RSS NEWS FEED [CTRL-F to "search"]
PRNewswire, AUCD, UCP, The ARC, Autism Speaks
articles to display: 20 | 40 | 60 | all
Regional Center operations would be addressed
SACRAMENTO (May 24, 2013) -- Five bills designed to improve the operation ofRegional Centers have been voted out of thestateSenate Appropriations Committee and sent to the Senate floor.
The legislation is in addition to a measure already approved by the Senate, SB.126, that would extend the sunset on California's autism insurance reform law from 2014 to 2019.
The bills include:
- SB.158Sponsored by Sen. Lou Correa, the bill would establish an autism demonstration program to improve linguistic and cultural competency in Regional Centers
- SB.208Sponsored by Sen. Ricardo Lara, the bill would requireRegional Centersto evaluate the ability of outside vendors to provideculturally and linguistically competent services before awarding contracts
- SB.367 Authored by Sen. Marty Block, the bill would require Regional Centers to develop annual strategic plans addressing issues of linguistic and cultural competency
- SB.468 Authored by Sen. Bill Emmerson, the bill is designed togive particpants and their families in Regional Centers more flexibility and choice in choosing services under their Individual Program Plan (IPP)
- SB.555 Authored by Correa, the bill would establish guidelines for Regional Centers in providing IPPs in a culturally and linguisticallycompetent manner
Federal budget 'sequester' leads to $1 million cut for surveillance
WASHINGTON, DC (May 23, 2013) -- With the prevalence of autism on the rise, the nation's ability tocontinuetracking ASDswill be reduced by over $1 million in the curent federal budget as the result of cutbacks mandatedby the federalbudget "sequester."
Thesequester, or cut, was triggered March 1 across the entire federal budget and has now led to a 5.04 percent cut in the autism prevalence research program of theNational Centeron Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. The current 1 in 88 prevalence rate for autism was derived from data collected by the Center'sAutism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network.
"These budget cuts threaten our nation's future ability to monitor autism and understand how it affects families in our society," said Michael Rosanoff, Autism Speaks' associate director of public health research.
Sequestration is an automatic, across-the-board spending cut in the federal budget designed to reduce the nation's deficit. The cut that took effect March 1, originally $85 billion but since reduced,was the first in a series of annual reductions intended to reduce the federal deficit by $1.2 trillion by 2021, unless and until Congress and the President can agree on more targeted cuts.
The ADDM Network collected datafrom health and special education records of children who lived in 14 areas of the United States during 2008, focusing on8-year-olds. The ADDM Network is now in its third phase of funding, collecting datafrom 12sites to monitor the prevalence of ASDs among 8-year-old children who lived in those communities during 2010.
Still delayed, one-year TRICARE pilot program falls short on several fronts
WASHINGTON, DC (May 24, 2013) -- Autism Speaks today expressed disappointment with the terms of a one-year ABApilotprogram for military families developed by the Department of Defense (DoD)through TRICARE and calledon Pentagon leadership to take action.
In a report sent to Congress May 7, the DoD said it was limiting the pilot ABA autism program to non-activeservice members only as a companion tothe existing TRICARE ECHO program for active duty members. There was no indication when the program will start.
Late last year, Congress ordered the DoDto create the pilot program for "all TRICARE beneficiaries,"but the DoDinstead has limited theprogram to non-active duty memberscovered underTRICARE Basic. No insight was offered on dollar caps for treatment,coverage for prescribed levels of care, when the program will become available, or how military families or ABA providers will be advised of the services.
"Military families need access to the care they have earned and deserve, yet TRICARE continues to restrict medically recommended treatment,” said Karen Driscoll, a Marine Corps spouse and Autism Speaks' associate director for federal government affairs and military relations. "TRICARE was createdto provide a premier set of services to our military service members and their families because of their unique job requirements and the sacrifices made in service to our country.Yet when it comes to military children with disabilities, TRICARE's policies consistently miss opportunities to address the medical needs of our kids.Leadership is needed to address the shortfalls in coverage of ABA care."
Autism Speaks, which has attempted to work with TRICARE in structuring the pilot program, discovered the report posted on a website. The pilot was originally supposed tostart on April 2, World Autism Awareness Day, but was delayed due to budget issues, said TRICARE Director Jonathon Woodson in testimony last month before theSenate Armed Services Committee.
