Category Archives: News

Developmentally Disabled Drivers Excluded From Florida ID Law

This month, the Florida Department of Highway Safety of Motor Vehicles released new driver’s licenses and ID cards. The department describes the new cards as, “the most secure over-the-counter credential on the market today.” Specific security features include multiple details that glow under ultraviolet light. You can get markers on your driver’s license that indicate if you are deaf/hard of hearing, if you are an organ donor, if you have a hunting or fishing license, and if you’re a veteran. You cannot, however, get a marker on your driver’s license that indicates that you have a developmental disability. That marker is only available on non-driver ID cards. In December, when the developmental disability designations first rolled out, the department claimed that the lack of availability for driver’s licenses was only temporary. "[It] will go into effect once the redesigned Florida driver license is implemented," department spokesperson Beth Frady told the … Continue Reading ››

Less Than One Percent of Trump White House Visitors Have a Disability

In May, Politico released an unofficial White House visitor log. The numbers they compiled were striking: 6 months into the Trump presidency, approximately 80% White House visitors were white and a little less than two thirds were cis men. They also revealed that the President has met with significantly more Republicans than Democrats and almost the same number of foreign leaders as American celebrities. After intensive analysis, NOS Magazine has determined that as of August 24, only 15 of the 1646 visitors to the White House are publicly known to have a disability. That’s less than 1%. Almost all of them have been wounded veterans or what the White House calls “Obamacare victims.” The lack of an official, public visitor log is a break from the Obama era, where most visits were released after a three month lag. The Obama White House did maintain some exceptions. They … Continue Reading ››

Which Disability Nonprofits are Sticking with Mar-a-Lago?

A number of nonprofits, including the Salvation Army, the American Red Cross and Susan G. Komen have canceled plans to hold fundraising events at the Mar-a-Lago Club and other Trump properties. These cancellations are in response to what many feel to be inadequate and offensive statements from President Trump about a recent white supremacist march in Charlottesville. President Trump’s initial response was that there were bad actors on “both sides” and that there were some “fine people” marching alongside the self-described Nazis and white supremacists attending Unite the Right. What decisions have nonprofits relevant to the neurodiversity community made in response to the President's statements on Charlottesville? This article outlines which organizations have stood by President Trump and which have not, as President Trump makes unprecedented attacks on programs like SSDI and Medicaid that many in our community need to survive. Autistic people who are … Continue Reading ››

Government Committee Recommends Increase in Autism Research Funding

The Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) recently recommended that autism research funding double, including an increase to adult services and supports. They also called for an increase in research funding for co-occurring conditions like epilepsy or Ehler-Danlos syndrome, which cause death and chronic pain for many autistic people. IACC is a government advisory panel made up of federal officials, autism professionals, family members and autistic adults. Currently, only three of the 31 IACC members are autistic. None of the federal members are autistic, nor is their chair. IACC is responsible for setting federal autism  research priorities. John Elder Robison, an autistic member of IACC, is pleased with the increase, as well as increased attention to issues beyond basic biology and genetics. “In accordance with out new President’s wish to make America great and get things done, we have recommended a level of funding that we feel will take us a … Continue Reading ››

William Shatner Doubles Down on Lighting it Up Blue

In Joel and Ethan Coen’s “Barton Fink,” there’s a scene where the title character (John Turturro), a pretentious playwright who’s moved to Hollywood, meets his new neighbor Charlie (John Goodman), an insurance salesman. Fink shares his ambition to tell stories about “the common man,” with Charlie piping up that he could “tell you some stories” several times. Fink doesn’t take the hint, simply steamrolling ahead instead of listening to the guy whose voice he’s supposedly out to capture. It can be a frustratingly similar experience for a member of a marginalized group trying to get a word in edgewise with someone claiming to advocate for you, especially if they’re being less helpful than they imagine they are. It can be mortifying to be told you’re hindering rather than helping, but someone who sincerely cares about their advocacy will make time to listen to those affected by it. And then there’s William Shatner, … Continue Reading ››