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News Archive: July 2010-November 2011(note: ALL links on this page will open a new browser window except for the pdf downloads.)
Project Search offers Internships in Milford
- Recent Milford High grads started interning at Milford Regional Medical Center with a new program called Project Search. Read this Milford Daily News story from November 30, 2011.
New MS Drug in Late-Stage Trial
- XConomy.com reports that Genzyme is getting favorable results with trials of a new drug for Multiple Sclerosis called alemtuzumab or Lemtrada. The drug is targeted for specific types/symptoms of MS.
Affordable Housing Units Decline
- The November 1, 2011 Milford Daily News reports on a possible reduction of 900 affordable units in MetroWest and Milford in 2012. The story is written by Ian B. Murphy.
Research allows Brain to Move Robotic Hand
- David Templeton wrote this story for the October 10, 2011 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about a man with quadriplegia from a spinal cord injury who can move a robotic arm using his mind. Read the story and watch the video. Thanks to MassMatch for the story link.
No Child Left Behind
- AAPD and Justice For All highlighted this letter from The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities. A proposed amendment to the ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act) would allow states to remove students with disabilities from the accountability standards. The linked letter gives compelling reasons to NOT remove anyone. Would we rename the law: "Some Children Left Behind"?
"Do Civil Rights Laws Apply To Parochial Schools?"
- NPR reports on a parochial school teacher who was fired after being diagnosed with narcolepsy. The case is now before the Supreme Court to determine if she has rights under the ADA in a parochial school setting.
Disability Employment Awareness Month - October
- The theme this year is: “Profit by Investing in Workers with Disabilities.” Tri-County Independent Living in CA supports the employment efforts. Read their opinion piece from the Times-Standard.
In Ireland - Housing initiative for people with disabilities
- The Irish Times tells how the Irish government is about to "allow as many people with disabilities as possible to live independently in their own homes rather than institutions or residential care homes." About time.
Former Soviet Union - Big Issue
- The UN News Centre reports that children with disabilities in the former Soviet Union face discrimination. September 27, 2011
- The fourth session of Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities starts on September 7 at the U.N. in NYC. Hundreds of delegates from governments and civil society will gather to discuss ways to improve the lives and well-being of people with disabilities by addressing some of the challenges they face, including unemployment. For more details, see the U.N. News Service story.
Maine Agreement Reached to Allow People to Leave Nursing Homes
- "Under the terms of a legal agreement announced Tuesday, the state Department of Health and Human Services will close a loophole that a group of disabled Maine residents says has prevented them from receiving services they need to live productive and independent lives." Reported by Meg Haskell on Spetember 6 in the Bangor Daily News.
Tennessee Anticipates $4.5 billion in Cuts
- TennCare, unemployment offices, local health departments and services for people with intellectual disabilities could bear the brunt of cuts in federal spending, according to planning documents released Tuesday by the state. Read more in The Tennessean from August 30, 2011.
Historic Settlement in Illinois
- Medicaid-eligible people with disabilities who have been forced by the state to live in Cook County nursing homes will now have the option of living at home and receiving support services there. Read more in the Daily Herald
Mentor Match Program Event
- Partners for Youth with Disabilities , partnering with the Red Sox, is holding "Bring a Friend" Night to teach adults (21 or older) about their Mentor Match Program. Tuesday, September 6, 2011 from 6:00-8:00pm at the Lansdowne Pub in Boston. Bring a friend and enjoy apps, socializing, and chances on Red Sox tickets and memorabilia. Contact Jeff to RSVP or ask questions: firstname.lastname@example.org or 617.556.4075 x 18. Download the flyer: 2011-09-pyd-flyer.pdf
Hurricane Irene Heading Towards MetroWest
- Download our News Alert about the hurricane, and learn about the emergency preparations that you should be starting today. 2011-aug-emergency-preparedness.pdf
Melbourne is Behind the Times
- Melbourne Independent Film Festival is inaccessible to people with disabilities.
Levy Brothers in NYC Work the System
- The NY Times investigated the Levy Brothers and their ability to direct Medicaid funds into their own pockets. The in-depth article is very insightful and give a good history of how and why NY state began to increase their services and funding for the developmentally disabled. The article is worth reading. We're left wondering, if in the midst of all of this funding, did services improve?
AARP Study on Caregivers
- A new study by the AARP estimates that for the more than 40 million Americans caring for an elderly or disabled loved one, the value of their work is $450 billion a year.
MA Home Modification Loan Program Seeking Applicants
- Home Modification Loan Program provides 0% and 3% loans up to $30,000 to homeowners seeking to make modifications to their homes. Those eligible for 0% loans don't have to repay until the property is sold or tranferred. 3% loans are available to landlords with identified tenants needing adaptations in buildings with fewer than 10 units. The Home Modification Loan Program is well funded and seeking applicants. (May 17, 2011)
Federal Court Consent Decree in Illinois
- 21 years after the signing of the ADA, and people with developmental disabilities in Illinois seeking residential services are only offered placements in large facilities. "Illinois currently ranks at 50th among all states and the District of Columbia in serving people with developmental disabilities in small integrated settings." The Consent Decree should change this according to the PRNewsWire.
