Advocacy News Archive

The links below will direct you away from our website. We invite you to return to this page later on as we are constantly updating our news archives with the latest stories!

October 2016

Father of autistic man killed by Hays officer talks about his loss |

The Webers hope to pass legislation called “Joey’s Law”. This law would provide identification through car registration to let officers know if someone has a disability- something John Weber wishes the officer had known about his son, Joey. >> read more

Disability positions of the 2016 presidential candidates |

Many voters have found it difficult to choose a candidate for the 2016 presidential election. For voters who have a child with a complex medical condition or disability, it can be even more challenging. >> read more

September 2016

How to open an ABLE account for a special-needs child | Kiplinger

“People of any age who developed a qualifying disability before age 26 can open an ABLE account and contribute up to $14,000 per year.” >> read more

Temple Grandin: The 30-second wow how to sell your art and music | The Art of Autism

In this interview, Temple Grandin gives practical advice for artists and musicians about their business of their art. >> read more

You can choose where you want to live… unless you have autism | SF Autism Society Blog

Jill Escher of Autism Society San Francisco Bay Area shares her concerns as CA STP public comment comes to a close next week. >> read more

Lawsuit against Cuomo aims to add housing for adults with developmental disabilities | 13 WHAM

A federal class action lawsuit was filed against Gov. Andrew Cuomo Tuesday to add more certified residential living opportunities for all adults with developmental disabilities. >> read more

States look to help aging parents of those with disabilities | disability scoop

With an increasing number of aging parents still caring for their adult children with developmental disabilities, some states are taking steps to ease their burden. >> read more

New nonprofit forms to assist adults with autism |

A new nonprofit organization has been launched to address the need for supportive housing for adults with autism. >> read more

August 2016

North Miami police take part in autism training program |

After a controversial police-involved shooting made nationwide headlines, a new training program at one South Florida agency aims to shed some light on how to handle situations involving people on the autism spectrum. >> read more

How Phoenix became the most autism-friendly city in the world | PBS Newshour

Kudos to our friend Denise Resnick, her son, Matt, and PBS NewsHour for this wonderful special highlighting the lives of adults with autism. >> read more

July 2016

10 colleges with programs for ASD students |

This is a great list compiled by an adult with autism. >> read more

Dollywood adds calming room to help kids with sensory overloads | WKRN

It’s called a calming room, and it is the first of its kind at any theme park in the world. >> read more

Around Annapolis: Local business owner launches Siblings of Autism support organization | Capital Gazette

This year, in partnership with the Autism Society of America, Jason established Siblings of Autism, an organization dedicated to supporting the siblings of individuals on the autism spectrum through educational scholarships, respite funds and outreach programs. >> read more

June 2016

Updated Touro University autism center will increase staff, cut wait-list times |

Touro University Nevada’s autism center unveiled a new name and new look Wednesday, promising that an increase in staff and space will cut wait-list times for families seeking services. >> read more

Federal panel seeks input on autism | Disability Scoop

A federal autism advisory panel is looking for public feedback as it prepares to update the government’s priorities for addressing the developmental disorder for the first time in years. >> read more

Using poetry to give young adults with autism a voice | Washington Post

In a Northern Virginia career plan, poetry empowers students learning to advocate for themselves. >> read more

A gentle activism |

“So I shall continue to do this rather hard thing of adding my voice, my autistic experience, in my little way. Because all voices are needed, including those who cannot manage the team effort and strategies of the larger autism activist culture. Simple stories, life experiences, told authentically, are activism, too.” >> read more

ABLE accounts make debut | Disability Scoop

“With ABLE accounts, people with disabilities can save up to $100,000 without risking eligibility for Social Security and other government benefits. Medicaid can be retained no matter how much is in the accounts.” >> read more

May 2016

Resources scarce for adults with autism | The Gazette

Kevin is severely autistic and still lives at home with his 62-year-old retired mother. He’s been on a waiting list to get into a group home since 2004. >> read more

First ABLE accounts expected this summer | Harbor Investment Advisory

A year and a half after legislation paved the way for people with disabilities to save without jeopardizing their government benefits, the first accounts are poised to become available. >> read more

Help North Carolina lead the way when it comes to protecting individuals with disabilities |

“I hope you will join me to give a voice to Jenna and the more than 300,000 others that suffer from sexual assault and abuse each year by signing our petition.” >> read more

Autism through a different lens | TEDxCarsonCity

College student and Miss Nevada 2016 explains why siblings are an essential piece of autism advocacy. >> read more

April 2016

The glaring need for special needs housing |

“In the wealthiest nation in the world, I believe we have a moral obligation to house our most vulnerable citizens. Much more housing like this is needed as the Autism epidemic continues to grow.” >> read more

How Medicaid forces families like mine to stay poor | Vox

“I didn’t know how broken America’s safety net was until my sister-in-law became paralyzed.” >> read more

