What we know, and mostly don’t know about ASD in 2014

28 03 2014

Autism Awareness: April 2014

By 

Autism Awareness Month arrives this year with a package of new, important research findings. Below I describe a few of these. The field is moving so rapidly that, by the end of April, there will likely be yet a new crop of findings—so this is, at best, a progress report for the beginning of Autism Awareness Month.

Today the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new numbers on the prevalence of autism, based on the most recent results from their long running Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring  (ADDM) network.  Looking at administrative data on 8-year-olds from 11 sites across the country, ADDM reported a prevalence of autism of 1 in 68 children in 2010 (based on children born in 2002), up from 1 in 88 in 2008 (based on children born in 2000).  There was considerable variation across the 11 sites: from 1 in 45 in New Jersey to 1 in 175 in Alabama. As in previous surveys, boys were almost 5 times more likely to have an autism label. The prevalence in boys was 1 in 42; in girls, 1 in 189.

One of the best things about the ADDM network is that it has provided surveillance using similar methods for over a decade. The prevalence of autism as estimated from administrative records has increased:  by 125 percent since 2002 and by 29 percent just between 2008 and 2010.  How much of this increase is “more detected” versus “more affected”? Is this increase a mark of better care, with more cases identified and treated, or is this a reflection of a continually growing public health care emergency due to more children affected? ADDM cannot answer these questions, but it does point to the need for a population-wide study, as currently planned by CDC and Autism Speaks in South Carolina. A previous total population study of all 7- to12-year-olds in a town in South Korea (more than 55,000 children) used standardized diagnostic instruments for children who screened positive and reported a prevalence of 1 in 38 children. Could that figure, which is in the range of the ADDM estimate of 1 In 45 for New Jersey, serve as a reasonable estimate for the actual prevalence once everyone with autism is detected? Perhaps the ADDM numbers will continue to rise, indicating better detection as awareness of the signs and symptoms increase.

Whatever the meaning of the new ADDM report, there is little doubt that more children and more adults on the autism spectrum will require more services. Ganz estimated the lifetime economic cost of autism to be $3.2 million per individual, back in 2006 when the prevalence was thought to be closer to 1 in 150.1 A new economic analysis looks at the cost, including education and indirect costs, based on three national data sets.2 The additional cost of having a child with autism was $17,081 per year in 2011. Only 18 percent of these costs were related to health care; half were attributed to school costs. Assuming 673,000 children ages 3 to 17 with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, the total societal cost would be roughly $11.5 billion per year. Of course, with new estimates from the CDC about the increase in prevalence, these costs may need to be adjusted upward.

On the brain research front, a new report in the New England Journal of Medicine describes changes seen in the architecture of post-mortem brains in 10 of 11 children who had an autism diagnosis.3 Similar changes were found in  only 1 of 11 unaffected children. Dr. Eric Courchesne and his colleagues at the University of California, San Diego and Dr. Ed Lein and colleagues at the Allen Institute of Brain Science found patches of abnormal anatomy in parts of the brain associated with social and communication functions. Given that the pattern of cell layers in the cortex is laid down prenatally, these findings, if replicated, suggest that brain changes in autism are likely to have originated before birth, although the disorder is usually diagnosed behaviorally after age 4 years.

In 2014, the mystery of autism remains largely unsolved. We describe autism as a neurodevelopmental disorder, but even with the new report mentioned above, we do not know precisely how to define what the brain disorder is or when it occurs. We realize that as many as 30 percent of children with autism have spontaneous genetic mutations, but these large genetic changes have not yet been shown to cause the disorder, since other children with some of the same changes don’t have autism. We have treatments for autistic symptoms, helping many children to enter regular classrooms and ultimately function fully in society. But these behavioral treatments are expensive and intensive and often not available to children in need. Medical treatments have lagged behind.

All of this reminds us that for both children and adults with autism we need more science as well as more services. Indeed, the best way to better services will be through better science. As we understand what happens in the developing brain that renders a child unable to communicate or unable to engage the social world, we will be better able to provide earlier detection and better interventions. As we identify the many forms of autism, some more genetic, some more environmental, we can expect better tools for prevention and treatment. And as we understand better the evolution of autism in adults, we should be able to provide better care and offer better outcomes. Autism awareness reminds us of the vital importance of committing to both science and service for an increasing number of our fellow citizens.

