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Hot Off the Press! News Archives

National and Around the World - 2014 Archives

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Please also check out Legislation: National for the latest on important legislative issues that could impact U.S. Citizens with Disabilities
Hot Off the Press! Archives

December 2014 - New Horizons Un-Limited Celebrates Our 20th Anniversary!

Since 1994 we have been providing our community members with disabilities the information, tools, and experiences that enable them to become confident contributing citizens!

Thank you for being part of our 20 year journey!

You have helped us to grow beyond our humble beginnings into a full service organization that has trained and supported hundreds of motivated individuals. We have seen our clients become advocates, earn their GEDs, graduate for college, find jobs, start businesses.. all because they were given the tools and the ongoning support they needed to succeed.

You support made that possible! Join us for the next 20! See our Winter NHU Outlook Newsletter

December 16th, 2014 - the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014 by a vote of 76 to 16. - Important Legislation for people with disabilities and their families, for the option to save up to $14,000 in a tax free savings account, without losing public assistance.

Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act will allow people with disabilities (with an age of onset up to 26 years old) and their families the opportunity to create a tax-exempt savings account that can be used for maintaining health, independence and quality of life. In the past if you were born with Cerebral Palsy or Spina Bifida you were only allowed to keep $2000 to maintain eligibility for public assistance. Your parents could not save for costs related to raising a child with significant disabilities or a working age adult with disabilities. The ABLE savings account will allow individuals to supplement that which assistance will not cover for accessible housing and transportation, personal assistance services, assistive technology and health care not covered by insurance, Medicaid or Medicare. You will have the option to save up to $14,000 in a tax-free savings account, eliminating the $2,000 asset cap SSI and SSDI beneficiaries face. This could finally mean financial freedom!! Individual states will need to set up an ABLE program and hopefully you will be able to set up an account by the end of 2015. See the National Disability Institute's article on the passage of this bill.

November 9, 2014 - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports "Newborn screening reforms have instant impact – Baby’s life saved days after switch to overnight test delivery”

This article by Ellen Gabler reports that hospitals are realizing that sending newborn blood tests to state labs is causing too much of a delay to diagnose certain birth defects causing infant death or brain damage resulting in permanent disabilities. Some hospitals have figured out how to get results to and from the lab expedited as timing after birth is crucial to prevention of disability or possibly death. Parents are advocating to be aware of what your state and hospital will include for newborn screening tests and whether your hospital has a plan to get results from the lab back to your doctor within a 24-48 hour window. When doctor's get the results, care can be provided that will prevent, literally stop a child from lifelong disability or infant mortality.

October 2014 - Upon retirement, Senator Tom Harkin will leave lasting disability rights legacy

If you are an American with a disability, you should surely join us in thanking Tom Harkin for his 40-plus years of public service. Just about every piece of contemporary disability legislation has Senator Harkin’s mark on it. He is OUR advocate! He has championed our cause, fighting for our rights in education, employment, housing, community inclusion, independent living, and health care. He stood up for us not because it was popular, but because it was right. Because, including people with disabilities is good for America! Though we still have a long way to go, we have come this far, thanks in large part to Senator Harkin’s passion for, and commitment to equality.

Here is just a small summary of all that Senator Harkin has accomplished on behalf of Americans with disabilities:

  • Authored the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – the civil rights act for people with disabilities that expanded access to education, employment, and the community at large

  • Authored the Television Decoder Circuitry Act of 1990 - required all TVs to be capable of providing closed captioning

  • Co-sponsored the 1997 and 2004 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) - ensured that early childhood special education services were available to children starting at age 3

  • Authored the Community First Choice (CFC) Option within the Affordable Care Act – allowed states to create programs that care for people in their homes and apartments instead of nursing homes

  • Advocated for increased employment opportunities for people with disabilities during twelve hearings and four HELP Committee reports between 2010 and 2014

  • Led the passage of the 2014 reauthorization of the Rehabilitation Act – designed to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities in competitive integrated settings

    Though he is retiring from the public sector, Senator Harkin will continue to work on behalf of marginalized Americans via the Harkin Institute for Public Policy and Citizen Engagement at Drake University.

    2014 - July through October 15th - NHU's Annual Flower Bulb Sale is Underway!

