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October 16, 2012
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  Disability Update 
  • Federal grants to help support community services
    The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is providing more than $31 million in federal grant funding to help increase access to supportive living services for about 14,000 individuals with disabilities in 36 states and the District of Columbia. The grants are part of the agency's Multifamily Housing Service Coordinator Program, and will help provide access to meals, health care and other services for those living in federally subsidized multifamily housing. Disability Scoop (10/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Gearing up for Medicare's open-enrollment period
    Open enrollment for Medicare begins this week, and beneficiaries will see Advantage plan premiums rise about 5%, the number of plan choices increase about 7%, the average basic premiums for drug plans go up about 33 cents and premiums for seven out of the 10 most popular drug plans rise by double-digit percentages. Consumer advocates said beneficiaries should pay attention to premiums, co-pays, deductibles, plan formularies and prior approval restrictions when choosing their plans during open enrollment, which ends Dec. 7. The Lansing State Journal (Mich.)/HealthDay News (10/14), The Wall Street Journal (10/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Assistive Technology 
  • Court decision paves way for Google digital book project
    A collaborative project by Google and several universities to digitize millions of books and enhance access for individuals with print disabilities will move forward now that a federal judge has rejected a copyright infringement lawsuit against the endeavor. "The landmark decision by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York will revolutionize access to books for the blind," said Marc Maurer, president of the National Federation of the Blind. Education Week/On Special Education blog (10/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Settlement requires closed-captioning of streamed Internet videos
    Under a new agreement between Netflix and the National Association of the Deaf, all movies and other programming streamed on the Internet by Netflix will be closed-captioned for viewers who are deaf within the next two years. The settlement ends a lawsuit that began in 2010 and gained steam in June when a federal judge ruled that Netflix and other online providers are subject to the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. The Boston Globe (tiered subscription model) (10/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  • Experts outline concerns about online learning, special education
    Several concerns surround the participation of students with disabilities in online-learning programs, according to the principal investigators of the Center on Online Learning and Students with Disabilities, who detailed the issues in a letter to parents, educators and students. Concerns include complaints that online-learning environments may not effectively address students' needs, varying state and district policies regarding online learning and gaps in accessibility for some students with disabilities. Education Week/On Special Education blog (10/9), Disability Scoop (10/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • University offers mentors, support for students with disabilities
    A Colorado State University program is providing support to students with autism, brain injuries and other disabilities to help them succeed in college. The Opportunities for Postsecondary Success program pairs participating students from CSU and Front Range Community College with mentors, who provide support extending beyond academics. "I learned, once I got here, that they'd help keep me on track with homework and studying," said Nathaniel Karasik, a sophomore math major who has attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and Asperger's syndrome. The Coloradoan (Fort Collins, Colo.) (10/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  UCP News 
  • A World CP Day Story
    Elisha Stone, a special education teacher in Ashdown, Ark., works every day with Connor Wilson, a 6-year-old student with cerebral palsy. For World CP Day, Stone helped her school celebrate the day by using it as an opportunity to educate the student body on cerebral palsy. With a presentation focused on defining cerebral palsy in terms students could understand, she explained why it causes Wilson to use a wheelchair and not speak, and highlighting "cool facts" about cerebral palsy. Following the presentation, students were encouraged to color green ribbons in support of World CP Day, which were then hung up around the school. Read the full story. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • From the Medical Director's Desk: The Power of the Placebo
    Read the latest research brief from Dr. James Blackman, medical director of the Cerebral Palsy International Research Foundation and professor of Pediatrics, Emeritus, University of Virginia. The brief looks at the placebo effect in considering whether a product or treatment's sole benefit is due to positive expectations or whether there is inherent benefit for the specific symptom or problem being targeted. Does a new drug for spasticity in cerebral palsy, for example, improve mobility, increase activity, and promote participation -- or, would the same results be seen with a sugar pill or with another treatment (i.e. massage) -- plus have the benefit of fewer side-effects? Read the brief. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night."
--Galileo Galilei,
Italian astronomer, philosopher and physicist

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About UCP
United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) educates, advocates and provides support services to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities. Together with nearly 100 affiliates, UCP has a mission to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people disabilities by supporting more than 176,000 children and adults every day—one person at a time, one family at a time. UCP works to enact real change—to revolutionize care, raise standards of living and create opportunities—impacting the lives of millions living with disabilities. For more than 60 years, UCP has worked to ensure the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in every facet of society. Together, with parents and caregivers, UCP will continue to push for the social, legal and technological changes that increase accessibility and independence, allowing people with disabilities to dream their own dreams, for the next 60 years, and beyond. For more information, please visit
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