ARC Study Shows Nation's Services Lacking
- The PR Newswire reported on a new study by the Arc which shows that the nation is neglecting people With intellectual and developmental disabilities."According to the FINDS (Families and Individual Needs for Disability Support) survey, one-third of parents and caregivers (potentially 1 million families) reported that they are on waiting lists for government funded services, with the average wait more than five years."
Disabled 'World's Largest Minority'
- On June 11, 2011, the Sydney Morning Herald and Karen McVeigh summarize a report by the World Health Organisation and the World Bank. "Despite a robust disability rights movement and a shift towards inclusion, disabled people remain second-class citizens."
- Bill Hendrick and WebMD also wrote about the report, stating that "more than 1 billion people in the world are living with some form of disability, and governments everywhere need to beef up efforts to help them."
- Click Here to download the full report from WHO.
- The Guardian provides more insight into this disturbing report. "One of the report's key messages is that disability is less about health conditions and more about social and economic barriers to inclusion." The report calls on Aid Donors to only fund inclusive projects.
Analysis of Medicaid for People with Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities
- JFActivist directs us to this report by United Cerebral Palsy that contains state by state rankings overall, and in specific categories. Most of the data is from 2009.
- In observance of July 26 as the 21st anniversary of the signing of the ADA, the Census Bureau has compiled statistics about Americans with Disabilities. The statistics aren't pretty - probably an improvement - but we're not there yet! Most of the data is from 2009.
Wells Fargo Pays $16 Million in ADA Settlement
- The Wall Street Journal reports on a recent Justice Department ADA settlement with Wells Fargo Bank to ensure equal access for individuals with disabilities to Wells Fargo's services nationwide. The Justice Dept. had numerous ADA complaints filed by individuals who are deaf, are hard of hearing or have speech disabilities who allege that Wells Fargo would not do business with them over the phone using a telecommunications relay service. Instead, the individuals were directed to call a TTY/TDD line that asked them to leave a message, which went unanswered. WFB is now reportedly cooperating and addressing all issues.
World Health Organization Studies Youths
- Health.com reports on WHO results - worldwide, Mental Illnesses account for nearly half of all disabilities among young people between the ages of 10 and 24.
Massachusetts Universal Access Program
- DCR Summer Fall Newsletter has all kinds of great outdoor accessible activities!
Bed Tax Overview
- Steve Goldada reports on nursing home "bed taxes" which are used to generate Medicaid funds for states. Massachusetts is among the highest states. Goldada questions whether these taxes support Olmstead decisions - it depends where this revenue is actually spent. Thanks to AAPD for sharing this story.
Jobs for the Disabled - Report from Ohio
- The Columbus Dispatch has a series on Jobs for the Disabled, with in-depth reporting on wages, the quality of the jobs, and the quality of education.
Dramatic Increase in Diagnosed Disabilities in Children
- Kafi Drexel from NY 1 reports on a new study by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
UK Protests Over Budget Cuts
- The May 8, 2011 Guardian reports on the plans of thousands to march through London in protest over cuts to disability benefits. The protest is organised by hundreds of disabled people's groups to culminate with lobby of MPs (Members of Parliament). This story is written by Karen McVeigh and Sam Jones. The Guardian followed up on May 12 with individual stories.
Exoskeleton Developed for Paraplegics
- Computerworld reports on a paralyzed UC Berkeley student walked to receive his graduate degree, using eLegs. The robotic exoskeleton is the creation of Homayoon Kazerooni, a Berkeley professor of mechanical engineering, and his team of researchers.
New Jersey Housing
- NorthJersey.com reports on a state initiative to create housing for 600 residents with disabilities. While the needs are much greater (8000 people on waiting lists), this is a big step in the right direction. The state plans to purchase and rehabilitate houses, condominiums and apartments into one- to four-bedroom units for people with developmental disabilities.
House Budget Cuts IL Centers
- The House Budget did not restore cuts to the MRC's Independent Living budget. Please contact your state senator. Download this flyer for more information. ilc-flyer-5-111.pdf
VA Enhances Caregiver Support
- The Veteran's Administration announced additional supports to eligible post-9/11 Veterans who elect to receive their care in a home setting from a primary Family Caregiver. The VA has more information on the new ruling, and provides a link for signing up for this new benefit. Good news!
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy
- WBUR reports on the current research on Center for the Study of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy caused by repeated blows to the head. The tragedy of football player, Dave Duerson, has led researchers to believe that the game of football needs major changes to protect the players. Visit our Facebook page to share your opinions.
Patrick's Proposal to Reduce Health Care Costs
- Nancy Reardon Stewart reports on the MA struggle to rein in health care costs. Governor Patrick has proposed sweeping changes to the way hospitals operate by mandating Accountable Care Organization networks. On paper, it sounds good!