References

1 Ganz ML. The lifetime distribution of the incremental societal costs of autism.  Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2007 Apr;161(4):343-9.

2 Lavelle TA et al. Economic burden of childhood autism spectrum disorders.  Pediatrics. 2014 Mar;133(3):e520-9. doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-0763. Epub 2014 Feb 10.

3 Stoner R et al. Patches of disorganization in the neocortex of children with autism. N Engl J Med. 2014;370:1209-19. DOI:10.1056/NEJMoa1307491.





Depression, the secret we share

21 12 2013

A must see Ted Lecture by Andrew Solomon about depression: www.mat.co.il/euJ

 

Andrew Solomon





A New Job Board for Applicants with disabilities

10 07 2013

 Today I wish to briefly introduce a new Job board for applicants with disabilities. This unique job board was established by the Israel Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor and is aimed to further enhance work inclusion of people with disabilities in Israel.  For more details (in Hebrew) see: http://www.mtlm.org.il/jobs/ or join the facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MTLM.JOBS

As part of this project, I had the privilege to write a guide for Job seekers with disabilities. In this guide, I sought to present relevant information about the job search process and to provide practical tools that will assist  job seekers in this complex journey. Furthermore, I discuss the disability disclosure issue, that is, whether, and when the person should disclose her/his disability (to read more on this issue see http://www.uwrf.edu/CareerServices/upload/HandoutDisabilityDisclosure.pdf). I will share this guide with you in the next few days. I will also share a review that I wrote about job boards to people with disabilities, worldwide.





The World Future Council is looking for a Policy Officer – Persons with Disabilities

6 06 2013

This time I wish to publish a  job offer by the World Future Council (WFC). The WFC is a global forum of 50 respected personalities who give voice to the shared ethical values of citizens worldwide. The Council works closely with policy-makers, civil society and business to identify and implement best policies to protect the rights of future generations (http://www.worldfuturecouncil.org). Good luck!

 

WORLD FUTURE COUNCIL – VACANCY

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS: 14 June 2013

 

The World Future Council is looking for a

Policy Officer – Persons with Disabilities

 

Starting date: 1st September 2013

Period: 12 months, with possible prolongation

Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Responsibilities:

  • Liaise with the Zero Project overall coordinator, the Essl Foundation, as well as project partners: the European Foundation Centre
  • Research innovative policies advancing the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • Co-author the annual Zero Project Report
  • Co-organize the annual Zero Project Conferences in Vienna
  • Present the Zero Project in briefings, side events and conferences  to stakeholders (especially in Geneva, New York, Vienna)
  • Develop the Zero Project network, especially with parliamentarians with disabilities
  • Contribute to the Zero Project’s website: www.zeroproject.org and social media presence:www.facebook.com/zeroproject.org
  • Develop and maintain the WFC’s Zero Project online presence: www.worldfuturecouncil.org/enable.html as well aswww.futurepolicy.org,
  • Support media, fundraising activities and research for cooperation
  • ·         Monitor and assess project progress
    • Report to the Supervisor

 

Profile:

  •   Academic background, preferably in human rights/disability law and policy, international relations or political sciences
  • Working experience in a Disabled Peoples Organisation, direct experience of disability or with persons with disabilities is an asset
  • Outgoing and reliable personality with a ‘can-do’ attitude
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Very good knowledge of research, editorial work as well as event management
  • Excellent knowledge of German, English and of a further UN language, preferably French
  • Very good IT literacy. Knowledge of CMS (especially WordPress and Typo3) is an asset
  • Committed to the WFC’s vision and mission of long-term sustainability and equity
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of an international team
  • A Swiss/EU work permit is required

Please address your application to the WFC Coordinator of the Geneva Office: Ms Ingrid Heindorf. Please send a cover letter, CV and published writing sample, as well as your salary expectations, to Ingrid.heindorf@worldfuturecouncil.org. Subject heading: Policy Officer and your name. Deadline: 14 June 2013. Only candidates invited for interview will be contacted. Interviews will be held on 25th June 2013.