‘I am here’- silenced by autism, young man finds his voice | Seattle Times

“‘I. am. not. stupid. as. some. people. used. to . think,’ Ben types. He unwraps his arm from his dad’s and hits the period by himself, causing the computer to read each word in a robotic voice that he doesn’t really like, but he needs. Later he adds, ‘I want people to know I am here.'” >> read more

“Severely autistic” man dies after encounter with police | Washington Post

“A 45-year-old man who died following an encounter with Fairfax County police after wandering away from his caretakers Wednesday was ‘severely autistic’ and could not speak, his brother said Thursday.” >> read more

Van Hollen congressional office fosters the “unique strengths” of interns with autism | Madison House Autism Foundation

Recently, Congressman Van Hollen has made the decision to hire adults on the spectrum as interns for his Congressional office. >> read more

For autistic adults, a chance to come home | Hartford Courant

“In its largest project in its history, Chapel Haven, already considered an economic engine in the Westville neighborhood, is poised to start a $41 million transformation of its campus- one that will include 30 assisted-living apartments so graduates from 30 and 40 years ago can return to the place that set them on the independent course in the first place.” >> read more

For parents of autistic kids, 22nd birthday often arrives with dread | Boston Globe

“That’s the day publicly funded special education programs in Massachusetts and most states come to an end, and with them, so many other things.” >> read more

Nonprofits serving people with disabilities report staffing crisis | Chicago Tribune

Organizations that provide care to people with disabilities are reporting crisis-level shortages of employees needed to feed, bathe and perform other essential tasks for residents in Illinois, a situation that has prompted the closure of some group homes and kept hundreds of families on waiting lists for services. >> read more

March 2016

Poverty and disability in America matter | Huffington Post

Poverty and disability are intricately related. It is troubling to note that 25 years after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), adults with disabilities are twice as likely to live in poverty as those without a disability. >> read more

Adult-care workers rally for more staff to help clients | Belleville News- Democrat

Workers in community-based facilities for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities are seeking higher wages to stave off high burnout rate, attract more workers to the field and provide better care. >> read more

Tax credit proposed for disability caregivers | Disability Scoop

A bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives this week would allow family members who care for older people and those with disabilities to receive up to $3,000 in tax savings annually. >> read more

Governor Cuomo announces $2.4 million in funding to support employment of individuals with disabilities |

100 disability employment organizations receive funding as part of the Employment First Initiative. >> read more

Judges learn how to work with defendants on the spectrum | Disability Scoop

1,000 district judges in the state of Pennsylvania are now required to take a course on how to handle defendants with autism of all ages in their courtrooms. >> read more

Autism therapy to become mandatory benefit for federal workers | Disability Scoop

In what advocates are hailing as a major step forward, the nation’s largest employer will require that all of its health insurance plans cover applied behavior analysis for kids with autism beginning next year. >> read more

February 2016

Shortage of caregivers hits home as families scramble to find help | StarTribune

The lack of caregivers in Minnesota is forcing individuals into hospitals and family members to quit their jobs. Families across the country need more support. >> read more

Menendez seeks commitment for supportive housing for those with autism, developmental disabilities |

U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) sent a letter to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julian Castro requesting the prioritization of community-based supportive housing needs of those with autism and other developmental disabilities. >> read more

Federal proposal calls for disability hiring quota | Disability Scoop

“The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said this week that it is proposing a rule that would require federal agencies to work toward a 12 percent workforce representation rate for people with disabilities and a 2 percent representation rate for those with targeted or severe conditions including intellectual disability.” >> read more

Nemours ER becomes autism friendly | Orlando Sentinel

Kudos to Nemours Children’s Hospital for accommodating children with autism. We urge facilities treating adults to follow suit! This program was started with a mere $500- a small investment that can mean everything to families. >> read more

We love autistic children- until they grow up |

A lot of autistic people “fall off the cliff” at 21, when public support (and, often, our compassion) ends. >> read more

Family outraged with court’s decision in autistic son’s felony assault case | The Mighty

“His case and countless others across the country highlight the need for professionals within the criminal justice system to be properly trained on supporting individuals with various diagnoses and recognizing various disabilities.” >> read more

A closer look at 529 Able accounts | The New York Times

“Able accounts are owned by the disabled individual, who has direct access to the funds (unless a parent or legal guardian makes decisions for the person). This feature is important, Ms. Weir said, to help individuals who are able to handle their own finances become as independent as possible.” >> read more

Are officers trained to encounter people with autism? | News4JAX

After a father of a teen with autism contacted News4JAX, we learned how area law enforcement agencies train officers and deputies how to handle encounters with people with autism. >> read more

Five tips for candidates who want to talk about autism- responsibly | The Washington Post