ADAPT Protests Ryan Plan, 89 Arrested
- Politico.com reports on a May 2,2011 disability rights protest in the Cannon House Office Building in against Rep. Paul Ryan’s Medicaid plan, which protesters said would force people with disabilities to live in nursing homes rather than in their own homes.
American Idol Star James Durbin
- The Digital Journal reports on James Durbin's success on American Idol. Durbin has been diagnosed with both Asperger's syndrome and Tourette's syndrome. While neither affects a singing voice, both can affect the confidence needed to succeed in music.
Health Reform in MA
- The Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA Foundation assessed the affect of the 2008 MA health care reform laws. Thanks to the Disability Policy Consortium for the link.
Infections Drop at VA Hospitals
- The New York Times reports on how the VA achieved improvements with changes in procedures.
Men, Unemployment and Disability
- This New York Times piece by David Leonhardt describes how the current disability benefits system can discourage men from going back to work.
Post Office wants Major Changes to Disability Benefits System
- Post and Parcel reports that the Inspector General of the US Postal Service is set to call on Congress tomorrow to make “significant” reforms to the federal disability benefits system. The article is by James Cartledge on April 12, 2011.
Commission on Paratransit
- Governor Deval Patrick has signed an executive order aimed at controlling the escalating costs of providing specialized transportation (for example, The Ride) for people with disabilities, Medicaid recipients, and others.
Ed Roberts Campus Opens
- The Ed Roberts Campus in South Berkeley, CA opened on Saturday, April 9. The campus website has articles, videos and photos of the day.
Veteran's Claims Backlog Doubles
- USA Today and Greg Zoroya report on the rising backlog and increasing time to process claims at the Veteran's Administration.
The $1000 Social Security Cash Cliff
- Moving from Disability Benefits to Jobs is an opinion piece in the New York Times by Motoko Rich about the disincentives built into Social Security for people returning to the workforce after an illness.
Washington State: House GOP Plan ends Basic Health, curtails Disability Lifeline
- If you're wondering how other states are surviving the Great Recession, here is an article from the Bellingham Herald about their governor's proposal to balance the state budget. It's scary.
Military Update: Disability rating system better, not 'nirvana'
- On April 5, 2011, the Colorado Springs Gazette and Tom Philpott report on the improvements to the military system for evaluating and compensating for disability. The bottom line is that more improvements are needed!
New Disability Evaluation System for Veterans
- The Army Times reports that: "The Pentagon and Veterans Affairs Departments are “moving aggressively” to put in place a new, faster, simpler disability evaluation system for wounded warriors at 141 military installations in the U.S. and abroad."
Church School Tries to Bypass ADA
- The Supreme Court will decide whether a teacher at a church-run school is a religious or secular worker when it comes to the Americans with Disabilities Act. The report is from Bloomberg Business Week by AP on March 28, 2011.
Worst Case Housing Report from HUD
- "Worst case housing needs” are defined as very low-income renters (incomes below half the median in their area) who do not receive government housing assistance and who either paid more than half their monthly incomes for rent, lived in severely substandard conditions, or both. " The study found that "approximately 1 million households that included nonelderly people with disabilities had worst case needs." Disability.gov reported on the HUD press release. Also available is a full report.
U.S. Senate Hearing on Social Security Cuts
- Daniel Dwyer of AAPD reports on this Senate Hearing about the House of Representatives bill (H.R.1) which proposes cutting millions in administrative funding that SSA uses to process disability claims and administer retirement benefits resulting in $1 billion less than what SSA says they need. The comments ranged from Tom Harkin (D - IA) stressing that the outcome of H.R. 1 “isn’t just bad for the economy but it’s devastating for the individuals” with disabilities to to Richard Shelby (R-AL) saying SSDI is a "gigantic budgetary burden that looks more like an unemployment program". Marty Ford, of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) concluded that the cuts proposed in H.R. 1 will “severely punish people who must rely on social security and SSI.” Contact your Senators and Representative in Washington!
CLASS Program Under Attack
- The Community Living Assistance Support (CLASS) Program is also under attack. AAPD's Jenifer Simpson reports on this House Health Subcommittee Hearing.
State Census Data
State Budget Cuts Will Delay Economic Recovery
- As pointed out by ADDP, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has released an enlightening report by Michael Leachman, Erica Williams and Nicholas Johnson on budget cut proposals to education, health and other essential services in 48 states. With few governors recommending offsetting increased revenues, these cuts will further erode the economy and undermine efforts to create jobs. While Massachusetts isn't the worst, we definitely have some short-sighted budget cuts on the agenda.
Japan Disaster and People with Disabilities
- AAPD provided a link to John Hockenberry's audio interview with Yukiko and Shoji Nakanishi who are members of a Japanese relief organization that is working tirelessly to provide shelter and evacuation support to northern Japan's disabled populations. AAPD also pointed us to Suzanne Kamata's article about Japanese attitudes towards disabilities on the Beacon Broadside website.
New Technology Gadgets Aid Students with Disabilities
- An adaptive technology fair in Norfolk, Virginia shows how new mainstream devices "level the playing field" for people with disabilities. Read this article by Veronica Chufo of the Baltimore Sun.