 





Caregivers crisis

30 04 2013

A caregiver is someone whose life is in some way restricted by the need to be responsible for the care of someone who is mentally ill, mentally handicapped, physically disabled or whose health is impaired by sickness or old age.  The UK government defines caregivers or carers as:

• People who – unpaid – look after and support family members, friends or neighbours in need of help because of long-term physical or mental illness or disability or problems related to old age.

• People who provide a substantial amount of care on a regular basis for a disabled person  living at home.

The importance of this issue is highlighted by TEDMED as one of the main global challenges. The reason for this move is driven by the fact that unpaid caregivers (65 million in the US alone) struggle with significant  psychological and health issues and economical  burden.

The issue of caregivers is broad and complex. In order to better understand its scope and main objectives, I strongly recommend to read this comprehensive report by National Alliance for Caregiving in collaboration with the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). For those of us who don’t have the time/energy to read the full report here is its summary and conclusions.

Caregivers are a diverse group. Their caregiving experiences range from those that are relatively easy to manage, to those that are burdensome. We know that most caregivers today are able to fulfill this role without experiencing overwhelmingly negative physical, emotional, or financial consequences. On the other hand, caregivers with the heaviest responsibilities are vulnerable to risks such as a decline in health, emotional stress, and economic hardship. As the baby boom generation ages over the next 25 years, the numbers of people needing care will swell. The numbers of younger people available to provide care are likely to dwindle. This suggests that in the future, caregivers will be older, on average, than today’s caregivers and may have greater infirmity of their own. In addition, the younger people who step into a caregiving role in the future may perceive they have less choice about becoming a caregiver. A greater share of caregivers may provide care to two or more care recipients. The future may bring some positive changes as well. In particular, we are likely to see an expansion of the use of technologies that are already available to caregivers and recipients, as well as the development of new technologies. It is important to recognize that the nearly 66 million caregivers are a critical extension of our formal health care system. Without their efforts, there would be a shift of recipients into public programs such as Medicaid, and the quality of life and the health status of many who need care would decline. It is important to do all we can to support caregivers so they can continue in their roles. Specifically, it is important to:

1) Identify and help caregivers who are most at risk for deteriorating health, financial security, and quality of life so that they can continue to provide care while maintaining their own well-being
2) Identify and advocate for programs that make a real difference in caregivers’ well being and in their ability to continue providing care
3) Identify and promote the use of technologies that can facilitate caregiving
4) Extend the reach of caregiver programs to all caregivers regardless of the age of  their care recipient
5) Encourage families to plan proactively for aging and potential health/disability issue

 

By all means it is time to promote this burning issue!

 





News about the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

1 03 2013

The United Nations Enable Newsletter is prepared by the Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (DSPD/DESA) with input from UN offices, agencies, funds and programmes, as well as from civil society organizations, including organizations of persons with disabilities. I hope that you will find it interesting and helpful.

High-level Meeting on disability and development (23 September 2013)
The High-level meeting of the General Assembly on disability and development (HLMDD:http://www.un.org/hlmdd2013) is expected to take place at the level of the Heads of States on 23 September, this year. Prior to the meeting, a draft text of the outcome document will be produced by the President of the General Assembly in consultation with Member States, along with input from organizations of persons with disabilities and other relevant stakeholders, through online discussions and informal consultations. Toward this end, DESA, in partnership with UNICEF will conduct online consultations under the existing platform of the World We Want 2015 from 8-28 March. (http://www.worldwewant2015.org)

Commission for Social Development concludes its session
The 51st session of the Commission for Social Development (CSOCD) met in New York from 6 to 15 February under the theme: “Promoting empowerment of people in achieving poverty eradication, social integration and full employment and decent work for all”. Two reports were presented to the Commission at this sessions: “Report of the Secretary General on Mainstreaming Disability in the Development Agenda” (E/CN.5/2013/9) and “Report of the Special Rapporteur to the 51st Session of the Commission for Social Development: Monitoring of the implementation of the Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities” (E/CN.5/2013/10). The Special Rapporteur on Disability, Shuaib Chalklen, also presented his statement to the Commission. (http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?navid=48&pid=38)

