (R-WY) for their leadership and commitment to get the job done for the autism community's most important legislative priority. We now look forward to President Obamasigning Autism CARES into law."

Autism CARES (HR.4631) enjoyed broad bipartisan support in both the Senate and the House and passed unanimously by voice vote. Autism Speaks joined with dozens of othernational disabilities organizations in urging Congress to act before the law's expiration date on September 30.

Introduced by Sens. Menendez (left) and Enzi (right) and Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Mike Doyle (D-PA), Autism CARES reauthorizes the landmark 2006 Combating Autism Act for another five years at an annual funding level of $260 million. The funding would be used primarily for autism research grants awarded by the National Institutes of Health; funding also would be provided for continued autism prevalence monitoring; training of medical professionals to detect autism; and for continued efforts to develop treatments for medical conditions associated with autism.

"The Combating Autism Act has served our community by creating guidelines for the management of sleep disorders, ADHD symptoms, and other medical conditions," Feld said. "Among the many research advances have been progress with anxiety treatments and obesity.

"So much more needs to be achieved, particularly as the incidence of autism continues to rise at such alarming levels and so many of our children with autism start 'aging out' of services and face uncertainty over housing, employment, transportation and adult services," she added. "Passage of this legislation is testament to the dedication of our grassroots advocates taking action with Congress through our Autism Champions web tool."

Feld also commended Reps. Smith and Doyle for assembling and strengtheningthe Congressional Autism Caucus, which has grown to 150 members in the House and the Senate.

“By passing this legislation, Congress assures individuals with autism and their families that they will not be left behind, and that we are working to assist and empower them,” said Smith.“It is imperative that people with ASD are empowered to be self-sufficient so that they can not only earn money to meet their own needs, but also so they can utilize the talents they possess to contribute to society at large.”

Doyle said thefederal government's autism programs are providing important new knowledge about autism.

"These programs provide information and hope to individuals with autism and their families," Doyle said. "Passage of the Autism CARES Act today makes it possible for those efforts to continue."

Autism CARES would task the federal government with surveying the current landscape of adult services and report to Congress where gaps exist and how to most effectively address those needs.

The bill also would empower the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC), a panel with public and federal government representatives that develops and updates a strategic plan for addressing autism, with the task of avoiding unnecessary duplication and making recommendations to implement the strategic plan. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services would be directed to take charge of implementing the plan and reporting to Congress on progress.


Mass. Lawmakers Approve Medicaid Expansion, Tax-Free Savings Plan - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

Bill sent to Governor Deval Patrick

July 31, 2014

BOSTON (July 31, 2014) -- The Massachusetts Legislature has sent Gov. Deval Patrick an omnibus autism bill that would expand Medicaidcoverage up to age 21 andcreate tax-free savings for people with disabilitiesMassachusetts would expand benefits under its 2010 autism insurance reform law to the state's Medicaid program, under a bill before the Legislature.

Sponsored by Rep. Brian Dempsey (D-Haverhill), the bill, H.4373, would require MassHealth to cover medically necessary treatments for autism, including applied behavior analysis (ABA) up to age 21. MassHealth is the state agency that manages Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in Massachusetts.

The bill also would create a state version of the federal ABLE bill by allowing the creation of tax-free savinbgs accounts for people with disabilities to pay for education, housing, medical, transportation and other needs.

The bill also would create a permanent 35-member state autism commission whose public members would include representatives of various diabilities organizations, including Autism Speaks. In addition, the measure would create an autism endorsement for public school teachers.

July 31, 2014

Dr. Dello Russo Performs LASIK on a Man Who Struggles With Contacts Because of Lou Gehrig's Disease - PRNewswire
NEW YORK, July 31, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Dello Russo Laser Vision, a leading LASIK practice on the East Coast, announced today that Dr. Jeffrey Dello Russo has performed an eye vision surgery on a man who is struggling with a progressive Lou Gehrig's disease and who is no longer able to...

Reducing the risk of disability benefit fraud - PRNewswire
HOUSTON, July 31, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In 2012, Edgar Ernest Black was convicted of stealing his son's disability benefits and using the funds entirely for personal purchases.  As the appointed representative payee for his teenage son, Black received over $26,000 in...

Ontario Family Awarded Keys to New Wheelchair Accessible MV-1 Vehicle - PRNewswire

TORONTO, July 31, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- A deserving family from Sudbury, Ontario, yesterday was awarded a new, universally accessible MV-1 vehicle, made by Mobility Ventures, LLC, an AM General Company, after entering the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Associations' (NMEDA)...



