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August 29, 2014 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 ( 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 ( 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.
Last updated : September 1, 2014 - 12:14:25
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