The Rotenberg Center
- Ed Pilkinton of the UK Guardian took a detailed look at the Canton, MA based Judge Rotenberg Center and their use of electric shock therapy for children and adults with severe autism.
Governor Patrick Postpones $10 million in Cuts
- Kyle Ryan of the State House Service describes how more than $10 million in proposed cuts to programs that serve the elderly and developmentally disabled adults – slated to take effect this week – have been postponed indefinitely in this article published in the March 16 Boston Herald.
Jobless vs. People with Disabilities
- Gary Blumenthal of ADDP describes the risks to health and safety in the current proposed MA budget cuts as a guest columnist to the MetroWest Daily News on March 15.
Demand for Care Soars
- Lisa Eckelbecker of the Telegram and Gazette reports on current and anticipated shortages of direct care workers on March 10, 2011.
Natick Company Discriminates
- The MetroWest Daily News reports on February 25 that a 2009 discrimination complaint was settled by Attorney General Martha Coakley, and Natick-based Franchi Management Company, Inc. A potential renter was told that Franchi Management Company does accept tenants with disabilities. Discrimination is illegal.
March 1 Rally Against Clubhouse Reductions
- The Milford Daily News reports on an upcoming Tuesday protest against a $3 million cut to the statewide clubhouses. About 8300 people are helped by the these employment and recovery rehabilitation centers.
Virginia Must Spend $2 billion in 10 years for Disabled
- NECN reports on February 16, 2011 that the Justice Department has warned that Virginia needlessly institutionalizes the intellectually disabled and provides too little community-based treatment. Virginia has to find $30 million in the next 10 days, then commit an estimated $2 billion over the next 10 years to comply with federal laws.
Delta to Pay $2 Million in Disabilities Case
- The Wall Street Journal story by Timothy W. Martin describes this Department of Transportation settlement.
People with Disabilities Underserved by Technology
- Mercury News (Silicon Valley) reporter, Troy Wolverton says that while 81% of American adults use the internet, only 54 % of adults with disabilities do. He describes income levels and accessibility issues as barriers. February 14, 2011
Courts Without Judges = Crisis for People with Disabilities
- The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law reports that with 101 vacancies for federal judges, many ADA or IDEA cases are taking months or years to come to trial. Thanks to AADP's Justice for All newsletter for the article.
LA Ordered to Create Disaster Plan for Disabled
- Fox News reports on a federal judge's ruling concluding that Los Angeles discriminates against people with disabilities because they would be disproportionately vulnerable to harm in the event of an emergency or disaster.
Governor Patrick's Proposed Budget Cuts Adult Day Health Services
- The Sun Chronicle describes how cutting Adult Day Health Services will affect many Massachusetts citizens. Allison McKinnon notifies readers that hearings are scheduled for February 24 in this February 7, 2011 story.
- These proposed budget cuts are in addition to the actual 1.6 million that the Services have lost due to snow days. The ARC and ADDP write about the $1.6 million.
Nursing homes face challenges as more young people move in
- This Boston Globe tells the story of Martin, age 26 in Florida, who is living in a nursing home. While the story focuses on the challenges for the nursing home, MWCIL thinks the real story is in the lack of resources and choices for an individual like Martin.
Jobs for Milford High Students at Natick Labs
- Six Milford High students with developmental disabilities have been offered jobs at Natick Labs. Computers will be set up in Milford as a satellite office, and students will learn valuable office skills such as reconciling accounts. The program at the Vocational Career Center prepares 18 to 22 year olds for the work force. Read this January 26, 2011, Milford Daily News story by Ashley Studley.
White House Lists Accomplishments of 2010
- White House Disability Policy Advisor Kareem Dale listed seven accomplishments of the disability community in 2010 at the January 19, 2011 Annual Meeting of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD). Read about it in this AAPD article by Jenifer Simpson.
Bazelon Center Statement about Arizona Shooting
- Robert Bernstein of the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law articulates the state of mental health care in the U.S. He advocates for providing accessible mental health services and fighting the discrimination that burdens people who have mental illnesses.
PCA Rally at the Statehouse
- People with disabilities, Personal Care Attendants and Independent Living Advocates all gathered at the Statehouse in support of the MA PCA program. Bill Henning of BCIL spoke, as well as consumers and PCA's. The crowd of about 150 attempted to speak to Governor Patrick, Speaker DeLeo and Senate President Therese Murray, but instead hope that the office staff relays the messages. January 19, 2011.
Private Schools Lose ADA Lawsuit
- The Cypress Times (Texas) reports on a federal lawsuit against Nobel Learning Communities, Inc. (NLC), a private, for-profit entity that operates a nationwide network of more than 180 preschools, elementary schools and secondary schools. The article provides more details on how these schools will improve compliancy.
Congressional Investigation into Supplemental Security Income.
- The Boston Globe reports on a possible Congressional Investigation into Supplemental Security Income benefits for poor, disabled children because of a striking rise in the number of recipients. Representative Richard Neal and Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts initiated the discussion.
