Upcoming local events

The Adam Morgan Foundation is holding its annual “Fun Run” April 27th at 7 PM.

The run is held every year at the beautiful Frontier Park in St. Charles, MO.

AMF Founder Rachel Morgan has been interviewed on the ICAA Radio program in the past to talk about the run, and the organization’s mission.

Even if you’re not a runner, this is a fun event for the whole family, and individuals with all abilities.  The funds raised go towards helping with education and resources for local families with autism and special needs.

See here for further information about sponsorships, and more.

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Internship opportunities

The International Coalition for Autism and All Abilities has openings for ICAA Radio, ICAA social networks, and blog articles. No experience is necessary. These internships are open to people with all abilities who have an interest in advocacy, education, writing, marketing, media and radio. We are trying to grow our internship opportunities this year.
Please send an introduction and your interest to info@icaaonline.org

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Judge Rotenberg Center News

As many of you know, the ICAA has been advocating the closure, or at least the end of questionable practices, at the Judge Rotenberg Center for several years. Recently, we have been in touch with advocates, reporters and legislators who tell us the end may finally be near for at least the GED skin shocks the center has continued to use for at least four decades. The center’s spokespeople often claim that the practice is rarely used, or is used only on the most severe cases. Aside from the fact that we oppose the practice for any person, regardless of severity or diagnosis, we have also seen various reports to the contrary.
In the past, reports abound of forced restraint, and immediate application of several shocks at a time to new patients. In other words,  JRC workers were allegedly, forcibly restraining and shocking new residents on admission to the center. And, there has been even worse claims of injuries, abuses, even deaths at the JRC.  ICAA Radio has reported on, and interviewed with, several notable advocates and legislators regarding the Judge Rotenberg Center issues.  Mother Jones has repeatedly reported on the center.  With dedicated advocacy, and fearless leadership on the part of legislators like Senator Brian Joyce, we are more hopeful than ever to see an end to the Judge Rotenberg Center and any other facility using such methods in the name of “treatment”.
Are you concerned about the JRC?  We urge you to take this poll and vote “Yes”. It takes less than 2 minutes and may help save some lives, or at the very least, raise some social consciousness.

More JRC news and information in the Patriot Ledger, and The Boston Globe.

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Differentiated Diplomas

The ICAA shares concern with fellow advocates, Missouri teachers and administrators regarding the so called differentiated diplomas.  The Missouri Council of Administrators of Special Education has provided testimony on the matters. Please read their testimony here HB 294 MO-CASE Testimony  The ICAA has also sent a statement to representatives and Senators regarding our position.  It may be a good idea for advocates and educators to continue a dialogue with local and state representatives, and consider joining us on trips to the state capital, so you can meet and discuss ideas with our legislators.



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Separate buildings?

It came to our attention recently that some public school districts in Missouri are wanting to raise a lot of money on entirely separate buildings for students on the autism spectrum.  It looks like a  lot of taxpayer money will be used on these new facilities. Some advocates have been pretty quiet about this as opposed to other issues. Much like the separate schedules and shortened school days, some parent advocates have this belief that a separate building, or a different schedule is somehow “needed”, or “good for” the students with disabilities. Why? Students with disabilities have the hard-won right to be in school, in the same classrooms, for full school days, as much as their peers without disabilities. But, over the years, there have been forces at work to undermine and find ways around these legal rights. As parents, advocates, and concerned individuals, we must remain vigilant, and persistent. There have not been any cogent arguments made for the segregation of students based on disability status. This organization is very concerned about tax payer funded expenditures for separate buildings for students with disabilities, much less to be based solely on a diagnosis.  None of us would expect to see proposals for separate school buildings for students based on gender, orientation, or race. Progress will be made when we insist on the most inclusive environment, instead of the so called least restrictive.
More on segregation, separate buildings

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Disability Rights Legislative Day

It is that time again for ICAA members, advocates, parents, and families to come together and make the journey to Jefferson City.  We will be meeting with legislators, knocking on doors and discussing important issues pertaining to inclusion, supports, and education for people on the spectrum and with other differences in Missouri.  Mark your calendars for April 9th. This is plenty of advanced notice to let employers know, and make arrangements to join us.  Need to carpool? Want to RSVP for the ICAA meet-up?  Send email to: emilymalabey@icaaonline.org

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Mind the Gap in Education awards

The ICAA Mind the Gap in Education project was designed to improve education and promoting inclusion by providing educational supports and services for students, families and schools.  We are now accepting your nominations for the 2012-2013 Mind the Gap educator awards. Please tell us about the educator who has made a difference in your life and we will contact you with more information. Nominees can be teachers, aides, therapists, or principals who have been advocates for students, making education more inclusive, supportive, and meaningful.  Send submissions to: info@icaaonline.org with “Mind the Gap” in the subject line. Winner receives a special gift, and official recognition.

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