Our Most Notable and Favorite Disability Articles – For the two Week Ending August 11, 2017

Old Lambertville Station

Neither this rail station nor the Delaware & Raritan Canal it replaced are in use as transportation hubs any more. However, the old Lambertville (Hunterdon County, New Jersey) rail station has found a new lease on life as a restaurant. Even the old cars and caboose serve the dining guests.


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 Residential Support Leader to deliver health services to provide on-site direct behavioral health care services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in a residential setting in northern New Jersey.

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.



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

The New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities announces changes to contribution in residential care settings, effective August 2017.


New Jersey is one of the first states to win federal approval of its latest accountability and monitoring plans.



For parents of a Child with a Disability (Parenting)

Transition and change are hard for most children but even more so for those with ADHD. These children often face challenges with executive function, cognition for everyday coping and performing fundamental tasks. A psychologist offers parents handy tips.


Sometimes, parents of an autistic child could use a little assistance. A study highlights the positive effects of cognitive behavior therapy.



Special Education

An expert blogger has compiled 40 resources to help students with autism.


While it’s not a cure, music therapy can have benefits to children with autism.


The benefits of music and music therapy: “Music Is Good for the Soul, and Your Health” – article in Psychology Today



Assistive Technology

A New Jersey resident with traumatic brain injury performs daily tasks for her family with assistive technology.


Apps are linking visually impaired people to sighted volunteers as assistive technology enters a new era of connectivity.


Tobii eye-tracking AAC hardware: “a game changer.” We know: one of our consumers has used it with great success.


 A young woman reflects on how her power wheelchair was at first somewhat frightening but ended up giving her a high degree of independence. http://www.shonalouise.com/2017/08/my-relationship-with-my-powerchair.html



Advocacy and Self-Advocacy

Miss Teen USA’s powerful message about disability rights: Tolerance isn’t enough.



College for Students with a Disability

What one student learned from Brian M., a person we helped: Overcoming Dyslexia: Lessons Learned from an Ivy Leaguer


Through self-confidence and much hard work, a young woman with a disability is accepted to a fine university. These are sentiments shared at Advancing Opportunities, especially at our Student Success Center.



Employment for People with Disabilities

We love news stories about people with disabilities in the workplace.  A New Jersey company hiring people with autism gets a new home, thanks to a caring business community.



Informative, Positive, Noteworthy (or all three!)

This is a poignant and beautiful essay. It’s a testament to disability acceptance and, more important, self-acceptance.



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

We are always happy to read an article in which people with disabilities are included in interesting events most of us enjoy. With advances in braille, blind people can experience and awe in natural wonders such as the coming eclipse. A link to the original NASA report is included.


Many people with disabilities are being paid way below the minimum wage, and it’s perfectly legal http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/08/many-people-with-disabilities-are-being-paid-way-below-the-minimum-wage-and-its-perfectly-legal/


Learn how smart cities work for people with disabilities.



Disability Awareness and Appreciation

In this video, we get to know the “colorful mind” of Saffron, a nine-year-old autistic girl.



Medical News – Research

Here are some new thoughts on an old idea prompt a rethinking regression in autism.



Beauty, Glamour, and Fashion: The Inclusion of People with Disabilities

Cerebral palsy can’t stop this New Jersey girl from being confident and stylish. This fashion is about inclusion as much as feeling good about oneself.


SmartGlamour’s latest campaign stars only models with various disabilities.


Ablenet’s New Blue2 Bluetooth Switch Offers Access to Many Apps and Programs

Ablenet Blue2 Bluetooth Switch

The Ablenet Blue2 Bluetooth switch offers easy wireless access to iOS, IOX, Windows, and Android apps and programs.

The Blue2 offers either single- or dual-switch access to Apple devices running iOS 7, as well as the company’s desktop or laptop computers running OS X Mavericks. Blue2 also provides access to apps and programs running on the Windows and Android operating systems. Connection to one’s favorite device via Bluetooth is easy and quick to set up.

Find out about the Ablenet Blue2 Bluetooth switch. It’s this week’s #AssistiveTechTuesday feature, described on our website blog. Not sure if you want to make the investment? New Jersey residents can try it out free at our Technology Lending Center!

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