As the overall job market improves, more Americans with disabilities are finding employment for the second month in a row, according to today’s National Trends in Disability Employment – Monthly Update (nTIDE), issued by Kessler Foundation and University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability (UNH-IOD). Disability job training and employment initiatives continue to create and expand jobs for people with disabilities.
In the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Jobs Report released Friday, December 5, the employment-to-population ratio increased from 26.5 percent in November 2013 to 26.9 percent in November 2014 (up 1.4 percent; 0.4 percentage points) for working-age people with disabilities. The employment-to-population ratio, a key indicator, reflects the percentage of people who are working relative to the total population (the number of people working divided by the number of people in the total population multiplied by 100).
Autism Speaks has officially endorsed the Six by ’15 Campaign! Founded in 2005, Autism Speaks is now the world’s largest autism science and advocacy organization.
Their Early Access to Care Initiative seeks to reduce the average age of diagnosis and increase access to high-quality early intervention for all children on the autism spectrum. This initiative will help achieve our goal of increasing the proportion of children who receive recommended developmental screening and improving access to services for children identified by that screening.
According to the CDC, the average age of diagnosis is 4-5 years, but a reliable autism diagnosis can be made as early as 18-24 months. While early detection is critical, research shows that many parents have very little knowledge about autism and its symptoms. Many studies have also documented that racial ethnic minority populations and those of lower socioeconomic status are diagnosed later. The earlier children are identified, the earlier they are able to receive early intervention services. Evidence-based early intervention services have been shown to reduce the core symptoms of autism, improve IQ and daily functioning.
Improving this unacceptable situation will take the combined efforts of families, healthcare professionals, educators and autism advocates in every community.
Resources of the initiative include:
- First Concern Action Tool Kit
- Resources for Parents
- Engaging Professionals
- Engaging Community Partners
- Research and Progress in Early Intervention
Information En Espanol: Acceso Temprano A Servicios – Autism Speaks
On Wednesday, October 15th, the Center for Disabilities Studies at the University of Delaware – in cooperation with the Delaware Departments of Health an Social Services, Education, and Vocational Rehabilitation – hosted a Disability Mentoring Day. Liz Weintraub, a policy staff from AUCD, gave the keynote address, speaking about her experiences in job-seeking and how she found her jobs though networking. She told the audience of students with disabilities, “don’t settle for just any job, just because you have a disability. Find a job that you are happy in.” After Liz spoke, the students had opportunity to job shadow at different locations in the community of Newark, Delaware, to see what kind of jobs they might like to have. Watch this video about Disability Mentoring Day here. At the end of the day, students and mentors gathered again to hear Governor Markel speak about the power of believing in people with disabilities. “Our expectation for young people with disabilities is that they get job exploration experiences like Disability Mentoring Day,” Gov. Markell said. “We know that young people who participate in such transition services are more engaged in planning their careers and will be ready for the world of work.” Watch a Q&A with Governor Markell.
WorkSupport.com is a web portal from Virginia Commonwealth University that highlights and compiles the research and resources from projects across the university related to employment for people with disabilities. This includes the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Employment of People with Physical Disabilities, Autism Center for Excellence, Collaborative Career Planning for Students with ASD, and the Center on Transition to Employment for Youth with Disabilities.
It includes video content and continuing education, like the video below about how to implement fading job place supports.
Virginia Commonwealth University Partnership for People with Disabilities is part of the national network of University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities supported by AUCD.
When is your toddler’s difficult behavior cause for concern? Learn more in this post, originally from the Urban Child Institute.
We are excited to announce that the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics has endorsed the Six by ’15 campaign! The SDBP is the first health professional association to endorse the campaign.The board of SDBP voted to endorse the campaign at their annual meeting on September 20 in Nashville, TN.
