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Dear AAIDD Friends and Colleagues:
U.S. GOVERNMENT HAS RECORD LOW EMPLOYEES WITH DISABILITY IN 20 YEARS; EEOC ISSUES A NEW REPORT TO BOOST UPWARD TREND
Despite initiatives and efforts by numerous administrations and federal agencies, there has been no appreciable improvement in the hiring and advancement of people with disabilities, including intellectual disability, in the U.S. government workforce, says a new report by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The percentage of federal employees with disabilities has declined each year since reaching a peak of 1.24% in 1993 and 1994. In 2006, this rate fell to 0.94% of the federal government's total work force, the lowest participation rate in over 20 years. The EEOC report has 10 recommendations on boosting the employment rates of people with disabilities in the federal workforce.
Read Improving the Participation Rate of People with Targeted Disabilities in the Federal Work Force at http://www.eeoc.gov/federal/report/pwtd.html#SecIII.
Another federal disability policy report in the news is, National Disability Policy: A Progress Report, an annual review of U.S. disability policy issued by the National Council on Disability. The report covers the period of December 2005-December 2006 and touches upon areas such as civil rights, education, health care, long terms services and supports, and employment. Click here to read the report.
NEW SOCIAL INCLUSION AT WORK TEACHES JOB COACHES AND VOCATIONAL SPECIALISTS, STRATEGIES TO INTEGRATE PEOPLE WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES INTO WORK SETTINGS
It is well-known that being included in social groups at work increases the job security and quality of life of people with or without disabilities. A new book titled, More than a Paycheck: Social Inclusion at Work by Janis Chadsey, contains step-by-step intervention strategies for teachers, vocational specialists, job coaches, and other professionals on how to socially integrate people with intellectual disabilities into employment settings. Social Inclusion at Work is published by the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) and is available for review and purchase at http://bookstore.aaidd.org. For questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
PLACEBOS ARE JUST AS EFFECTIVE IN HANDLING AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR WITH PEOPLE WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY AS ANTIPSYCHOTIC MEDICATIONS, NEW STUDY FINDS
"Antipsychotic drugs should no longer be regarded as an acceptable routine treatment for aggressive challenging behavior in people with intellectual disability," conclude Prof. Peter Tyrer of the Imperial College in London, and his colleagues in a study of 86 people, 29 of who were given a placebo instead of commonly-used antipsychotic drugs. The largest decrease in aggression occurred in the group that was on placebos.
The study is published in the January 5 th edition of Lancet. Click here to read an abstract of “Risperidone, haloperidol, and placebo in the treatment of aggressive challenging behaviour in patients with intellectual disability: a randomised controlled trial.”
“THE NEW PROFESSIONAL: LEADERSHIP IN SCIENCE, PRACTICE, POLICY AND ADVOCACY” IS THE FOCUS OF THE 2008 AAIDD ANNUAL MEETING IN WASHINGTON, DC FROM MAY 28-30
The 132 nd Annual Meeting of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) will be held in Washington, DC from May 28-30, 2008 at the L'Enfant Plaza Hotel. Titled “The New Professional: Leadership in Science, Practice, Policy and Adovacy”, the meeting features four plenary sessions: “Are Genes Destiny?” by Alan Guttmacher, MD, of the National Human Genome Research Institute; “Living a Real Life” by Sue Swenson, Former Commissioner of the Administration on Developmental Disabilities; “The New Professional” by David Leach, MD, of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education; and “It's A New World” by Diane Richler of Inclusion International and Tim Shriver of Special Olympics International. To find out more and register, click here.
AAIDD promotes progressive policies, sound research, effective practices and universal human rights for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
AUSTRALIAN AND EUROPEAN RESEARCHERS DISCOVER A GENETIC BREAKTHROUGH IN X CHROMOSOME-LINKED INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY
After studying the X chromosomes of more than 500 families diagnosed with various forms of intellectual disability, University of Adelaide geneticist, Dr. Jozef Gecz along with researchers from Belgium and the United Kingdom , discovered that duplicated genes dubbed HSD17B10 and HUWE1, produce excess protein, which appears to be the trigger leading to intellectual disability. Dr Gecz explains, "HUWE1 is a protein, which regulates TP53, an important tumour suppressor gene. One of TP53's functions is to regulate the renewal of neuronal cells in the brain. That is where we see the connection with HUWE1 and intellectual disability."
The study will be published shortly in the American Journal of Human Genetics at http://www.ajhg.org/. To read a press release on this discovery from the University of Adelaide visit http://www.adelaide.edu.au/news/news23961.html.
PUBLIC COMMENTARY REQUESTED ON PROPOSED MEDICAID RULE TO ALLOW BENEFICIARIES TO DIRECT PERSONAL ASSISTANCE SERVICES
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed a rule that would allow more Medicaid beneficiaries to be in charge of their own personal assistance services, including personal care services, instead of having those services delivered by an agency. Through the rule on display at the Federal Register, CMS requests public comment on how states could allow Medicaid beneficiaries who need help with daily living activities to hire, direct, train, or fire their own personal care workers. Beneficiaries could even hire qualified family members for personal assistance services.
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