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Speak Up Speak Out: An Inclusive Speech Event Making a Difference (MS UCEDD)

By: Dr. Jerry R. Alliston

Speak Up Speak Out was an inclusive self-advocacy program for youth and young adults with and without disabilities. Each morning we began with a few icebreakers allowing each participant to become more comfortable sharing about themselves with the group. Then we moved on to tongue twisters which were a crowd favorite! Everyone got the opportunity to try out the tongue twisters individually which led to a lot of laughs and an easy-going atmosphere. Next, we would go outside for warm ups, which are just short activities to get everyone moving and loosened up. Afterwards, we returned indoors and then split into two groups to develop skits. Each skit was completely original and came from the ideas of everyone in the group. We had a lot of fun creating our scripts and both groups selected the theme of superheroes and using your self-advocacy powers. Everyone enjoyed developing their names for their heroes, and of course, we had to have villains, too. The rest of day one and two focused on finalizing, refining and learning the skits. On the third and final day, we performed the skits for a full house of peers and IDS staff. When the performances were finished, each participant was given a certificate for participating in the Speak Up Speak Out event. All agreed that this experience was a hit!



Testimony - Hearing to Consider the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson Proposal

pdf File Testimony for the Hearing to Consider the Graham-Cassidy Proposal [download]


Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (TN UCEDD, LEND, IDDRC) Investigator Develops Initiative to Focus on Empowering Young Adults with Autism

by Tom Wilemon

A new initiative, developed by Beth Malow, M.D., M.S., Burry Chair in Cognitive Childhood Development; professor of Neurology and Pediatrics, and a Vanderbilt Kennedy Center investigator, aims to improve the lives of young adults with autism spectrum disorders who often end up socially isolated once they leave school.



Letter Opposing SSI Cuts

To Honorable Pete Sessions

AUCD urges you and all Members of the House of Representatives to vote against H.R. 2792 and to oppose any proposal to cut SSI to pay for reauthorization of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program. Reauthorization of the MIECHV program should never come at the expense of cuts to SSI, which would harm seniors, adolescents, and adults with disabilities, and their families.



Health & Disability Digest September 2017

Health&Disability Digest


Rushed Senate Consideration of Cassidy-Graham Would Be Designed to Hide Bills Severe Flaws


Congressional Republicans are making a last-ditch effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through their latest plan, from Senators Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham, and reportedly are close to securing the votes of 50 senators needed to push the bill through the Senate before fast-track reconciliation instructions expire on September 30. Such a strategy would violate the principles of �regular order� even more egregiously than the non-transparent, partisan process under which Congress has considered previous repeal bills. It would amount to passing a poorly understood bill through the Senate within two weeks without comprehensive hearings, floor debate, or input from constituents � and without a full Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis of the bill�s impact on coverage, on Medicaid, on access for people with pre-existing conditions, on premiums and out-of-pocket costs for people with individual-market coverage, and on the stability of the individual market. House members would then vote on the bill with no opportunity for changes.



Tuesdays with Liz - Conchita Hernandez

In this week's edition of Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All, Liz interviews Conchita Hern�ndez, the chair of METAS - Mentoring Engaging and Teaching all Students. Liz and Conchita spoke about METAS and what blindness skills means



Cassidy-Graham Proposal: A Deal So Terrible for American Families That Its Been Rejected Already by the Senate

pdf File DPCC Graham-Cassidy Report [download]


Derrick Willis named Associate Director of Iowa's UCEDD

On August 1, Derrick Willis, MPA, became the Associate Director of Iowa�s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) at The Center for Disabilities and Development (CDD) at University of Iowa Health Care. For the past twelve years, Derrick was a Research Associate and directed urban mission work for the Institute for Human Development, Missouri�s UCEDD, working under the leadership of Dr. Carl Calkins, who has directed Missouri�s UCEDD since its beginning.



Disability Policy News In Brief

AUCD, Disability Policy News In Brief, every MondayHouse is on recess while the Senate continues; Graham-Cassidy repeal bill; Healthcare hearing by the Homeland Security & governmental Affairs Committee; RAISE Family Caregivers Act; and much more



Letter from LA Secretary of Health re Concerns of Graham-Cassidy Bill

pdf File LA Secrtary of Health Letter re Graham-Cassidy [download]


Like Other ACA Repeal Bills, Cassidy-Graham Plan Would Add Millions to Uninsured, Destabilize Individual Market

In releasing a revised version of their legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Senators Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham, along with co-sponsors Dean Heller and Ron Johnson, claimed that their bill isn�t a �partisan� approach and doesn�t include �draconian cuts.� In reality, however, the Cassidy-Graham bill would have the same harmful consequences as those prior bills. It would cause many millions of people to lose coverage, radically restructure and deeply cut Medicaid, eliminate or weaken protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and increase out-of-pocket costs for individual market consumers.



New Release - #RDSJ Volume 13 Issue 3 of Review of Disability Studies

We are excited to announce the publication of Volume 13 Issue 3 of Review of Disability Studies, an international, peer-reviewed journal. Discover diverse voices in this issue ranging from Self Advocates, Rehabilitation Counselors, Creative Writers, Influential Bloggers, and Education Experts.



Nick Nucci Appointed Assistant Director for Administration at The Boggs Center (NJ UCEDD/LEND)

Nick Nucci recently joined The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities at Rutgers University as Assistant Director for Administration, directing financial and administrative operations. Mr. Nucci has over thirty years of experience in state government with the New Jersey Department of Human Services.



AUCD Summary of the Senate Appropriations Committee

L-HHS-ED Bill for FY 2018

On September 7, the Senate Appropriations Committee completed its mark-up of the FY 2018 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill and voted to report out the bill by a vote of 31-1 with Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla) casting the sole "nay" vote. The House Appropriations Committee completed its work on July 19 (see links to bill and summary). Attached is a summary of how the bill impacts the AUCD network and other priorities of the disability community, along with a detailed table comparing the House and Senate bills with the President�s budget and FY 2017.

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