Herstory of Autism — Pioneer Jeanne Simons by Dr. Sabine Oishi

Linwood Children’s Center
Over sixty years ago–well before autism was commonly known– and before Applied Behavior Analysis, therapist Jeanne M. Simons created Linwood. A school and residential haven for children who were destined to be institutionalized, it was the first and only program of its kind to provide support for the children and relief for the parents. ... Read more

Exceptional Minds

Exceptional minds student art
Most people are aware of the low rates of unemployment and underemployment of people with autism. Exceptional Minds seeks to change that, one career at a time. Exceptional Minds is an academy and studio preparing young adults on the autism spectrum for careers in animation, visual effects, 3D gaming and other related fields in ... Read more

Sandy Petrovic and David Petrovic — Autism: Learning Never Stops

Sandy and David Petrovic
Each person is unique; and understanding a person’s differences and recognizing the innate potential in every individual is of paramount importance. Sandy Petrovic and David Petrovic are two such individuals who have not let their hearts be dimmed by autism. Instead, they have worked on creating a fulfilling life for David who is now ... Read more

100,000 people with autism participated in study to uncovering genetic causes

A young boy with brown hair and a red shirt that says 'Rock' is holding up a soap bubble device with four soap bubbles around him
One in 54 children in the US has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, ASD is challenging to study due to the varying presentation between individuals. SPARK (Simons Powering Autism Research) is determined to change this. The world’s largest autism research study just passed a milestone at its fifth anniversary: 100,000 people with autism ... Read more

Jennifer Goodman – Actor, Producer, Autism Activist, and Collaborator Ryan Atkins

Jennifer Goodman & Ryan Atkins interview
Jennifer Goodman Karum is shifting perceptions of people with disabilities in entertainment. Goodman, an autistic actress, writer, producer and creator, collaborated with Ryan Atkins, himself a producer and creator, to found Lakefront Pictures. This Chicago-based production studio aims to amplify unheard voices. In their work, diversity and disability are evident in the talent, both on ... Read more

Omnium Circus — Accessibility and Inclusivity

Omnium circus
Omnium Circus is one of the brightest innovations borne out of 2020. Founded by Lisa B. Lewis, it is a nonprofit circus of diverse, multi-abled performers that includes an aerialist born without legs, a clown who is deaf, a contortionist, and much more. Omnium’s mantra is accessibility and equity for all. And the talent is ... Read more

In the Business of Spreading Happiness: John’s Crazy Socks

John and Mark Cronin
Donuts, sushi, cute kittens or funny quotes: If you need a creative and fun pair of socks, John’s Crazy Socks will likely have what you are looking for. John Cronin is the co-founder and face of the most diversely stocked sock company in the world. Together with his dad Mark, John is on a ... Read more

Autism Awareness: Easterseals and Rafi Nova develop sensory-friendly masks

A little boy with curly brown hair and a blue face makes sits next to his dad who wears a warm hat and a blue face mask. The play a game together sitting on a table.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed all our lives in many ways. However, it hit people with disabilities exponentially harder. They have been neglected in decisions for vaccine distribution; they have been harmed by triage protocols, all while following strict rules on isolation and distancing. Especially people on the autism spectrum have faced many challenges ... Read more

Why this election is crucial for people with disabilities

Among voters with a disability, health care is a priority.
LISTEN TO THE ARTICLE HERE  (We would love to know if you find this audio narrative an enjoyable option) November 3, 2020, might become one of the most important days in American history, especially for people with disabilities. It may decide over whether a person with a chronic illness or disability will have access to ... Read more

How YAI, Next for Autism and Cure SMA are supporting their members during COVID-19

Nicholas Santoro is part of ‘Project Search’
ABILITY Magazine contacted three large organizations and their members about the changes in how they operate during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. YAI, located in New York State, discussed their current situation in their housing facilities as well as their COVID-19 database, which offers information for people with (intellectual) disabilities. NEXT for AUTISM described what ... Read more

Accessibility and Inclusion: ‘This is who we are’ – PBS KIDS, a model for all media

A tiger mom and Daniel Tiger stand in a field of sun flowers.
For more than 50 years, PBS has strived to be as accessible as possible to a broad audience, and they have paid particular attention to including children with a variety of disabilities. ABILITY Magazine’s Karina Sturm spoke with Vice President of PBS KIDS Digital, Sara DeWitt, about PBS KIDS’ efforts to make their shows ... 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

Keeping all Students Safe

Senator Tom Harkin images at different ages in his history of service.
Protecting Students in the Classroom Dear ABILITY Readers, Last month, I introduced the Keeping All Students Safe Act, a bill to protect students from dangerous seclusion and restraint practices in schools. All too often, we hear heartbreaking stories about children being injured or even killed because of risky and inappropriate “disciplinary” tactics used at ... Read more