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March 4, 2015

Special Olympics and Best Buddies Celebrate 7th Annual Spread the Word to End the Word® Day on March 4th - PRNewswire

WASHINGTON, March 4, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Special Olympics, Best Buddies, and supporters from around the world will unite today on the seventh annual Spread the Word to End the Word® Day to continue building awareness for society to stop and think about its use of the...

March 3, 2015

Governor Wolf's 2015-16 Department of Human Services' Budget to Focus on Stronger Supports for Pennsylvania's Most Vulnerable and Efficient Service Delivery - PRNewswire

HARRISBURG, Pa., March 3, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Wolf's proposed 2015-16 budget for the Department of Human Services (DHS) commits critical funding to Pennsylvania's most vulnerable families by focusing on outcomes, creating efficiencies and realizing cost savings...

Speech Impairment @CSUN Conference: Discover 'my-own-voice', a World Premiere for Voice Replacement - PRNewswire
MONS, Belgium, March 3, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Users about to lose the ability to speak with their own voice can now re-create it synthetically, in 10 languages, enabling them to keep this essential part of their identity. Learn more about it @CSUN event. We are pleased to invite you to...

Obama Task Force Urges Improved Police Interactions - DisabiltyScoop
A presidential task force is encouraging police departments across the nation to be more mindful of their dealings with people who have disabilities.

Doctors Often Skip Protocols For Antipsychotics, Study Finds - DisabiltyScoop
As an increasing number of kids are prescribed powerful antipsychotics, a new study finds that many doctors are deviating from established medical guidelines when they dole out the scripts.

Everyday Items Offer Assistive Technology On The Cheap - DisabiltyScoop
Nicknamed the "MacGyver of assistive technology," an occupational therapist is sharing her tricks for creating tools for people with disabilities on a budget of $5 or less.

The ECP March Guest Blogger is Zach Goble - AUCD
AUCD is happy to announce the Early Career Professionals March guest blogger - Zach Goble. He is a former University of Kentucky UCEDD trainee, former Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center LEND trainee and a School Psychologist.

Videos Show That #CerebralPalsyCAN During Awareness Month - UPC
March is National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month. Throughout the month, United Cerebral Palsy will be encouraging people with cerebral palsy to share the many things they enjoy and can do using the hashtag #CerebralPalsyCan on social media. On March 25, National CP Awareness …
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March 2, 2015

Canadian Paralympic Committee and Fasken Martineau announce new corporate partnership - PRNewswire

Official Legal Partner brings legal expertise and fundraising component to Paralympic movement OTTAWA AND TORONTO, March 2, 2015 /CNW/ - The Canadian Paralympic Committee and Fasken Martineau are pleased to announce a new partnership that will see the law firm support the...

Share Why You Connect to the MS Movement During MS Awareness Week March 2-8, 2015 - PRNewswire

NEW YORK, March 2, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This year, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's annual awareness campaign kicks off March 2–8 and will provide opportunities for people across the country to unite, raise awareness, and find new ways to help people with MS...

New Housing Concept Emerging For Those With Disabilities - DisabiltyScoop
Construction is underway on a gated community specifically designed for people with developmental disabilities that planners say could become a new national model.
February 27, 2015

ASL Services Inc. Named Finalist in the First Annual Bright House Networks Regional Business Awards - PRNewswire
ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- ASL Services Inc., announced today that it has been named a finalist in the first annual Bright House Networks Regional Business Awards in Central Florida. ASL Services Inc. was named a finalist in the large business category for the awards,...

High Court Rejects Autism-Vaccine Case - DisabiltyScoop
The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a case brought by a woman who says her son's autism was caused by vaccines he received.

Boy With Special Needs Hospitalized Following School Attack - DisabiltyScoop
An alleged bullying incident at a middle school sent a 74-pound student to the hospital for five days and outraged lawmakers.

On the heels of Models with disabilities walking the runway during NY Fashion Week, Models of Diversity USA announces a disabled model competition with Global Disability Inclusion - PRNewswire

SAINT AUGUSTINE, Fla., Feb. 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Models of Diversity USA and Global Disability Inclusion, LLC launch a model competition to find the next face of fashion and beauty who just happens to have a disability.  The model competition will run from February 27th...

