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Call for submissions! The American Journal on Mental Retardation (AJMR), edited by Dr. Leonard Abbeduto, invites you to send in article submissions for a special section on evidence-based practices for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The AJMR is ranked among the top three journals in special education and rehabilitation. Click here to read more.
Dear AAIDD Friends and Colleagues:
SIGNIFICANT GAPS EXIST BETWEEN U.S. DISABILITY LAWS AND THE U.N. CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES, NEW FEDERAL STUDY POINTS OUT
The National Council on Disability (NCD) has published a report to better understand how the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), if ratified by the United States, might affect U.S. disability laws. The report examines the degree to which U.S. law is consistent with the CRPD, and concludes that for the majority of Articles, U.S. law can be viewed as either being of a level with the mandates of the Convention, or capable of reaching those levels either through more rigorous implementation and/or additional actions by the U.S. Congress. However, the study identifies several CRPD Articles that illustrate significant gaps between United States disability laws and the Convention.
To read Finding the Gaps: A Comparative Analysis of Disability Laws in the United States to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), visit http://www.ncd.gov/whatsnew.htm.
SCIENTISTS DISCOVER MUTATED GENE AS KEY BEHIND EPILEPSY AND INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY SPECIFIC TO WOMEN
Researchers at the University of Adelaide in Australia have discovered a mutated gene responsible for epilepsy and intellectual disability in women. Their work has linked for the first time, a large family of genes known as protocadherins, with a condition known as "epilepsy and mental retardation limited to females" (EFMR). Although reportedly a relatively uncommon disorder, the condition is hereditary, with successive generations of women affected. The researchers believe that the discovery will now enable such families to benefit from genetic counseling, including screening for the genetic mutation at pregnancy.
Read a press release on the discovery at
The study is published in Nature Genetics. To read an abstract of the article, click here.
In other genetic news, the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), presents a free, web-based, Genetic Awareness self-study course designed to foster genetic knowledge as a component of decision-making for families and persons with disabilities as well as healthcare professionals. Click here to learn more.
ONLINE DATABASE CONNECTS U.S. FEDERAL EMPLOYERS WITH OVER 1,800 COLLEGE STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES SEEKING JOBS
In 2007, 67 recruiters from 15 federal agencies visited about 250 U.S. college campuses nationwide, resulting in a database containing application information on more than 1,800 students with disabilities. Titled, The Workforce Recruitment Program for College Students (WRP) with Disabilities, this database contains information on students representing all educational majors, and range from college freshmen to graduate students and law students. In year 2007, over 400 students were reported as being hired, the majority in summer jobs, in 17 different agencies.
The WRP is co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and the U.S. Department of Defense with the participation of many other federal agencies. Visit https://wrp.gov/LoginPre.do?method=login to learn more.
STUDY REVEALS THAT THE NEW INTERRATER RELIABILITY OF THE SUPPORTS INTENSITY SCALE ASSESSMENT TOOL IS IN EXCELLENT RANGE; RESULTS MARKEDLY HIGHER SINCE SCALE WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN 2004
Four years after the publication of the Supports Intensity Scale (SIS) tool, the authors re-examined the interrater reliability of the Scale, this time using trained interviewers for the administration of SIS. The results of this study, published in the latest issue of the American Journal on Mental Retardation, revealed a much higher interrater reliability coefficient than reported in the original 2004 Supports Intensity Scale Users Manual. To read “Interrater Reliability of the Supports Intensity Scale (SIS)” by James Thompson et al., click here.
The Supports Intensity Scale is a planning tool that measures support needs of people living with an intellectual disability in 85 life activities, and medical and behavioral areas. To learn more about SIS, visit www.siswebsite.org. For questions on SIS, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
UNITED HEALTH CARE PROVIDING GRANTS TO PARENTS TO COVER CHILDREN’S SPECIAL MEDICAL COSTS NOT COVERED BY REGULAR HEALTH PLAN
TThe United Health Care Children’s Foundation is providing grants to families who have children with medical needs not covered or not fully covered by their commercial health benefit plan. If family applications are approved, the grant will help pay for approved medical services and items after existing commercial health benefit plan submits payment, if any.
To find out more, visit http://www.uhccf.org/apply_applicant.html.
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