The Report to Congress is the first public release of information on the details of the autism pilot program.
In addition to the pilot program ordered by Congress,military families prevailedlast summer in a federal class action lawsuit brought against TRICARE over access to ABA care.A U.S. District Court judge ordered the DoD to provide ABA as a medical benefit, but only 250 familieswere able to access the benefit last year, highlighting the need to improve TRICARE policy and provide the level of care military families require.
The National Council on Disability (NCD) has released twonew publications onMedicaid,"A Medicaid Block Grant Program"and"The Case for Medicaid Self-Direction". The first publication looks at the effects of capping federal Medicaid funding and shifting to a block grant format which would give states a fixed amount of federal assistance annually. The second examinesMedicaid-funded self-directed services.
A new study finds that children with autism see movement more quickly than other children. This extreme sensitivity to movement may explain why people with autism are so sensitive to noise and bright lights, and it may explain some of their social and behavioral issues. Also, this increased ability of people with autism to perceive motion is a hint that their brains may be subject to sensory overload.
Oklahomans whose lives have been impacted by the violent storms can access immediate crisis counseling by calling the Disaster Distress Helpline at1-(800) 985-5990or1-(800) 846-8517 (TTY). The Helpline is available 24-hours, 7-days a week to help people who need crisis counseling after experiencing a natural or man-made disaster or tragedy. The Helpline connects callers to trained professionals and provides confidential, multilingual counseling, referrals and other needed support services.
A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Mental Health Surveillance Among Children—United States, 2005–2011",for the first time describes public efforts on monitoring children ages 3-17 who have specific mental disorders.The report finds that 13-20 percent of children living in the United States (up to one out of five children) experience a mental disorder in a given year with an estimated $247 billion spent on treatment.
The Putnam County Board of Education in Winfield, WV has agreed to settle a lawsuit for allegedly violating the Family and Medical Leave Act(FMLA). The school board fired an employee who had requested time off to care for a parent with a serious health condition. The board has since agreed to comply with the FMLA.
Residents of counties affected by tornadoes may be eligible for several federal disaster aid programs. Assistance can be used for rental payments, home repairs and property replacement, unemployment, low-interest loans and crisis counseling. Register onlineor call 1-(800) 621-FEMA (3362) or by Web-enabled mobile device. Applicants who use TTY can call 1-(800) 462-7585directly; for 711 or Video Relay Service users, call 1-(800) 621-3362.
In a letter to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the National Council on Disability (NCD) has reported that housing is the biggest barrier to community integration and implementation of the Olmsteaddecision. Olmstead requires that states stop segregating of people with disabilities, which includes having housing in communities instead of institutions. NCD asked HUD to work with HUD-funded housing providers to make sure housing providers know their obligations under Olmstead.
The Technical Assistance Collaborative and the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities have released a study, "Priced Out in 2012,"which finds that the national average rent for a reasonably priced one-bedroom apartment is more than the entire Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit of a person with a disability. The study shows that people with disabilities receiving SSI need to pay 104 percent of their income to rent a one-bedroom apartment.
Join the "Conversation for Change," the first-ever national online dialogue to help shape federal agency strategies for helping young people with disabilities successfully transition from school to work. From May 13 - May 27, 2013 you can provide input on what's working, what's not and where change is needed, with particular focus on how various federal laws and regulations affect youth with disabilities. Registerto join the dialogue.
This paper was written for and by directors and staff UCEDDs and LENDs with the aim of promoting a dialogue among key stakeholders and facilitating their engagement in pursuing a more comprehensive, coordinated, supportive, and successful transition process for youth with disabilities from adolescence to young adulthood.
New law also improves access to ABA for lower-income families
ST. PAUL(May 23, 2013) -- Governor Mary Dayton signed legislation today making Minnesota the 33rd state to enact autism insurance reform, improving access to essential autism therapies, such as ABA, to 750,000 state residents. The signing was announced on the Governor's website.
Sponsored by Rep. Kim Norton (DFL-Rochester), the measure applies to state-regulated large group health plans which will be required to cover speech, occupational, physical and behavioral therapy, including Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), up to age 18.State employees will be added no later than 2016.
The Dayton administration hopes to also extend coverage to the small group and individual markets through the health exchanges it creates under the Affordable Care Act.
