Archive for the ‘Activism’ Category

Recently a report came out that the jobless rate for people with disabilities has showed little change for October.  The stats show that the jobless rate for October is slightly higher than September. The report showed that October’s jobless rate is at 10.5% verses September’s jobless rate was at 10.4%.

The economy as a whole has seen a robust growth with 271,000 jobs during the month of October, the Labor Department’s month report indicated however the same agency has also stated the unemployment rate for the general population has dipped to 5 percent.

The feds began tracking the employment among people with disabilities in October of 2008. There isn’t enough data complied to establish seasonal trends among this population, the stats for this group are not seasonally adjusted.

The data on people with disabilities covers the ages of 16 years who do not live in institutions. The first employment report specific to this population was made available in February in 2009. The reports are released on monthly basis.



This past Halloween Target ran ads that promoted disability inclusion within the ads for their Halloween costumes featuring a child who has a physical disability.

The ad was the first ad to include a child with a physical disability by an american chain store. I think this is a long time coming to help promote inclusion in the work place and inclusion for those who have disabilities. I think more stores should do something similar when it comes bringing inclusion to those who have disabilities no matter if they hire more people with disabilities. There is a need for disability inclusion no matter if you are looking for jobs and also setting an example for stores.

I would hope this sets an example for other stores and retailers. This makes an impact on people who go to Target and it shows families who have children who have special needs.

What are your thoughts on Target including a child in their ads that features a child with a physical disability?


Sesame Street has  just announced a new character will be added to Sesame Street named Julia who is Autistic. This is huge news since this will help teach kids about acceptance amongst being away to help reduce the stigma which is attached to Autism Spectrum Disorder. As person who has Asperger’s Syndrome which is apart of Autism Spectrum Disorder I’m thrilled about this news. This is ground breaking for Sesame Street. Julia isn’t the first fictional character to have Autism. I don’t see it being the last.  On another note Sesame Street has worked with Autism Speak and other self advocates when it came to the character. I being an advocate for people with disabilities am thrilled to see Sesame Street adding this new character and also helping to educate kids on acceptance.  The character is wide eyed little girl who also has a big smile. She will have her own digital storybook which is great news since kids can not only see her on tv but also get a chance to have a book that will feature her as well. I am happy about this news since this makes more people aware of Autism. As an adult who has Autism this will give kids the opportunity to accept other kids who are different. When I was diagnosed with Autism it was difficult however if this came out when I was diagnosed it could’ve made things easier than what it was for me when it came to me getting bullied especially when kids don’t understand what it is like to have Autism or being on the Autism Spectrum Disorder.

It was recently reported that Apple will be lending a hand with Autism research. I think this is great news when it comes to learning more about Autism in it of itself.

Apple said this week that autism is one of three new conditions which will be ResearchKit which is an open source framework system which will allow scientists to collect data through iPhone apps.

The app is  called “Autism & Beyond” that will  take advantage of Apple’s ResearchKit technology. Duke University researchers are planning  to collect information from families around the world to test whether a smartphone app can reliably screen kids for who have Autism. The app will include a parent questionaire in the app itself as well as a short video series for the child to watch. The app is designed to elicit various emotions. When using the iPhone’s camera function, analytical software within the app which will assess the children’s facial responses while in use.

Researchers have said that they hope to collect information from children ages 1 to 6.  Three  times each over the course of 6 months. the parents will also recieve feedback, which could include tips for addressing behavior issues along with other addressing behavior issues or a recommendation that they would seek further evaluation for the child.

 “Our goal is to develop a screening, like hearing or eyesight at schools,” said Guillermo Sapiro, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Duke. “They don’t get glasses — they get a referral.”

If the app is successful, researchers have said that app-based screening could help identify children with autism at younger ages allowing them to enter intervention programs sooner and see better outcomes long-term.

“It is simply not possible to train enough people to meet the need for early childhood diagnosis,” said Helen Egger, chief of Duke’s Division of Child and Family Mental Health and Developmental Neuroscience. “This may be the only way to get screening out to more people.”

The first launched six months ago Apple said. More than 100,000 people are currently participating in the ResearchKit studies looking at everything from asthma to Parkinson’s disease along with Autism. Apple said that new projects will also focus on epilepsy and melanoma.

I definitely didn’t expect that Apple would ever be lending a hand in researching Autism. I think this is a set in the right direction as a person who a has Autism and is advocate as well. If there is more knowledge about Autism it can lead to bettering the care for those who have Autism. I hope that the research also focuses on adults who also have Autism since there is a need for learning more about Autism in adults as well.