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A group home fiasco in New Jersey, a father’s journey into holistic “fixes” for his son, why it’s impossible to find housing on SSI and more developmental disability news for the week ending Feb. 10, 2024.


N.J. leaders vow to toughen group home oversight A Feb. 1 special report by NJ Advance Media, “Alone, Autistic and Afraid,” which examined medical neglect and maltreatment of a non-verbal young woman, has resulted in the proposal of a bill to empower the state departments of Human Services and Children and Families to fine group home operators that put people in harm’s way.

The story that set it in motion is frightening. The “final showdown,” for instance, was when a security guard blocked the family from entering the home, saying they needed to make an appointment. The group home in Ocean County is run by the Special Children’s Center in Lakewood.

In the report, Paul Aronsohn, New Jersey’s Ombudsman for Individuals with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities and Their Families, noted that aside from revoking a license, the current law does not allow state regulators to levy fines against group home providers to demand improvements and punish blatantly harmful behavior.

New York

NYC transit could be free for low-income seniors, disabled people for $67M: report The cost may seem high — but it’s less than the $95 million the city budgeted this fiscal year for its Fair Fares program. (Gothamist)

Ulster County seeks to improve transit and mobility for seniors and people with disabilities (News 12 Westchester)

Outside of New York

Kansas is poised to expand tax credit for helping disabled workers after debate over low pay  The bill also would create a program for “sheltered workshops” to start paying workers at least the federal minimum wage. (Associated Press)

Illinois Wants to End Oversight of Developmental Disability Institutions Advocates say the state is failing to live up to the promise it made in a 13-year-old federal consent decree to serve people in the community. (ProPublica)

Oklahoma sends a growing number of kids with complex needs out of state for treatment The state lacks options for kids with developmental disabilities and mental health needs. (The Frontier)


Searching for Help for My Son’s Autism Diagnosis in the World of Alternative Medicine & Anti-Vaxxers This fascinating account chronicles a family’s journey into holistic “remedies,” concluding, “I can no more believe in goblets of magic water and occult energy than I can conceal my disappointment with ‘neuro-radiology.'” (Skeptic Magzine)

Autism Justice Center: FYI, the Autism Society’s website now has a section dedicated to its Justice Center to help people with developmental disabilities deal with discrimination in areas such as housing, healthcare, and the criminal legal system. See the new website here: Autism Justice Center | Autism Society.


The Census Bureau halts changing how it asks about disabilities following a backlash Disability advocates argued that proposed changes would artificially reduce their numbers by more than 40%. (Associated Press)


SSI Recipients Can’t Afford Housing Anywhere In The US Even in the cheapest rental market in the country — Dallas County, Mo. — rent for either a one-bedroom or efficiency would require 64% of a person’s monthly SSI payment. (Disability Scoop)


Work has become more flexible post-pandemic. So should special education. “We can meet the needs of students with disabilities, including those who are more successful in a hybrid design.” (Chalkbeat)

Medical Schools Are Not Preparing Us to Care for Autistic Individuals (Med Page Today)

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