Our Most Notable and Favorite Disability Articles – For the Week Ending July 21, 2017

Land of Make Believe Silo

This silo has found a new purpose at The Land of Make-Believe, Hope, NJ. This park is a popular summer destination in Warren County, northwestern 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, 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

Come to our next open house, this Wednesday!

A growing social service agency, we have openings for full- and part-time Direct Support Professionals in residential care programs all around the state. Candidates will be providing excellent direct care to men and women with disabilities in residential support programs in group homes.

We will be holding the following open house on Wednesday, July 26, from 10 to 3: Wed., July 26: Family Resource Network, 322 US Hwy. 46 W., Ste. 290, Parsippany, NJ If you are unable to make any of these events, please submit your résumé to: hr@advopps.org.

 

 

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

A superhero with Down syndrome stars in a new comic by a New Jersey professor.

 

 

For parents of a Child with a Disability (Parenting)

The Asbury Park Press lists 20 places for autism-friendly family entertainment.

 

 

Informative, positive, noteworthy (or all three!)

A blogger with Asperger’s talks about her marriage to a neurotypical man for 25 years.

 

 

The Arts and People with Disabilities

An art studio in Washington, DC, provides an outlet for adults with developmental disabilities to express themselves though art.

 

A summer arts camp helps children, teens, and young adults with autism hone social skills.

 

 

People with a Disability in the Community (Disability Rights and Acceptance; Inclusion)

What’s beyond Paper Mill Playhouse’s Theater for Everyone initiative, for which the acclaimed theater was recently awarded a $40,000 grant.

 

A cheerleading team comprising members with special needs breaks boundaries—and wins

 

 

Disability Awareness and Appreciation

Many women are unaware they’re autistic.

 

Enter “neurodiversity,” an umbrella under which autism, Tourette’s, and mental illnesses…

Our Most Notable and Favorite Disability Articles – For the Week Ending July 14, 2017

View of Washington's Crossing toward New Jersey

The bridge in the foreground follows the path George Washington too as he crossed the Delaware River, on his way to the Battle of Trenton. New Jersey is to the left of this view from Bowman’s Tower in Pennsylvania.

 

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

Advancing Opportunities is looking for a part-time Registered Nurse, licensed in New Jersey, to deliver health services to clients who are experiencing mental and physical conditions associated with mental illness and developmental disabilities in northern New Jersey. Interested candidates should forward résumé and salary requirements to: hr@advopps.org, or fax them to 609-882-4022.

 

 

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

Here is a list of the seven best school districts in New Jersey for students with autism.

 

Governor Christie signed an executive order to transfer key mental health services of the Department of Human Services to the Department of Health. Several state legislators say they need time to evaluate this move and how it will affect New Jersey residents with an intellectual disability.

 

 

For parents of a Child with a Disability (Parenting)

Perspective: Lessons from my son with autism, as he nears the end of high school

 

ZOOM Magazine for parents of children with autism: The latest issue is out! Another helpful free publication is Autism File.

 

“What Are the Signs My Teen Might Be Misusing ADHD Medications?”

 

 

Special Education

NPR this week featured a study: Holding Kids Back a Grade Doesn’t Necessarily Hold Them Back

 

Opinion: Why model autism programs are rare in public schools: The United States is failing most of its half million school-age children with autism by not giving them a good education.

 

 

Informative, Positive, Noteworthy (or all three!)

“The Secret Lives of Women with ADHD”

 

Naoki Higashida, the author of the acclaimed of The Reason I Jump, has written a new memoir, Fall Down 7 Times, Get Up 8. As with the earlier book, Higashida (who has severe autism and is unable to express himself conventionally in words) wrote this one with the help of assisstive technology, in the form of an electronic transcriber.

 

 

People with a Disability in the Community (Disability Rights and Acceptance; Inclusion)

Federal officials find fewer states meeting special-education obligations.

 

Doctors with disabilities offer important insights and perspectives.

 

“A Wish for Authentic Disability Representation on Television to Continue, along with a look back in time.

 

 

Disability Awareness and Appreciation

A beautiful piece in the New York Times: The Importance of Finding a Community Family—Especially when both mother and daughter have Ehlers syndrome.

 

Depression is part of many learning disabilities and autism. One writer compiled a list of what she believes to be best 10 blogs on depression.

 

 

Medical News—Research

The social ties between autism and schizophrenia: the two conditions share a long history. Comparing the social features of the two conditions could lead to better treatments and a deeper understanding of each. Links to earlier related articles are included.

 

The New York Times featured an article on the challenges children with autism face in recognizing faces. Genetics often plays a part.

Getting to Know the Miracle of Living with Deaf-Blindness

Helen Keller, deaf-blind graduate from college

Helen Keller is the most well-known deaf-blind person. With the advocacy of her teacher, Annie Sullivan, and her own determination, Helen proved one could undertake higher education and graduate.

