Monthly Archives: September 2013

Best Kept Secret | POV | PBS – Save the Date – Monday, Sept 23

Graduation means different things to different people.

At a public school in Newark, N.J., the staff answers the phone by saying, “You’ve reached John F. Kennedy High School, Newark’s best-kept secret.” JFK provides an exceptional environment for students with special-education needs. In Best Kept Secret, Janet Mino, who has taught a class of young men for four years, is on an urgent mission. She races against the clock as graduation approaches for her severely autistic minority students. Once they graduate and leave the security of this nurturing place, their options for living independently will be few. Mino must help them find the means to support themselves before they “age out” of the system. (90 minutes)

Best Kept Secret | POV | PBS.

Let’s Even Out the Employment Playing Field

If you are an individual with a developmental disability, a parent, support person or advocate, please take time to review this and consider voicing your support. Many thanks to Area Board XI for putting this information together!  

Stand

Assembly Bill 1041 – EMPLOYMENT FIRST POLICY

If Governor Brown signs AB 1041, it becomes the law!

AB 1041 (Chesbro) will tell the regional centers to make it their highest priority to support people with developmental disabilities to get regular jobs with good pay. This will make employment a real choice at IPP meetings. If you have questions, please contact the State Council on Developmental Disabilities at 916-322-8481.   SCDD1

Call or Write:

GOVERNOR JERRY BROWN

State Capitol

Sacramento, CA 95814

Fax: (916) 558-3160      Phone: (916) 445-2841

Calling is easy! Just call the phone number and tell the receptionist who you are (you may have to hold for a while). Say you want Governor Brown to Sign AB 1041, Employment First Policy. Tell them that people with developmental disabilities deserve a chance at good jobs with good pay. Thank them for their time.

Writing is easy! Write by hand or type it. Keep it short! (See sample below.) (1) Say who you are. (2) Say you support AB 1041, the Employment First Policy. (3) Write a sentence or two to tell him why this is important to you. (4) Ask him to sign AB 1041. (5) Say thank you and sign the letter. (6) Include your return address.

Sample Letter

September 13, 2013

Governor Jerry Brown

State Capitol

Sacramento, CA 95814

Re:  Please Sign AB 1041, Employment First Policy

Dear Governor Brown,

I am ____________ (a person with a developmental disability, parent, support person, advocate, etc).

I support AB 1041 (Chesbro), the employment first policy bill. (Write a sentence or two about why this is important to you).

Please support people with developmental disabilities to find good jobs, with decent pay, in their communities. Please sign AB 1041, Employment First Policy.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Your Name & Address

Time to Speak Up in California!

If you are an individual with a developmental disability, a parent, support person or advocate, please take time to review this and consider voicing your support. Many thanks to Area Board XI for putting this information together!  Image

Senate Bill 468 – SELF-DETERMINATION

If Governor Brown signs SB 468, it becomes the law!

 SB 468 (Emmerson/Beall) will give regional center clients the OPTION to choose Self-Determination and be in control of the money that the regional center spends on their supports. They could hire support workers of their choice, from their own communities, contract with local agencies or businesses, purchase traditional services or do something completely different. Self-Determination gives people the tools to take responsibility for their services and their lives. If you have questions, please contact the Council at 916-322-8481.

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Call or write:

GOVERNOR JERRY BROWN

State Capitol

Sacramento, CA 95814

Fax: (916) 558-3160

Phone: (916) 445-2841

Calling is easy! Just call the phone number and tell the receptionist who you are (you may have to hold for a while). Say you want Governor Brown to Sign SB 468, Self-Determination. Tell them that people with developmental disabilities and their families want the choice for Self-Determination. Thank them for their time.

Writing is easy! See directions and sample letter below. Just write it by hand or type it. Keep it SHORT! (1) Say who you are. (2) Say you support SB 468, Self-Determination. (3) Write a few sentences to tell him why this is important to you. (4) Ask him to sign SB 468. (5) Say thank you and sign the letter. (6) Include your return address.

Sample Letter

September 13, 2013

Governor Jerry Brown

State Capitol

Sacramento, CA 95814

Re:  Please Sign SB 468, Self-Determination

Dear Governor Brown, 

I am ____________ (a person with a developmental disability, parent, support person, advocate, etc).

I support SB 468 (Emmerson-Beall), Self-Determination. (Write a sentence or two about why this is important to you).