    If you count down the days until your spring garden is in full bloom, our Fundraising with Flowers Sale has your name written all over it! There is a superb selection of Tulips, Daffodils, Irises and more available!

    We are now accepting orders online.

    Orders will be shipped to your door in time for fall planting.

    Visit NHU'S Fundraising with Flowers Webpage
    to check out this year's selection of bulbs and to support NHU with your order.

    September, 2014 - Man with Cerebral Palsy creates incredible artwork with typewriter

    Check out this story of a man named Paul Smith who makes great art work with his typewriter from his story in the Huffington Post

    August 25, 2014 - New Technology Offers New Diagnostics for Intellectual Disability

    The American Academy of Pediatrics published a report in August describing "an optimal medical genetics evaluation of the child with intellectual disability(ID) or global developmental delays (GDDs)." The report addresses the medical advances since 2006 in diagnosis and treatment and provides current guidance for medical genetics evaluation for children with these considered conditions. "This report will emphasize advances in genetic diagnosis while updating information regarding the appropriate evaluation for inborn errors of metabolism and the role of imaging in this context." The report hopes to assist medical personnel to prepare families for the medical genetics evaluation process and explains the benefits to the primary care provider and families in establishing an etiologic diagnosis of prognosis, recurrence risks, and preferred therapy. The report explains the various diagnostic evaluations and tests. For more information, visit this publication at AAP Clinical Report

    June 26, 2014 - The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy today announced the availability of $1,850,000 to fund a cooperative agreement to manage and operate the National Employer Policy, Research and Technical Assistance Center on the Employment of People with Disabilities.

    The center will increase the commitment and capacity of employers to recruit, hire, retain and advance people with disabilities. To find out who can apply, visit the DOL press release. Eligibility requirements for applicants, can be found at http://www.grants.gov or http://www.dol.gov/odep/. Applications will be accepted until Monday, Aug. 11.

    June 2014 - Disability Scoop article reports Unemployment Remains a Challenge for People with Disabilities

    See this article for a Disability Scoop's summary of that "Even as some signs point to an improving job market, the unemployment rate for Americans with disabilities is up slightly," from the U.S. Department of Labor.

    June 2014 - Environmental Hardship of mothers During Pregnancy can influence Neurodevelopment of the Child

    Journal of Psyciatry Research report of findings from the study of mothers who experienced environmental hardship during pregnancy and the likelihood that their child would have difficulty making friends or exhibit odd speech patterns, clumsiness and other autism-like characteristics. 150 mothers were surveyed from Quebec Canada who experienced severe ice storms in January of 1998. This article reinforces the conclusions of another study in the Journal of Psychiatry Research from December 2010, Risk of affective disorders following prenatal exposure to severe life events: A Danish population-based cohort study, by Ali S. Khashanemail and team, concluded that prenatal maternal exposure to severe life events may increase the risk of affective disorders in male offspring. These findings are consistent with studies of populations exposed to famine and earthquake disasters which indicate that prenatal environment may influence the neurodevelopment of the unborn child.

    May 27, 2014 - National Council on Disability reports on Effective Communications for People with Disabilities Before, During, and After Emergencies

    The National Council on Disability is an independent federal agency making recommendations to the President and Congress to enhance the quality of life for all Americans with disbilities and their families. Unfortunately the report expresses that the concerns of people with disabilities in emergency situations are frequently overlooked or minimized and that emergency management and effective communication must be provided to all people with disabilities. The report lists key barriers and recommendations to ensure coommunication needs for people with disabilities before, during, and after emergiencies. Time to address these issues with your local emergency authorities and reponders.

    May 2014 - Graduating this Spring? Read the article from Disability Blog on advice for the graduate

    Check out this article at Disability Blog: Forward! Advice to Graduates Who Have Disabilities from Adults with Disabilities By Guest Blogger Katherine Schneider, PhD, Author and Retired Clinical Psychologist. The author offers tips from several adults with disabilities about facing the transition and next stage of life. Practical, informational and inspirational - enjoy this article!

    May 2014 - Be My Eyes is launching an iPhone app in spring 2014

    Be My Eyes is launching an iPhone app in spring 2014 providing crowdsourced help for the blind with videochat. Request an invite to test it out at Be My Eyes

    May 2014 - Hey everyone, NHU is now on Twitter!

    Did you know that New Horizons Un-Limited is now on Twitter too? Jump on over and follow us for even more great resources, information and inspiration!

