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Dear AAIDD Friends and Colleagues:
Read the most recent version of the newsletter published by the AAIDD New Student and Early Career Professional Committee (Formerly SJMRR) at /YP/index.shtml. The newsletter is a helpful resource for students and early career members working in the field of developmental disabilities.
NEW STATE OF THE STATES IN DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES DOCUMENTS 30 YEARS OF FINANCIAL AND PROGRAMMATIC TRENDS IN SERVICES AND FUNDING FOR PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES IN AMERICA; BOOK INCLUDES RECENT REDUCTIONS IN DISABILITY SUPPORT AS U.S. FACES ECONOMIC RECESSION
Since 1977, the State of the States in Developmental Disabilities study by David L. Braddock has been tracking the public financing of developmental disability services in America. The new seventh edition of the book, now published in hardback format by the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD), is poised to serve as a key reference as decision makers tackle cutbacks in spending during this time of economic crisis in America.
Highlights from the seventh edition include: (1) The period between 2004-2006 saw the slowest increase in the past 30 years in state spending on community and institutional services per $1000 of statewide personal income; (2) Support for public and private institutions declined 6% nationally; (3) Ten states and the District of Columbia no longer run state-operated institutions; and (4) Twenty nine states and the District of Columbia projected overall budget gaps for the current fiscal year (2009) appropriations.
NEW EPIDEMIOLOGICAL EVIDENCE DEMONSTRATES THAT THE MEDICAL WORLD HAS UNDERESTIMATED THE RISK OF BRAIN DAMAGE ASSOCIATED WITH METHYLMERCURY
Exposure to certain chemicals such as methylmercury during early fetal development can cause permanent brain injury at doses much lower than those that affect the adult brain, say researchers from Harvard University and the University of Southern Denmark in Odense. Recent epidemiological evidence on methylmercury has shown adverse effects at exposure levels previously thought to be safe.
The research finding are published in an article titled, “Development neurotoxicity: implications of methylmercury research” in the International Journal of Environment and Health (Vol. 2, No.3/4). To read an abstract, click here.
In other environmental health news, on December 9, 2008, the AAIDD Environmental Health Initiative is hosting a teleconference titled, “Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units–A Resource for the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Community”. Featured speaker, Jerome A. Paulson, MD, will talk about the role of the 12 pediatric environmental health specialty units (PEHSUs) established in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico in the context of developmental disabilities. To learn more, click here.
NEW GRANT AVAILABLE FOR STUDENTS TO DEVELOP SOLUTIONS TO CHALLENGES FACED BY PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
Easter Seals and the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) announce the availability of up to $5,000 in grant money for two student applicants interested in working on a project designed to make public transportation more accessible to people with disabilities. Application deadline is January 5, 2009. To learn more, click here.
In other transportation news, researchers working with the European Commission-funded MAPPED project developed a handheld mobile device for use by people with disabilities for various types of transportation route planning. To learn more about how this 36-month study helped people with disabilities use public transport, visit the MAPPED website at http://services.txt.it/MAPPED/index.jsp or read the final report issued on the project at http://services.txt.it/MAPPED/downloads.html.
JOIN TWO FREE NATIONAL WEBINARS/TELECONFERENCES FOR CAREGIVERS ON COMMUNICATING EFFECTIVELY WITH HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS
The National Caregivers Association is hosting two free teleconferences/webinars on communicating effectively with health care professionals on November 6th and November 13th at 2 pm U.S. Eastern Standard Time. Each seminar is one hour long and issues addressed include developing a basic understanding of the U.S. healthcare system, understanding the role of the family in healthcare, developing strategies to establish a rapport with healthcare providers, and coping with emergency room visits.
To learn more, click here.
THE NEW COMPASSIONATE CLAIMS INITIATIVE FROM THE U.S. SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION INCLUDES AT LEAST ONE DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITY IN ITS LIST OF CONDITIONS THAT MERIT AN EXPEDITED PROCESSING OF DISABILITY CLAIMS
The U.S. Social Security Administration has just announced the rollout of the agency’s Compassionate Allowances initiative, a way to expedite the processing of disability claims for applicants whose medical conditions are so severe that their conditions meet Social Security’s standards. The Compassionate Allowances list currently includes 50 conditions, including Rett syndrome. Rett syndrome is a major genetic cause of intellectual disability in females. The agency anticipates expanding the list over time. To learn more about the initiative, click here.
To see a list of conditions covered under the Compassionate Allowances at this time, click here.
AAIDD F.Y.I. is compiled by Anna Prabhala, Editor and is published by the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (Formerly AAMR). Please submit comments, suggestions, tips, and news to email@example.com. For more information on becoming an AAIDD member, visit /Membership/index.shtml. To purchase AAIDD products, visit http://bookstore.aaidd.org.
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