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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

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 - 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"

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.
Last updated : September 30, 2014 - 13:26:51
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