Disability News

NYS Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright comes out swinging for DSPs, a study finds that autism in young girls is often misdiagnosed or overlooked, and more developmental disability news for the week ending April 6, 2024.


Well, I found my weekend read! The Hechinger Report just published a year-long investigation on suspensions and expulsions given for “vague, subjective categories like defiance, disruption and disorderly conduct.” It’s a topic of great importance to those in special education as students with disabilities, especially Black students with disabilities, are more likely than their peers to be disciplined.

The articles, found here, include a detailed main report, Vague school rules at the root of millions of student suspensions and a dive into issues including racial disparity.

New York

Op-Ed | Don’t leave our most vulnerable New Yorkers behind in budget negotiations NYS Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright on why a 3.2% COLA for DSPs must be in the new budget. (amnewyork.com)

Lawsuit seeking makeup services for NYC students with disabilities survives another legal challenge The lawsuit, filed in 2020, argued that thousands missed out on key services after a switch to virtual instruction. (Chalkbeat.org)

Outside of New York

New center aims to help people with an intellectual disability get college degrees in Minnesota A growing number of states have invested in inclusive higher education in the last decade. Kentucky passed legislation in 2020 establishing a similar center to Minnesota’s at the University of Kentucky. There are now over 300 postsecondary programs for students with an intellectual disability nationwide. (MPRnews.com)

Fully-Accessible Theme Park Reopens in Texas Following Major Expansion Morgan’s Wonderland in San Antonio had a $6.5 million overhaul, such as a “first-of-its-kind” 4-seat zip line that can accommodate riders in wheelchairs as well as those who need extra restraints. (Disability Scoop)

Disability rights advocates call on Portland, Ore., Schools to spare special ed jobs in budget cuts The layoffs would affect students with disabilities. (Oregon Capital Chronicle)


Teaching disability history in schools is ‘long overdue,’ advocates say  “You can’t find a period in history or a place in geography or time where there aren’t people with disabilities. And yet somehow, we’ve barely scratched the surface of that history.” While a handful of states, says the report, including New Jersey, have laws on the books about including disability history in their curriculum standards, but “those standards aren’t always enforced.” (wgbh.org)


Biden Administration Reducing Penalties In Supplemental Security Income Program Disability benefits for people whose friends, family or roommates help them out with food will no longer be docked. (Huffpost.com)


Nonspeaking People With Autism May Know More Than Previously Thought A study finds that five times more nonspeaking teens and adults with autism have knowledge of written language than was expected. (Disability Scoop)

Autism in young girls is often misdiagnosed or overlooked. A doctor explains why. “We see higher rates of diagnoses of anxiety or depression and the autism really gets missed.” (CBSnews.com)


US Dept. of Labor to award up to $67.1M to help people with disabilities overcome obstacles to employment Among the first states receiving the awards is New York. (U.S. Dept. of Labor)


School-based Medicaid billing concerns delay proposed rule Concerns over negative impacts to students’ out-of-school benefits are delaying the release of a rule that would ease the process of obtaining parental consent for Medicare school-based health services. (K12dive.com)

Across the Pond Things Are Not Good

Parents offered class photo with no ‘complex needs’ pupils Parents at a school in Scotland were offered a choice of class photos with or without children with complex needs in them. (BBC) An opinion piece in The Guardian, Cropped out, banned, airbrushed: the school photos that show the ugly face of Britain today, offers a thoughtful take on the news.

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