"Minnesota is a national leader in providing quality health care at low costs," Dayton's office said in the announcement. "But health and human services are still the fastest growing parts of our budget, with costs rising 8.5 percent each year. We can do more to improve health and reduce costs. Today, Governor Dayton signed a bill (HF1233) that makes crucial reforms to deliver better services at a better price for taxpayers."The bill also includes co-pay relief for families covered under the TEFRA disabilities program and a $12 million early intervention program for children up to age 18 who are enrolled in the state's Medical Assistance (MA) program. The early intervention program will provide access to behavioral therapy, such as ABA, and will include training for providers in culturally appropriate techniques.
The provisions in Norton's bill were incorporated into HF.1233, the Omnibus Health and Human Services Finance Bill, which was passed by the legislature. The legislation became more urgent after a landmark 2001 court settlement with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota expired in late 2011, stripping families of the state's only coverage starting last year.
Bill eliminating age 10 cap on benefits goes to Gov. Perry
AUSTIN (May 20, 2013) -- The Texas House of Representatives approved and sent Gov. Rick Perry a bill that would eliminate age caps for receiving autism insurance benefits. Perry signed the 2007 bill that made Texas just the third state nationally to enact autism insurance reform, then a second bill in 2009 that raised the age cap from 5 to 9.
The current law requires state-regulated health plans to cover the diagnosis and treatment of autism, including behavioral health treatment, such as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), as well as speech, occupational and physical therapy.
Sponsored by Senators Kirk Watson of Austin, Wendy Davis of Forth Worth and Eddie Lucio, Jr. of Brownsville, SB.1484 would take effect in Septemberand limit annual ABA benefits to $36,000 for children aged 10 and above. Children must be diagnosed with autism by the age of 10 to gain the coverage.
The House champions for the bill included Rep. Larry Gonzales of Round Rock, Rep. Ron Simmons of Carrollton, and Rep. Senfronia Thompson of Houston.
Texas is one of four states with existing autism insurance reform laws that has considered bills to expand coverage this year. A fifth state, New Mexico, has already enacted a new law expanding its coverage to public employees. Last year, Louisana, Vermont, Virginia and Rhode Island all took action to expand coverage under their existing laws.
The Minnesota Legislature has sent Gov. Mark Dayton a bill that would make Minnesota the 33rd state to enact autism insurance reform. Dayton is expected to sign the bill shortly.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released a Report and Orderrequiring wireless carriers and providers of interconnected text messaging to send a "bounce back" message to consumers who try to text 911 where text-to-911 is not available. The new requirement will help consumers who text 911 whether or not the 911 authorities received the text message. The bounce-back messaging capability will be implemented by June 13, 2013.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kaelan Richards: 202-973-7175,email@example.com
UCP ELECTS SEVEN TO BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Individuals bring diversity of experience and knowledge to continuing efforts to ensure a life without limits for people with disabilities
Washington, D.C. (May 20, 2013)– United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) elected seven members to its Board of Trustees during its 2013 International Conference in San Diego, CA last month.
“We are extremely grateful to all members of our Board of Trustees for their passion for UCP's mission and their commitment to the people we serve,” said Stephen Bennett, President & CEO of UCP, in announcing the selection of Trustees.
The newly elected members of UCP's Board of Trustees are listed below. To view the complete list, please visitucp.org/about/board.
Actress, Producer and DirectorCheryl Hinesis a two‐time Emmy nominee for her role as Cheryl David on HBO's Golden Globe Award‐winning seriesCurb Your Enthusiasm, the brainchild ofSeinfeldco‐creator Larry David. Hines can currently be seen starring in the hit ABC comedy seriesSuburgatoryopposite Jeremy Sisto and Jane Levy.
Last year, Hines filmed a co‐starring role in the feature filmPASADENA, produced by Midway Films. Hines co‐stars opposite Peter Bogdanovich and Alicia Witt. Hines's feature film directorial debut,Serious Moonlightwas released through Magnolia Films two years ago. The film premiered with critical acclaim at the Tribeca Film Festival. The late Adrienne Shelly, who directed Hines in the critically acclaimedWaitress, wrote the screenplay.
