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A school district goes all in on inclusion, a viral ad challenges stereotypes about Down syndrome and more developmental disability news for the week ending March 23, 2024.


Portland wants to place high-need special education students in their neighborhood schools. Can the district make it work?

I read with great interest how, over the next eight years or so, Portland Public Schools will no longer send most of its students with disabilities to schools outside their neighborhoods. (The Oregonian)

I had advocated for my niece throughout her school years, and inclusion felt like a false promise. Warned off by the schools she attended that she wouldn’t receive the needed education in a general ed class, especially due to staff shortages, I gave up before I even fought. The more is learned about inclusion, however, the more I regret if not the choice, then at least not having explored it further.

New York

Direct Support Professional shortage in NY This video report talks to a parent, a DSP provider, and more. Worth a watch. (Fox 5)

Opinion: NY’s disability support workers need a raise in the state budget More coverage. Let’s hope it helps. (Newsday)

Hochul wants to trim program that helps disabled. What does TikTok have to do with it? “Several have pointed out that Hochul’s plan [to make cuts to CDPAP] would end up shifting costs instead of saving them.” (

Transitions helped brothers with autism navigate college journey Haydn and Griffin Elmore, both on the autism spectrum, are embarking on their college journey with resilience and determination. (

Outside of New York

Bill to Create a State Office for Coloradans with Disabilities Passes Committee The goal of this office would be to implement a statewide strategy to facilitate economic stability for people with disabilities and promote successful economic, social, and community integration. (

Mock election in Arizona helps those with developmental disabilities to vote I love this idea. The mock event was a collaboration between the Arizona Secretary of State, the Maricopa County Recorder’s office, and the Maricopa County Elections office. (Arizona PBS)

Kansas Governor Announces Budget Amendment to Increase Funding for I/DD It’s pretty great to read about a governor who wants to put more money toward I/DD. (

World Down Syndrome Day (March 21)

Viral ad challenges stereotypes about Down syndrome: ‘Assume I can drink a margarita’ (

Disabilities Beat: On World Down Syndrome Day, let’s stop infantilizing adults (


What Trump Supporters Think When He Mocks People With Disabilities No surprise, they “continually found ways to excuse their favored candidate’s behavior.” (The Atlantic)


FY 24 budget proposal cuts Education Department by $500M The U.S. Dept. of Ed would get $500 million less for fiscal year 2024 compared to the previous year, though Title I and state grants for special ed services — two of the largest K-12 federal funding programs — would each get a $20 million increase over FY 2023 allocations. (

Special education advocates warn of ‘chilling effects’ from anti-DEI efforts Growing efforts to limit diversity, equity and inclusion programs in elementary and secondary schools may negatively impact special education activities.” (


Federal Proposal Could Have ‘Chilling Effect’ On Disability Research Much of what’s known about the experiences of people with autism and other developmental disabilities is based on Medicaid and Medicare data, but researchers are warning that a new proposal could sharply limit access to that information. (Disability Scoop)


New children’s book ‘Flap Your Hands’ celebrates stimming as expression This podcast features the book’s author and illustrator, whose book takes families “through a colorful journey of acceptance and joy.” (


Netflix’s Disability Dating Shows Need to Be Rethought The new flurry of reality shows such as Love on the Spectrum feature disabled contestants —  “and invite an ableist gaze.” (IndieWire)

Hulu To Debut Autism Comedy The half-hour comedy Dinosaur centers on Nina, a 30-something with autism who loves living with her sister and best friend, Evie. (Disability Scoop)

Analysis: The BBC & Netflix Unveiled Their Landmark Five-Year Disability Partnership With Fanfare In 2021, But Two-And-A-Half Years Later, The Industry Is Questioning Where The Shows Are  (Deadline)

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