Dr. John Duby, outgoing SDBP President and Director of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics at Akron Children’s Hospital said, “The Board of Directors of the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics is excited to endorse Six by 15. As an interprofessional association whose members work with families affected by developmental disabilities on a daily basis, we see the vital importance in providing the broad-based supports that will assure that our young people with disabilities have healthy, happy, and product adult lives. This initiative will move our country closer to reaching this goal.”
About the SDBP:
The Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics (SDBP) is an international membership organization of professionals dedicated to improving the health of infants, children, and adolescents by promoting research, teaching, and evidence-based clinical practice and advocacy. The Society’s vision is to be the interdisciplinary leader in optimal developmental and behavioral health for all children.
To achieve these goals, we will all need to work together. That’s why we’re so excited that the Council on Foundations lists Building a More Inclusive Workforce as one of their key initiatives. The Council works collaboratively with national business, academic, and public sector leaders to increase the awareness of the philanthropic sector about the depth of the disability unemployment problem and creates a venue for foundations to participate in the development of a set of cross-sector common priorities that could advance a renewed national vision of employment success for all people.
Building on past events, the Council co-hosted the National Summit on Building and Inclusive Workforce in May of 2013 in Wilmington, DE with Governor of Delaware Jack Markell and the US Business Leadership Network (a Six by ’15 partner). The meeting convened representatives from foundations, corporations, and the federal government. The Council is planning post-Summit retreats to engage cross-sector partners to increase public and private sector opportunities for people with disabilities to compete for jobs as the economy grows.
Members of the AUCD network take early childhood education and developmental screening pretty seriously. Nationally, AUCD’s Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Interest Group connects leaders from across the country to share information and collaborate on critical issues related to early childhood.
AUCD supports the CDC’s Learn the Signs. Act Early. project through the Act Early Network. The Act Early Network is a collaborative initiative of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP) and the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) to further advance the CDC’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” Program. Learn the Signs. Act Early. aims to improve the early identification of children with autism and other developmental disabilities so children and families can get the services and support they need. The Network includes the Act Early Forum, Ambassadors, and State Systems Projects.
As part of the work, Act Early Connecticut released the Connecticut Guidelines for a Clinical Diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder, a direct result of collaborative efforts that were initiated under the Act Early Summit Project. Connecticut’s stakeholders participated in the Act Early Summit in April, 2010. A key goal identified at the summit by the Connecticut Team was the publication of clinical diagnostic guidelines specific to Connecticut. Over the past several years, a multidisciplinary workgroup consisting of parents, autism researchers, educators, and practitioners from developmental behavioral pediatrics, early intervention, public schools/special education, developmental psychology, child psychiatry and law was enlisted to write the guidelines with support from an advisory group including members of the University of Connecticut UCEDD. Read more…
In Illinois, the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) program at the Institute on Disability and Human Development (IDHD), University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), in collaboration with Autism Speaks and other key community partners conducted outreach to underserved Latino families by addressing developmental concerns; screened and referred families for additional testing; and provided guidance and support from culturally-competent, trained clinicians and service providers, free of cost. Racial and ethnic disparities in both age of diagnosis and access to services remain a tremendous challenge for our communities of color. The Early Access to Care Initiative aimed to lower the age of diagnosis of ASD and increase access to evidence-based early intervention services. Read more…
Researchers from California to North Carolina have also been making strides in discovering early signs of autism and effective interventions to improve outcomes for children. At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, researchers at the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities found that preschoolers with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who receive high-quality early intervention make significant positive gains during the school year regardless of the comprehensive treatment model used (TEACCH, LEAP or a high-quality special education program without a specific model). The results may shift the field’s thinking about treatment models for young children with ASD and may have important implications for special-education programs and school classrooms across the country. The UCLA Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center was the first to map autism-risk genes by function and uncover how mutations in the genes disrupt fetal brain development.
Across the country, AUCD members are working to improve educational outcomes for students with disabilities.
In Minnesota, the Institute on Community Integration’s developed the Check & Connect program, an evidence-based intervention to increase student engagement at school and prevent dropout among K-12 students.