Hines's additional television projects included a co‐starring role in the live action/CG adaptation of the Nickelodeon hit animated seriesThe Fairly Odd Parentsand television movieA Fairly Odd Movie: Grow Up, Timmy Turner!opposite Jason Alexander. She had major story arc on the ABC drama seriesBrothers and Sistersand a starring role opposite Megan Mullally in the ABC Television Network seriesIn the Motherhood, a single camera comedy series chronicling the hilarious ups and downs of motherhood.
Hines has also produced and directed several television projects including Executive Producer and creator of the NBC television seriesSchool Pride, a proactive, alternative series that told the stories of communities coming together to renovate their aging and broken public schools. She also produced the award‐winning comedy seriesCampus Ladiesfor the Oxygen Channel and the Starz Networks original comedy seriesHollywood Residential.
Hines is one of Hollywood's busiest film actresses with starring roles in a number of critically acclaimed feature films and box office hits includingThe Ugly Truth,RV,Waitress,The GrandandBart Got A Room.
Hines previously served on the Board of Trustees of UCP from 2006 – 2012, and has been tireless in her support for the individuals whom UCP's affiliates serve.
Pamela Talkinwas sworn in on July 16, 2001 as the tenth Marshal of the Supreme Court of the United States and is the first woman to hold the position.
Talkin came to the Court after six years as the first Deputy Executive Director of the Office of Compliance, the independent regulatory agency created by the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995, which applied eleven of the nation's labor and employment laws to Congress. There, she promulgated procedures and regulations for the application of the laws, managed all operations of the Office, and acted as liaison between the Office and Congressional members, committees, and legislative branch agencies including the Architect of the Capitol, the Capitol Police, and the Congressional Budget Office. Talkin also served as President of the international Association of Labor Relations Agencies.
From 1989 to 1995, Talkin was a Presidentially‐appointed, Senate‐confirmed member of the Federal Labor Relations Authority. Previously, Talkin was the Chief of Staff at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and Assistant Regional Director of the National Labor Relations Board's San Francisco Region (Northern California and Hawaii). Talkin was also the National President of the NLRB Union, which represented over 2,000 professional and clerical employees.
Talkin began her career as a Spanish teacher and guidance counselor in New York City high schools. She earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in Spanish from the City University of New York at Brooklyn College. She has done postgraduate work at the City University of New York and at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. She has been re-elected to a new three-year term.
Gloria Johnson‐Cusackis the Executive Director of Leadership 18, an alliance of Chief Executive Officers responsible for leading some of the country's largest and most well respected charities, non‐profits, and faith‐based organizations.
Johnson‐Cusack brings more than 20 years of management, political and strategic communications expertise informed by leadership positions in the private sector, U.S. Congress, national presidential campaigns, municipal and federal government, and the White House.
Johnson‐Cusack previously served as Senior Vice President at GMMB, a D.C.‐based strategic communications and advertising firm focused on cause marketing. In this role, she advanced issues on behalf of key nonprofit organizations and foundations.
In the public affairs arena, Johnson‐Cusack served as Director of the Office of Congressional Relations at the Peace Corps, Special Assistant to the President in the White House Office of National Service, and Director of Constituent Relations at the Corporation for National Service. She was Chief of Staff for the D.C. Office of the Inspector General and was policy advisor to Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton and Senator Albert Gore, Jr.
Johnson‐Cusack holds a bachelor's degree from Columbia College, Columbia University and a master's degree in public administration from the Key Executive Management Program at American University. She is a founder of the Eli J. Segal Citizen Leadership program at Brandeis University, media trainer, church lay leader and breast cancer survivor and advocate. She is married with one adult daughter. She has been re-elected to a new three-year term.
Christobel Seleckyis a chief executive and entrepreneur with nearly 30 years experience in the health care industry. She currently provides strategic consulting and advice to management teams, companies, and investors currently in or seeking to enter the healthcare field focusing on strategy and business plan development, disease and care management program development and assessment, sales and market positioning, product planning, public policy analysis and strategy, and CEO/Senior Management advising. She also serves on the Board of Directors of National Healthcare Services, the venture capital arm of Memorial Healthcare Services, a preeminent, non-profit healthcare system located in Southern California.
Selecky most recently served as President, CEO, Chairman, and member of the Board of Directors of LifeMasters Supported SelfCare, which she led from 1996 until 2009. Under her leadership, LifeMasters raised more than $60 million in venture capital, grew to $130 million in annual revenues, employed more than 1,200 people in seven locations, provided care and disease management and health improvement services to more than 1 million program participants nationwide, won numerous industry awards, and counted some of the largest and most well‐respected health plans, employers, provider groups, labor unions, and government entities as its clients.
