New Initiatives

Tue, February 21, 2012
I worked in residential/service coordination in Virginia, my home state, for about five years. So when I read that Virginia will close four state institutions for people with developmental disabilities and move thousands of people to their own homes, their family's houses or group homes as part of a settlement announced recently with the U.S. Justice Department, I thought this is great news about a move in direction that is long overdue. The agreement came after a scathing federal report of the...
Sun, January 15, 2012
"A right delayed is a right denied." Today I am thinking about my grandfather and father gathered around a radio listening to Dr. King saying these words as he fought for the inclusion of people like my family. How odd that 50 years later I am in Amman, Jordan with a group of people who hold the same belief and are working to ensure that people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD) are included in society. I am here with my colleagues Perry Samowitz and Fawzi Abu Hassish as...
Fri, February 03, 2012
While in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates, I was talking with Hammoud about the difference between umbrellas in the U.S. and in his country. Hammoud is a 19-year-old man with autism who lives in a residential program there and he has a particular fascination with umbrellas. We discussed how big they are, what shapes,how they open, what button you press? He even asked me to draw an example. It turned out that umbrellas are umbrellas everywhere. Then Hammoud told me about his many accomplishments. He...
Mon, May 14, 2012
Mothers are amazing and with that in mind, we'd like share comments from one of those wonderful moms in New York City. If you have a child with special needs in New York City, then you likely know Margaret Puddington. If you don't, you should! The following are remarks by Margaret delivered during the Premier HealthCare full-day conference on May 2, 2012 during YAI's International Conference. Mrs. Puddington's remarks were in response to a keynote address on New York State's Person First Waiver...
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