Thursday, July 2, 2015

Couple Not Giving Up

After the Supreme Court ruled last week that the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to same-sex marriage, the phrase “love wins” quickly hit the airwaves and social media as a testament to the fact that over everything else — even in the face of the nation’s highest court — love can prevail at the end of the day.
But for the family of one local couple who has been mired in a lawsuit with their former disability providers, the ruling came as a reminder that in the end, love has not won for them in the eyes of the law. At least not yet.About five weeks ago, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit dismissed an appeal that had been filed on behalf of Paul and Hava Forziano.
The original lawsuit, 
which garnered national attention at the time, claimed that because neither of their nonprofit caretakers gave the married couple the facilities to live together, both organizations — Independent Group Home Living and Maryhaven — as well as the commissioner of the New York State Office of Persons with Developmental Disabilities discriminated against them under several statutes, including the Americans With Disabilities Act and the Fair Housing Act. The case was dismissed last March by U.S. Eastern District Court of New York Judge Leonard Wexler.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

De Blasio Declares July Disability Pride Month in Honor of ADA Anniversary

In honor of the 25th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act, Mayor de Blasio is declaring July as “Disability Pride Month” and hosting a parade to commemorate the landmark legislation.
U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin will serve
as grand marshal of NYC's parade.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Ruling Preserves Health Benefits

With the recent Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act (ACT) adults with autism can continue to receive the quality care and prescription coverage they were receiving. Like it or not, Medicare is what pays for the benefits for those adults with autism. Even conservatives who have children on the spectrum will possibly someday be coordinating their child's healthcare through the very same system that will also cover them as seniors.

Giving a Voice to Children with Autism

GREENWICH, Conn. — Izabela O'Brien had competed in pageants in college and carried her beauty queen dreams into adulthood. But for years that's all they remained. That was until years of friends' affectionate teasing and encouragement led her to a Foxwoods stage in March, where the Greenwich resident was crowned Mrs. Connecticut America. "I saw the faces of all three of my girls and I just knew it was the right time," O'Brien said. "It didn't matter that I was one of the oldest contestants or it was 20 years since I had done my last pageant. I saw their faces and they were more nervous than I was."

Friday, June 26, 2015

NJ Senate 1 Vote Shy of Overriding Christie Veto

TRENTON — The state Senate came within one vote Thursday of overriding Governor Christie’s veto for the first time in his five years, acting on a bill that would suspend a program transferring developmentally disabled adults back to the Garden State.
But rather than let the bill die before summer break, legislators pledged to return Monday with, they hope, the one deciding vote – which may hinge on one Bergen County lawmaker.

Ohio Families Seek Caregiver Reform

If the state puts consumers in charge of hiring and supervising their own in-home caregivers, then those consumers should be able to set the pay rate, too.That’s the view among many of the families and disabilities advocates who met on Thursday to discuss Ohio’s plan to stop doing business directly with Medicaid-funded independent providers — caregivers who don’t work for agencies.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Business Grows Job Opportunities for Individuals with Autism

Like other parents of autistic teenagers, Esther Brody began to wonder about her son's future.
Noah Quick on the job.

Evan, 22, was preparing to graduate from Oakstone Academy, a Westerville charter school that allows children with autism spectrum disorders to participate in the classroom with students who do not have disabilities.
"I didn't know what was to become of him," Brody said. "Most kids his age are ready to go to college, but I knew that wasn't going to be for him."