When the Caregivers Need Healing (TN UCEDD/LEND) Featured in the New York Times - AUCD
All parents endure stress, but studies show that parents of children with developmental disabilities, like autism, experience depression and anxiety far more often. Struggling to obtain crucial support services, the financial strain of paying for various therapies, the relentless worry over everything from wandering to the future - all of it can be overwhelming.

ABLE Clears First Hurdle In Congress - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

Bill allowing tax-free savings for disabilities on the move

July 31, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC (July 31, 2014) -- The House Ways and Means Committee today approved the ABLE Act, which would allow tax-free savings accounts for people with disabilitieswithout jeoparding their eligibility for Medicaid or Social Security benefits.

Sponsored by Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-FL), the bill (HR.647), has been co-sponsored by three-quarters of the members of the House of Representatives and championed by the nation's leading disabilities organizations, including Autism Speaks and the National Down Syndrome Society. The bill moves next to theHouse floor in September.

"We will level the playing field for individuals with disabilities and their families so they can take advantage of the same financial planning tools that are available to other Americans,” said Crenshaw (pictured [on right] with Autism Speaks Senior Policy Advisor Stuart Spielman).

Originally introduced in Congress in 2006, the ABLE(Achieving a Better Life Experience) Act would amend Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Service Code to allow tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities. Such accounts are now permitted for college savings.

The accounts could be used to cover housing, medical, transportation, edcuation and other expenses.The bill has been drafted to ensure the savings accounts would supplement, not replace,benefits provided through private insurance,Medicaid, salaried employment, and other sources.

At a Senate committee hearing on the Senate version of the bill (S.313) last week, North Carolina autism advocate Bob D'Amelio urged Congress to quickly move the bill. 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?"


Inflexibility May Be Hardwired In Those With Autism - DisabiltyScoop
Kids with autism have less flexible brains, researchers say in a new study that may help explain why switching from rest to a task can be particularly difficult for those on the spectrum.
July 30, 2014

Catholic Assisted Living Facility Going To Trial For Allowing Sex Abuse Of Resident With Severe Dementia, Announced by Folawn Alterman & Richardson LLP - PRNewswire
PORTLAND, Ore., July 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- St. Anthony Village, an assisted living facility located in southeast Portland and affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church, is going to trial next month in a multi-million dollar lawsuit alleging that the facility and its top two...

Supreme Court Asked To Clarify Schools' IDEA Obligations - DisabiltyScoop
The nation's school district leaders are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in on who should pay for a child's private school tuition while special education disputes are litigated.

Inclusive Classrooms Provide Language Boost, Study Finds - DisabiltyScoop
For young children with disabilities, the key to mastering language may be surrounding them with their typically-developing peers, researchers say.
July 29, 2014

Factors Causing Multiple Disabilities Among Children-The Pharma-Media Alliance Never Wants The Public To Know-: Unveils Qadhi A.Z. Al-Hafi - PRNewswire

LAHORE, Pakistan, July 29, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Evidence-based, well documented statistical records of nearly 685-765 million disables of the world, when correlated with data analysis, quite shockingly endorse enough-provable linkages and incontestable 'causal relationships'...



Runner With Autism Vies For Magazine Cover - DisabiltyScoop
With thousands of votes in his favor, a 24-year-old who is nonverbal and has autism could land on the cover of a national magazine.

Trustees' Reports Underscore Need For Prompt Reforms To Make Medicare, Social Security Programs Sustainable - PRNewswire
WASHINGTON, July 28, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Concord Coalition said today that the new reports from the Social Security and Medicare trustees highlight the need for prompt reform of federal entitlement programs, with further delays in such work creating a particular...

Obamas To Host People With Disabilities - DisabiltyScoop
The president and first lady will welcome a group of people with disabilities to the White House this week for a special dinner focusing on efforts to promote acceptance.

The Health and Well-Being of Children, NSCH 2011-2012 Chartbook - AUCD
Published by MCHB, the Health and Well-Being of Children: A Portrait of States and the Nation 2011-2012 (June 2014) reports that overall 73.2% of young children (aged 6 months-5 years) met all of the survey's criteria for flourishing.
July 28, 2014

In First, State Adopts Updated ‘Handicapped' Symbol - DisabiltyScoop
A revamped version of the blue and white icon that's long symbolized accessibility everywhere from parking lots to restrooms will soon be commonplace in more communities.
July 26, 2014

U.S. Census Bureau Daily Feature for July 26 - PRNewswire

WASHINGTON, July 26, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Following is the daily "Profile America" feature from the U.S. Census Bureau: DISABILITIES ACT Profile America — Saturday, July 26th. On this date 24 years ago, the Americans with Disabilities Act became law. The goal...