Budget Cuts Target Disabled in the UK
- The Guardian reports on proposed disability living allowance cuts. This final article by Amelia Gentleman describes in detail how the cuts could confine disabled to their care homes.
In Texas, Independent Living Advocates Hope for State Institution Closures
- Budget shortfalls in Texas have given hope to disability rights advocates. Read this article about state run institutions in Texas by Emily Ramshaw in the New York Times.
ARICA starts January 1, 2011
- The recently passed ARICA (An Act Relative to Insurance Coverage for Autism) is now in effect. Private insurers must comply; MassHealth and CommonHealth are not required to cover services. There is no dollar limit to coverage for diagnosis and treatment. ABA services supervised by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst are covered.
New Governor of CT Talks about Personal Disabilities
- Governor Malloy (Democrat) uses his inaugural speech on January 6 to discuss growing up with learning disabilities. Read this story in the Connecticut Post by Columnist MariAn Gail Brown.
HUD and HHS Join to Increase Community Housing
- HHS Secretary Sebelius recently announced the Housing Capacity Building Project for Community Living project to assist older adults and those with chronic conditions who are at risk of institutionalization or who currently receive care in institutional settings in finding appropriate housing to live more independent lives. The landmark project joins the Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Health and Human Services (HHS), under the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Money Follows the Person (MFP) Rebalancing Demonstration, to assist federal, state and local agencies and community partners to create a sustainable, collaborative system between housing and human services agencies.
Fairfax Co., VA Refuses to Allow Child in School with Service Dog
- After it took two years and $20,000 to get a highly trained dog who senses a 12 year old's epileptic seizures, Fairfax County decided that the dog was not welcome at Fort Belvoir Elementary. The school did not offer any other options for the student to safely attend this public school. Read this heartbreaking story by Stacey Cohan from MyFoxDC.com.
- Max Starkloff passed away December 27, 2010. Amy Leavitt wrote an obituary for the Riverfront Times honoring his life and achievements. He will be greatly missed, especially by the Independent Living community.
Living with a Stutter
- With a new movie out highlighting this disorder (The King’s Speech), Sam Allis of the Boston Globe writes about local people with stutters and local programs for improving their communication skills.
Health Care in MA gets a Thumbs Up
- This Washington Post article by Ezra Klein predicts national Health Care Reform will be successful based on it's model, MA Health Care Reform.
Voting Rights for Disabled in Bulgaria
- The Bulgarian parliament has decided that the people with disabilities will be able to vote only after presenting a medical certificate testifying their condition. Unbelievable. Read this story from the Focus Information Agency.
Disabled in state of Washington Start Actions Against Budget Cuts
- The same issues are plaguing state government and people with disabilities all across the nation. Read about one protest in this News Tribune story by Michelle Dupler.
Florida Changes Education Goals for Students with Disabilities
- State officials believe that most students with disabilities can master the same curriculum as their peers. Mary Palka of the Florida Times-Union/Jacksonville.com reports on this effort by the state Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services.
UK to Eliminate the Independent Living Fund in 2015
- John McTernan of The Telegraph anticipates an uprising by increasingly articulate and media-savvy modern disability campaigners.
Disability Insurance Change Proposed
- With unemployment staying high, a spike in disability claims leads columnist Peter Orszag at the New York Times to propose changes to the process and supports in order to encourage employment of people with disabilities.
- The Boston Globe has begun a series of articles by Patricia Wen and videos by others describing big problems with Supplemental Social Security, including incentives to medicate, and disincentives to work. The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program for children was created mainly for those with severe physical disabilities. Read more at Boston.com.
Goldendoodle Service Dog Trained for Diabetes and Sounds
- The Milford Daily News reporter Ashley Studley interviewed a Milford teacher about her Goldendoodle dog. The dog is being trained in sensing diabetes lows, as well as hearing sounds such as the diabetes pump and monitor beeps. Cullen has already saved his owner's life several times!
New Local Program Keeps Older Patients At Home
- Michael Morton of the Milford Daily News reports on an expanded ComfortCare program at the Natick Visiting Nurses Association. The service area includes much of MetroWest, Medway and Millis.
Feeling included -- Kids with Disabilities Have Their Say
- Dr. Nancy Spencer-Cavaliere, an adapted physical activity expert, in the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation at the University of Alberta, interviewed children with a range of disabilities about their thoughts on what made them feel included or rejected during these activities. The answers would be the same for any child. Read more specifics about this study at EurekAlert.org.
- Students with intellectual disabilities (such as Down Syndrome or autism spectrum disorders) are finding more opportunities for a college education as reported in Boston.com by Caroline Haley.
- At UMASS: Melanie Muller writes about Disability Services at UMass for the Daily Collegian. The UMOC (UMass Amherst Outing Club) is working on new ways to include people with disabilities on their trips as reported by Iesha Townsend in the Smith College Sophian.
- At Tufts: Students with disabilities have extra challenges. Read this article in the Tufts Daily by Emilia Luna.
