Wheelchair with built-in desk allowing for work and inclusion

This clever wheelchair, with a desk and umbrella, was advertised in an 1886 catalog by George F. Sargent. It is a notable early example of including people with disabilities in the community.

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, LinkedIn, Google+, 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.


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:

Our northeastern office, in Little Falls, which serves individuals with disabilities and their families throughout Passaic and Essex counties, has opportunities for community support specialists to work one on one with adults at home and in the community. These part-time positions are for as many as 20 hours per week.


Please contact Monique Calixte, mcalixte@advopps.org or 973-237-0983. For other career opportunities, please visit us online, at: http://advopps.org/careers/ .



Advancing Opportunities news:

Mark your calendars for Saturday, April 22, 2017! It’s only a month away. Come and plan to join us for the best barn dance this side of the Mississippi! Very popular last year, we have brought our Hoedown back! Each year, the agency holds several fundraising events. We consider them “friendraising” events as well. Join us and learn more about how you can help provide vital services and supports to children and adults with all types of disabilities.



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

The Golden Door International Film Festival holds its 5th Annual Award Ceremony, to the benefit of Jersey City students and promoting Autism awareness.

For the 12th consecutive year, Rutgers University student athletes volunteered at Saturdays in Motion, a free program for children with autism and their families offered at the YMCA in Basking Ridge, NJ.

The month-long, statewide Stages Festival features plays written and performed by artists with disabilities in an effort to showcase new talents. Many of these people cannot speak but are delighted at having the chance to express themselves.

A new report discovers that the media normalizes the murders of people with disabilities.



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

This very thoughtful post on a blog we just discovered expresses how we, parents with a disability, need to meet the challenges and advocate not only ourselves, but now for our children as well. Most important, our most important role as a parent or teacher is that of mentor.



Special Education:

This article explores the strong positive effects of music for children with ADHD.



Advocacy and self-advocacy:

A fifth-grade girl advocates for herself with a message for her teacher. She acknowledges she has dyslexia and has trouble reading and spelling. She also states she is smart. Very smart. She continues: “I want to go to college and help people with disabilities. I need your help to get there.”

Two Harvard disability advocates speak out by putting their message to song.



Assistive technology:

Three very important developments in assistive technology were presented at the IEEE Assistive Technology Conference.

This piece of assistive technology from MIT could be very valuable innovation for the autism community: a wearable device that detects emotion in conversation.

RE-vibe: Anti-distraction wristband: assistive technology for people with ADHD.



College for students with a disability:

More and more students with disabilities are going to college, especially in New Jersey.

IBM’s Watson applies its prodigious computing ability to making life easier for people on the autism spectrum.



Employment for people with disabilities:

Microsoft hiring programs offer opportunities for talented individuals with autism.



Civil rights and accessibility:

Accessibility standards receive a much-needed refreshing.


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

When this mom gave birth to a daughter with Down syndrome, she was determined to do the best for her. She then embarked on a mission to help families of children with the condition.

 “Spectrum: A Story of the Mind” goes beyond autism awareness… to autism acceptance.



The Arts and People with Disabilities

A New Jersey artist with autism showcases his work at a special exhibition.

Music transformed this young man with autism. Now he is out to unlock talent in others.



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

Like anyone else, people with Down syndrome need love, understanding, and the dignity that comes from a decent job. Are these really special needs?



Disability awareness and appreciation:

The actress Gillian Anderson reveals her struggle with depression.



Medical news – research:

Researchers have gained new insight into the genetic and neuronal circuit mechanisms that may contribute to impaired sociability in some cases of autism.

A new method uses biochemistry to accurately predict whether a child will develop autism spectrum disorder by measuring the products of metabolic processes.



Animals and animal therapy:

Shelter dogs battle helped this woman battle bulimia. Now, she is repaying their kindness.


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