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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 -

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...
Last updated : September 18, 2014 - 19:30:32
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