Hillary Clinton has spoken out, but there’s more to say on this sometimes controversial issue. >> read more

Maryland responds to death of man with down syndrome with law enforcement plan | The Mighty

“The Ethan Saylor Alliance was then established to implement the commission’s recommendations for increased training for members of law enforcement and other public entities.” >> read more

Super Bowl gives actress forum to raise autism awareness | AZ Central

Holly Robinson Peete and Rodney Peete add another topic to football conversation: autism. >> read more

Dear Target, please do this for adults with special needs and their families | The Mighty

This mom of an adult son with autism is urging Target to “place a sign that allows some reasonable wiggle room for people like [her] and others with special circumstances into the restrooms.” >> read more

Judge orders back pay for sheltered workshop employees | Disability Scoop

A judge has ordered Seneca Re-ad Industries Inc. to pay more than $54,000 in damages and back pay after ruling that the sheltered workshop wrongly set subminimum wages for three of its employees with disabilities. >> read more

Grandin advocates for animal well-being; better understanding of autism in speech | Rapid City Journal

Hundreds of Nebraska Panhandle students gathered at Chadron State College along with CSC faculty members, ranchers, and residents to hear Dr. Temple Grandin, a national leader who advocates for humane livestock handling and better understanding of people on the autism spectrum. >> read more 

January 2016

Feds cite deaths of developmentally disabled, say state must do more | The Atlantic Journal-Constitution

“Georgia’s years-long efforts to improve services for people with developmental disabilities continue to draw fire from federal attorneys, who now say in court documents that 79 of the 503 individuals released since 2010 have died.” >> read more

Mother of adult with autism receives standing ovation for speech on housing | Vimeo

This speech by autism mom and attorney Lisa Parles recently received a standing ovation at the conference “Solving the Housing Crisis for Adults with Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities”. >> watch here

Kessler Foundation grants $401K to develop and implement a healthcare workforce inclusion model for people with disabilities in St. Louis |

“In this exciting project, Mercy will develop best practices that spark a shift in workplace culture as organizations recognize abilities before disabilities.” >> read more

Autistic man’s near-death experience inspires new anti-bullying law | The Mighty

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed a bill into law on Monday that has prison terms up to 10 years for people who endanger the welfare of those with developmental disabilities, reports Asbury Park Press (APP). >> read more 

Why it’s time for a national autism strategy | Huffington Post

Out of Canada: “It’s not an exaggeration to say we have an autism services crisis…” >> read more

SC town becomes the first autism-friendly travel destination |

The Surfside Beach Town Council signed the first-ever proclamation to make Surfside Beach the first autism-friendly travel destination. >> read more

New bill aims to help families of adults with disabilities stay together | The Mighty

“Senator Charles Schumer, a democrat from New York, has authored and sponsored a bill called the Disability Integration Act. If passed, it will help individuals with disabilities live more independently by providing necessary at-home and community-based services and supports, reported.” >> read more

Several states poised to offer savings accounts for disabled Americans | NPR

New laws in 35 states will allow more than 5 million Americans with disabilities to begin setting aside money for disability-related expenses without being penalized. >> read more

Hillary Clinton’s plan to support children, youth, and adults living with autism and their families |

We hope to see more plans like this from other 2016 presidential candidates. >> read more

December 2015

Marriott opens hotel school for people with disabilities | Yahoo

Courtyard by Marriott and the state of Indiana are doing their part to support people with disabilities by opening a teaching hotel geared toward workers with special needs. >> read more

Lack of training leads to abuse, Bendigo autism advocate says | ABC AU

An inquiry into services for people with autism spectrum disorder is calling for submissions. >> read more

The missing generation | Spectrum News

“Left to languish in psychiatric institutions or drugged for disorders they never had, many older adults with autism were neglected or forgotten for decades. Efforts to help them are finally underway.” >> read more

November 2015

New law will compensate parent caregivers of adults with special needs | The Mighty

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a new law adding parents to New York’s Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP), a Medicaid-funded home care program. >> read more

IRS relaxes rules for new ABLE accounts | Disability Scoop

The Internal Revenue Service is easing up on rules for new accounts that will allow people with disabilities to save money without jeopardizing their government benefits. >> read more 

Financial inclusion and shared prosperity: the next frontier for people with disabilities | Huffington Post

“One in five families nationwide now includes a member with a disability.” >> read more

Meeting the needs of young adults with autism | WFAE

Few find it easy to transition from school to the adult world but for people with high-functioning autism or Asperger’s syndrome, it can be a real challenge. Learn about a program designed to help. >> read more

Group homes for developmentally disabled lack room | Observer-Dispatch

As part of a statewide “It Matters to Me” grassroots advocacy campaign, Herkimer ARC is a hosting a meeting today between area state legislators and local families of people with disabilities who want to move their loved ones into group homes but can’t get them in. >> read more 