February 26, 2015

ADA 25th Anniversary Legacy Tour Stops at Los Angeles Abilities Expo, March 6-8 - PRNewswire

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 26, 2015 /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 make a stop at Abilities Expo Los Angeles on March 6-8, 2015 at the LA Convention...

Wireless Technology Helps Visually-Impaired - PRNewswire

BASKING RIDGE, N.J., Feb. 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The blind and visually impaired often have to rely on others for help with basic life tasks such as matching clothing, distinguishing bills or reading a menu at a restaurant. There's some technology that can help, but it often...

Wounded Warriors Canada Set to Host the 2015 Heroes Hockey Challenge in Toronto - PRNewswire

March 27th at the Mattamy Athletic Centre at the Gardens  TORONTO, Feb. 26, 2015 /CNW/ - Wounded Warriors Canada is proud to host the 2015 Heroes Hockey Challenge in Toronto. This year's event will see Canadian Armed Forces members from the Toronto Garrison faceoff against...

Airbus Group extends contract with CGI for support of global HR system - PRNewswire

Stock Market SymbolsGIB (NYSE)GIB.A (TSX) TOULOUSE, France, Feb. 26, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - Airbus Group has renewed a contract with CGI (NYSE: GIB) (TSX: GIB.A) for the support of its global human resources system. Under the terms of this three-year, multi-million...

People With Down Syndrome May Actually Age Faster - DisabiltyScoop
The inner workings of people with Down syndrome age much faster than typically-developing individuals, a new study suggests.

AUCD Strategic Map 2015-2016 - AUCD
AUCD is pleased to present our 2015-2016 Strategic Map. This map outlines five key priority areas and corresponding sub-goals for our organization and network over the next two years, and serves as a guide for our collective work and mission.

CCD Letter to House of Representatives urging Members to not support HR 5 as currently written. - AUCD
The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities wrote a letter to the House of Representative opposing the current version of The Student Success Act (H.R.5). AUCD signed onto this letter which includes six baseline principles to ensure students have meaningful access to rigorous standards for all students and fully inclusion for students with disabilities in every local school.
February 25, 2015

Quantum Rehab Supports The ALS Association as Premier-Level National Partner to Provide Support for People Affected by ALS - PRNewswire

WASHINGTON, Feb. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Quantum® Rehab, a premier manufacturer of complex rehab power wheelchairs, is privileged to further its support of The ALS Association in serving individuals affected by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and their families. ALS...

In Fight Over Service Dog, School Board Is Brought To Heel - DisabiltyScoop
After a two-year legal battle that garnered Justice Department attention, a school district has been ordered to allow a boy with disabilities to bring his service dog to class.

Virksomhedsulykkesforsikring betaler for første gang i Tyskland udgifterne til et ReWalk-system - PRNewswire
BERLIN, February 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Virksomhedsulykkesforsikringen Træ og Metal (Holz und Metall - BGHM) har som den første tyske ulykkesforsikringsinstitution betalt udgifterne til et ReWalk-exoskelet. Dette bærbare, robotstyrede system hjælper personer, der...

New York Developing Plans to Change Medicaid Waiver Services - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

Public comments in writing on the draft transition plan from the Office of Persons With Developmental Disabilities sought through March 18. The second webinar will be held on Tuesday, February 24.

February 24, 2015
The state is developing plans to make changes that will go into effect in 2019. Now is the opportunity to learn about these changes and get involved in these decisions that will affect individuals receiving Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS).

New York has proposed changing its Medicaid waiver program for Home- and Community-Based Services (HCBS) in order to comply with a federal directive that prohibits services that "isolate" participants from the general community, and is inviting public reaction. The new rules will affect group homes, adult residential facilities, congregate living health facilities, and other settings.

This is a positive announcement from the Office of Persons with Developmental Disabilities as it forces states to make sure services are developed in a person-directed manner.

Individuals with autism and their caregivers who receive or want Medicaid waiver funding can comment on thenew proposalthrough March 18. Further information is available at the OPWDD websiteHERE.

