Our Most Notable and Favorite Disability Articles for the Week Ending May 19, 2017

Lakeland Bus

This vehicle is a combination of a transit bus and a motor coach, used by multiple companies in northern New Jersey to ferry suburban commuters to New York City. Lakeland, based in Dover, NJ, still exists; the company in fact donated this bus to the museum and the CEO pays for its upkeep. This very bus was also a movie star, having appeared in Forrest Gump. Photo: Daniel L. Berek

At Advancing Opportunities, we excel in providing residential and respite services to people of with all disabilities, along with advocacy and education services for parents and guardians and assistive technology support. As a leader in the field, we are pleased to share our experience, knowledge, and expertise with the disability community through our social media outlets: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest. In our Disability and Ability Highlights of the Week column, we will select the best of what we found and shared and present them. Please click on the titles with embedded links to find the full article.

In addition, we are specialists in the area of assistive technology and offer a huge array of services; the Assistive Technology Center is New Jersey’s premier source of information and equipment.

 

Advancing Opportunities job announcement of the week:

We’re hiring! Advancing Opportunities is seeking a full-time Assistant Director of Intake and Behavioral Services in our Residential Services Department.

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Studio Shot of a Mixed Age, Multiethnic Group of Men and Women Standing in a Line

JOB SUMMARY: The Assistant Director of Intake and Behavioral Services shall be responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive internal and external marketing and intake plan that fulfills Advancing Opportunities’ residential contract and expands the residential services throughout the state. The Assistant Director of Intake and Behavioral Services promotes the professional development that enhances operational activities and the specialized services provided to learners/clients of Advancing Opportunities. The Assistant Director of Intake and Behavioral Services will be proficient in Behavior Analysis in order to complete professional assessments of those consumers referred for services. He or she will performs other duties, as deemed necessary for the agency.

For more information on this position, please visit us online.

 

Disability in the news (mostly in New Jersey, the population we serve):

More and more schools in New Jersey see the many benefits of inclusion of students with disabilities and their non-disabled peers.

How diverse are those companies issuing reports on their diversity?

 

For parents of a child with a disability (parenting):

One kind woman surprised a mom during her son with autism’s meltdown.Autism-stacking-cans

The New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health & Addiction Services, announces toll-free access to the publicly funded substance-use treatment provider community for adults affected by the disease of addiction.

 

Special Education:

The idea of Universal Design is not about kindness, or about compliance with the ADA. It is about common sense. When more people participate, everyone wins because human beings learn from each other.

 

Assistive technology:

 This new touchable tablet helps guide people with vision disabilities.

Augmented Ability: “Assistive Tech Gets Smart” – From braille smartwatches to GPS-enabled shoes, intuitive, connected technology is changing the game for people with disabilities.

BackMap helps visually impaired navigate cities and indoor areas

This 3D-printed arm was designed to help a boy play the cello.

 

Employment for people with disabilities:

One small business is hiring autistic adults and finding success.

Newly published: Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA): New Resources.

 

Informative, positive, noteworthy (or all three!):

 Here is a play list from TED Talks – Ten talks on “Designing for Disability”

Meet the dad who quit his job to run a Minecraft server for autistic children. Autcraft is a haven like few others on the Internet: free from bullying, with a strong and supportive community.

 

People with a disability in the community (disability rights and acceptance; inclusion):

The star of a new comic book has Down syndrome.

Even with ADA, people with disabilities in a wheelchair too often find themselves relegated to de facto segregation. Other times, freedom of movement is severely impinged. These issues are particularly acute for disabled black men and women.

 

Disability awareness and appreciation:

This Oscar-nominated documentary about autism celebrates the outsider.

Blog piece: “How Having a Disabled Mom Helped Shape My Identity as a Disabled Woman”

A character with autism is at the center of prime-time TV drama coming this fall.

 

Medical news – research:

A recent research study shows that treatment with the common type 2 diabetes drug metformin improves social, behavioral, and neuron deficits in mouse model of fragile X.

A survey finds that one in two autistic adults have a low sense of well-being.

