New rules could make store websites comply with ADA | Survey: Some doctors can't accommodate patients with disabilities | Panel advises feds to set standard for autism insurance coverage
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March 26, 2013
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Disability Update
New rules could make store websites comply with ADA
The Justice Department is expected to issue regulations this year that could require companies doing business online to make their websites more accessible to people with disabilities. Advocacy groups for people with disabilities have sued companies and won, but most courts have ruled that the Americans with Disabilities Act does not cover online spaces. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (3/21)
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Survey: Some doctors can't accommodate patients with disabilities
Of 256 doctors' offices in four major U.S. cities, 20% said they could not make an appointment for a patient in a wheelchair, noting in many cases an inability to assist the patient from the chair to the exam table. Researchers said doctors need to be reminded of their legal obligations for patient accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Disability Scoop (3/19)
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Panel advises feds to set standard for autism insurance coverage
The Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee -- a federal advisory panel on autism -- will send a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius urging her office to take action on developing the minimum standard for insurance coverage for autism spectrum disorders. The committee contends that inconsistent standards across states can lead to some families not having access to services, such as applied behavioral analysis. Disability Scoop (3/20)
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Assistive Technology
Gleason Challenge hopes to spark new technology solutions
The Gleason Challenge in New Orleans is seeking entrepreneurs who will develop technology to help people with disabilities. The effort is led by former New Orleans Saints player Steve Gleason, who lost his voice to ALS and uses computer technology to speak. Gleason said research is important but it is a slow process and technology is needed that can improve the daily lives of people with disabilities. The Times-Picayune (New Orleans) (3/19)
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Could robots play a role in teaching social skills?
A study has found that preschool-age children who have autism respond favorably to a small robot that was programmed with prompts to help teach and reinforce social skills that might otherwise be taught by a therapist. "A therapist does many things that robots can't do," said Nilanjan Sarkar, a Vanderbilt University mechanical and computer-engineering professor who worked on the study. "But a robot-centered system could provide much of the repeated practice that is essential to learning." Disability Scoop (3/22)
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Texas districts brace for effect of funding cuts
Some Texas school districts could cut staff, increase class sizes and reduce budgets for professional development and assistive technology if anticipated cuts to special education and Title I take effect. "We are all in a dilemma of how to meet the needs of students that we're required to meet, but not given the funding to do. It's a double-whammy," said Robbie Stinnett, special-education director for the Duncanville Independent School District. (Austin) (3/22)
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UCP News
Registration opens in April for the 2013 World CP Challenge
Check out the World Cerebral Palsy Challenge's new website and register in April for this year's Challenge! Started just last year, the World CP Challenge is an exciting 4-week team activity that provides participants with the opportunity to improve their health, fitness and well being, while raising awareness and support for people with cerebral palsy. More than 2,100 people from around the country participated last year -- will you join us? Learn more today!
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UCP Annual Conference: April 25 to 27
Are you planning on attending UCP's Annual Conference in San Diego next month? If you are, be sure to check out the information we have available on our website. If you want to attend but have not registered, be sure to do so soon! This year's Annual Conference will be focusing on families and the caregiver community, and is sure to be a great opportunity for our affiliates to connect, share ideas and move UCP forward.
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You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it."
-- Margaret Thatcher,
British prime minister
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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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