Behind the shortage of special ed teachers: long hours, crushing paperwork | NPR

It is getting harder and harder for administrators to find quality special education teachers. Which means student needs (and federal laws) are not being met. >> read more

Roses for autism: How a farm was saved and a vital need filled | modern farmer

When a fourth-generation owned Connecticut rose farm faltered, it was given new life thanks to an innovative partnership. >> read more

Help for adults with autism | News4 Tucson

The Tucson Alliance for Autism offers support groups for adults with autism and for family members of adults with autism. >> read more

October 2015

Local couple holds housing conference on needs of adults with autism | Mainline Media News

“There was a fascinating video presentation by Desiree Kameka, Director of Community Education and Advocacy of Madison House Autism Foundation in Rockville, Md. She showed us examples of all kinds of housing alternatives across the country, including one community where the bank had re-possessed 13 homes, and group of parents had purchased them.” >> read more

Young adults with autism create and share through art | cbc news

Four young P.E.I. artists made their art-world debut as part of the Stars in Your Eyes art show last week, put on by a charitable organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for young people with autism. >> read more

Plans brewing for D.C. coffee shop that trains students with autism | wtop

Independent Grounds Coffee House will serve as a vocational training site for adolescents with autism. >> read more 

Women launch rural program for adults with autism | Daily Republic

Jeanine Stanley and Pamela Hale Mitchell hope to answer the question, “What happens to adults with autism when they turn 22 and there are no more school programs for them?” >> read more

September 2015

Developmentally disabled adults often abused and ignored | The Columbus Dispatch

About 70 percent of those with developmental disabilities are abused, and little is being done about it. >> read more

Selectmen approve Dennis housing project for adults with autism |

A housing project meant to provide a safe place for adults with autism and other developmental disabilities is one step closer to completion. >> read more

NSU dental school gets $3.4M grant for autism training | Sun Sentinel

Researchers at Nova Southeastern University received a $3.4 million grant to help train dentists to provide appropriate dental care for individuals with autism. >> read more

Arts program helps women with disabilities navigate sex, relationships | mpr news

For clients who may never have had sex ed, Upstream Arts offers a creative approach to learning about love, relationships and boundaries. >> read more

August 2015

How this university’s program for students with autism stands out from the rest | The Mighty

Austin Peay State University (APSU) is launching a pilot program aimed at improving the college experience for students on the autism spectrum. >> read more

UT to add degree in disability studies | The Blade

A new undergraduate degree in disability studies aims to prepare University of Toledo students for jobs in advocacy, academia, public policy, law and other careers. >> read more

Young adults with autism flounder in face of service gaps |

“Approximately one in four young adults on the autism spectrum…receive no services that could help them become employed, continue their education or live independently. More than one-third are ‘disconnected during their early 20s,’ the researchers found, meaning they never get a job or continue education after high school.” >> read more

Jon Stewart used last show to raise $2.2 million for autism | CNN

Jon Stewart helped raise money for New York Collaborates for autism. >> read more 

Google paints stunning portraits of disability rights heroes on Washington D.C., Steps |

“Now, a new outdoor ad campaign from Google and 72andSunny marks the 25th anniversary of the landmark legislation by featuring painted portraits of key figures in the disability rights movement on the steps of major cultural buildings in Washington D.C.” >> read more

July 2015

Where’s the outrage when colleges discriminate against students with disabilities? | The Chronicle

“On the occasion of the Americans with Disabilities Act’s 25th anniversary, we should honor the progress made by so many students and faculty with disabilities, but we should also remember that colleges have a long way to go toward providing accessible and barrier-free education to all.” >> read more

Maria Shriver: We need to change the game of how we talk about intellectual disability | Time

Nearly half of our country continues to hold onto outdated views laced with fear and misunderstanding. >> read more

Why disability and poverty still go hand in hand 25 years after landmark law | NPR

If you have a disability in the U.S., you’re twice as likely to be poor as someone without a disability. You’re also far more likely to be unemployed. And that gap has widened in the 25 years since the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act was enacted. >> read more

Adults with autism to share housing with general population in Heidelberg complex | Pittsburg Post-Gazette

In what may be the first project of its kind in the nation, local developers are building an apartment complex that will house adults with autism alongside non-autistic residents. >> read more 

New autism support center to feature sensory garden |

Utah Valley University recently opened a new Autism Support Center, with the support of doTERRA. >> read more

June 2015

Spotlight TEDx Talk: Want to help people who have autism? Try empathy | TEDx Innovations

“Activist Adam Harris says living with Asperger’s syndrome is like living on a planet ‘not built for him’. A planet built on rules and customs that are hard for him to decipher and that force him to work hard just to cope.” >> read more