Please give us the CHOICE for Self-Determination, so we can take more responsibility for our lives. Please sign SB 468, Self-Determination.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Your Name

Your Address

******************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

 

 

VOLUNTEERING IS GOOD ON SO MANY DIFFERENT LEVELS

Over the summer, my son joined a Gardening Project at his school. Well, to be fair, I told him he had to do it. To earn viewing time on IMDB or YouTube or FB or whatever. I’m lucky that he’s a pretty compliant kid. Anyway, he would moan about it beforehand, but after the early morning Saturday sessions he always said, “That was fun … or … I got some good exercise … or … I think I did something good today!” Overall I know he was glad to be part of the volunteer project—for more than one reason.   Image

Another activity I made him do over the summer was to draft his first resume. When he got to the VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE part, he got all frustrated and huffy. “I don’t have anything to put here!” He started pacing as his anxiety levels rose.

So I calmly mentioned a few things. “Well, what about the support group?” [The Orange County Asperger’s Support Group – he’s a member, has run fundraisers and hosted activities for it.] “What about the film festival?” [He was a volunteer at the Newport Beach Film Festival in April.] And then he shouted out, “And the garden group with Ms. Bernal!” His sour mood turned triumphant. “Mom,” he proclaimed authoritatively, “No time to chat. I’ve got a resume to finish!”

What a character.  

AUTISM AND HOSPITAL STAFF TRAINING — A survey for parents

Parents:

If your child with autism has recently been in the hospital, please consider completing this survey. It’s very quick and easy.

I am currently working on a project regarding Hospital Staff Training and Autism. I have prepared a survey and am trying to reach as many parents as possible. If you are able to pass this link along to parents of children with autism, I would be so appreciative. The survey is anonymous and is just a quick 10 yes/no questions about a recent experience in the hospital.

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Y2LCTWL

I thank you in advance for your help,
Bobbie J. Gallagher, M.A.,BCBA

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LEGO offers a FREE magazine subscription

DID YOU KNOW…?

You can get a free, two-year subscription to LEGO Club Magazine by clicking here: https://club.lego.com/en-us/join/magazinesubscription/.

Don’t miss out on contests, the latest LEGO news, building ideas and more.

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Important Decision for Disabled Students’ Rights

Ninth Circuit Strikes Down Hawaii State Law That Prevents Students From Attending School After Age 20 Under The IDEA

 by Hans Gillinger   

The IDEA prevents states from establishing age limits on special education unless the limitation is equally applicable to non-disabled students.  The Ninth Circuit ruled that Hawaii Act 163 violated the IDEA in recent class action lawsuit.

The state of Hawaii passed “Act 163,” which barred both non-disabled students and students with individualized education programs (IEPs) from attending public schools in Hawaii past the school year in which the pupil turned 20.  In a class-action lawsuit entitled E.R.K., et al. v. State of Hawaii Department of Education the plaintiffs contended that Act 163 violated the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Rehabilitation Act.  All plaintiffs in that case belonged to a class of students aged 20 to 21.  The class argued that the state of Hawaii’s practice of providing free education to students without special needs in “Community Schools for Adults” that were exempt from Act 163 violated these laws that are designed to protect people with disabilities.

A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit ruled that Act 163 violated the IDEA, which disallows prevents states from establishing age limits that were applicable only to non-disabled public school students.  Generally, 20 U.S.C. section 1412(a)(1)(B)(I) generously allows states to pass laws limiting the right to a public education for students aged 18 through 21 “to the extent that [the state law’s] application to those children would be inconsistent with State law or practice… respecting the provision of public education to children in those age ranges.” 

In an important decision for disabled students’ rights, the Ninth Circuit ruled that the requirements of the IDEA meant that the state of Hawaii could not deny special education to disabled students aged 18 through 21 while also providing a free public education to same-age non-disabled students.  The Ninth Circuit ruled that the diploma programs offered to non-disabled students through the Community Schools for Adults amounted to a free public education because the programs were provided without charge under state supervision and direction, and involved secondary education.  The Ninth Circuit reversed the district court’s grant of judgment for the state of Hawaii on the plaintiffs’ IDEA claim.  However, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s findings in favor of the state of Hawaii on the plaintiffs’ discrimination claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act. 

This decision has no direct impact on parents or students in the state of California that sets the same age range as the IDEA regarding the entitlement to public education.  This decision of the Ninth Circuit does confirm that limits exists on the power of states that attempt to cut short the time IEP students are eligible to receive a FAPE under the IDEA. 

What’s Your Style?

September 2, 2013

What Type of Learner is Your Kid? 

As we prepare to return to school, I am reminded how important it is to know how our kids learn. Visual [by seeing it] | Auditory  [by hearing it] | Kinesthetic [by doing it]

And to be sure they know how to study. 

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