 

 

We all know about Helen Keller, notably through the astonishing performance by Patty Duke in The Miracle Worker. Helen Keller is the most famous deaf-blind person; her name is a household word – and rightfully so. Yet, many people do not fully understand what it is to be deaf blind. With that, President Ronald Reagan in 1984 proclaimed the last week of June as Helen Keller Deaf Blind Awareness Week. To keep the awareness fresh, every year the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Adults Youths and Adults (HKNC), publicizes this important declaration with a national campaign. HKNC is part of the National Family Association for the Deaf-Blind (NFADB).

 

 

What Is Deaf-Blindness?

What is deaf-blindness? According to the NFADB, “The term ‘deaf-blind’ seems to indicate the sum of deafness + blindness. However, the combination of these two sensory losses is much more like deafness multiplied by blindness = Deaf-blindness.” The combined loss of both senses poses unique challenges, with independence, access to  information, interpersonal communication, and special navigation is indeed profound. However, contrary to what most people believe, deaf-blindness is not a total loss of seeing and hearing. This is rarely the case. The National Center on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB) provides an excellent overview of the condition covering children, assessment in school, educational services, environment, communication, social-emotional concerns, and motor-movement issues.

 

Assistive technology in the form of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices are an important pathway to accessibility to full inclusion in society and independent living. http://www.assistivetechnologycenter.org/at/augmentative-communication  For New Jersey residents, the Advancing Opportunities Assistive Technology Center can be an excellent resource, offering both one-on-one assistance and the chance to try out costly equipment before committing to a purchase.

 

 

A Famous Deaf-Blind Person (Aside from Helen Keller)

Haben Girma is an Eritrean-American woman who was the first deaf-blind person to graduate Harvard Law School. As an attorney, she has been an outspoken disability advocate for inclusion, accessibility, and Universal Design. Haben recently with current Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, along with former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, all of whom have praised her important work as a disability advocate and self-advocate.

 

 

Usher Syndrome

The most common form of deaf-blindness is a condition called Usher syndrome. Usher syndrome is characterized by hearing loss, combined with a loss of vision over time and deficiencies in balance, as the condition starts in the inner ear. There are three types of Usher syndrome, which are characterized by the severity of the symptoms. Usher syndrome is genetically inherited.

 

 

Did You Know?

  • Nearly 10,000 children and young adults are deaf-blind.
  • Some 2.4 million people in the U.S. have combined vision and hearing loss.

 

 

Further Resources

Project Sparkle Family’s Guide

Deaf-Blind Education

Eye on the Cure Blog 

Deaf-Blind International

National Coalition on Deaf-Blindness

European Deaf-Blind Network

 

Listen to Our Experience: On Epistemic Invalidation — Lighthouse

This is an excellent piece; it’s called “Listen to Our Experience: On Epistemic Invalidation,” from the Lighthouse blog. People with disabilities, especially “invisible” ones are being denied the services they seek and need. By extension, they are being denied their identity. This applies to other neurodivergent people, such as those of the transgender community.

Content warning: Discussion of the ways disabled people’s experiences are invalidated and disbelieved in society. References to pain ignored by doctors. Brief description of a fictional person with suicidal ideation.] Disabled readers. (And those with chronic illnesses, learning difficulties, and neurodivergences of all kinds.) Have you ever experienced any of the following? Having your experience […]

via Listen to Our Experience: On Epistemic Invalidation — Lighthouse

Reblogged: What does it mean for me to be truly #autistic? — Aspie Under Your Radar

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how my dreams and ambitions have really suffered and been stunted, because I’ve felt compelled to pursue them along neurotypical lines. I’ve somehow believed that if I followed “the rules” — of engagement, of customary behavior, of social interactions, of the right job or locale — that […]

via What does it mean for me to be truly #autistic? — Aspie Under Your Radar

Appreciating Men and Women Who Died in Service and Helping Disabled Veterans in New Jersey

honoring veterans who died or were disabled

Graves at Arlington National Cemetery bear silent witness to the sacrifices of our service men and women.

Today, Memorial Day, the Advancing Opportunities team remembers and pays respect to our brave men and women lost in battle. We are ever grateful to them and their families for their sacrifice.

However, other veterans do make it home but sustain lifelong disabilities. For them, there are assistive technology solutions; our team of professionals at the Assistive Technology Center is ready to assist, whether the need is for mobility hardware or augmentative communication—and anything in between.

 

njvet_Page_01njvet_Page_20

or other needs, state government agencies right here in New Jersey are ready to help. The New Jersey  Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (NJDMVA) is dedicated to “serving those who served.” The agency has produced the handy New Jersey Veterans’ Benefits Guide. The guide lists clinics throughout the state, provides information on health insurance, and lists regional Vet Centers to assist with benefits. Also critically important is information on assistance with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), an increasingly common disability. Veterans will find organizations that help with employment (including job training), entrepreneurship, training and education, recreation, and transportation, along with specific disabilities. NJDMVA also offers medals and awards in recognition of distinguished service. “I owe you! Veterans, you may be able to receive benefits you’re not even aware of!”

Also worth consulting is the Disabled American Veterans Department of New Jersey. To all who served, along with their families, we thank you!

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.”