    March - Our NHU Benefit Raffle/Auction was a Great Success!

    Raffle participants purchasing tickets from our NHU volunteers at our event

    See Photos of Our Event!

    NHU Salutes Our 2014 Raffle and Auction Donors

    March 26-27, 2014 - 12th Annual Benefit Raffle & Silent Auction

    Raffle and Silent Auction

    Learn More About Our 12th Annual Benefit Raffle and Silent Auction

    To purchase raffle tickets and contribute donations,

    12th Annual Benefit Raffle and Silent Auction Ticket Order Form

    Grand Prize :

  • 32" LCD Smart TV
  • Drawing:
    March 27, 2014
    US Bank Center Galleria, Downtown Milwaukee
    Need Not Be Present To Win

    Raffle Tickets:
    $2 each, 3 for $5, 7 for $10 or 20 for $20

    Other prizes include restaurant certificates, hotel stays, festival and museum tickets, sporting event tickets and more. Our 2014 Raffle List is in development. Check back often as we update our complete list of prizes before the drawing.

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    March 2014 - ADHD research: Pain relief during pregnancy raises risks

    Consider this article in the Sydney Morning Herald, February 26, 2014 about a new study (although they are saying that it will need further study), that women who took paracetamol, also known as acetaminophen, while pregnant had a 37 per cent higher risk of having a child who would be later given a hospital diagnosis of hyperkinetic disorder, a particularly severe form of ADHD, said the study published in the February 24 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics. Read more: ADHD research: Pain relief during pregnancy raises risks

    March 2014 - Study uncovers why autism is more common in males

    Check out the following article in Science Daily February 27, 2014 covering a study in the American Journal of Human Genetics that
    uncovers why autism is more common in males. The study states that the female brain requires more extreme genetic alterations than does the male brain to produce symptoms of ASD or neurodevelopmental disorders. This new evidence suggests that a social bias may not be true.

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    2014 - February - President Obama signed Minimum Wage Executive Order to Include People with Disabilities

    Executive Order - Minimum Wage for all future Contractor and subcontractor workers to include people with disabilities establishing a $10.10 per hour minimum wage starting January 1, 2015. "14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act allows for workers with disabilities to be paid subminimum wage. This law dates back to 1938 and has been used by sheltered workshops where people with disabilities are segregated from other workers and can be paid as little as pennies per hour for doing the same work as employees without disabilities. We congratulate President Obama for equalizing pay for people with disabilities. Legislation is now pending in Congress that would phase out the 14(c) program, effectively ending the practice of paying workers with disabilities subminimum wage. Visit our Advocacy Alert! to contact your legislators.

    2014 - February - Word from the groundhog...six more weeks of winter! Blah!! Check out our advice on staying warm these next 6 weeks!

    Woman with fur hood, scarf, glasses to protect her eyes from the freezing wind and snow

    On February 2nd, the groundhog predicted 6 more weeks of winter. If you live in the frigid north, like we do here in Wisconsin, then you surely have had your fair share of below freezing temps.

    It is all too common for people with disabilities to simply stay indoors during these times. This can lead to boredom, isolation and depression.

    Rather than avoid these frigid days, embrace them, prepare for them and meet them with vigor and enthusiasm.

    Here is a collection of tips and must know information that will help you safely traverse through the cold months of winter.

    Visit our guide on Winter Safety Tips for People with Disabilities

    To find out what happened to the ground hog, (just kidding) visit On the Light Side!

    2014 - 10,000 Search Challenge - Support NHU With a Point, Click and a Search

    We are challenging you, our visitors to complete 100,000 searches on behalf of New Horizons Un-Limited this year. To participate in our challenge, click on the GoodSearch logo. Once on GoodSearch, type New Horizons into the "I'm Supporting" box and click "verify". A list of organizations will appear. Scroll down the list and select New Horizons Un-Limited Inc. (Milwaukee, WI) from the list of charities. Finally, search away! If you use Goodsearch twice a day, you will help us fulfill our challenge.

    Your search can go a long way in helping us improve and expand our services to our community members with disabilities.

    We are well on our way to our goal with 63181 searches which equals over $600 for NHU programs and services.