A veteran in the field of managed health care, her career began at FHP International Corporation, an entrepreneurial, privately held staff‐model HMO. While at FHP, Selecky saw the company through its conversion, public offering and rapid expansion. She has also served on the boards of both the California and New Mexico HMO Associations and The Medical Quality Commission.
Selecky received a master's degree in public communication from the S.I. Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University and a B.A. with high honors in Political Science and Philosophy from the University of Delaware. She has been re-elected to a new three-year term.
Eric Hespenheideis a senior partner at Deloitte & Touche LLP with over 25 years of distinguished leadership and client service experience. He serves as the Global Leader of the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (DTT) member firms' Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Services Group and managing partner of the global Internal Audit Practice.
Hespenheide is leading efforts in marketplace research, coordinating an integrated service offering and helping clients solve complex challenges with sustainability programs. His leadership has led to significant growth, resulting in the practice being widely recognized as a leading provider of internal audit services among Fortune 1000 companies. In addition, he currently serves as the Lead Partner or Advisory Partner on a number of global engagements in a variety of industries.
Hespenheide joined the Detroit practice of Deloitte & Touche LLP in 1977 and was named global managing partner of Internal Audit Services in 2001. Prior to 2001, he served as the Assurance and Advisory managing partner for the Great Lakes Region and as an audit partner for large global manufacturing companies.
He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants. Hespenheide has twice served on the Board of the United Cerebral Palsy, chairing the finance, audit and nominating committees. Hespenheide was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the Cerebral Palsy International Research Foundation. Hespenheide also serves on the Dean's Advisory Council at Louisiana State University, and has been actively involved in working with the Institute of Internal Auditors since 2001, serving as a board trustee for the IIA's Research Foundation. He is a frequent speaker on the topic of internal auditing at various forums around the world.
Ian C. Ridlonis General Counsel and Director of Legal Services at the Rhode Island Interlocal Risk Management Trust. Prior to joining The Trust, Ridlon was in private practice with a large national law firm where he engaged in insurance defense work, commercial and environmental litigation, and labor and employment work. He also successfully appealed the termination of benefits to children with developmental disabilities in a precedent setting matter before the Vermont Supreme Court.
Ridlon has been involved with United Cerebral Palsy on the state and national level for more than 15 years. On the state level, he has been the Board Chair for several terms and has also chaired two other non‐profit organizations created by the affiliate that provide independent living facilities for low income individuals with developmental disabilities.
On the national level, he has previously served on the Board of Trustees and is a recipient of the 2004 Chairperson's Award. He has also served on numerous committees and was previously the chair of the nominating committee and the by‐laws committee.
Ridlon is a graduate of Bowdoin College and Vermont Law School. He currently resides in Rhode Island with his wife, Patty, and his three boys, Conor, Brendan, and Aiden. He has been re-elected to a new three-year term.
Dr. James T. Bennettgraduated from Tulane School of Engineering and Tulane Medical School. A New Orleans native, he maintains his relationship with Tulane Engineering as a member of the Advisory Board for BME curriculum. His orthopaedic residency was at the University of North Carolina, AI DuPont Institute and a Fellowship at Scottish Rite Hospital in Atlanta.
Bennett's interest in computer assisted navigation stems from former Chairman of Tulane Orthopaedics Dr. Tom Whitecloud's work in developing Stealth navigation. Bennett's practice is primarily scoliosis although he maintains his interest in Pediatric Orthopedics in general. Bennett has been re-elected to a new three-year term.
# # #
About United Cerebral Palsy
United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) educates, advocates and provides support services through an affiliate network to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities. Together with nearly 100 affiliates, UCP has a mission to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities by supporting more than 176,000 children and adults every day—one person at a time, one family at a time. UCP works to enact real change—to revolutionize care, raise standards of living and create opportunities—impacting the lives of millions living with disabilities. For more than 60 years, UCP has worked to ensure the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in every facet of society. Together, with parents and caregivers, UCP will continue to push for the social, legal and technological changes that increase accessibility and independence, allowing people with disabilities to dream their own dreams, for the next 60 years, and beyond. For more information, please visitwww.ucp.org.