Panel discussion on a post-2015 development framework
A panel discussion was organized by DESA in collaboration with the UN Regional Commissions on 12 February, as a side-event to the above session of the Commission. The event entitled: “Toward a disability-inclusive post-2015 development framework: Regional perspectives” was organized with a view to generate input to the outcome document for the High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on disability and development to be held on 23 September, this year. Focusing on the role of UN Regional Commissions, the discussion highlighted current efforts to integrate existing international instruments on disability in regional and national policies and frameworks on development. (http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?navid=48&pid=38)

New Enable webpage on Indigenous persons with disabilities
DESA has prepared a new web page to draw attention to issues related to indigenous persons with disabilities. While no global data exists regarding indigenous persons with disabilities, available statistics show that indigenous peoples are disproportionately likely to experience disability in comparison to the general population. Indigenous persons with disabilities often experience multiple discrimination and face barriers based on their indigenous status, as well as their disability. The international community has also recognized that special measures are required to protect the rights of the world’s indigenous peoples. This web page will continue to develop as a hub of news, resources and links related to indigenous persons with disabilities. (http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=1605)

My World: The United Nations global survey
Make the voices of persons with disabilities heard… LOUD!
Vote for the changes that would make the most difference to your world! MY World is a United Nations global survey asking you to choose your priorities for a better world. There are 16 priority areas in the survey, plus one more for you to decide, which can be made disability-specific. For example: Freedom to make my own decisions; Being included in the community by removing architectural and attitudinal barriers; Including persons with disabilities in all development plans, programs and activities. You decide! Forward, translate and send this around the world!Results will be shared with world leaders in setting the next global development agenda. Tell them about the world you want, because your voice matters!
Vote at: http://enable.myworld2015.org

HRC – Work and employment of persons with disabilities
The fifth interactive debate of the Human Rights Council (HRC) on the rights of persons with disabilities will take place on Wednesday, 6 March 2013 in Geneva, focusing on the issue of work and employment of persons with disabilities. The debate will bring together experts in the field of promoting employment opportunities for persons with disabilities, including: representatives of a organization of persons with disabilities (DPO), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the private sector, the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and a social entrepreneur. Presentations by panelists will be followed by an interactive discussion among Human Rights Council Member States and observers. The debate will seek to identify good practices in promoting employment opportunities for persons with disabilities in both public- and private-sector workplaces. It will also contribute to raising awareness of the challenges that persons with disabilities continue to face in employment, and to highlight the measures that States and employers can take with a view to ensuring that persons with disabilities enjoy access to, retention of and advancement in employment on an equal basis with others. The panel and its web cast will be made accessible to persons with disabilities through real time captioning and sign language interpretation. (http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Disability/Pages/Workandemploymentofpersonswithdisabilities.aspx). As requested by the HRC, OHCHR has also prepared a thematic study on the work and employment of persons with disabilities (A/HRC/22/25). (http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Disability/Pages/ThematicStudies.aspx)

HRC – Side-event on Inclusive Education
As a side-event to the 22nd session of the HRC, UNICEF and the Permanent Missions of Finland and Spain will co-organize a side-event titled: Inclusive Education for Children with Disabilities: Examples from Central and Eastern Europe and the CIS region, on 1 March, in Geneva, Switzerland. Speakers include: H. E. Mr. Zarko Obradovic, Minister of Education, Science and Technological Development of Serbia; H. E. Mr. Pance Kralev, Minister of Education and Science of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; H. E. Ms. Vesna Vucurovic, Deputy Minister of Education and Sports of Montenegro; Ms. Yoka Brandt, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director; and Mr. J Patrick Clarke, Chief Executive Officer of Down Syndrome Ireland, representing the International Disability Alliance.