Click here to view the slides of webinars held by OPWDD on February 23 and 24.

The 30-day public notice and public comment period for the draft transition plan is being held to solicit meaningful public input from recipients, providers and all stakeholders on the development of the draft transition plan. The public comment periodends March 18, 2015.

Comments and suggestions can be mailed to:

44 Holland Avenue, 4th Floor
Albany, New York 12229
Attention: DQI HCBS Settings

Comments and suggestions can be emailed Please reference "HCBS Settings Transition Plan Comments" in the subject line.

What's the issue?

Early this year, the federal government issued new guidelines that may affect how you as an individual with autism or a caregiver will receive services through Medicaid. New York has proposed revising its Medicaid program to comply with the new regulations, which can affect services such as in-home or out-of-home residential support, day activities like supported employment or day habilitation, and other services like respite and family support. For more information about these rules, check out this replay from Autism Speaks'live chat.

What can you do about it?

New York is now required to seek public input. This is your opportunity as an individual with autism or a caregiver to affect how these changes take place in your state.

The new rules were published in early 2014 by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency responsible for administering the Medicaid program. The regulations outlined criteria for certain HCBS programs operated under specific Medicaid waiver programs.

Medicaid HCBS programs provide a variety of services and supports that individuals with autism need to live in the community. These programs offer an alternative to institutional services for people with disabilities who need ongoing support to meet their functional needs. All states operate HCBS programs that serve individuals with developmental disabilities, like autism, but these programs vary widely from state to state in terms of eligibility requirements and available services. More information about Medicaid HCBS is availableonline.

What do the new rules mean?

The rules require all Medicaid HCBS programs to allow individuals to be able to choose their services and have access to the community. In particular, states are prohibited from using HCBS funding for settings that isolate individuals from the broader community. This is an important new protection that could help individuals with autism live in settings that are more integrated with the community.

However, in implementing this new requirement, each state Medicaid office has significant discretion in determining whether a given setting results in “isolation.” As a result of the rules, states are beginning to 1) identify the type of settings that may no longer be in compliance with the new rules, and 2) develop plans on how they will change their HCBS programs.

CMS developed these rules over a number of years, and Autism Speaks has long been involved in helping ensure that the needs of the autism community were represented in the development of these new standards. Now that the rules are final, states are beginning to implement the necessary changes to their programs includingidentifying the type of settings that may no longer be in compliance with the new rule, and to develop plans that outline any changes they will make to their HCBS programs as a result.

What is Autism Speaks doing and what can autism families do?

During this process, states are required to obtain input from advocates and Autism Speaks urges each state to seek and incorporate stakeholders' views on what constitutes isolating settings and how best to integrate individuals into the broader community. For more information on Autism Speaks' position on Housing and Residential supports, view our position statementhere.Individuals with autism and their family know firsthand the barriers to true community integration and are the most appropriate individuals to help define isolating settings.

Not sure what to say?
  • Medicaid policy can be very confusing and the state documents that describe programs aren't written in a way that most people can understand. But that shouldn't stop advocates from expressing their opinion. CMS has published two sets ofexploratory questionsto assist states in assessment ofresidential settingsandnon-residential HCBS settings,that advocates can use to help them think about their experiences and create their message to state officials.

If you are in a waiver program already, usethese questionsto tell about your experience. For example:

  • What was your experience planning your waiver services? Were you able to choose the services you wanted and get them where and how often you wanted?
  • Does the place where you get your services reflect your needs and preferences? Did you have options to choose from?

If you are not yet receiving waiver services(because you are on a waitlist or otherwise) but expect to be using waiver services in the future, usethese questionsto talk about what services will be important to you in the future. For example:

  • Do you want to be able to work? If not, what type of meaningful non-work activities would you like to be involved in?
  • Would you like to have roommates or live on your own? How often would you like to have visitors? What types of supports are necessary for you to live as independently as possible?
February 24, 2015

Helen Keller International wins BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Development Cooperation for its family-led agricultural programs, proven effective in the fight against malnutrition - PRNewswire
MADRID, Feb. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The seventh annual BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Development Cooperation category goes to American non-governmental organization Helen Keller International (HKI) for...

