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Sunday, July 5, 2015

In Detroit: American Disability Act Legacy Project /Tour July 21, 2015

ADA Legacy Project/Tour -­ Americans With Disability Legacy Tour -­ Michigan Detroit, MI PRESS RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Susan Fitzmaurice,, 248-­767-­2217 Loren Glover,, 313-­831-­0202 Brooke Blackwell,, 313-­580-­2101 ____________________________________________________________________________ Americans with Disability Act (ADA) 25th Anniversary Celebration in Detroit -­ July 21, 2015 ADA Legacy Tour Bus comes to Detroit Eastern Market ____________________________________________________________________________ July 2015 marks the 25th Anniversary of the groundbreaking passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the United States civil rights legislation that protects and addresses the diverse rights of people with disabilities-­-­the world's first comprehensive declaration of equality for people with disabilities. To commemorate this Anniversary, the national ADA Legacy Tour, (, a two year-­long, cross-­country traveling education exhibit and "Road to Freedom" Bus will be at Detroit Eastern Market, Shed 3 on July 21st from 9:30am to 3:00pm to raise awareness and educate the public about the ADA, disability rights and advocacy. The Detroit community is honored to be selected as one of the hosts for the ADA Legacy Tour as it heads to Washington D.C. for the July 26 National ADA Celebration and Parade. We are equally honored that The Honorable John D. Dingell, Member of Congress 1955-­ 2015, one of the sponsors of the original ADA legislation, will be the distinguished speaker at the event at Eastern Market. With the passage of the ADA in 1990, Congressman Dingell declared, “Enactment of this landmark legislation opens the doors of opportunity to millions of Americans with disabilities who will be able to realize their highest hopes, ambitions and dreams.” Other highlights include Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, Circuit Court Judge Deborah Thomas, Ms. Wheelchair Michigan Kristen Milefchik, former MSU Basketball player Anthony Ianni, Human Rights Activist Elizabeth Bauer, Paralympian Winner & Wheelchair dancer Cheryl Angelelli, Tom Olin's iconic photographs of the disability rights movement, the Matrix Theatre Company's Justin Dart Hero Puppet, Kuungana African Drums, wheelchair dancing, performances by Wild Swan Theatre, with a deaf and hearing cast, music, photo booth, many interactive activities, face painting, and recording and telling of your own story. Come celebrate and commemorate the civil rights legislation, the ADA in the "D”. The Legacy Tour Bus and events are a momentous opportunity for ALL people, young and old, disabled and non-­disabled to celebrate the sweeping disability activism, to enjoy accessible activities, education and entertainment-­-­-­all of which are FREE, fun, enriching, and fuel us to continue our work to create a world where everyone is intentionally welcomed and included. Media interviews with speakers and persons who have been impacted by the ADA can be arranged. "Let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down." George H. W. Bush, July 26, 1990 at the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act -- -- Rich Feldman 248-225-8037 @rfeldman60

Sunday, August 4, 2013

New Orleans Special Education Lawsuit

After three years of comparing the lack of special education services in New Orleans to what is happening in Detroit (related to the New Orleans "model" of the destruction of public education and the installation of an increase in charter schools), I finally discovered the New Orleans case regarding discrimination by charter schools towards special education students. The complaint can be downloaded in pdf from the Lawyers Committee site below.

Disability Museum Info

Check out this interesting site on the Disability Museum.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

ADD/ADHD and 504 Plans In MI

Good Evening, I received a call requesting information on ADD/ADHD and 504 Plans. In Michigan, click on links to get more information: Michigan Protection And Advocacy Service(MPAS) ADHD Info at Wrights Law: and

Thursday, August 23, 2012

August 2012 Disability News

Walmart sued for not providing accommodations to person with cerebral palsy. Detroit School Board meeting is tomorrow evening at 6:00 pm, Frederick Douglas school on W. Warren ave.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Autism Statistics From Center For Disease Control

Good Evening,

Here is the latest press release from the Center For Disease Control regarding the rise in persons with Autism  (

Press Release
CDC estimates 1 in 88 children in United States has been identified as having an autism spectrum disorder
CDC data help communities better serve these children
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 88 children in the United States has been identified as having an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to a new study released today that looked at data from 14 communities.  Autism spectrum disorders are almost five times more common among boys than girls – with 1 in 54 boys identified.