OHCHR – General Discussion on women and girls with disabilities
The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will hold a half Day of General Discussion on Women and Girls with Disabilities on Wednesday, 17 April 2013. Women and girls with disabilities experience multiple forms of discrimination, which hinder their meaningful participation on an equal basis with others in all spheres of life. The Committee has invited persons with disabilities and their representative organizations to submit their inputs to the Committee. (http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CRPD/Pages/CRPDIndex.aspx)

WHO – JPMH Mental health and human rights: Call for papers
The Journal of Public Mental Health (JPMH) announces a call for papers for a special issue on mental health and human rights, to be published in 2013. Accepted contributions include original research papers, systematic reviews, policy analyses and case studies. In 2012, the World Health Organization (WHO) Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse launched the QualityRights (QR) Project, which aims to improve the quality and human rights conditions in mental health and social care facilities and empower civil society organizations to advocate for the rights of people with mental and psychosocial disabilities. This call for papers aims to inform the core objectives of QualityRights. JPMH hopes to attract papers from academics, practitioners and activists in resource-scarce countries. Papers submitted for this special edition should be marked with “QualityRights” in the title. The manuscript selection process will follow the Journal’s peer-review procedures. Submit articles to http://emeraldinsight.com/products/journals/journals.htm?id=jpmh before 1 June 2013.  Informal enquiries to: Leeknifton@gmail.com. Information on WHO’s QualityRights Toolkit is available at: http://www.who.int/mental_health/publications/QualityRights_toolkit/en/index.html.

World Bank – Disability & Development training course
The World Bank’s core course on Disability & Development aims to provide participants with an in-depth understanding of the conceptual and practical issues involved in the development and implementation of inclusive economic and social policies that are relevant for persons with disabilities. The course aims to help increase knowledge on disability, its social and economic relevance and development policies and programs responsive to the needs of persons with disabilities; increase understanding of the main issues involved in the process of including disability into development to ensure that persons with disabilities have equal access to all mainstream policies and services and to eliminate “disability disadvantage”. Deadline for registration: Friday, 1 March 2013. (https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/disability2013http://www.worldbank.org/disability/corecourse)

UPCOMING EVENTS
(Send us information on major international disability events for possible inclusion in the list below)

27 February to 1 March: Seminar on Indigenous peoples
The “International Expert Seminar on Access to Justice for Indigenous Peoples including Truth and Reconciliation processes” held at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University, New York, will contribute to the work of the United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Agenda Item 12 of the seminar covers: “Indigenous Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities and Access to Justice”. (http://hrcolumbia.org/indigenous/seminar)

11 March: ReelAbilities: NY Disabilities Film Festival at UN HQ
The Permanent Mission of Sweden will sponsor the screening of the film: “The Importance of Tying Your Own Shoes” at UN Headquarters in New York. Film synopsis: When Alex gets a job as the leader of a local theater group for persons with disabilities, his outlook on life begins to change. Through the theater group’s work, Alex comes to appreciate that every person has his or own talents, which can grow if given the opportunity and support. (Lena Koppel / 100 min.) The event is being organized by ReelAbilities: NY Disabilities Film Festival, the UN Department of Public Information (UNDPI) and DESA.  (http://www.un.org/disabilities/documents/idpd/reelabilities_11march2013_un.doc)

4 to 15 March: Commission on the Status of Women, 55th session
The fifty-seventh session of the Commission on the Status of Women will take place at UN Headquarters under the priority theme: “Elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls.” The review theme chosen is “the equal sharing of responsibilities between women and men, including caregiving in the context of HIV/AIDS (agreed conclusions from the fifty-third session). (http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/57sess.htm)

21 March: World Down Syndrome Day
In 2011, the General Assembly declared 21 March as World Down Syndrome Day (A/RES/66/149). This year at the United Nations the World Down Syndrome Conference 2013 will be organized at UN Headquarters in New York on 21 March, under the theme “The Right to Work”. This year’s Conference will focus on the rights of persons with Down syndrome to work in open, inclusive and accessible environments. It will help raise awareness on the importance of promoting early development and education, proper medical care, and providing for independent living in communities. The multi-stakeholder event will be organized in collaboration with Down Syndrome International, the Missions of Australia, Brazil, Poland, India, DESA and other partners. (http://www.un.org/en/events/downsyndromeday;  http://www.worlddownsyndromeday.org)

2 April: World Autism Awareness Day
The United Nations General Assembly unanimously declared 2 April as World Autism Awareness Day (A/RES/62/139) to highlight the need to help improve the lives of children and adults who suffer from the disorder so they can lead full and meaningful lives. (http://www.un.org/en/events/autismday/)

