In a column for the Phoenix New Times NCDJ Advisory Board member Amy Silverman advocates for the creation of a Disability Studies major at Arizona universities. A sub-committee of The Arizona Board of Regents accepted requests for new majors last week and approved all the proposed majors except for Disability Studies. Silverman argues that there is a market demand for expertise related to disability issues. Click here to read Silverman’s full column.
Jackie Ward is the mother of a three-year-old daughter with Down Syndrome and a heart defect. She recently became an advocate for disability rights after experiencing discrimination from doctors while applying for a heart transplant for her daughter. Ward is now teaming up with Ohio state legislators to pass laws that will give applicants with disabilities more leverage. Check out this article and video interview with Jackie Ward from the Columbus Dispatch.
“A 2008 survey by researchers at Stanford University found that 85 percent of pediatric transplant centers consider neuro-developmental status in the eligibility process at least some of the time, Hansen said. And in the same study, 62 percent of the centers said eligibility decisions based on disability tended to be made informally, making discrimination difficult to show.”
The U.S. Department of Education and Secretary Betsy DeVos were criticized Friday after announcing news they rescinded 72 guidance documents related to education policies for students with disabilities. according to the Washington Post, the document purge was prompted by President Donald Trump’s initiative to reduce unnecessary federal government regulations. After Friday’s announcement raised alarm amongst disability and education advocates the Dept. of Education released a followup list of explanations saying the documents were “outdated, unnecessary or ineffective.” Click here to read the Washington Post’s full report.
Click here to read a full list of the 72 documents rescinded by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
A new article by Alia Beard Rau for the Arizona Republic explains how Arizona’s system for funding special education unequally benefits different schools.
“It’s a direct result of how the state funds education for students with special needs: Arizona’s spending on special education benefits schools with the fewest number of students who require it.
About one-third of Arizona students attend schools — most of which are charters — that receive more state money to serve students with special needs than those schools actually spend for that purpose.”
This was a busy week for protestors expressing concerns on disability healthcare and economic allowances. Today in Washington, D.C. dozens of protestors voiced objection to the Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill during congressional hearing on Capitol Hill. Many protestors, including ones using wheelchairs, were forcibly removed by Capitol Police.
Meanwhile in Israel protestors on Sunday blocked a major highway through Tel Aviv in protest of stagnant disability allowances. Israeli local paper Haaretz is tracking the ongoing story, click here to learn more.
The Social Security Administration faces a growing backlog of applications for disability benefits. Budget cuts have left the agency understaffed and slow to hold hearings with administrative judges responsible for reviewing cases.
“The average wait for a hearing is 602 days. Five years ago, it was less than a year,” writes reporter Stephen Ohlemacher for the Associated Press/Denver Post. Click here to read his full article.
An in-depth story from the Dallas Morning News explores how state Medicaid cuts are impacting children with severe disabilities and their parents. Read more
The Denver Post reports that getting rid of Colorado’s waitlist for services for adults with disabilities would cost $190 million a year until 2021. Read more
Pennsylvania is considering a plan that would reduce sheltered workshop jobs, advocating for more community inclusion for adults with disabilities. Read more
A page on the White House website that addressed disability issues during the Obama administration has now disappeared from the site. Read more