Global Accessibility Awareness Day: Making Assistive Technology Smart and Accessible

Screen reader assistive augmentative communication for blind and dyslexic dyslexia users

Giovanni Canobbio (left), Integration Technologies Group demonstrates a CCTV reader for low vision users to Todd Birkenruth (right), USDA, AMS, Disabled Employees Program Manager at the United States Department of Agriculture, Departmental Management Target Center 20th Anniversary at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, DC, Thursday, Sept 13, 2012. Since 1992, the USDA TARGET Center has provided Assistive Technology to employees with disabilities. By providing this technology the TARGET Center’s has assisted thousands of individuals with disabilities to further contribute to the mission of USDA. The Target Center has partnered with the Department of Defense Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program (CAP). USDA photo by Bob Nichols

Most designers create websites that are compatible with both traditional desktop computers and mobile devices. However, how many website designers have browsed their creation through a screen reader, a device that makes content accessible to users who are blind, vision impaired, dyslexic, or otherwise unable to quickly read text? Back in 2011, a programmer named Joe Devon asked himself that question and proposed a Global Accessibility Awareness Day. Jennison Ascuncion, an accessibility professional from Toronto read the proposal and joined forces with Joe. So today, the third Thursday of May, is the sixth Global Accessibility Awareness Day. The purpose of GAAD is “to get everyone talking, thinking, and learning about digital (web, software, mobile) access/inclusion and people with different disabilities.”

 

This issue has gained additional importance in the context of recent issues concerning net neutrality and Internet privacy. In addition to increased independence for people with a disability, the dream and objective of the Internet being a democratic forum, a place where everyone can and should participate with equality is very much at play here.

 

So, again, what is Global Accessibility Awareness Day, why should you care, and how can you get involved? Jonathan Hassell interviews its co-creator, Jennison Asuncion, at the 28th Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference (CSUN 2013) to get the low-down on this annual growing event. Here’s an informative interview with Jennison Asuncion from GAAD 2014:

 

 

Please go to the GAAD website to learn more.

 

Finally, the organization particularly recommends a recent article in PC Magazine,
“Augmented Ability: Assistive Tech Gets Smart.”

Our Most Notable and Favorite Disability Articles for the Week Ending May 12, 2017

An_itinerant_surgeon_extracting_stones_from_a_man's_head;_sy_Wellcome_V0016245

This historic illustration depicts an itinerant surgeon extracting stones from a man’s head; symbolizing the expulsion of ‘folly'(insanity) .
Pencil drawing by Pieter Jansz Quast, via the Wellcome Trust

At Advancing Opportunities, we excel in providing residential and respite services to people of with all disabilities, along with advocacy and education services for parents and guardians and assistive technology support. As a leader in the field, we are pleased to share our experience, knowledge, and expertise with the disability community through our social media outlets: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest. In our Disability and Ability Highlights of the Week column, we will select the best of what we found and shared and present them. Please click on the titles with embedded links to find the full article.

In addition, we are specialists in the area of assistive technology and offer a huge array of services; the Assistive Technology Center is New Jersey’s premier source of information and equipment.

Advancing Opportunities job announcement of the week:

We’re hiring!

Advancing Opportunities has immediate openings for part-time Direct-Support Professionals in residential care programs throughout New Jersey. In May, we will be holding job from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., as follows: 

  • Wednesday, May 17. Parsippany Event. Family Resource Network, 322 U.S. Hwy. 46, Ste. 290, Phillipsburg, NJ 08865
  • Tuesday, May 23. Marlboro Event. Marlboro Free Public Library, 1 Library Ct., Marlboro, NJ 07746

Advancing Opportunities provides supports to individuals with disabilities and their families, so they can live fully in the community.

Our team includes a diverse collection of men and women committed to treating the people and families we serve with dignity and respect and providing the highest quality services and supports.

Employees of the agency enjoy paid training and an excellent array of benefits, including health care and dental benefits for all eligible full-time staff and a 401(k) retirement plan for all eligible employees.

If you are unable to make it to one of the job fair open houses, you can also visit us online, at: http://advopps.org/careers/

Advancing Opportunities news:

Carly Hewitt, honored with our Andrew J. Murphy award for self-advocacy, was featured in this article how assistive technology continues to help her realize her dreams.

Carly H

 

 

 

Disability in the news (mostly in New Jersey, the population we serve):

Learning Ally is offering two National Achievement Awards:  one is for a student with a visual impairment or blindness, and one is for a student with a learning disability. The student has to use Learning Ally. Find out if you are eligible for these prestigious awards. Deadline to apply is Wednesday, May 31.

 

New Jersey Governor Christie signed into law Bill S1825/A3432, which “establishes the New Jersey Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder Mobility and Support Services Task Force to study and make recommendations concerning the mobility and support services needs of New Jersey adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).”

 

 

 

For parents of a child with a disability (parenting):

“To the moms who raise a loved one on the spectrum, this weekend is Mother’s Day, and I wanted you to know how important you are to your child….”

