TV Legend Charlotte Rae Dies at 92

TV actress Charlotte Rae passed away on Sunday at her home in Los Angeles. She was 92. A star of the small and big screens alike, Charlotte Rae is perhaps best known for her performance on the 1980’s sitcom The Facts of Life, where she co-starred as Mrs. Edna Garrett alongside TV star and ABILITY ... Read more

Georgia Aquarium Becomes World’s First Certified Autism Center Aquarium

Georgia Aquarium
With so much mainstream media attention focused on autism in the past several years, it’s surprising more tourist destinations aren’t doing all they can to accommodate visitors on the autism spectrum. For parents, vacation planning can be a nightmare as they seek out attractions that are fun while remaining mindful of their childrens’ needs. ... Read more

Elizabeth Taylor – Taylor Made

“Since I was a little girl, I believed I was a child of destiny…” For the last several years, however, the superstar, 62, says she’s tried to court a life that’s a little less extreme black and white, and more, say, on the gray side.And, indeed, the great triumphs and tragedies that were Elizabeth ... Read more

The Weaponized ADA: Using a Civil Rights Law to Disenfranchise Voters

vote sign
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is widely regarded to be one of the most important pieces of civil rights legislation in American history. It was meant to ensure equal access and opportunity for the countless millions of American citizens living with disabilities. It was meant to ensure fair treatment and guaranteed accessibility. It ... Read more

Preexisting Conditions Making Comeback Under New Trump Admin ‘Guidance’

woman at risk of losing health care
Make Preexisting Conditions Awful Again? New Trump Administration Guidance May Do Precisely That There was a time, not so long ago, when Americans with preexisting conditions — health issues they had prior to changing insurance policies — found themselves faced with a quandary of biblical proportions. Do they get life saving treatments for their ... Read more

Disability Hate Crimes Rising Astronomically in England, New Report Finds

people in the street in London
The Number of Hate Crimes in England, Wales Rose Sharply in 2017-2018 Period It’s difficult for most people to wrap their heads around. How is it possible that hate crimes could still take place in the US and England in 2018? So often we think of modern society in the United States and the United ... Read more

Disney Working to Block Dozens of Lawsuits Related to ADA, Autism

Disney crowd
Disneyland in California and Disney World in Florida are two of the most legendary theme parks in the world. But for some visitors with severe autism, Disney’s iconic parks are anything but magical. And now, the Disney Corporation wants to stop dozens of lawsuits from reaching court and tarnishing their image as a place ... Read more

Arkansas Group Finds Half of State’s Polling Stations Lack Accessibility

Justin Dart Jr
As Americans, there are certain freedoms that empower us and grant us the ability to directly impact change. Our freedom of speech and our right to assemble are big ones. So too is our rarely-touted ability to access information freely. But one element of our freedom outweighs the others combined in sheer importance, directly ... Read more

A Visit to the Children of Armenia’s SMART Center

Children of Armenia Fund smart center
Children of Armenia Fund smart centerAn unexpected two and a half our drive through the hills and valleys of beautiful Armenia was well worth it when we got to the SMART Center, developed by the Children of Armenia Fund (COAF). The facility is like cold iced-tea on the warmest summer’s day. Architecturally unique to the region and brimming with endless potential, the structure was made to be one with nature, without compromising the natural splendor of the rolling green hills that make up its environment.
The SMART Center provides education, healthcare, and culture to the children of six surrounding villages, and features a library, computer access, and exposure to the arts including dance, music, and theatre, as well as area’s designated for quiet and creativity. Transportation for the children is provided by the Children of Armenia Fund, with young children accompanied by adults as they travel.Children of Armenia Fund smart center lab
“There is a growing drive to promote innovation,” explains Garo H. Armen PhD, Chairman of the Children of Armenia Fund and the figure whose creative vision led to the development of the SMART Center. “Some of the more progressive companies, not just technology companies, biopharmaceutical companies and others, are setting up innovation centers. One of the objectives of setting up an innovation center is to populate them with groups of individuals who are not biased with corporate culture, because even though some of the corporations do wonderful things, they erect or transmit biases that prevent people from thinking freely.”Children of Armenia Fund smart center
“SMART would be a fantastic experiment to see what can be created away from the urban environments and the corporate environments that we are so obsessed with today,” Garo elaborates.
Still in its early stages since launch, the SMART Center is eager to share this world of opportunities. “The question then was, we spent 14 years to reach 45 villages, are we going to spend a hundred years to reach the rest of Armenia? That wasn’t really practical. So we developed this concept of SMART”.Children of Armenia Fund smart center