17 April: General Discussion on women and girls with disabilities
The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will hold a half Day of General Discussion on Women and Girls with Disabilities. (see OHCHR above)

29 to 30 April: 29th Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity
The theme for the 29th Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity: “Being in Community”, embraces the ideals of all people living together harmoniously and happily in a barrier-free world without fear of exclusion from social, economic or political life. (http://www.pacrim.hawaii.edu)

20 to 31 May: 12th session, Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
The session will be held at UN Headquarters, New York and include a review year of the Forum. (http://social.un.org/index/IndigenousPeoples/UNPFIISessions/Twelfth.aspx)

6 to 7 June: M-Enabling Summit 2013
The second M-Enabling Summit 2013: Global Summit on Accessible Mobile Technology for Senior Citizens and Users of All Abilities is organized by the Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs (G3ict) and E.J. Krause and Associates (EJK) in cooperation with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), ensuring substantial participation for leading international mobile service providers, policy makers, apps developers and manufacturers. (http://www.m-enabling.com)

27 to 28 June: Symposium on Disability, Technology and Rehabilitation in Low and Middle Income Countries
The Symposium to be held at the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, will focus on improving and increasing access to technology and rehabilitation products and services with the goal of ensuring full inclusion and participation for persons with disabilities in low-resourced communities in low and middle income countries.  The keynote speaker will be Chapal Khasnabis, Disability and Rehabilitation Team, World Health Organization. (http://idtr.uwctds.washington.edu/workshops/2013)

2 to 3 July: Include 2013: Global Challenges and Local Solutions in Inclusive Design
The event will be organised by the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, Hong Kong Design Centre and the School of Design at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. (www.hhc.rca.ac.uk/4989/all/1/include-2013.aspx)

2 to 13 September: 10th session of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
(Details forthcoming)

9 to 11 September: 6th International Urban Design Conference
The Conference will be held at the Novotel Sydney Olympic Park.  The conference “UrbanAgiNation” urbanisation | agitation | imagination will examine the future Density and Infrastructure requirements in cities. The call for abstracts is now open. (http://urbandesignaustralia.com.au)

23 September: High-level meeting on disability and development
(See item above).

16 to 18 October: 2nd International Conference of the WFD
The 2nd Conference of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) will be held in Sydney, Australia under the theme: “Equality for Deaf People”. (www.wfdsydney2013.com)

3 December: International Day of Persons with Disabilities
The details and theme for 2013 are forthcoming.
(http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=111)

OTHER NEWS
(DISCLAIMER: The information below is provided by civil society organizations and others for informational purposes only. This does not constitute endorsement of, or an approval by, the United Nations of any of the products, services, or opinions of the organization or individual. The United Nations bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of their statements and opinions.)

New “COMPASS” on Human Rights Education
The Council of Europe’s Human Rights Education Manual “COMPASS”, a new, revised version now includes “Disability and Disablism” as a theme, as well as a 10-page background text on the topic produced through a multi-stakeholder partnership of the CoE, UN, European Disability Forum, IFHOHYP and other DPOs. COMPASS also includes training activities on disability and disability rights. (http://eycb.coe.int/compass/download_en.html)

Ibero-American Year for Workplace Inclusion of Persons with Disability
The XXII Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Governments held in Cadiz in November 2013 agreed to declare the year 2013 as the “Ibero-American Year for Workplace Inclusion of Persons with Disability”. This idea first came from an agreement initially signed by the Vice-presidency of Ecuador, the Employment Ministers Iberoamerica, the Ibero-American Secretariat (SEGIB) and the Ibero-American Social Security Organization (OISS). To support their proposal to the Ibero-American Summit, SEGIB and OISS presented the results of a study, which described the situation of persons with disability in Iberoamerica and the barriers they face to access the labour market (http://segib.org/es/node/4788http://segib.org/cumbres/files/2012/03/11-COMESP-INCLUSION-DISCAPACIDAD-ESP.pdf)