 

Parents can help children with autism become better storytellers.

 

A New Jersey father of two autistic children finds solace and meaning through golf.

 

 

 

Special Education:

“Autistic girls and school exclusion: Perspectives of students and their parents”
Open-source article in the journal Autism & Developmental Language Impairments

 

Teachers and students are working together to encourage self-regulation. This is especially important for autistic students, accepting their “autistic behaviors” in this context.

 

 

 

Advocacy and self-advocacy:

A woman with an “invisible disability” shares how her condition inspired her to become a disability advocate.

 

 

 

Informative, positive, noteworthy (or all three!):

A special mom of special children: “…External successes and failures will be your successes and failures. You get to have those on your own and I will rejoice and celebrate and swell with pride as if I created those monumental moments but I do not get to take credit for those.”

 

An 11-year-old boy with autism finds happiness through music: “It brought him into my world,” said his mother.

 

A mom of three boys with autism has found the time to write and illustrate a children’s book, Jasmine’s World of Autism, to inform other parents of a child with an autistic sibling.

 

 

 

The Arts and People with Disabilities

It’s about time! Mickey Rowe, an actor with autism, is starring in “Curious Incident”

 

 

 

People with a disability in the community (disability rights and acceptance; inclusion): 

Many children dream of one day walking down a runway. But for children with disabilities, that dream may seem out of reach. One community fashion show is making those fashionista dreams come true with a show designed to help children with disabilities, and local high school students, shine.

 

 

 

Disability awareness and appreciation:

Thanks to the hard work of one talented and caring individual—a two-year labor of love—or spreading the critically important message of autism awareness and appreciation. The message of empathy in this video will certainly extend to other children who are “different.”

 

Noteworthy blog piece: “Leaving Neverland: Autism and the Peter Pan Myth”

 

 

 

Medical news—research:

Jon Elder Robison: “Why autistic people like me need to help shape autism science.”

 

 

 

Beauty, glamour, and fashion: the inclusion of people with disabilities:

A woman with Down syndrome competes in the Miss USA state pageant.

 

 

 

Animals and animal therapy:

An autistic rider who found her soulmate in an “unmanageable and unhappy” horse has saved the mare from being sold thanks to the generosity of strangers.

Knowing About and Living with Mental Illness

Migrant_Mother,_Dorothea Lange

Migrant Mother (1936), by Dorothea Lange

It is indeed hard to talk about most disabilities. Talking about mental health is among the hardest. Yet, nearly 44 million Americans—that’s one in five—suffers from some form of mental illness. To foster an understanding of the importance of mental health and reduce the stigmas associated with mental illness, Mental Health America in 1949 named May as Mental Health Month. The theme this year is Risky Business. It addresses the dangers of a number of risky behaviors:

  • Drugs (including alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana)2017 MHM Twitter Header - Icons
  • Compulsive sex
  • Impulsive buying
  • Internet addiction
  • Extremes of exercise.

The New Jersey affiliate, Mental Association of New Jersey, has also published an informative page, “When are behaviors risky business?”

The National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI), an important advocacy group, is also helping spread the message. In addition, NAMI has created a safe space, where it is asking people to share their experiences anonymously.

2017 IntoMH-Facebook

Mental illnesses include a wide range of conditions, including attention-deficit anxiety disorder (ADHD), anxiety, autism, bipolar disorder, depression, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorders, and phobias. For us at Advancing Opportunities, it is important to know that some of these conditions occur together. For example, people on the autism spectrum have difficulty in social situations; they may also exhibit depression, anxiety, OCD, or ADHD—or a combination of these conditions. Many children with learning disabilities have ADHD and behavioral disorders. In working with children with autism or a learning disability, it is important to have patience and understanding. It is not uncommon for these children to act out, not out of defiance, but either in frustration because they are unable to express themselves in a more socially appropriate way. Among children with autism, many are unable to communicate in words the frustrations they are experiencing, in addition to having a high degree of difficulty.

 

Did You Know?

  • One in five children ages 13-18 will experience a serious mental illness; 11% have a mood disorder, 10% a behavioral disorder, and 8% anxiety.
  • Depression is the leading symptom and cause of disability worldwide.
  • More than one-third (37%) of students who drop out of school have a mental illness.