- At Northern Arizona University: The disability studies program is new this fall, with five officially declared students and classes that draw students from a range of majors as reported in the Arizona Daily Sun.
Budget Hearings Begin
- The Secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, JudyAnn Bigby, is conducting a public hearing on Monday, December 13. The agenda is focused on how to reduce costs. Download this pdf file: 2010-12-13-ehs_budget_hearing.pdf or visit the EOHHS webpage for specifics.
Supreme Court Hears Case for Veteran with Disability
- Adam Liptak of the New York Times reports on the December 6 Supreme Court Hearing for a veteran of the Korean War who missed filing for benefits by 15 days.
Florida Program Trains Advocates for Disabilities
- Gary White of The Ledger reports on recent graduates of Partners in Policymaking, a six-month program that trains Floridians to be advocates for citizens with disabilities. The program is is sponsored by the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council (FDDC), a non-profit advocacy organization based in Tallahassee. The FDDC receives federal funding from the Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Developmental Disabilities.
UK - "Supporting disabled people not sustainable"
- Department for Work and Pensions minister Maria Miller announces that the Disability Living Allowance is unsustainable. Read more by Rosanna Singler in Left Foot Forward.
December 6 is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities
- As we've reported before, the support for people with disabilities varies widely across the world. The United States International Council on Disabilities (USICD) supports the ratification of Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD Treaty). This year's global theme is "Keeping the promise: mainstreaming disability in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) towards 2015 and beyond". The proclaimed support below is a good first step - let's hope it translates to actions! Also included below are reports from the trenches.
- Read what President Obama says in this report from Scoop Independent News.
- Report from the U.N. in the Turkish Weekly.
- Report from Serbia in the Balkan News.
- Report from Australia in the Pro Bono News.
- Vancouver celebrates achievements of people with disabilities.
- Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund observed the day as reported in Pakistan's The Daily Times.
- India is also observing the day as reported in E-Pao. Another report from the Hindu Times details how big the needs for improvements are - "Social barriers keep the disabled away from workforce".
- Tunisia also has confirmed their commitment to support the Millennium Development Goals as reported in the Tunisia Online News.
- The Chinese Vice-Premiere Li Keqiang urges his country to improve services for the disabled as reported at Xinhuanet online news.
- Kosovo reports on continued problems such as ability to move freely in cities such as Kosovska Mitrovica - from EMG.
- United Arab Emirates published a booklet outlining most important legal rights of people with special needs in accordance with national legislation and international conventions ratified by the UAE. This report is from Gulf News.
- In Mexico, the disabled still live in squalor according to this report report by IVAN MORENO of the Associated Press. The details are reported in the San Fransisco Chronicle.
- One woman's plight in Uganda was written by Shantha Rau Barriga of the Human Rights Watch and reported at AllAfrica.com.
Yachting Crew with Disabilities Race Competitively
- The eight person crew, each with a disability, of the Wot Eva are in contention for this year's Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, considered worldwide one of yachting’s most prestigious races, after winning the first phase as Marcus Braid writes for the Sydney Morning Herald.
Care At Home: A New Civil Right
- Sadly, it is not a new civil right, instead it is an empty promise for many. Read this NPR report by Joseph Shapiro on December 2, 2010. Mr. Shapiro wrote a follow up story "A New Civil Right Looks For Stronger Enforcement" on December 3.
One opinion on revealing hidden disabilities in job interviews
- Ask Annie at cnnmoney.com says "Focus on your abilities, not your disability" once you have learned enough about the job to feel confident that you are a good fit.
Mass Rehab Gets High-Tech State-of-the-Art Vehicle
- On November 15, MA Rehabilitation Commission and Commissioner Carr unveiled a new van to be used by Mass Rehab consumers. The van was installed with multiple types of assistive technology. Consumers can try out the different technologies, and decide which is right for them. The van will also be used for driver training using the new devices. Check out our photos from the day.
Hearing Impaired Leader to Head FCC's Disability Rights Office
- The Federal Communications Commission announced that Gregory Hlibok has been promoted to head of the Disability Rights Office. In his new position Hlibok will work to implement the provisions of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act. Gautham Nagesh wrote this story for The Hill on November 16.
Taxi of Tomorrow
- NYC's Taxi of Tomorrow competition has outraged the disability community with it's continued disregard for accessibility. Only one of the three finalists has a wheelchair ramp - the other two are not usable by people with wheelchairs. In today's fleet of over 13,000 taxis, only 240 are wheelchair accessible. Michael A. Harris wrote this article on November 16 for the NY Government Examiner.
Afghan War and Canadian Veterans with Disabilities
- The Toronto Star published two stories about problems getting health care and problems staying employed in the military for veterans with disabilities from the war.
MA Commission for the Blind and the Talking Information Center Launch Training
- Vocational Opportunities in Communications Education (VOICE) Program for the blind. During the 12-week program, visually impaired students will learn skills that will prepare them for careers in broadcasting, including on-air presentation, producing and editing. Read this press release.
