Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Hi All,
We've moved our blog. You may visit yai.org and click on YAI In Action. Hope you'll join us for the conversation. Appreciate your support.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Maine Withdraws Unpopular Proposal

Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services has withdrawn a controversial proposal to use a single assessment tool to determine services for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities.That didn’t stop dozens of Mainers from testifying at a public hearing Monday to denounce the idea, and what they consider DHHS’s lack of transparency.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Training Community Police about IDD

Nice job by the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities for preparing video and instruction materials for law enforcement about interacting with people with IDD. If there's one thing you do with this, please share it with your local police departments and police commissioners.
Pardon this rather prosaic post on an important subject.
Increasing numbers of police officers and others in criminal justice have gotten the memo that the field must do a better job addressing individuals in mental health crisis. Men and women living with intellectual and developmental disabilities sometimes experience behavioral behavioral crises that bring them into contact with law enforcement. That’s a real problem, and there is a dearth of good training resources for the law enforcement community.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Editorial: Fla. Failing IDD Community

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Names are stacked nearly 20,000 deep on a statewide list of people who have requested financial help to pay for special services ranging from job training to housing.
Many of these wait-listed Floridians have been on the list for years. And many of them may not be granted the help they need anytime soon.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Temple Grandin Sees Job Opportunities

Temple Grandin is so on the mark. Proud she's a member of YAI's Autism Advisory Council and she is one of the best ambassadors we have in the field for promoting the potential and job opportunities for individuals with autism. She's always raising the bar on expectations. 

Autism advocate Temple Grandin, who is on the autism spectrum herself, believes people of all autistic levels can be matched to suitable jobs. “There’s a national shortage of mechanics, welders, electricians, plumbers—all highly skilled jobs that autistic people can be trained to do,” says Grandin. “Even lower-functioning people can do jobs like folding towels in a hotel or assembling lamps.”

Thursday, February 25, 2016

When Salary Doesn't Match Impact

A great article from The Journal News in Westchester, describing the work of our DSPs and why they deserve a living wage. However, a state-wide $15 minimum wage must be funded. If you're in the NYC metropolitan area, hope you'll join us for a rally on March 11 outside the Governor's Manhattan office, 633 Third Ave., from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Spread the word.

GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Tracey Cargill-Moore, 39, has worked with the developmentally disabled for a decade. Officially, she's a direct support professional, or a "DSP," as they are called. At social service organizations across the state, they serve as caretakers, helpers, teachers, coaches, cheerleaders, nurses, therapists, mentors, counselors and friends to the disabled people they work with.

It's a job with a lot of responsibility. Although they must retain state certification and receive training in a variety of areas including first aid, CPR, medication administration, abuse identification, prevention and reporting, DSPs are paid less than the average fast food worker.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Drug Rationing Reveals Bias Against People with Disabilities

The United States is facing a shortage of prescription drugs, ranging from antibiotics to cancer treatments. These shortages are putting the medical profession in the frequent position of deciding who will get the drugs that are in short supply and, more importantly, who will not.
Physicians and hospitals always have had to make rationing decisions in times of shortage. But these decisions usually are made behind the scenes. A recent New York Times article about the drug shortages shines a light on the rationing that is occurring.
According to the article, the decision-making process varies considerably across institutions. For instance, in some hospitals formal ethics committees make these decisions. At others, these decisions are made by individual physicians, pharmacists or even drug company executives.