 

Ending a Serious Discussion with a Laugh

In 2015, comedian John Oliver devoted a segment on mental illness. To quote, “Mentally Ill People are more likely to be the victims of violence than the perpetrators.” The video is included below, with a warning that John Oliver often uses mature language, so discretion is advised.

painting depicts lady with depression she cannot escape mentalillness

No Escape, by Judith Carlin. “A painting showing how unescapable depression can seem.” Souce: Wikimedia Commons

At Advancing Opportunities, we excel in providing residential and respite services to people of with all disabilities, along with advocacy and education services for parents and guardians and assistive technology support. As a leader in the field, we are pleased to share our experience, knowledge, and expertise with the disability community through our social media outlets: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest. In our Disability and Ability Highlights of the Week column, we will select the best of what we found and shared and present them. Please click on the titles with embedded links to find the full article.

 

In addition, we are specialists in the area of assistive technology and offer a huge array of services; the Assistive Technology Center is New Jersey’s premier source of information and equipment.

 

 

 

Advancing Opportunities job announcement of the week:

We’re hiring!

Advancing Opportunities has immediate openings for part-time Direct-Support Professionals in residential care programs throughout New Jersey. In May, we will be holding job from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., as follows:

 

  • Thursday, May 11. Phillipsburg Event. Phillipsburg Free Public Library, 200 Broubalow Way, Phillipsburg, NJ 08865
  • Wednesday, May 17. Parsippany Event. Family Resource Network, 322 U.S. Hwy. 46, Ste. 290, Phillipsburg, NJ 08865
  • Tuesday, May 23. Marlboro Event. Marlboro Free Public Library, 1 Library Ct., Marlboro, NJ 07746

Advancing Opportunities provides supports to individuals with disabilities and their families, so they can live fully in the community.

Our team includes a diverse collection of men and women committed to treating the people and families we serve with dignity and respect and providing the highest quality services and supports.

Employees of the agency enjoy paid training and an excellent array of benefits, including health care and dental benefits for all eligible full-time staff and a 401(k) retirement plan for all eligible employees.

 

If you are unable to make it to one of the job fair open houses, you can also visit us online, at: http://advopps.org/careers/

 

 

 

Disability in the news (mostly in New Jersey, the population we serve):

The foremost news item of the week is Thursday’s legislative action in the House of Representatives. Much has been written about this, not only in the mainstream press, but also among the many disability advocacy and self-advocacy organizations. However, the topic so broad, it would not be possible to do it justice in this space. We have, therefore, elected not to cover it here.

 

 

 

For parents of a child with a disability (parenting):

Boy dolls? Absolutely! One toy company has a unique mission of accept and respect – for the boys who play with the dolls and the people with disabilities who make them. Some of the dolls also depict children with Down syndrome and other disabilities, furthering disability understanding and acceptance among children.

 

 

 

Assistive technology:

 A company has developed the world’s first wearable electromyographic (EMG) assistive technology for people with spinal cord injury.

 

 

 

Advocacy and self-advocacy:

Dorothea Dix is well known for her actions on behalf of the poor. She was also an advocate for people with depression and other mental illnesses.

ASAN, the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, has published an accessible guide about Medicaid.

 

 

 

Employment for people with disabilities:

A young woman with cerebral palsy finds her voice and passion in her blog.

 

 

 

Informative, positive, noteworthy (or all three!):

When a physician intern discovered something was missing from her medical school training, she did something about it. Realizing there was no instruction on how to treat patients with disabilities, the intern created a multiyear curriculum that has evolved into a mission for her School of Medicine.

 

 

 

People with a disability in the community (disability rights and acceptance; inclusion):

We are increasingly familiar with sensory-friendly theaters and amusement parks. Now, in Ireland, we have an autism-friendly town! This initiative will also be a community and tourism boost for the town, and other municipalities are looking to replicate this honorable effort.

A student with Down syndrome delivers a powerful speech to the UN.

 

 

 

Medical news—research:

Children with autism who have both severe repetitive behaviors and sensory sensitivities tend to have had unusually structured nerve tracts in infancy.

A greater capacity to detect sound gives autistic people an advantage.

Expressing Oneself and One’s Thoughts, Especially When Executive Functioning Poses a Challenge

I often struggle to translate my thoughts into either speech or the written word. Sometimes I lack the particular executive functioning powers required to organise and synthesise what’s in my mind, to present it to an external audience. At other times, the very fact that I have set myself the task of writing means that […]

via Lost for words — The Misadventures of Mama Pineapple

Our Most Notable and Favorite Disability Articles for the Week Ending April 28, 2017

Our Most Notable and Favorite Disability Articles for the Week Ending April 28, 2017

brailler 1

This antique braille writer is an excellent example of early assistive technology ingenuity.