Join Easter Seals Thrive for an Interactive Twitter Chat About the Representation of Disability in the Beauty Industry - PRNewswire

CHICAGO, Feb. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- WHAT Easter Seals Thrive, a community based mentorship program that empowers young women with disabilities to achieve their goals, is hosting a live Twitter chat on the topic of disability fashion and beauty.   "The Ability...

Students With Disabilities Suspended More Often - DisabiltyScoop
The likelihood that a student with a disability will be suspended from school appears to vary greatly depending on where they live, a new analysis finds.

Training Aims To Tackle Autism Knowledge Gap Among Doctors - DisabiltyScoop
A new effort is in the works to help train doctors and other health care providers to better serve individuals on the spectrum.

Lottery Winner Hopes To Boost Cerebral Palsy Awareness - DisabiltyScoop
A North Carolina woman who will take home $88 million after claiming her Powerball prize said she hopes the win will bring attention to cerebral palsy, a condition her son has.

Welcome, Sarah Boundy! - AUCD
AUCD welcomes Sarah Boundy to our team! Sarah is an intern from the Lab School of Washington, working to support all AUCD departments as she fulfills her junior year internship requirement. She will be with us through May of 2015.
February 23, 2015

Government of Canada helping Canadians with disabilities in the Greater Toronto Area gain job skills - PRNewswire

ETOBICOKE, ON, Feb. 23, 2015 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada is helping Canadians with disabilities gain the skills and experience they need to find jobs. The announcement was made today by the Honourable Kevin Sorenson, Minister of State (Finance), on behalf of the Honourable Candice...

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Awards 75 Nonprofit Organizations Quality of Life Grants - PRNewswire

SHORT HILLS, N.J., Feb 23, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, a leading nonprofit dedicated to improving quality of life for individuals living with paralysis, announced it has awarded $600,137 in Quality of Life grants to 75 nonprofit...

Photos Shine Light On Need For Medicaid Waivers - DisabiltyScoop
To educate both legislators and the public, a photographer is documenting the everyday lives of adults with developmental disabilities to highlight the need for critical support services.
February 20, 2015

Oregon Adopts Change To Attorney Ethics Rules To Include Protections For Gender Identity And Gender Expression Reported By Attorney Bonnie Richardson, Special Taskforce Representative - PRNewswire

SALEM, Ore., Feb. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- On February 19, 2015 the Oregon Supreme Court signed an order amending the Rules of Professional Conduct that apply to all attorneys practicing in Oregon.  The amendment to the rule now states...

Academy Awards Ad Makes Pitch To Disability Market - DisabiltyScoop
A national television ad debuting during the Oscars is designed to spark conversation about how people with disabilities consume entertainment.

Effort To Prevent Birth Defects Hits FDA Roadblock - DisabiltyScoop
A tweak to the nation's food supply nearly two decades ago led to a significant decrease in birth defects, but advocates say more can be done.

Autism Speaks Salutes John Boehner for His Work To Pass ABLE Act - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

Speaker of the House John Boehner says he's very proud of his association with ABLE (Achieving Better Life Experience) Act

February 20, 2015

Speaker of the House John Boehner says he's veryproud of his association with ABLE (Achieving Better Life Experience), a law enacted in December that will allow the creation of tax-advantaged savings accounts for people with disabilities.

He told Autism Speaks co-founder Bob Wright hetakes personal pride for mobilizing House floor managers to separate ABLE from other tax bills so it could pass the Congress as a standalone bill.

To find out more about ABLE, go to the links below:

ABLE Act Helps Give New Choices for Individuals With Disabilities

10 Things to Know About the ABLE Act

NY Times Highlights ABLE Act for Disability Savings

February 19, 2015

Enjoy A Little Piece of Paradise at Victory Living Programs' Annual "Cheeseburger in Paradise" Event - PRNewswire

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Feb. 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- For one night only, Victory Living Programs will once again transport guests to an island paradise-themed event complete with the best burgers in town, cocktails, music and more! The annual Cheeseburger in Paradise event will be held on...

Last updated : March 4, 2015 - 08:16:58
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