Funding opportunities for disability policy scholars  
The Center for Studying Disability Policy (CSDP), through the Disability Research Consortium (DRC) and the Social Security Administration (SSA), is funding disability policy scholars.  Applications are being accepted for three grants that offer funding opportunities for graduate students and new researchers conducting disability policy research, under the Disability Policy Research Summer Scholars Program, the Disability Policy Research Dissertation Scholars Program, and the Disability Policy Research Emerging Investigator Award Program. Deadline: 8 March 2013. (http://www.disabilitypolicyresearch.org/DRC/DRC_grants.asp)

Inclusion International Launches Global Report on Article 19
Inclusion International launched a new global report entitled: “Inclusive Communities = Stronger Communities”. The report confirms that most adults with intellectual disabilities live at home and do not have the support they need to live and be included in their communities. It reveals that families are the major source of support. The report highlights that transforming communities to be inclusive and ensuring that people with disabilities are included in mainstream programmes are essential for securing the rights of people with intellectual disabilities. (http://www.inclusion-international.org)

Strengthening the voices of the users and survivors of psychiatry
WNUSP, an international representative network of the voices of users and survivors of psychiatry, is working to ensure that the views and opinions of all users and survivors of psychiatry around the world are respected and upheld. Find out more about its new project “Strengthen Our Voices!” (http://www.wnusp.net)

LCD New publication on inclusive education
Leonard Cheshire Disability (LCD) has recently published “Inclusive Education – An Introduction”. Every child in the world has a right to education. However, children with disabilities are still disproportionately excluded from school. In an inclusive school, disabled children do not study in separate classes; all children learn together in the same classroom using materials appropriate to their various needs. This publication explores LCD’s approach to inclusive education and highlights their projects in Africa and Asia that support children with disabilities to get the education that they, and all children, deserve. (http://www.lcint.org/?lid=5136)

A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities
Women with disabilities often discover that the social stigma of disability and inadequate care are greater barriers to health than the disability, itself. This Handbook, developed with the help and experience of women with disabilities in 42 countries, can help women with disabilities overcome barriers, improve their general health, self-esteem and ability to care for themselves, as well as increase their participation in their communities.
(http://en.hesperian.org/hhg/A_Health_Handbook_for_Women_with_Disabilities)

DPI convenes meeting on youth with disabilities in India
Disabled People’s International (DPI), India, organized a 2-day National Convention for Youth with Disabilities on 7 to 8 February in New Delhi. Around 50 young students with disabilities from the top colleges and universities, including engineering, medical, law, media and design institutes, participated in this first-ever initiative. The objective of the event was to reach out to young people with disabilities and inspire the next generation leaders of, not just the Indian disability sector, but also those who would be agents of change in other fields. The Convention was inaugurated by the Government Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment. DPI has also launched its new website. (www.dpi.org)

CONTACT INFORMATION

Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD)
Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA)
S-2906, United Nations, New York, NY 10017, USA.
Website: www.un.org/disabilities
Email: enable@un.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/United-Nations-Enable/196545623691523
Twitter: http://twitter.com/UN_Enable





Autism with Louis Theroux

20 11 2012

The amazing broadcaster, Louis Theroux, travels to America to introduce several families in which one or more children has Autism, and how the family deals with this. Visiting schools (such as DLC Warren in New Jersey, one of the most innovative autism schools of its kind) were the ratio student/teacher is 1 on 2, Louis looks how autism influences the kids and the problems it gives.

Theroux meets Joey, whose mother Carol is finding it increasingly hard to cope with some of the more challenging aspects of his disorder. In between the ever more explosive tantrums, Louis discovers a cheeky and charming 13-year-old, but there are tough decisions ahead about his future in the family home.

Nicky is 19. After making good progress at DLC Warren he is about to leave, but the prospect of change leads to increasing anxiety and erratic behaviour. Surrounded by a loving family who say they wouldn’t have him any other way, he shows Louis his novel Dragonula and invites him to share his first day at his new school.

Twenty-year-old Brian is severely autistic and his behaviour – setting fire to the house and attacking his mother – has led to the difficult decision of placing him in residential care. Louis meets a mother whose love for her son has been tested to its limits and finds out how the school is preparing him for an adult life.

Highly recommended!

To see the full episode click HERE