A new report finds that cancer patients who participate in the creative arts,such as music therapy, dance, art therapy and writing, may be able to better cope with cancer-related anxiety, depression and pain. Researchers looked at the effects of the creative arts on common problems associated with cancer,including anxiety, depression, pain, fatigue and quality of life, and found that the arts helped with all issues except fatigue.
The U.S. Department of Justice has reached a settlement with the architects and civil engineers involved in the design and building of housing complexes inMississippi, Louisiana and Tennessee. The lawsuit alleges that the housing complexes violated the Fair Housing Act(FHA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act by not having accessible features for people with disabilities. The designers and builders of the housing complexes have agreed to get training on the FHA.
Governor expected to sign bill making Minnesota 33rd state
ST. PAUL (May 18, 2013) -- The Minnesota Legislature has sent Governor Mark Dayton a bill that would make Minnesota the 33rd state, and the first in 2013, to enact autism insurance reform. The reforms are included in an omnibus health care bill approved late Friday night 73-61 by the House of Representatives and today 39-28 by the Senate.
Governor Dayton is expected to sign the bill which would take effect in January 2014.
Sponsored by Rep. Kim Norton (DFL-Rochester), the measure applies to state-regulated large group health plans which would be required to cover speech, occupational, physical and behavioral therapy, including Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA),up toage 18. An estimated 750,000 state residents would gain coverage.State employees will be added no later than2016.
The Dayton administration hopes to also extend coverage tothe small group and individual markets through the health exchanges it creates under the Affordable Care Act.
The bill also includes co-pay relief for families covered under the TEFRA disabilities program and a $12 million early intervention program for children up to age 18who are enrolled in the state's Medical Assistance (MA) program. The early intervention program will provide access to behavioral therapy, such as ABA, and will include training for providers in culturally appropriate techniques.
The provisions in Norton's bill were incorporated into HF.1233, the Omnibus Health and Human Services Finance Bill, which was passed by the legislature. The legislation became more urgent after a landmark 2001 court settlement with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota expired in late 2011, stripping families of the state's only coverage starting last year.
"Autism Speaks commends the hard work of Representative Norton and the Dayton administration in producing a comprehensive response to the lack of autism coverage in Minnesota," said Lorri Unumb, Esq., Autism Speaks' vice president of state government affairs. "We look forward to continuing our work with our Minnesota champions to extend coverage to all families."
In addition to Minnesota, legislatures in North Carolina, Oregon and Nebraska areconsidering autism insurance reform bills. Similar measures advanced earlier this year in Hawaii, Utah, Georgia and Tennessee and are expected to be considered again in 2014.
States with existing autism insurance reform laws are expanding benefits. New Mexico has enacted a new law extending benefits under its existing law to public employees. Texas is nearing a final vote to eliminate the age cap on its law and California is moving a measure to extend its 2011 law, set to expire next year, another five years to 2019.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has charged the Founders Pavilion, Inc., of Corning, NY, with disability discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act(ADA). Founders allegedly violated the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act by asking for family medical history from job applicants and employees.The EEOC also alleged that Founders violated the ADA for refusing to provide an employee with reasonable accommodationsand for firing mployees because of perceived disabilities.
Health & Disability Advocateswill hold afree career fair for jobseekers with disabilities on May 21, 2013 from 1 - 4 p.m. Eastern Time.Jobseekers with disabilities will be able to "Get in Line" to chat with different employers nationwide who are actively recruiting people with disabilities. The chats will be text-based, similar to instant messaging-style chats. No audio or video will be part of the chat.
The National Disability Institute's LEAD Center will hold a webinar on May 29, 2013 from 3:00 – 4:30p.m, which will provide information on two best practices – Customized Employment and Customized Self Employment. Participants will learn how these practices can support job placement efforts for job seekers both with and without disabilities. Register online.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has released four revised publications on protection against disability discrimination in the workplace. The publications address how the Americans with Disabilities Actapplies to job applicants and employees with cancer, diabetes, epilepsy and intellectual disabilities. You can find these documents on the EEOC website under "Disability Discrimination, The Question and Answer Series."
The U.S. Department of Justice has signed an agreement with Stewart County, GA, to improveaccess to all aspects of community life for individuals with disabilities. The agreement is part of Project Civic Access,the department's effort to make sure that counties, cities and towns comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The county will make changes to the sheriff's department, health department, senior center, municipal center, recreational vehicle park and polling places.
