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, Google+, LinkedIn, 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.
Disability in the news (mostly in New Jersey, the population we serve)
A New Jersey author pens mysteries in which the sleuth has Asperger’s syndrome.
Students at Rowan University in New Jersey raise therapy dogs.
Include Montclair Award established by the Lacey family will honor two deserving students who accepted a girl with Down syndrome.
A revamped approach to federal legislation aimed at addressing the needs of children with autism and other developmental disabilities who wander is garnering bipartisan support.
For parents of a child with a disability (parenting, special needs):
It may look like a typical book bag, but a backpack designed by a group of college students to meet the sensory needs of children with autism is far from ordinary.
Inspirational and Informative (or Both!):
Autism and friendship – more alike than different. Commentary by autism expert and advocate Judy Endow.
Advocacy and self-advocacy:
Did you know that, as a parent of a child with special needs, you have access to your son’s or daughter’s school records?
This remarkable woman had a resume with a long list of notable accomplishments. Not on that list was that she had Down syndrome. A trailblazer in advocacy and self-advocacy for people with Down syndrome is remembered.
The World Health Organization (WHO) conducted a survey on the 50 most-needed assistive technology devices worldwide.
A new tablet with a Braille extension will allow blind people to use these devices.
For years, people with disabilities had to rely on somebody else doing things for them. But now with the help of assistive technology, they can do things that would have never been possible before—from switching on a light to having a voice to express themselves.
People with a disability in the community (disability rights and acceptance):
A woman with cerebral palsy tells of her challenges growing up and love for life.
An 11-year-old on the spectrum will appear on a brand-new PBS children’s show in an episode focusing on inclusion.
In this book, John Elder Robison (author of Look Me in the Eye) tells how a treatment awakened him emotionally. Review in the New York Times. And from the author himself, the experience was clearly mixed: “An Experimental Autism Treatment Cost Me My Marriage.”
And… The Power of One autism journey: “Are we there yet?”
Medical news – research:
New research indicates that a treatment for Down syndrome may one day lessen the symptoms of the disability. In the meantime, a mother reflects on what that would mean for her child.
A Swedish study warns that people with autism are at much higher risk of premature death than the population at large.
Special education (including college for students with disability):
Geek Club books launches an excellent new resource: Autism EDU Educational Tools.
The White House and the U.S. Department of Education announced two groundbreaking campaigns to address and eliminate chronic student absenteeism.
Animals and animal therapy:
This little girl with autism has begun to speak, with the help of her feline friend.