Florida budget a win for autism community | Autism Speaks

Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed a new budget into law Tuesday which included funding that would move more than 2,000 people off the waiting list for iBudget Waiver Services. >> read more

Advocates press Congress to address wandering | Disability Scoop

“Several disability advocacy groups are banding together to call for federal action to help prevent wandering among those with autism and other developmental disabilities.” >> read more

Lack of services for adult son with autism prompts Carmel family’s move out of Maine | Bangor Daily News

“We left New Hampshire about 17 years ago because there weren’t a whole lot of services for kids with autism. It’s been OK until he aged out of children’s services and that’s where it started to go drastically downhill,” Cynthia said. >> read more

ID cards helping police interact with drivers with autism | Autism Speaks

Drivers in Alabama who have been diagnosed with autism can now carry around a special identification card to communicate with police and others, says an article in the local NBC news affiliate. >> read more

Asperger’s advocate: Fargo man travels world speaking about autism | Inforum

“‘My goal is to help inform the world about the opportunities available for students on the autism spectrum after they graduate from high school and to let people know that there is hope as the transition into adulthood takes place,’ [Zaborny] says.” >> read more

Fashion photographer focuses on those with genetic conditions to reframe beauty | NBC News

Once a fashion photographer in Milan and New York, Rick Guidotti looked at photos in medical textbooks and thought, “Where’s the humanity?” These pictures changed his perspective and, ever since, Guidotti, has devoted his talent to those with I/DD and other disabilities. >> read more

Desiree Kameka- Coalition for Community Choice- Speaking in NJ | youtube

Check out Desiree Kameka’s informative discussion on the impact of the Statewide Transition Plan in New Jersey. (Desiree Kameka is Madison House Autism Foundation’s Director of Community Education and Advocacy.) >> read more

The coming tsunami: children with autism reaching adulthood |

There are a lot of resources available for children with autism, but what happens when they grow up? >> read more

10 things an autistic adult wants you to know | The Wall Street Journal

Blogger Lydia Wayman on what she wishes other people knew about her. >> read more

8 stunning portraits of people with autism that shatter stereotypes about the spectrum | news.mic

“Last month, the Art of Autism concluded an incredible online series called Autism Unveiled.” >> read more

May 2015

When children with autism grow old | SDSU News Center

SDSU researchers receive a major NIH grant to study brain and cognitive changes in aging adults with autism. >> read more

Who decides where autistic adults live? | The Atlantic

For many intellectually and developmentally disabled people, large campuses or farmsteads may be better options than small group homes. But new state laws could make it hard for big facilities to survive. >> read more

Advocates fight to keep sheltered workshops for workers with disabilities | NPR

Such workshops are being closed across the U.S., more than 15 years after the Supreme Court said separate work settings constitute discrimination. >> read more

‘A beautiful recognition of people with disabilities’: Jean Vanier on winning Templeton Prize | CBC

Congratulations, Jean Vanier, founder of L’Arche on winning the esteemed Templeton Prize. >> read more

Primary care doctors unprepared to help adults with autism |

“The providers admitted to being unprepared: 77 percent rated their ability to care for someone with autism as poor or fair.” >> read more

A range of reactions to airline’s removal of autistic child | New York Times

United Airlines diverted a flight and removed a family with an autistic daughter, prompting criticism of the carrier. >> read more

A woman plans to sue United Airlines for forcing her autistic daughter off a flight | Buzzfeed

The airline said in a statement that it made an emergency landing and removed the autistic girl and her family from the plane to keep the other passengers comfortable and safe. >> read more

New Hampshire becomes first state to ban subminimum wage |

New Hampshire is the first state in the nation to make it illegal for people with disabilities to be paid less than minimum wage. >>read more

April 2015

Parents decry proposed cuts to services for those with autism |

Like many 20-year-olds, Jessica Zangrillostands at the cusp of an uncertain future. But, unlike others her age, Zangrillo isn’t about to move from college into the professional world. >> read more

Adults with autism find few services after school ends | The Baltimore Sun

What can families do today to help create better futures for our autistic adult children and loved ones? >> read more

Stark Realities Of Autistic Adulthood | NPR

You don’t outgrow autism. But a wave of autistic children is growing into adulthood. What’s going to happen then? >> read more

Feds Take Aim At Sheltered Workshops | Disability Scoop

The Obama administration is proposing new regulations that would sharply limit people with disabilities from entering employment situations where they earn less than minimum wage. >> read more

March 2015

If I were Prime Minister: People with a learning disability would be considered in all my decisions | Independent UK

A series in the run-up to the General Election – 100 days, 100 contributors, but no politicians – continues with Mencap’s Parliamentary Affairs Assistant >> read more

For adults with autism, a lack of support when they need it most | Washington Post