Now, Check & Connect has launched an expanded suite of training and consultation options, its staff are conducting new large-scale research studies on its efficacy, and its new Web site has been unveiled. Since its inception, the Check & Connect model has been implemented in 27 states and internationally. Ongoing studies have demonstrated a number of positive results for participating students. Read more…
In the U.S., 80 percent of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) go to public schools, at least 50 percent of them are in general education classes throughout the school day, more than 60 percent have average IQs and are not affected by intellectual disabilities, yet they have the worst graduation rates of any group. In California, UC Davis autism researcher and education specialist Peter Mundy has received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to apply virtual-reality technology to evaluate social attention and its relation to academic achievement among school children with autism. He also is launching Educational Interventions for Students with Autism, a book for elementary and secondary school teachers that shares current research and evidence-based approaches to training. Read more…
Dan Habib, filmmaker in residence at the University of New Hampshire Institute on Disability and creator of Including Samuel has followed up Including Samuel with new documentary about older students with disabilities. Who Cares About Kelsey? documents Kelsey Carroll’s struggles with emotional and behavioral challenges, and shows innovative educational approaches that help students like her to succeed–while improving the overall school culture and climate. When Kelsey Carroll entered high school, she was a more likely candidate for the juvenile justice system than graduation. During Kelsey’s sophomore year, a new school leadership team implemented Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, the youth-directed planning process RENEW, along with other educational reforms. Through intensive self-directed planning and wraparound supports at Somersworth High, Kelsey began the transformation from a struggling, defiant student to a motivated, self-confident young woman. Read More…
Despite a mistaken belief that people with disabilities receive the same or better health care than others, they typically receive less care, sub-standard care, or no health care at all.
This has led Special Olympics to become not just a global inclusive sports organization but also the largest global public health organization dedicated to serving people with intellectual disabilities. People with disabilities should have access to the same health and wellness services and be able to achieve the same good health as the general population.
Many of our athletes come to us with neglected health problems. We offer a wide range of free health examinations and care through the Healthy Athletes ® program. At more than 1.4 million free health screening clinics in more than 100 countries, the Healthy Athletes program offers health services and information to athletes in dire need. Through Healthy Athletes, more than 100,000 health care professionals have been trained to treat people with intellectual disabilities, and these health care professionals in turn provide improved care to millions. Special Olympics has also built the world’s largest database of health data for people with intellectual disabilities and its health work is not just helping individuals, it is improving health systems and policies for people with disabilities. Learn more about Healthy Athletes.
The success and impact of Healthy Athletes led to the creation of the Healthy Communities initiative, which provides comprehensive, community-based health and wellness and is generously supported by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Golisano Foundation. Read more about Healthy Communities.
Sports and Physical Activity Resources
We provide extensive free information on sports and fitness tailored to people with intellectual disabilities through our Sports and Physical Activity Fact Sheets and Coach Guides.
This is a Special Olympics fitness screening event developed in collaboration with the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA. The goals of FUNfitness include assessing needs in flexibility, strength, balance, and aerobic fitness; teaching exercises to help athletes improve identified areas of need; and educating participants, families and coaches about the importance of flexibility, strength, balance, and aerobic conditioning in overall fitness. More information on FUNfitnesscan be found here.
This is an innovative sports play program for children ages 2-7 with intellectual disabilities and their peers, designed to introduce them into the world of sports. The benefits of Young Athletes have been proven worldwide. First and foremost, these activities help children thrive physically, cognitively and socially.
This is an education and sports based strategy powered by an engaged youth community that increases athletic and leadership opportunities for students with and without intellectual disabilities. While promoting physical activity and making it fun, Project UNIFY® also creates communities of acceptance for all.
About Special Olympics
Special Olympics is an international organization that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports every day around the world. Through work in sports, health, education and community building, Special Olympics addresses inactivity, injustice, intolerance and social isolation by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, which leads to a more welcoming and inclusive society. Visit Special Olympics at www.specialolympics.org.