Nationwide Budget Challenges
- This NY Times article by Monica Davey and Michael Luo offers dire predictions for social services (and other government programs) if the newly elected Republicans stick to their promises for solving state budget problems.
MA Ballot Questions: Yes, No and No
- MWCIL supported NO NO NO on the ballot questions. The Boston Globe reports on the results. This Yes on Question 1 means a loss of $100 million in revenues for funding of alcohol-abuse prevention and treatment programs. We will try and keep you updated on specifics.
DEMS Sweep Massachusetts on November 2, 2010
- Other than a few State House seats, Massachusetts Democrats successfully won most races including all of the House of Representative seats and the Governorship. The Boston Globe sums up the MA races and also supplies complete MA results. Nationally, Republicans especially now control the House. MSNBC provides a map and results across the nation.
Indiana Budget Cuts Lead to the Unthinkable
- Social workers recommend that parents drop adult children with disabilities off at homeless shelters. Sounds unbelievable? Read the Indianapolis Star from October 29, 2010. (note: this is NOT the Enquirer!) Do you think we should vote NO on 3 in Massachusetts??
Andrew Imparato in Government
- The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) is pleased to announce today that AAPD's President and CEO, Andrew Imparato, has accepted the position of Senior Counsel and Disability Policy Director for the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee after 11 years of service with AAPD. Read the newsletter from AAPD: imparato.pdf.
United Nation's WPO approves Publishing Initiative
- In September, Stevie Wonder called on the international community to enhance accessibility of publications. On October 23, 2010 the UN World Intellectual Property Organization (WPO) agreed to set up global partnerships and provide technical support to provide access by people with disabilities to many more books and publications. Read the whole story in The Examiner by Cleophas Tsokodayi.
College Grants Advance Disability Employment
- The Employment Disability Institute at the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University will be exploring research and outreach projects with a $4 million grant from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. The projects are designed to provide more in-depth research and assist companies develop effective employment policies for people with disabilities. This Cornell Daily Sun article is by Andrew Hu.
- Purdue University has received a $2 million federal grant to help people with disabilities study science. The funding will support the creation of an Institute for Accessible Science at Purdue as reported by Inside Indiana Business.
U.S. Dept. of Labor Launches Veterans Hiring Toolkit for Employers
In Canada, (U.S. too!!) Accessibility Pays
- The Canadian government states financial advantages to making businesses accessible as reported in the Toronto Sun (by the QMI Agency) on October 20.
Olmstead Act Comes to Georgia
- The U.S. Justice Department has settled a suit against Georgia alleging unlawful segregation of the disabled on October 19. Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez describes the agreement in this report by Leah Nylen at MainJustice.org. One especially interesting item: Perez said that the settlement not only fulfills Georgia's moral and legal obligations, but also helps the state financially. Georgia pays an average of $174,000 a year to house someone in a state hospital, compared with the $47,000 average cost to provide in-home services to the developmentally disabled.
- Follow up from Georgia - Andy Miller writes for Kaiser Health News on October 21 and provides information on the history and future of this decision.
- This story from the Texas Tribune on October 21 sounds like Texas also needs a Georgia solution.
New Support for NO on 3
- Jenn Abelson of the Boston Globe reports on an alliance of business leaders who support a NO vote on Ballot Question 3. The Retailers Association of Massachusetts is too divided to take a position.
No COLA for Social Security Recipients for 2011
- CBS Money Watch gives a balanced look at the Social Security Administration's decision to not provide any COLA increase for the second year in a row.
- PRWeb offers some financial planning help for people with disabilities.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission files against the Foreign Service
- Doering Meyer is functional in Turkish, speaks Arabic and has lived abroad, but was turned down for a Foreign Officer position because of a history of multiple sclerosis which has been in remission for 10 years. The Washington Post reports this story during Disability Employment Awareness Month.
Disability Mentoring Day
- As part of Disability Employment Awareness Month, AAPD aggain is sponsoring the annual Disability Mentoring Day on October 20. Read about it in the PRNewsWire report .
Vote NO, NO, NO on the MA Ballot Questions! (links from addp.org)
- How YOU can help:Talk to your friends and acquaintances. Make sure they understand the consequences! Download this Fact Sheet and attend Vote No Events .
- Vote NO on Question 1
- Vote NO on Question 2
- Vote NO on Question 3
NYC's MTA and NYCTA Sued for Inaccessibility
- The PR Newswire provides details on the suit claiming that Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) and the New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA) discriminate against people who use wheelchairs, the elderly, and anyone else living with a mobility impairment. The class action suit was filed on October 13, 2010 by the United Spinal Association.
Obama Signs Technology Access Bill For Disabled
- NPR reports on the October 8, 2010 signing of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, authored by MA Democratic Congressman, Ed Markey. Ed Markey provides details on this important act in a video .
Little Progress in Employment of People with Disabilities
- A Harris Interactive Survey finds largest minority group falls behind in companies' attempts to diversify. Read this story at PR News Wire.