The U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announced that it will be sending persons with disabilities as Sports Envoys to China May 15 – 20, 2013to promote inclusion and equality in sports for persons with disabilities. The Sports Envoy program supports global promotion and practices that respect diversity in sports, and recognition that persons with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as people without disabilities.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kaelan Richards: 202-973-7175, firstname.lastname@example.org
REGISTER TODAY FOR THE 2013 WORLD CP CHALLENGE
4-week health and wellness activity raises support for people with disabilities
Washington, D.C. (May 16, 2013) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) is pleased to announce that the registration for the 2013 World Cerebral Palsy Challenge is now open. Register today to join an international competition for good!
UCP launched the World CP Challenge in September 2012 in an effort to provide an accessible health and wellness activity that is proven to promote healthy living and change participants' health and fitness habits, all while raising awareness and crucial funds for direct services and research for people with cerebral palsy and other disabilities. Cerebral palsy is a permanent disability resulting from damage to the developing brain, usually before birth. CP is the largest cause of physical disability in children; each year, approximately 10,000 infants in the United States will develop cerebral palsy.
World CP Challenge participants form teams of four and challenge themselves to take 10,000 steps a day, everyday, from September 4 through October 2. Throughout the Challenge, participants log their daily steps online, climbing virtual mountains around the world with each step and receiving weekly fitness tips and healthy recipes. And the ‘steps' can be any activity—the World CP Challenge is unique in that it enables everyone to be active in their own way with the option to convert more than 40 activities, such as yoga or swimming, into steps. The option to convert almost any activity into steps makes the World CP Challenge available to people of all abilities. Throughout the Challenge, participants can fundraise, with all proceeds supporting services to people with disabilities and cerebral palsy research.
This year, the World CP Challenge will held in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. In these countries, the event is known as “Steptember.”
The World CP Challenge is not only a great opportunity for individuals, but for corporations and organizations as well. The Challenge serves as an employee engagement activity, increases productivity and reduces sick days among company employees. Participating companies can have employees compete amongst themselves, as well against other organizations to see who can reach the top of each mountain first.
“UCP and our international partners are thrilled to announce that registration for the 2013 World CP Challenge is now open—and we encourage everyone to check out our website, learn more about the Challenge and sign up! The World CP Challenge is a fun and exciting way to get active, compete against other teams and help to raise support for people with disabilities around the world,” said Stephen Bennett, President & CEO of United Cerebral Palsy. “It truly is an international effort to bring people together in support of a great cause. We hope you will join us, and see you on the mountain!”
# # #
About United Cerebral Palsy
United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) educates, advocates and provides support services through an affiliate network to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities. Together with nearly 100 affiliates, UCP has a mission to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities by supporting more than 176,000 children and adults every day—one person at a time, one family at a time. UCP works to enact real change—to revolutionize care, raise standards of living and create opportunities—impacting the lives of millions living with disabilities. For more than 60 years, UCP has worked to ensure the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in every facet of society. Together, with parents and caregivers, UCP will continue to push for the social, legal and technological changes that increase accessibility and independence, allowing people with disabilities to dream their own dreams, for the next 60 years, and beyond. For more information, please visit www.ucp.org.
2011 autism insurance reform law would run to 2019
SACRAMENTO (May 16, 2013) --The California Senate voted 36-0 to extend the state's 2011 autism insurance reform law, which is set to expire next year, until 2019. Sponsored by Seante President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, the measure, SB.126,moves next to the Assembly.
Steinberg sponsored the existing 2011 law (SB.946) which is due to expire in mid-2014.
“An estimated 12,500 Californians are currently receiving early autism treatment under the 2011 law with estimated savings to taxpayers of $200 million annually in special education costs, which were previously funded by school districts or regional centers," Steinberg said after the vote. "Californians with autism now have access to the most extensive insurance coverage of any state in the nation.”
The current law requires state-regulated health plans to cover behavioral health treatment, such as Applied Behavior Analysis, consistent with other benefits covered under their policies. Insurers are also required to maintain an "adequate" network of ABA providers.
Steinberg has also committed to working with Governor Jerry Brown to restorebehavioral treatment for children with autism who lost their services during the transition from the Healthy Families program to Medi-Cal.
