Monday, September 29, 2014

Child with Autism Astonishes Art World

A five-year-old girl with autism has garnered praise across Europe, Asia and America for her astonishing artwork.
Iris Grace, who lives with her family in Leicestershire, began painting last year, and has already been praised by buyers, collectors and galleries for her work's intense colour, immediacy, and open composition.
Her paintings are sold to private art collectors in the UK and around the world for thousands of pounds each, with all profits going towards art materials and therapy.
Arabella Carter-Johnson, Iris’s mother, said that Iris loves being outside and that she can see “so much of nature in her paintings”
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Friday, September 26, 2014

Kid Rapper Defends Sister

Over the years, pint-sized rapper MattyB has built quite a following online.
At last count, his videos had a whopping 1 billion views. 
Not bad for an 11-year-old. 
But it's his most recent endeavor – a YouTube video defending his younger sister, Sarah Grace, who has Down syndrome – that is really lighting up the Internet. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Thinking Beyond the Bus

We've been doing this with some individuals in our community-based programs. Opposed to take a van to a center, individuals may travel independently or with staff who live nearby directly to their volunteer site.

OAKLAND, Calif. — When one thinks of school transportation, a yellow school bus is what usually comes to mind.  But for many Bay Area kids with special needs, getting to school can be much more complicated.

School districts are required by law to provide transportation, if needed, to fulfill students’ special needs and they use a variety of methods to do that.  Sometimes that means transporting students miles away from home by car service, taxi and even employee’s personal vehicles to get them to a specialized school.  
It usually takes 9-year-old Joseph Ferguson about an hour to make the 26 mile trip from Oakland to San Francisco to get to school. Specialists at the Edgewood Center in San Francisco help him with his learning, emotional and developmental disabilities.  Normally, a school van drives him, but on Friday his ride was more unconventional when a woman his family had never seen before showed up at his door.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Panel to Focus on Job Opportunities for People with Disabilities

A new advisory committee is in the works that will be tasked with helping government officials improve job prospects for people with developmental disabilities across the country.
The U.S. Department of Labor is soliciting nominations for individuals to serve on the panel known as the National Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities.

Brainwave Test May Detect Autism

Measuring how quickly a child's brain processes sounds might help identify the severity of autism, according to a new study.Observing children's brainwaves may also allow identification of autism earlier than is currently possible, the study authors reported.
"The finding that the brain's response to certain types of information is associated with autism severity is hugely promising," said senior researcher Sophie Molholm, an associate professor of pediatrics and neuroscience at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Tax-Free Disability Savings Account Deal

Federal lawmakers say they’ve reached a deal to move forward on legislation that would establish a new way for people with disabilities to save money without jeopardizing their government benefits.
Members of the U.S. Senate said Friday that they have an agreement that will allow the Achieving a Better Life Experience, or ABLE, Act to proceed.

DOL Grants Promote Employment

The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy has announced a total of $8,422,574 in continued funding for organizations that develop models, provide technical assistance and share best practices to improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
"Individuals with disabilities have skills and experiences that employers need," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. "These federal grants will help connect these workers with employers and put them on the path to economic self-sufficiency."