Bundled up in a puffy green coat, Moore, 35 and sandy-haired, doesn’t stand out in the crowd seeking refuge from the winter cold in a drafty Starbucks. His handshake is firm and his blue eyes meet mine as we talk. He comes across as intelligent and thoughtful, if perhaps a bit reserved. His disability — a form of autism — is invisible. >> read more

Program Would Offer Job Training to 100 Young Adults With Autism | Hartford Courant

This first-ever vocational program – laid out in a bill that is before the legislature’s human services committee – is intended to begin to address two problems: high unemployment among adults with ‪#‎autism‬, and the difficulties many find with living independently. >> read more

Reynoldsburg mom seeks care for severely autistic son | The Columbus Dispatch

These stories just keep being told and retold by parents and caregivers all over the country. We need more options for individuals with ‪#‎autism‬. We can’t put this off any longer. The need is urgent. >> read more

Underfunded disability program leaves families waiting years for aid | Sante Fe New Mexican

Don Bustos and his 20-year-old son, Emilio, rise early and their days are long. The father dashes off to tend to his fields, and his son, a high school senior, catches the bus to Española Valley High School. >> read more

People With ‘Invisible Disabilities’ Fight For Understanding | NPR

Some disabilities are more obvious than others. Many are immediately apparent, especially if someone relies on a wheelchair or cane. But others — known as “invisible” disabilities — are not. People who live with them face particular challenges in the workplace and in their communities. >> read more

Why you should never make assumptions about people with autism | The Independent

The idea that all people with autism are disordered, impaired, or somehow “lesser” is one that still needs to be challenged >> read more

Mother seeks more resources for teens with autism | YouTube

We need more ‪#‎autism‬ training for first responders and medical technicians. Difficult situations (like the one you will hear about in this video below) will just keep happening over and over again if we, as a society, don’t step up to the plate.

Eden Autism Services Public Comment

The following link is a PDF to Eden Autism Services’ public comment that voices concerns regarding New Jersey’s proposed State Transition Plan. >> read PDF

February 2015

Real Stories Real People: Michael

“My name is Mary and my son, Michael, is 30 years old. He is deaf, cannot speak and has signs for only a few words. Since he graduated from high school he has stayed at home. Michael helps me around the house. But, mostly he plays with his blocks and stays in his room.” >> read more

Adults with autism are left to navigate a jarring world | Science News

Researchers turn attention to a growing population of adults with autism spectrum disorders >> read more

George the Poet: Jokes about autism are ignorant | BBC News

George the Poet says people who joke about autism are “ignorant”. >> read more

January 2015

Hiring Workers with Disabilities at Starbucks Largest Distribution Plant | Starbucks Newsroom

Companies, like ‪#‎Starbucks‬, that give individuals with ‪#‎disabilities‬ an opportunity to work often end up with some of their most loyal employees …The investment in training often results in a high retention rate. >> read more

Obama Left a Critical Group Out of His Free Education Plan | New Republic

While we commend Barack Obama’s proposal to make two years of community ‪#‎college‬ free for students who maintain a 2.5 GPA and attend classes at least half-time, we must also ensure that education is more accessible to those with I/DD. >> read more

10 Questions to Ask a Lawyer before Hiring One for Your Disability Case | Disability Blog

Important stuff right here. >> read more

Is the U.S. Prepared for a Growing Population of Adults With Autism? | US News & World Report

Are we ready? >> read more

December 2014

Casey’s ABLE Act Becomes Law with President Obama’s Signature | Robert P. Casey, Jr.

ABLE Easily Passed the Senate 76-16 / Bill Previously Passed the House with 404-17 Margin / ABLE Has Been Called “…the broadest legislation to help [people with disabilities] in nearly a quarter-century.” >> read more

Tax-Free Disability Savings Bill Headed To Obama | Disability Scoop

Lawmakers voted 76 to 16 to approve the bill as part of a package of tax measures Tuesday evening. The legislation will now go to President Barack Obama to sign. >> read more

A Concerned Dad Asked Me, ‘What Will Happen to My Son With Autism When I’m Gone.’ This Is My Answer. | The Mighty

At an Autism Society autism conference I attended a few years back in Orlando, Florida, a father, probably in his sixties, approached me. He had a nonverbal son. We discussed his son’s need for an aide and several supports. Then he asked me one of the most difficult questions I’ve ever been asked as an autism advocate: “What do you think will happen to my son when I’m no longer here?” >> read more

House Passes ABLE, Final Senate Vote Expected Shortly | Autism Votes

 The U.S. House of Representatives today approved the ABLE Act 404-17 allowing tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities and sent the bill to the Senate for final Congressional action. >> read more

Lawmakers Poised To Vote On ABLE Act | Disability Scoop

“This is historic for the disability community,” said Sara Weir, interim president of the National Down Syndrome Society, which has pushed for the ABLE Act since 2006. “I can’t think of another piece of legislation that puts a stake in the ground that says that people with disabilities can work and save money.” >> read more