$450,000,000 Making its way to the MA Budget
- An FMAP appropriation is finally getting through the MA legislature, thanks to Karen Polito being stuck in traffic. Read the report from MassLive.com.
HUD announces Rental Assistance for People with Disabilities
- Nationwide, 4300 rental vouchers will be distributed to non-elderly people with disabilities. Click Here to learn the details.
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month
- Read this Proclamation from President Obama.
Technology Access Bill Ready for Obama
- A new bill from Ed Markey (as reported by Michael Morton in the September 30 MetroWest Daily News) should ensure that people with vision and hearing disabilities can fully participate in the digital age. Ed Markey's district (7th District) includes MWCIL towns of Framingham, Natick, Wayland and Weston.
Census Data on Employment and People with Disabilities
- Michelle Diamont at Disability Scoop summarizes the variations across the country in this article on September 29, 2010.
Audio Described Theatre in Boston
- MassMatch and The Perkins Braille and Talking Book Library have provided a list of theatre productions for the 2010-2011 season. Click massmatch_live_theatre_2010-2011.pdf to download the newsletter.
National Council on Disability Applauds New Health Care Provisions
- Several new health care provisions will take effect on September 23 as nation's Health Care Reform begins it's roll out. The National Council on Disability highlights six specific provisions as extremely beneficial.
Federal Access Board Plans Public Hearing
- The board plans multiple public events including a Public Hearing on a proposal to update sections of its ADA Accessibility Guidelines for Transportation Vehicles covering buses and vans on September 30, 2010 in Chicago.
ADAPT Action in Washington
- ADAPT activists took over HUD on Tuesday, September 21. Kevin Siek reports on the day, including a compelling list of broken commitments.
- ADAPT activists are Storming Washington, DC to fight cuts to Medicaid Home Services between September 19 - 22. These services support low income people with disabilities and who are aging to stay in their homes instead of being forced into (more expensive) nursing facilities to obtain services. During this election season, ADAPT plans to make it clear that saving Medicaid services is key to winning the disability vote. 2010-09-16-adapt-action.pdf
New travel website
- US TravAbility is a brand new information resource for people with disabilities. While the site could use more evolving, it contains some helpful information such as links to major air, bus and cruise lines' accommodations for disabilities.
Marblehead SPED Parents Plan Demonstration
- The Marblehead Reporter tells how parents from the SPEDWatch group plan a statehouse demonstration on October 6 to protest the lack of MCAS progress for students with disabilities.
Judge Upholds Discrimination Suit Against Framingham Officials
- Shelley Murphy of the Boston Globe and Danielle Ameden of the MetroWest Daily News report on the SMOC discrimination lawsuit against Framingham town officials in denying the moving and expanding of a group home.
Study Shows Inadequate Programs for Unemployed People with Disabilities
- PhysOrg.com (Sept. 8, 2010) describes this research project by Jean Hall and Kathy Parker from the Center for Research on Learning at the University of Kansas.
Fox News Slams the ADA
- John Stossel offers his views on the ADA on September 2. Do you believe his facts and conclusions? Join the discussion at our new Facebook page!
DC Cabs Drivers Pass Service Dogs
- Alison Rush of the Washington Examiner reports on a recent study by the Equal Rights Center.
Fox Show Glee and Disabilities
- SE Smith at the UK Guardian discusses how the TV show Glee has mishandled their depiction of a student with disabilities in this Aug. 18 article.
U. of Illinois
- The University of Illinois has built and opened a state-of-the-art dormitory for students with disabilities. Read the Aug. 18 Chicago Tribune report.
Framingham Camp Teaches Bike Riding
- A local Framingham, MA camp is teaching kids and adults with developmental disabilities to ride two-wheeled bikes. Read the details in this Boston.com report from August 17.
Disability Rights in Malaysia
- Malaysia is taking an important step forward, but much remains to be done according to Human Rights Watch and this story from Aliran - Malaysia's oldest human rights, social reform and independent media group.
Activist Paul Longmore Died
- Historian and Activist Paul Longmore died on August 9. NPR praises his accomplishments.
Mass Housing Community Services Newsletter
- The Fall newsletter includes an article on how the TPP (Tenancy Preservation Program) has effectively reduced homelessness among people with disabilities, updates on Sober Housing Funding, and other interesting items.
- Governor signs landmark Autism legislation as reported at iberkshires.com on August 4.
- WHDH Channel 7 provides a video of the August 3 event.
Improved Movie Access
- Three chains agree to improve access in a settlement with Attorney General Martha Coakley's office according to the Milford Daily News, July 29.
2010 ADA Anniversary News
- Visit our ADA page for ADA News, History, and Resource links.
2010 National Council on Independent Living Convention
- First Wheelchair Accessible Car as reported by the Washington Post, July 19, 2010.
Baseball for the Visually Impaired
- Sudbury game as reported by the Metrowest Daily, July 25, 2010.
State Trooper Caught Breaking the Law
- Trooper caught using Handicap spot in front of Dunkin' Donuts. Video is from WBZ-TV (iTeam Report) Boston, MA.