July 25, 2014

Achievement Centers for Children's CEO Nobili to Retire - PRNewswire

CLEVELAND, July 25, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Patricia W. Nobili, President and CEO of the Achievement Centers for Children, announced she will be retiring in early 2015.  The Board of Directors congratulates and commends her on her 21 years of visionary leadership and...



Movie Theaters May Soon Be More Accessible - DisabiltyScoop
The Obama administration wants movie theaters nationwide to do more to accommodate people with disabilities.

Tracking Device Proposal Gains Momentum - DisabiltyScoop
A federal effort to provide free tracking devices to children with autism and other disabilities who are at risk of wandering is getting a boost.

Disability Visibility Project to Record Stories for the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act - PRNewswire

SAN FRANCISCO, July 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Disability Visibility Project is a yearlong grassroots campaign to document the stories of people with disabilities in celebration of the upcoming 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 2015. In partnership...


July 24, 2014

Congress Hears Of Global Challenges, Advances In Autism - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

Autism Speaks Global Autism Public Health Initiative highlighted

July 24, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC (July24, 2014) -- A House subcommittee heard expert testimony yesterday on the global challenges and advances occurring with autism research and services, with a special focus on the needs of individuals transitioning into adulthood. Michael Rosanoff, Autism Speaks' associate director of public health research, briefed the members on the Global Autism Public Health Initiative launched by Autism Speaks in 2008.

The hearing was held by a subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee chaired by Rep. Christopher Smith (R-NJ), who is sponsoring the Autism CARES Act to protect federal funding for autism research. Smith has long advocated for a global focus on autism.

“Autism is a growing health problem around the world,” said Smith. “With the ever-rising cost of care, it is imperative that people with autism have the opportunity to learn skills and earn a living so that they can control their own lives as much as possible."

Rosanoff said Autism Speaks launched its Global Initiative with the goal of developing sustainable, broad-reaching, and culturally sensitive programs to expand capacity abroadfor autism research and service delivery. Since 2008, Autism Speaks' international team has loggedmore than one million miles andmet with hundreds of affected individuals, parents, professionals, and government officials to advance the autism initiative.

"There is no single one-size-fits-all solution to improving lives of those touched by autism," Rosanoff told the committee in his written testimony. "Autism is not simply a health issue, but also an education issue, a social welfare issue, and a human rights issue. The most effective strategies are those that are comprehensive and multi-sectorial.

"Approaches do, however, need to be tailor fit to different country contexts," he added. "What may be an effective strategy in one country may simply not be feasible in another."

Autism Speaks and the World Health Organization (WHO) have beendeveloping an intervention guide and training program for community health workers todeliver autism services.The model isnow being used in Ethiopia through an Autism Speaks-funded project.

"As a result of the initial success of this program," Rosanoff said, "the Ministry of Health of Ethiopia has made autism and mental health in general, national priorities. They are currently organizing a conference on the scaling-up of mental health services in the country."

Rosanoff cited employment programs in Bangladesh and Peru that are servingadults with autism and intellectual disabilities. Programs developed in India, South Africa and other African nations are alsoshowing a promising start, he said.

"Worldwide, governments are listening and the commitment is there," Rosanoff said. "However the knowhow and capacity are often not."

The enactment of legislation does not always result in action, he noted.

"Many of the autism laws passed in recent months around the world are well-intentioned, but lack the strategy and resources to implement properly," Rosanoff said. "In some cases, poor execution leads to unsuccessful programs that may actually hurt the chances for future support. More concerning is that hope can turn to helplessness for members of the autism community under these conditions."

Rosanoff concluded with a call for immediate action utilizingavailable modelsthat are working to improve access to services and by promoting community inclusion. "By working together, and learning from one another, we can change the future for all who struggle with autism worldwide," he said.


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.

Previous Slide 1/5 Next Autism Speaks VP Lorri Unumb greets a supporter in front of the Capitol in Raleigh. A family joins the rally at the Capitol in Raleigh. Autism Speaks lobbyist Jimmy Broughton joins the rally Families rallied at the Capitol in Raleigh to call for autism insurance reform. Dozens of families joined the rally. if(typeof(window['ssc_settings'])=='undefined') { ssc_settings = new Object(); } ssc_settings['57ef15241'] = new Object(); ssc_settings['57ef15241'].height = 440; ssc_settings['57ef15241'].pause = true; ssc_settings['57ef15241'].next = '#ssc-next-57ef15241'; ssc_settings['57ef15241'].prev = '#ssc-previous-57ef15241';


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...