Two sides of disability housing debate | Delaware Online

People with ‪#‎disabilities‬ shouldn’t be given a limited set of housing options. The regulations are in place to make sure individuals are in a setting they want to be in, that allows them to thrive with the supports they need individually. >> read more

November 2014

Pope’s Address to Autism Conference | Zenit

Assistance to people affected by autism spectrum disorders would benefit greatly from the creation of a network of support and services on the ground that are comprehensive and accessible. These should involve, in addition to parents, grandparents, friends, therapists, educators and pastoral workers. These figures can help families overcome the feelings, that can sometimes arise, of inadequacy, uselessness and frustration. >> read more

No Longer ‘Falling Off the Cliff’ | The Chronicle of Higher Education

Programs like Cutting Edge provide a way for colleges to respond to what many disability advocates call “falling off the cliff.” >> read more

Mainers with disabilities to gain Medicaid services in lawsuit settlement | Portland Press Herald

The state has settled the class-action lawsuit filed last year on behalf of people with autism and intellectual disabilities who were waiting for services. >> read more

Residents at home for disabled in Pembroke worry new regulations could affect them  | The Patriot Ledger

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in March published new rules related to Medicaid-funded home and community-based services, including residential programs for disabled adults. States have been given a year to submit plans showing how they will comply with the new rules, which emphasize access to community and integrated settings. >> read more

Federal rule change could be costly, change mission of autism program | The Blade

The rule states that waiver money cannot be given for programs in settings that aren’t considered ‘home and community based’ or are institutional or isolating. It has the potential to affect the nearly 6,000 facilities in Ohio that offer waiver services. These institutional settings include nursing facilities, hospitals, and intermediate care facilities. Settings in the same building or ‘adjacent to’ institutional-like settings are also not eligible for HCBS waivers. Well-intentioned as it is, the rule has left care providers across Ohio wondering what it means for their programming. >> read more 

Justice Department Releases Information on Election Day Efforts to Protect the Right to Vote and Prosecute Ballot Fraud | U.S. Department of Justice

The Justice Department has released information about its efforts to make sure that all qualified voters have the opportunity to cast their ballots and have their votes counted. Voters who need assistance voting because of a disability or illiteracy can get help from a person of their choice. The law also requires that people with disabilities are able to enter their polling places and access their voting machines. >> read more

October 2014

What you should know about autism from the point of a view of a Boca Raton man on the spectrumWPTV

“We’re not disabled, we’re differently abled.”  >> read more

A Couple Gaining Independence, and Finding a Bond NY Times

“Peter Maxmean, 35, and Lori Sousa, 48, met five years ago at a sheltered workshop in North Providence, where people with intellectual ‪#‎disabilities‬performed repetitive jobs for little pay, in isolation. But when a federal investigation turned that workshop upside down last year, among those tumbling into the daylight were two people who had fallen in love within its cinder block walls.” >> read full article

What can be done to help parents of autistic adults? | PBS

Dr. Barry and Renee Gordon really nail the issues. Please post and repost. >> read more

September 2014

More jobs, health coverage for autism | Examiner

“The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy today announced a total of $8,422,574 in continued funding for organizations that develop models, provide technical assistance and share best practices to improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities.”  >> read full article

Americans With Disabilities Are More Likely To Be Poor, Report Finds | Huffington Post

“Jane, a 60-year-old single mother of five who has ‪#‎autism‬ as well as a neuromuscular disability and runs a small business, told the report’s authors that the time she spends advocating for herself and her children detracts from the time she has available to work. ‘The assumption is that disabled people are incompetent, and we don’t have family obligations, [and] that we are stealing from the system,’ she said. ‘But being poor is a full-time job.'” >> read full article

Hope and frank talk on autism from Temple GrandinUT San Diego

Wearing her trademark embroidered western shirt, Temple Grandin delivered a blunt and, at times, hilarious presentation yesterday at University of San Diego. >> read more

August 2014

For Parents Of Young Black Men With Autism, Extra Fear About Police | NPR

According to the advocacy group Autism Unites, people with ‪#‎autism‬spectrum disorders are seven times more likely to interact with police over their lifetimes, compared with people without a cognitive disorder. >> read more

Obama Signs Autism Act Renewal | Disability Scoop

President Barack Obama signed a reauthorization of the nation’s primary autism legislation that includes more than a billion dollars in federal funding for the developmental disorder. >> read more

Exploring the Spectrum | Excel Magazine

“People with autism are valuable members of our communities … Like all people, they have dreams, roles to play, contributions to make. … We need to know what experiences, beyond clinical interventions, promote positive outcomes and prevent negative ones — both for people on the autism spectrum and the families and communities they are part of.” >> read more

