Disability News

New York City’s special education woes, a Direct Support Professional speaks truth to power, children’s books recognized for stories about disabilities and more news to know for the week ending Feb. 3, 2024.


A shout-out to Disability Scoop, which has been on a roll the last two weeks with a handful of great articles, including the FDA’s expected ban on shock devices; the rebounding of special education disputes; coffee clubs for adults with autism; the Census weighing overhaul of disability questions after uproar on changes; and speech providers pushing back on insurance effort to cut rates.

New York

Westchester school tests drive sports wheelchairs for Able Athletics events Students participated in athletics from the seat of a sports wheelchair. (lohud.com)

10,000 NYC students are shut out of programs for children with autism. Adding 160 seats is a start City officials said 95% of children who attend these programs graduate from high school, more than 30 percentage points higher than students with disabilities overall. (Chalkbeat)

Eric Adams boosted pay for special ed pre-K teachers. Now they face deep cuts. This article covers a lot of ground in terms of the state of special ed in NYC. Things are not good. (Chalkbeat)

Outside of New York

Arizona Parents of children with disabilities receive funding and certified training to be Direct Care Workers In 2020 Arizona issued a temporary flexibility allowing for parents of minor children with disabilities to receive certified training to be Direct Care Workers for their own children. In 2021, it expanded the support beyond the COVID-19 flexibility window. (Arizona Illustrated)

Oklahoma sent bonuses to elementary and special education teachers of up to $50,000. Then it asked for them back What a fiasco. The bonuses were awarded under a program that is intended to help recruit new teachers for the most difficult jobs to fill. (Fortune.com)


Hundreds of Companies Legally Pay Disabled Workers Below Minimum Wage. This Needs to Change Teen Vogue tackles the subminimum wage. (Teen Vogue)


‘I’m Not Safe Here’: Schools Ignore Federal Rules on Restraint and Seclusion No federal law prohibits restraint and seclusion, leaving a patchwork of practices across states and school districts with little oversight and accountability. (KFF Health News)

FYI, from August 2023: New York Approves New Rules Limiting Restraint, Seclusion in Schools


Autistic Boys and Men Camouflage, Too Camouflaging is linked to public self-consciousness. (Psychology Today)

Direct Support Providers

DSP Spotlight: Lawrence Discusses Hardship Imposed on Direct Care Workforce An excellent take from a DSP. “It is important for people to recognize the skills, training, and importance of our profession and how comparable it is to jobs with similar requirements.” (The Arc)

Best Practices

Making Information Accessible One Document at a Time YAI writes about “Easy Read,” a document format that offers pictures on the left side of the page and clear, short text on the right, and the work the agency is doing to help train others how to use it. (YAI)


Children’s Books Recognized For Stories About Disabilities The American Library Association named three winners and six honorees of its Schneider Family Book Awards this month. (Disability Scoop)


Mar Galcerán makes history as Spain’s first parliamentarian with Down syndrome The achievement was also a reflection of the decades Galcerán had spent working to advance the status of people with Down syndrome in Spain. (The Guardian)

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