October 2006, Vol.6, No.10
Dear AAMR Friends and Colleagues:
TWO RECENT STUDIES REVEAL GRIM NEWS FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN AMERICA IN AREAS OF HEALTH, EMPLOYMENT, AND INCOME LEVELS
While the Americans with Disabilities Act has made significant contributions to the rights of people with disabilities in the United States, data shows that more than a quarter of them live in poverty, and more than 75 percent earn less than $20,000 annually, a recent study from Hofstra University shows. G overnment policies, notably Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income as well as health insurance practices continue keep the American Dream out of reach for many Americans with disabilities, reports Frank Bowe, author of the study. Also, only 13 percent of adults with disabilities ages 21-64 work year around. Disability in America 2006contains charts and graphs comparing income, employment, and poverty levels of people with disabilities to those without disabilities. To read a press release, “The American Dream is Unlikely for the Nation's Third Largest Minority Says Hofstra Professor” visithttp://releases.usnewswire.com/GetRelease.asp?id=72400. The latest U.S. Census data shows that there are around 50 million people in the U.S. who report some type of disability (See AAMR F.Y.I., Volume 6, No.6 athttp://www.aamr.org/FYI/fyi_vol_6_no_6.shtml#more).
People with disabilities are not as healthy as those without disabilities, reveals the new 2006 Disability and Health State Chartbook by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The Chartbook contains a 2-page profile on each U.S. state and D.C. showing the estimated number of men and women in the state with a disability, including comparative graphs on the health of adults with and without a disability. To read a press release from CDC on the publication of the Chartbook, visithttp://www.cdc.gov/od/oc/Media/pressrel/r060912.htm.
The following resources will supplement your reading of the two reports mentioned above: Medicaid funding facts on each U.S. state and D.C. by the American Network of Community Options and Resources at http://www.ancor.org/issues/medicaid/
Also, two recent resources from the Institute for Community Inclusion show data on employment for persons with developmental disabilities. Seehttp://www.communityinclusion.org/article.php?article_id=177 andhttp://www.communityinclusion.org/article.php?article_id=181.
WASHINGTON STATE ADOPTS THE SUPPORTS INTENSITY SCALE TO DETERMINE HOW TO ALLOCATE SERVICES AND RESOURCES TO OVER 6,500 CITIZENS WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES
Washington state has adopted the Supports Intensity Scale as an essential first step in its Division of Developmental Disabilities Assessment project for more than 6,500 citizens with intellectual disabilities. The SIS is a planning tool developed by the American Association on Mental Retardation and is currently in use in Utah, Georgia, and Louisiana. “We have found the Supports Intensity Scale to be a very useful tool to help us allocate resources to people with developmental disabilities,” says John Stern, program director with Washington ’s Aging and Disability Services Administration. “Just as importantly, it covers such a breadth of topics that it helps providers and family members stay focused on the easily overlooked fact that clients can still grow, change and learn.” To read more about the Division of Developmental Disabilities Assessment project, visit http://www1.dshs.wa.gov/ddd/CAP.shtml.
SINGER CLAY AIKEN IS AMONG TWENTY ONE NEW OFFICERS SWORN IN TO SERVE THE U.S. PRESIDENT’S COMMITTEE FOR PEOPLE WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES
President George W. Bush swore in twenty one new members for the U.S. President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID) (Link to http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/pcpid/index.html), including singer Clay Aiken. Aiken is also founder of the Bubel/Aiken Foundation, an organization that promotes and funds educational and recreational programs for children with special needs. The PCPID acts in an advisory capacity to the U.S. President and the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services on matters relating to programs and services for persons with intellectual disabilities. A Chairperson and twenty other citizen members are appointed to the PCPID for a two-year term and the Committee also consists of thirteen ex-officio members. Read more about the appointees at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/news/press/2006/
STUDENT SCHOLARSHIPS NOW AVAILABLE TO ATTEND NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES IN ATLANTA, GEORGIA
The American Association on Mental Retardation (AAMR), a national non-profit of professionals in the developmental disability field, has announced student scholarships to attend the 2007 national conference in Atlanta, Georgia from May 21-24. Two students will be awarded $600 in cash and will also receive a free registration to the Annual Meeting. To apply, students are encouraged to submit their work through the Call for Papers announcement on the AAMR website.
COMMUNITY LEAD EXPOSURE RESULTS IN COGNITIVE DECLINE AND UP TO SIX YEARS OF AGING, A STUDY OF 950 ADULTS SHOWS
Older adults exposed to high levels of lead before the 1980s are showing signs of cognitive decline as a result of long-term lead exposure in their communities, shows a study conducted by principal investigator Brian Schwartz, M.D., of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. The study involved 985 adults randomly selected throughout the city of Baltimore, Maryland. The participants were between the ages of 50 and 70 years old and had been exposed to higher levels of lead prior to the 1980s when lead had been used extensively in commercial products. The study is published in the online edition of the journal, Neurology.
To read a press release on the discovery, visithttp://www.aan.com/press/press/index.cfm?fuseaction=release.view&release=406.
Visit the AAMR Environmental Health Initiative website athttp://www.ehinitiative.org/Info/fact_sheets.htm for more information on environmental toxins and cognitive disabilities.
NEW GUIDE INFORMS PARENTS ON WHAT THEY NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE IDEA AND NCLB LEGISLATIONS
Two of the nation’s most important federal laws relating to the education of children—The No Child Left Behind Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act—have taken on new importance to parents of students with disabilities. There is an estimated 5.4 million children and youth ages 3 to 21 with disabling conditions in the U.S. and IDEA, Part B. Now NCLB and IDEA: What Parents of Students with Disabilities Need to Knowand Do explains to parents what the requirements are of the two laws, and how they work together to improve academic achievement of students with disabilities. The report is published by the National Center on Educational Outcomes.
AAMR F.Y.I. is compiled by Anna Prabhala, Editor and is published by the American Association on Mental Retardation. Please submit comments, suggestions, tips, and news to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on becoming an AAMR member, visithttp://www.aamr.org/Membership/index.shtml.
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