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|April 10, 2012|
Sheltered workshops getting bulk of federal funding
Federal funding more often is funneled to sheltered workshops for adults with disabilities despite policies encouraging community-based employment, a new report shows. For example, the report found that in Ohio last year, $5 million in state and federal funding was spent on community-based employment, while $175 million was spent on segregated work arrangements. The National Disability Rights Network and other advocacy groups favor community-based work for those with disabilities, while others say segregated work environments provide some benefits as well. Disability Scoop (4/4)
Study links maternal obesity with increased risk of autism
Pregnant women who are obese or have diabetes or hypertension are 1.61 times as likely as healthy women to have a child with autism and 2.35 times as likely to have a child with other developmental problems, a study in the journal Pediatrics found. Although pregnant women with type 2 or gestational diabetes were 2.33 times as likely to have children with developmental delays, researchers did not find a statistically significant link between diabetes and autism rates. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (4/8) The Washington Post/The Associated Press (4/9)
Plan to ease penalties on special-education funding cuts is reversed
Education Department officials notified states in a letter last week that they are reversing an earlier position, delivered in a letter last June, easing penalties for states that reduce spending for special education, writes education reporter Nirvi Shah in this blog post. Under the new guidelines, states that reduce spending on special education in a given year still must resume spending the following year at the previously higher level under the "maintenance of effort" clause in federal special-education requirements. Officials plan to seek public comment on the issue, the letter also said. Education Week/On Special Education blog (4/4)
Video helps school teach disability awareness
Some parents of students with special needs at Valders Middle School in Wisconsin created a 20-minute video to help raise awareness among students about children with disabilities. The parents, who are part of the school district's Parent Advisory Committee for Children With Disabilities, included footage from interviews with four parents of children with disabilities, as well as a slide show of the children as part of the project, which is being integrated into the school's anti-bullying curriculum. Herald Times Reporter (Manitowoc, Wis.) (tiered subscription model) (4/6)
Wash. program helps with transitions for students with disabilities
A Washington state school district, where students with special needs are taught in inclusive classrooms, has a program to help students with developmental disabilities make the transition from high school to independent living and the workplace. Since its creation in 2004, the Transition Academy has served students ages 18 to 21 with life-skills lessons plus job training that has helped many secure paying positions at local businesses. Patch.com/Redmond, Wash. (4/3)
Special educator, author with disabilities encourages students
Peter Riffle, who has several learning disabilities and has worked as a special educator for 40 years, now addresses groups of educators and students as a motivational speaker. Riffle, who also is an author, encourages students to look beyond their disabilities. "Everybody has strengths and weaknesses," he said. "... Focus on what you can do." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (4/5)
UCP relaunches Brave Kids website and support community
Welcome to the relaunch of Brave Kids, an online resource for families of children and teens with special needs, at www.bravekids.org. The website includes the latest medical information, ways technology is enhancing the lives of kids and families, and a secure online community where users can chat with others. The special Just for Kids section helps young people access information that helps them lead a life without limits, giving tips and tools about growing up in today's world. There will be new content every week, and visitors can sign up for the monthly digest to stay even more connected. Visit Brave Kids.
UCP celebrates the life and accomplishments of Founder and Board Member Emeritus Nina Eaton
UCP mourns the loss of Nina Eaton, one of UCP's founders, an emeritus member of the Board of Trustees and a longtime supporter and advocate for people with disabilities, who passed away on Friday, March 30. Eaton's son, Leonard Eaton, was born with cerebral palsy in 1941 and led his young, uncertain mother toward a lifetime of advocacy for people with disabilities. Eaton and other parents, including UCP founders Leonard and Isabelle Goldenson, along with Jack and Ethel Hausman, laid the foundation for a far-reaching organization that has enhanced the lives of millions of Americans with disabilities. More than a half-century later, UCP is an international network of nearly 100 affiliates serving more than 176,000 people with disabilities and their families on a daily basis. Read more.
Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof."
--John Kenneth Galbraith,
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