– Lia Martirosyan, Co-Founder of ABILITY Corps

[Video: Krist Marukyan, Operations Director at COAF SMART Center — click toggle icon on lower right side to enlarge]

www.coafkids.org

Review: Netflix Doc ‘Quincy’ Explores Life and Career of Quincy Jones

Quincy Jones with Stedman Graham, Oprah-Winfrey and Jack Nicholson for An African-Reunion
Unless you hail from some small village never before visited by outsiders, and this is one of your first times ever using the Internet, chances are you’ve heard music written, performed, arranged, and/ or produced by Quincy Jones. And if you happened across any popular music from the twentieth or twenty-first century in that ... Read more

Texas School Board Votes to Remove Helen Keller from History Curriculum

Helen Keller
Many Americans cringe when they see the Texas School Board in a news headline. And this headline, sadly, is no exception. On Friday, the Texas School Board voted on changes that will affect students in Texas of every grade, with the purported goal of “streamlining” social studies curriculum. Amid their pending changes is the ... Read more

Disability Advocate Testifies Against Kavanaugh at Confirmation Hearing

Elizabeth Weintraub - Kavanaugh hearings CSPAN2
Nothing about us without us. It’s a popular phrase in disability advocacy circles. And its meaning is pretty self-evident. Don’t make decisions for us without our input. That shouldn’t be too big an ask in most circumstances. In fact, it shouldn’t even really need to be asked at all. And on Friday, during the final ... Read more

Are You Prepared for Hurricane Florence?

hurricane
More than one million people have been ordered to evacuate regions of the Eastern seaboard today as Hurricane Florence steams her way toward Virginia and the Carolinas. The category four hurricane is expected to make landfall Thursday evening, at which time it may escalate to a category five storm. Evacuating from the path of ... Read more

Jacksons Foods Settles EEOC Discrimination Lawsuit for Deaf Worker

how are you - -sign
A chain of convenience stores in the Pacific Northwest learned the hard way this week that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is not a piece of legislation you want to mess around with. Jacksons Food Stores, Inc. settled a lawsuit after Nathaniel Prugh, a job applicant who is deaf, was refused a job ... Read more

New Labor Department Directive to Recognize Best Initiatives for Hiring Job Seekers with Disabilities

Idea-plan-action
A new Labor Department directive aims to spur innovation in workplace diversity and inclusivity by highlighting companies and contractors who go above and beyond with their hiring practices. The not-so-creatively-named directive DIR 2016-06, which comes from the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) within the Labor Department, would offer recognition to “contractors with high-quality ... Read more

Trump SCOTUS Pick Brett Kavanaugh Draws Opposition From Disability Groups

Supreme Court
Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, is Picking Up Opposition From Disability Advocacy Groups It goes without saying that any potential Supreme Court pick Donald Trump might have nominated would have surely caused political division in contemporary America, a country with public discourse persistently teetering on the cusp of implosion. And Trump’s recent nomination ... Read more

People with Disabilities have Severely Limited Access to Justice System, Report Finds

people with disabilities locked out of ayatem
No one ever finds themselves sitting in a courtroom and thinking about how happy or lucky they are to be there. Not unless you’re a plaintiff on the cusp of raking in a big pile of money, anyway. Unfortunately, a new report from the Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs (G3ict) shows that people with disabilities ... Read more