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News Archive

Article: White House Urged To Fully Fund IDEA

Since the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act began in 1975, the government has never come through on it’s promise to fund 40% of Special Education costs. That may be changing soon!

Need a Service Dog? Already Have a Pet Dog? No Problem!

Due to the prohibitive cost of having a service dog trained, many people are hiring their family pets to do the job!

A Home Ahead of it’s Time

Famed architect Frank Lloydd Wright’s only fully accessible home is now a national museum.

Federal Review of Autism Spectrum Disorder

A federal advisory board adjusts the classifications of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

A Dream Fulfilled!

Watch this video of a Red Sox fan with Down Syndrome fulfilling his lifelong dream of singing the national anthem at Fenway Park.

Don’t Call Me Normal

Poet & author, Faith Jegede, talks about her autistic brothers and the importance of being different.

Watch the video of her speech on TEDTalks

Fashion Editor (And Her Wheelchair) Star in Clothing Ad

Fashion editor Jillian Mercado has made a name for herself behind the camera, but she appears just as at ease in front of one in Diesel’s new spring ad campaign. The edgy 26-year-old blogger, who has spastic muscular dystrophy, poses in her wheelchair in the ads, which demonstrate how easily anyone, regardless of body type, can rock Diesel clothing, Mercado said Tuesday. “Diesel is a company where everyone can wear it. You don’t have to look like a model to wear it. And I feel like these photos just show that,” she said on TODAY. “Every photo that they release, someone can relate to it. And that’s rare in the fashion industry, to be able to relate and say, ‘You know that’s me in that photo, through that person.’” From TODAY

CLICK HERE to read the entire article or go to http://www.today.com/style/fashion-editor-her-wheelchair-star-new-diesel-ads-2D12008803

Dogs to Help People with Autism Transition into Work

When Kayla Gage starts to have an anxiety attack at the fast food joint where she works, she pets her Russian German shepherd, Hacker, who she keeps in the restaurant’s office.
“If I just pet a dog, it pulls me out of it,” said Gage, 23, who has autism and struggles with anxiety. “Normally, it takes my mom saying my name 50 times to pull me out.”
Gage is in a new Austin Dog Alliance program aimed at preparing young adults with autism for careers. The program’s secret weapon: man’s best friend. Dogs are often easier for people with autism to work with, because they’re easier to read than people are and they tend to be more forgiving.
– From Disability Scoop to read the entire article CLICK HERE or go to http://www.disabilityscoop.com/2014/01/08/to-transition-autism-dogs/19000/

Law, Health Policy & Disability Center

The Iowa University Law, Health Policy & Disability Center contains copies of the specific laws and policies surrounding employment, civil rights, taxes, Medicaid, and Vocational Rehabilitation for people with disabilities.

Article: Shattering Barriers

“Nothing stops Jerry Robinson. Nothing. After graduating as salutatorian in college and landing a job with a global financial company, Robinson continues to do what he knows best—shatter barriers. The budding scholar, born with cerebral palsy, is now pursuing a doctoral degree at Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies (iSchool) and conducting research with the BBI team. It’s an incredible feat for someone who nearly died at birth. ‘My parents were told I wouldn’t live long, but here I am,’ says Robinson, 30, who suffered brain damage after the umbilical cord became wrapped around his head…” – From the website. To read the entire article Click Here

Caregiver’s approach: ‘How would I want to live?’

From the Oregonian – “Thanks to Jenny Veenker, five developmentally disabled adults have a loving home in a suburban split-level made beautiful with paint and care. On a recent fall evening, one of Veenker’s clients pours coffee at a granite-topped kitchen island. Another helps his wife of 25 years — both are mentally retarded — pull on a sweater. Then all five of Veenker’s residents, ages 23 to 65, gather for a pre-dinner prayer, bowing heads in unison. The family dogs — Bella, Frankie and Bear — whimper in the laundry room while salad, homemade bean soup and grilled hamburgers are served around a formal dining room table. This is what Oregon officials had in mind when they shut down Fairview Training Center for good and completed a transition to a community-based system of care for about 4,200 developmentally disabled adults. The dedication of caregivers like Veenker can be easily overshadowed by stories of abuse and neglect elsewhere in the system. But thousands do inspiring work every day — and make a huge difference in their clients’ lives….” – Read full article here

Article: Disability in School Sports

Earlier this year, the Obama administration passed a bill that requires all public schools to allow students with disabilities to participate in school organized sports. (Read more about the new law here). Once the law was put into effect, some schools were concerned about their ability to remain competitive in sports after the inclusion of students with disabilities. Others, such as Germantown High School in Memphis, Tenn. embraced the change and have benefited from the inclusion of student athletes with disabilities. After being approached with a request from a local parent named Maureen Andrews, Germantown High’s basketball coach, Wes Crump, made a spot on the team for Maureen’s son, David Andrews, a Germantown freshman born with Down syndrome. At the time, no one, not even David’s parents, could have predicted just how important David would become to the basketball program. In an article about David, coach Crump stated, “Maureen wasn’t asking for anything other than David maybe getting a sweat suit, team shoes, and for him to be on the bench with the team…” But now, “…He wears number 40. He leads the pregame chant. He swishes threes…” (Read full article here)

David’s story is impressive, moving and inspiring. However, it’s not entirely unique. More than 700 miles away, a similar story recently unfolded at Van Hoosen Middle School in Rochester Hills, Michigan. Owen Groesser, a 13 year-old basketball player who was also born with Down syndrome, made ESPN’ SportCenter highlights by shooting two three-point baskets in the last two minutes of the final game of the season. Owen’s performance has made him a YouTube sensation and a shining example, alongside David Andrews, of the competitive contributions student athletes with disabilities can bring to their teams. If they’re just given the opportunity.

Education Week: On Special Education

Education Week: On Special Education is an online news source which focuses specifically on issues in special education. With an archive of hundreds of articles, organized by subject (ADHD, Autism, Down Syndrome, Early Intervention, etc.) this is a great resource for keeping up with current events in the world of Special Education.