ABLE Act Takes Major Step Forward After Bipartisan Vote of House Ways and Means Committee | Robert P. Casey, Jr. Official Wesbite

“[The ABLE Act] is eight years in the making and reflects the tireless work of individuals with disabilities, their families and advocates. As the lead sponsors of this legislation, we have focused on a common goal of providing individuals with often life-long disabilities a better way to save and plan for the future…” >> read full article

July 2014

Coping with adult children’s autism, parents may face ‘least bad’ decisions | Washington Post

“Tagrin and others say that as family members with ‪#‎autism‬ age, it becomes even more important to refuse to take no for an answer when seeking services for day programs or housing … ‘You kind of have to fight for things. If one person says no, you have to keep calling,’ she says…” >> read full article

Self-Advocates Train To Have Safe Encounters With Police | Disability Scoop

” …as part of the Autism Society of Los Angeles, Iland is trying to make sure young people like her son who are pushing for independence, don’t wind up as law enforcement statistics. >> read more

Voting Rights Act complaint alleges disabled, autistic often banned from voting | WJLA

“At a time when election officials are struggling to convince more Americans to vote, advocates for the disabled say thousands of people with ‪#‎autism‬spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy and other intellectual or developmental‪#‎disabilities‬ have been systematically denied that basic right in the nation’s largest county…” >> read more

Congress Weighing Tax-Free Disability Savings Accounts | disabilityscoop

A long-stagnant bill that would establish a new way for people with disabilities to save money without jeopardizing their government benefits is starting to make its way through Congress. >> read article

June 2014

Voting Rights Act complaint alleges disabled, autistic often banned from voting | WJLA

At a time when election officials are struggling to convince more Americans to vote, advocates for the disabled say thousands of people with autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy and other intellectual or developmental disabilities have been systematically denied that basic right in the nation’s largest county. >> read article 

Bill provides $1.3B for autism research | New Jersey 101.5

A new bill introduced in Washington would allocate $1.3 billion in funding for autism research and initiatives, as well as addressing the needs of individuals who are “aging out” of current programs. >> read article

Advocate shows autistic people how to have safe encounters with police | LA Times

Emily Iland spent decades advocating for her 30-year-old son, who has autism, his own apartment, a college degree and an accounting career. Now, as part of the Autism Society of Los Angeles, Iland is trying to make sure young people like him, pushing for independence, don’t wind up as law enforcement statistics. >> read more

Sheltered Workshop Eligibility May Soon Be Limited | Disability Scoop

Federal lawmakers are moving forward with a plan to require most students with disabilities to try competitive employment before they could be employed by sheltered workshops. >> read article

Autism Act Clears House | Disability Scoop

Congress is one step closer to renewing the nation’s primary autism legislation. >> read article

Family’s Complaint Prompts Insurer To Drop ‘R-Word’ | Disability Scoop

A major health insurer has agreed to stop using the term “mental retardation” after a family complained when the phrase was used to describe their daughter’s condition. >> read article

Teaching children with autism the fine art of self-advocacy | The Washington Post

Once the child has a label for her differences, there’s another important thing to talk to her about: When and how to share that information with others, and how to express her own needs. >> read article

April 2014

Time running out for parents of disabled adults to claim retroactive tax refund | The Olympian

Parents who provide home care for disabled adult children are eligible for retroactive tax refunds dating back to 2010 — but time is running out to claim some of that money. >> read article

March 2014

End the Wait Campaign | End the Wait

On behalf of the over 5,000 Kansans with Developmental Disabilities (DD) currently waiting for life sustaining DD Waiver services. Join the cause and pledge support to the End the Wait Campaign. >> watch video

February 2014

Obama to include disabled workers in minimum wage order | USA Today

President Obama’s executive order to raise the minimum wage for workers under future federal contracts includes a key provision to address concerns raised by advocates for disabled workers, according to the White House. >> read article

Autism and Disclosure: Is Virginia’s ‘Autism’ ID Card Ethical? | HuffPost Politics

This article discusses a Virginia bill that would require an optional bar code on driver’s licenses and identification cards that can be scanned to reveal if a person has autism. >> read more

Mother of autistic student fights for son’s right to education | ABC News 10

David Swanson, a severely autistic and diabetic young man has not been in school in Yuba City since February 2013. A hearing is underway this week before a judge to determine if David can go back to school. >> read more

January 2014

8 Great Resources for Information About Autism Services, Education, and Funding | About

It’s all very nice to hear that children with autism are “entitled” to certain rights, services, and funding.  But where do you find reliable information about what your REAL entitlements are, or how to tap into the services you need? >> read more

Discrimination | Emma’s Hope Book

Mom writes about her autistic daughter’s struggles with discrimination. >> read more


A Social Security Lifeline: Kira’s Story | YouTube

Kira discusses her struggles with living on the limited money she receives from social security. >> watch video