Our Most Notable and Favorite Disability Articles for the Week Ending January 13, 2017

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.


A sad, soggy farm wagon sits at Bergen County Zoo, Van Saun Park, Paramus, NJ. However, sunny days are just around the corner. Photo: Daniel L. Berek

Please stop by our website, http://advopps.org/, and find out all we have to offer. 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:


Advancing Opportunities has immediate openings for part-time Direct Support Professionals in residential care programs throughout New Jersey.


Candidates will be providing direct care to men and women with disabilities in residential support programs and group home settings. This entails includes supervision and/or assistance with personal care, daily living activities, recreational pursuits, transportation, medical appointments, or any other needs the individuals may have.


In January, we will be holding job fairs, each day from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., as follows:

  • Wednesday, January 18: 322 Rte. 46 W., Ste. 290, Parsippany, NJ


If this location or time is not convenient, please visit: http://advopps.org/directcare_openings



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

Charlie’s Law, a New Jersey bill legislating rights for service dogs, is closer to becoming law.

The state of New Jersey has committed additional funds to autism medical homes at three Garden State hospitals.

Schools for students with special needs express concern over New Jersey Department of Education funding restrictions.



For parents of a child with a disability (parenting, special needs):

Unable to afford a separate apartment for their adopted son with Down syndrome and autism, a couple builds an accessory room to give him a degree of independence.

The latest edition of Zoom Autism magazine is now online… and it’s free!



Special Education:

The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture announces $540,000 in funds to support current and prospective farmers with disabilities.

The importance of play takes on additional meaning for very young students with autism.



Advocacy and self-advocacy:

Three well-known disability advocacy organizations file a friend of the court brief in support of stronger requirements under IDEA. (Please see “Civil Rights,” below.”)



Assistive technology:

Here are some video clips of assistive technology tools from the recent Consumer Electronics Show.



Employment for people with disabilities:

As state governments mobilize, people with disabilities see gains in employment.

Civil rights and accessibility:

The EEOC issues affirmative action regulations regarding people with disabilities.

Supreme Court case: What is the level of educational benefit that school districts must confer on children with disabilities to provide them with the free appropriate public education guaranteed by IDEA? The preview was published the previous week.

Less than one-quarter of the countries in the world have a constitution prohibiting discrimination and enshrining equal rights for people with disabilities.



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

Send in the clowns. In Tsfat (Safed), Israel, there are “medical clowns,” and they are helping children with autism.

Thank you to everyone who complimented us on our review of Everyday Aspergers. In case you missed it, here it is.



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

“When Children with #Autism Grow Up” – an oldie but goodie




Disability awareness and appreciation:

A new book, Walk in My Shoes, tells in 27 stories how deaf-blind people (Usher syndrome) meet the challenges of life.

Well-documented blog piece: “What Is Neurodiversity?” Does neurodiversity exclude people with severe disabilities?

From last year but still very relevant: People with mental illness are breaking the stigmas and coming out in public, with the help of social media.



Medical news – research:

For millions of women, the pill holds excellent benefits. However, for many women with depression or other mental illness, certain varieties have troubling side-effects.

A mutation that prevents some amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, from entering the brain may lead to autism.

Patterns of activity in certain brain regions may predict how well a child with autism will respond to a behavioral therapy.

Meta-analysis: “Autism and Visual Impairment: A Review of the Literature

Researchers have identified a new biomarker that could assist in treatments for symptoms of autism.



Animals and animal therapy:

Service dogs: how man’s best friend became man’s best medicine



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