The number of children identified with ASDs ranged from 1 in 210 children in Alabama to 1 in 47 children in Utah.  The largest increases were among Hispanic and black children. The report, Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders – Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 14 Sites, United States, 2008, provides autism prevalence estimates from 14 areas. It was published today in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

“This information paints a picture of the magnitude of the condition across our country and helps us understand how communities identify children with autism,” said Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.  “That is why HHS and our entire administration has been working hard to improve the lives of people living with autism spectrum disorders and their families by improving research, support, and services.”
“One thing the data tells us with certainty – there are more children and families that need help,” said CDC Director Thomas Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “We must continue to track autism spectrum disorders because this is the information communities need to guide improvements in services to help children.”
The results of CDC’s study highlight the importance of the Obama administration’s efforts to address the needs of people with ASDs, including the work of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The IACC’s charge is to facilitate ASD research, screening, intervention, and education.  As part of this effort, the National Institutes of Health has invested in research to identify possible risk factors and effective therapies for people with ASDs.

Study results from the 2008 surveillance year show 11.3 per 1,000 8-year-old children have been identified as having an ASD.  This marks a 23 percent increase since the last report in 2009.  Some of this increase is due to the way children are identified, diagnosed and served in their communities, although exactly how much is due to these factors is unknown.  “To understand more, we need to keep accelerating our research into risk factors and causes of autism spectrum disorders,” said Coleen Boyle, Ph.D., M.S.Hyg., director of CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. 
The study also shows more children are being diagnosed by age 3, an increase from 12 percent for children born in 1994 to 18 percent for children born in 2000. “Unfortunately, 40 percent of the children in this study aren’t getting a diagnosis until after age 4. We are working hard to change that,” said Boyle.
The most important thing for parents to do is to act quickly whenever there is a concern about a child’s development. 
  • Talk to your child’s doctor about your concerns.
  • Call your local early intervention program or school system for an assessment. 
  • Remember you do not need a diagnosis to access services for your child.
To learn more about this study, visit
For information on CDC’s tools to help families track their child’s development, visit
To learn more about the research CDC is doing on autism, visit
To learn more about the Administration’s commitment to combating autism, visit Web Site Icon.
CDC works 24/7saving lives, protecting people from health threats, and saving money to have a more secure nation.  Whether these threats are chronic or acute, manmade or natural, human error or deliberate attack, global or domestic, CDC is the U.S. health protection agency. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Today's Reading and Autism Lesson Plans

Today my nephew and I have been working on his reading skills. Since he likes to cook, we are reading his autographed copy of "Cooking Up Your Dreams" by our friend Chef Keith D. Jones. The book is about how Chef Jones became a chef with great recipes to try. The book is easy to read, with large print and chapters that have positive values for the titles. Last year, my nephew had a chance to meet Chef Jones and assist him with a cooking demonstration for his televised cooking shows. Chef Jones is a native Detroiter that graduated from Cass Tech. One of the things that I admire about him is that he has special needs students learning how to cook in some of his shows. You can see some of Chef Jones' videos on his website:

Here are some other resources and lesson plans for students with autism:

Detroit Special Ed news: Still no comprehensive plan from the emergency manager for Detroit's K-26 Special Ed students. Michigan passed the insurance bill to allow persons with autism to bill insurance companies for services. Michigan parents are slowly finding out that certificates of completion that are given to special needs students and young adults 18-26 in vocational schools are not recognized by the State of Michigan. The certificates are worthless. There is talk about trying to get the students to take GED tests with accomodations. In June 2012, if you or your student do not have a High School Diploma or a GED, you will no longer be eligible for financial aid. Stay tuned for more updates.

Thank you and enjoy your Easter break!
Aurora Harris