Among many, many others, this happy couple enjoyed our second annual Hoedown. Most important, the event raised funds to enable us to continue our mission of serving people with disabilities throughout New Jersey. At Advancing Opportunities, we excel in providing residential and respite services to people of with all disabilities, along with advocacy and education services for parents and guardians and assistive technology support. As a leader in the field, we are pleased to share our experience, knowledge, and expertise with the disability community through our social media outlets: Facebook, TwitterLinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, and Pinterest. In our Disability and Ability Highlights of the Week column, we will select the best of what we found and shared and present them. Please click on the titles with embedded links to find the full article. In addition, we are specialists in the area of assistive technology and offer a huge array of services; the Assistive Technology Center is New Jersey’s premier source of information and equipment.

 

 

 

Advancing Opportunities job announcement of the week:

We’re hiring! Advancing Opportunities has immediate openings for part-time Direct-Support Professionals in residential care programs throughout New Jersey. In May, we will be holding job from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., as follows:

dv1954021

  • Thursday, May 11. Phillipsburg Event. Phillipsburg Free Public Library, 200 Broubalow Way, Phillipsburg, NJ 08865
  • Wednesday, May 17. Parsippany Event. Family Resource Network, 322 U.S. Hwy. 46, Ste. 290, Phillipsburg, NJ 08865
  • Tuesday, May 23. Marlboro Event. Marlboro Free Public Library, 1 Library Ct., Marlboro, NJ 07746

Advancing Opportunities provides supports to individuals with disabilities and their families, so they can live fully in the community.Our team includes a diverse collection of men and women committed to treating the people and families we serve with dignity and respect and providing the highest quality services and supports.Employees of the agency enjoy paid training and an excellent array of benefits, including health care and dental benefits for all eligible full-time staff and a 401(k) retirement plan for all eligible employees. If you are unable to make it to one of the job fair open houses, you can also visit us online, at: http://advopps.org/careers/

 

 

 

Disability in the news (mostly in New Jersey, the population we serve):

A Sussex County high school student advocates for her autistic peers.Howell High School’s Colors for Autism Run raised more than $3,000 to help autistic students.Lost Boyz, a Jersey City motorcycle club, raised money for local autism education.

 

 

 

For parents of a child with a disability (parenting):

“This Is Autism”: A beautiful photo essay depicts moments of joy and victory amid the many challenges of autism.Here are eight fun activities to practice social skills with your child.We know about PTSD in soldiers and rape victims. Parents of a child with severe special needs can be superhuman at times. However, eventually, a child’s countless medical, social, and education issues take their toll. These parents need support as well.A New Jersey celebrity uses her fame to spread autism awareness to help other parents with an autistic child.

 

 

 

Special Education:

Art therapy helps children with autism to express themselves more and more effectively.

 

 

 

Assistive technology:

PC Magazine: “The Future of Assistive Tech Is Smart.”

Braille writer - an example of early assistive technology

This antique braille writer is an early example of the ingenuity of assistive technology.

After 15 years, a blind man sees his wedding, thanks to eSight and KBS assistive technology.

 

 

 

Advocacy and self-advocacy:

“Social and Emotional Problems Related to Dyslexia – Term Life”: A fine article written by a physician, and a dyslexic himself

 

 

 

Employment for people with disabilities:

Jewish Vocational Service, East Orange, NJ, helps prepare young adults with autism for careers.

 

 

 

Civil rights and accessibility:

We, as a society, are failing parents raising children with special needs.As airlines try to monetize seat assignments, are passengers with disabilities being left behind? 

 

 

 

Informative, positive, noteworthy (or all three!):

Julia Screenshot

Julia continues to elicit positive responses from viewers young and old(er) alike.

 Autism acceptance and self-acceptance: “What I love about being autistic.”An autistic blogger received a beautiful guest piece. He was so touched, his immediate reaction was to share it. At Advancing Opportunities, a major portion of our team is made up of people who represent diverse cultures representing many countries on at least four continents. Our consumers no doubt feel very much at home among others who, like the people described in this piece, feel very much outsiders.

 

 

 

People with a disability in the community (disability rights and acceptance; inclusion):

BBC News: Steph is an international cheerleader. She’s also blind. “We’re doing something nobody has ever done before.” Inclusive design is a key driver to society. 

 

 

 

Disability awareness and appreciation:

“Always performing” – How an autism diagnosis helped this writer accept the person beneath the act.