    Let the challenge begin…

    GoodSearch Logo

    GoodSearch enables you to help fund the programs of New Horizons Un-Limited through the simple act of searching the Internet. It's simple. You use GoodSearch.com like any other search engine. Every time you complete a search, a penny will be "deposited" into NHU's "account." GoodSearch has partnered with Yahoo!, a leading search engine to ensure that you receive the best results for your searches.

    2014 - January - Attend a free Work Incentive Seminar Event (WISE) online webinar!

    Are you interested in learning about how work will affect your Social Security benefits? You can attend a free Work Incentive Seminar Event (WISE) online webinar, Support for People with Disabilities on the Journey to Financial Independence, January 22, 2014, 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM Eastern, register for Work Incentive Seminar Events (WISE). WISE webinars are online events held for beneficiaries to learn about the Ticket to Work Program and available Work Incentives through accessible learning opportunities. WISE webinars are hosted on the fourth Wednesday of each month. Register on the WISE website or for more information send email to: upport@chooseworkttw.net, Phone: 1-866-968-7842 or TTY: 1-866-833-2967.

    2014 NHU Wishlist

    Donating computers

    NHU can only continue to provide our many services including information and referral with your support!!!

    Our informative website and our computer grant program are just some of the ways we are working together to improve the lives of community members with disabilities!

    Following, are numerous ways in which you may contribute towards the improvement of the lives of our community members with disabilities.

    Please take a moment to review our 2014 NHU Wish List and our Donate link for various ways to contribute to NHU.

    2014 - Thank you to everyone who assisted in promoting and contributing to our 2013 NHU Annual Appeal!

    Our Annual Appeal is important in acquiring sustaining funds for NHU programs for opportunity for people with disabilities! Remember to speak to family and friends throughout the year to remember us and the benefits of end-of-year giving.

    If you have not already given, please consider a donation to NHU in 2014. Click on NHU Annual Appeal.

    Click on the following for more information on Benefits of End-of-Year Giving and Planned Giving.

    2013 - December - U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) — Federal government has shown great development as a model employer for people with disabilities!

    The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced that in Fiscal Year (FY) 2012, people with disabilities were hired at a higher percentage than at any point in the past 32 years. Additionally, people with targeted disabilities were hired at a higher percentage than at any time in the past 17 years. This success has also led to more people with disabilities serving in federal service than at any time in the past 32 years. “People with disabilities are a vital part of the federal workforce, as we are better able to serve the American people because of the talents and experience they bring to the table.” said OPM Director Katherine Archuleta. “Since President Obama issued his Executive Order in 2010, we’ve made substantial progress in hiring and retaining people with disabilities over the past three years. This work is enabling the federal government to continue to develop as a model employer for people with disabilities.” To read more of this article, visit the OPM press release

    2013 - December - U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) — developing a list of Books that Shaped Work in America

    In honor of its Centennial this year, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) in partnership with the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress — is developing a list of Books that Shaped Work in America. Published works have played a significant role in shaping American workers and workplaces. To help get started, a diverse cross-section of individuals, including several former Secretaries of Labor, have shared their suggestions. Disability.gov points out that several books on disability employment challenges have made the list including Barbara Angle’s Those That Mattered, a novel about a female miner who acquires a disability on the job, and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s autobiography My Beloved World, in which she includes being diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at age seven that helped her develop the determination and self-reliance to seek a better life through education and a legal career. But they need your assistance too! Do you have a book of interest on employment challenges of people with disabilities. Recommend a book you feel should be on the list.

    2013 - December 3 - U.N. Enable International Day of Persons with Disabilities

    December 3 will be a day of advocacy, awareness and celebration for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities with the Theme: “Break Barriers, Open Doors: for an inclusive society and development for all” Check out the website to see ways to show your support.

    December - U.S. Senate is Coming around again to readdress the U.S. Senate Ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities treaty

    According to the U.N. about 138 countries have ratified the Disabilities Rights convention and it is backed by the Obama administration, however the Senate has yet to ratify it. The Senate was unable to ratify the treaty last December with a vote that largely fell along party lines. Ratifying the treaty will cause no change to U.S. law and it would allow the U.S. to take a leadership position on disability rights throughout the world and ensure Americans with disabilities the same protections they have here in the U.S. when they travel abroad. Contact your Senator to let him know what this treaty means to you!

    For more information, visit the Disability Scoop: Senate to Revive Disability Rights Treaty

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