“While SB 946 is a proud achievement, it's not nearly enough," said Steinberg. "This year we intend to fight to make sure all kids regardless of whether they're on public or private insurance get the benefit of behavioral therapy. We must seek to include behavioral treatment for autism in Medi-Cal Managed Health Care to ensure children receive necessary and equitable services.”
36% of special needs parents cite autism
WASHINGTON, DC (May 16, 2013) -- In its fourth annual survey of military families, Blue Star Families found widespread dissatisfaction among special needs parents in the military with medical, educational and housing services, including access to ABA.Of the 5,125 military families who responded, 19 percent said they were receiving special needs services through themilitary; of those, 36 percent cited autism as their child's disability.
A national, non-profit network of military families from all ranks and services, including guard and reserves, Blue Star Families conducted the online survey in November 2012 and obtained 5,125 responses from service members stationed domestically and abroad.The survey found that31 percent of the special needs parents enrolled in the military's Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP)felt their participationhad harmed their military careers.
"Navigating the military healthcare system to obtain services can be challenging for caregivers for Exceptional Family Members (EFM)," the report said. "The National Council on Disability noted that it is even harder for young parents, those with more than one exceptional family member, those who themselves are exceptional family members, and those with a deployed service member."
Fewer than half of the families responding to the survey said they felt supported by their chain of command,the EFMP at their base or the surrounding civilian population.In addition, shortcomings were found with TRICARE, the Department of Defense health insurance program for active duty and retired personnel.
"Families may also struggle when trying to obtain recommended specialty services that are not covered by TRICARE, such as applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy for children withautism," the report found. ABA has been restricted to active duty members by TRICARE and a one-year pilot program ordered by Congress last year for all service members has been delayed indefinitely due to budget issues. Inaddition, TRICARE has been sued in a federal class action suit for restricting access to ABA.
The survey also addressed the financial impact ofpaying out-of-pocket for services not covered under TRICARE by quoting two Navy spouses.
“He probably would've stayed in (active duty) if hefelt that wewould not have to spend so much money out of pocket obtaining speech, occupational, and physical therapy for our son,” said one. The other Navy spouse said, "Moving duty stations requires military families to re-enroll in EFMP program services. This means that children may be waiting for months, often times a year, to access services.”
Access to state Medicaid waivers also arose in the Blue Star report, which noted that every time a military family redeploys to another state theydrop to the bottom of the new state's waiver list.
"Sixty-four percent of respondents reported di?cultyaccessing community/state-based supports, suchas Medicaid waiver bene?ts," the report found. "In addition, 55 percent of respondents with an EFM also reported di?culty ?nding adequate housing when relocating."
Special needs parents overall said they were satisfied with their child's educational services, until they are required toenroll into another school district as a result of redeployment. Two thirds of the respondents said educational accommodations were "challenging" following relocation.
"Newschool districts will honor the previous individualized education program (IEP), but the district has authority to decide how the goals and objectives will be met and it maynot be through the same exact program or services," the report said.
Blue Star Families in the report urges better supports for special needs families when they relocate, including the ability to maintain Medicaid waiver services when they move to another state. Autism Speaks is supporting efforts to make TRICARE coverage of ABA for all military members permanent and atthe levels prescribed by medical professionals.
Bill requiring autism coverage, including ABA, approved 105-7
RALEIGH (May 15, 2013) -- The North Carolina House of Representatives voted 105-7 for a bill that would require state-regulated health insurers to cover common autism therapies, including ABA. The measure moves next to the Senate.
North Carolina is one of just 18 remaining states yet to enact autism insurance reform.
Sponsored by Reps. Chuck McGrady (R-Henderson), Tricia Cotham (D-Mecklenburg), Tom Murry (R-Wake) and Phil Sheppard (R-Onslow), HB498 would cover speech, occupational and physical therapy; behavioral health treatment, such as Applied Behavior Analysis, would be covered for up to $36,000 a year. The bill would take effect October 1.
Benefits would be covered through age 23; children would have to be diagnosed by age 8 to qualify.
In addition, the bill would benefit military families stationed in North Carolina by removing restrictive laws that prevent providers covered under TRICARE, the Department of Defense health insurance program, from operating in the state. North Carolina is home to more than a quarter million active duty and retired military personnel stationed out of facilities such as Camp Lejeune, Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force Base.