DAA News Network

USA: Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): Presidential proclamation and protests against unequal pay

Posted 29/07-11 at 00.47

President Barack Obama issued an official proclamation to celebrate the 21st anniversary of the ADA. He also called for the ratification of the CRPD. "Through the ADA, America was the first country in the world to comprehensively declare equality ...

USA: State governor issues order to regulate shock therapy at Judge Rotenberg Centre

Posted 29/07-11 at 00.20

On 22nd of July arguments were heard at a public hearing on proposed regulations that would phase out the use of controversial shock treatment for young people at the Judge Rosenberg Centre in Canton, Massachusetts. Representatives from civil and ...

USA: Legal action against cuts to benefits for disabled people

Posted 09/07-11 at 21.50

Advocacy groups in North Carolina have filed a federal class-action lawsuit against the state Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) over deep cuts in Medicaid benefits to people with learning difficulties The lawsuit claims that the new ...

USA: Legal victory and ban on restraints in institutions

Posted 28/06-11 at 00.37

Since 1997, about 200 of the 300 people living at the Minnesota Extended Treatment Options (METO), a residential institution for people with learning difficulties in Cambridge, were restrained by staff, sometimes for nothing more than touching a pizz ...

USA: Victory for independent living in Illinois

Posted 19/06-11 at 16.00

On June 15th, a federal judge approved a settlement to a long-running civil case that will force the state of Illinois to begin moving hundreds of people with learning difficulties into more community-based homes and apartments of their choice. T ...

USA: Judge rejects government case against residential institution for people with learning difficulties

Posted 15/06-11 at 16.18

District Court Judge Leon Holmes has dismissed most of the claims made by the U.S. Department of Justice that the 500 disabled residents of the Conway Human Development Center (CHDC) in Arkansas were subjected to abuse and neglect, poor medical care, ...

USA: Cruel but usual treatment at New York residential institutions

Posted 13/06-11 at 16.45

In March, 2011, the New York Times published a devastating exposé of conditions in the state's residential institutions for disabled people. Now they have written a related story about the 2007 death of 13-year-old disabled boy, Jonathan Cary. He ...

USA: Law suit to stop cuts to in-home support for disabled people

Posted 06/06-11 at 14.58

In North Carolina advocates have filed a federal class-action lawsuit seeking to block the state from cutting in-home care services to 4,000 disabled people who need extensive assistance to remain at home and out of an institution. "People with d ...

USA: Budget cuts unfairly target disabled people

Posted 05/06-11 at 19.50

The state of Illinois is planning deep cuts to independent living support for disabled people. This is being done to help balance the state's $13 billion deficit. The governor's proposal, one of three possible budgets being considered (from the g ...

USA: Worker at residential institution arrested for sexual abuse

Posted 05/06-11 at 19.22

Orlando Baez, a care worker, admitted to the sexual abuse of a 26-year-old woman with mental health problems living at Hillandale, a residential facility in Pasco County, Florida. This marks the second time an employee has been arrested for sexually ...

USA: ‘Shock school’ director forced out

Posted 27/05-11 at 15.47

Matthew Israel (78), founder and director of the Judge Rotenberg Center, where disabled youngsters are punished with electric shocks, has been forced to quit the centre and to serve five years' probation. These moves were the result of a plea bar ...

USA: Disabled people arrested at Washington protest

Posted 04/05-11 at 19.15

Coming to Washington DC from 25 different states, 300 m ...

USA: Child denied Communion because of his impairment

Posted 30/04-11 at 23.01

  Kevin Castro, an 8-year-old disabled youngster from Floresville, Texas, has been denied his First Communion because he has cerebral palsy. Instead, Kevin was offered the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, also known as The Last Rig ...

USA: Sanctions against doctor who certified prisoners with learning difficulties fit to be executed

Posted 25/04-11 at 14.57

Dr. George Denkowski, a psychologist who examined 14 inmates who are now on Texas' Death Row, and two others who were subsequently executed, and found them intellectually competent enough to face the death penalty, agreed on Thursday never to perform ...

USA: Mother in armed standoff with police over refusal to medicate disabled daughter

Posted 24/04-11 at 14.00

Maryanne Godboldo said she should have the right to decide treatment for her disabled daughter, Ariana, whom she was weaning off antipsychotic drugs because of the negative side effects they were having on the child. ...

USA: Disabled people losing jobs at an alarming rate

Posted 18/04-11 at 01.29

In a speech at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Corporate Disability Employment Summit, Senator Tom Harkin, a longtime disability advocate, urged business leaders to step up efforts to employ disabled people. Harkin told his audience that, ‘"The ...

USA: Disabled mother wins conditional right to see her children

Posted 07/04-11 at 13.40

In an interim court ruling, Abbie Dorn, a disabled woman who can only communicate by blinking, has been granted visiting rights with her 4-year old triplets. Two years after they were born, their parents divorced. Except for a four-day visit in D ...

USA: Better in prison than free and disabled in California?

Posted 03/04-11 at 00.31

Laura Repke, says that her son, as well as many other people with learning difficulties, might be better off in prison, even on Death Row. ...

USA: “World better off without defective people”

Posted 16/03-11 at 19.45

Martin Harty, a 91-year-old Republican representative in the New Hampshire legislature, told, Sharon Omand, a constituent, that he believes in eugenics and that the world would be better off without "...the mentally ill, the retarded, people with phy ...

USA : Teacher convicted for abusing disabled child

Posted 03/03-11 at 17.45

Laurie Peavy, a teacher at Woodstock High School in Cherokee County, Georgia, who duct-taped an autistic boy to a chair and confined a blind girl under a desk, pleaded guilty to false imprisonment and cruelty to children, was sentenced to six year ...

USA: Disabled people stage protest against cuts

Posted 02/03-11 at 22.04

In Austin, Texas on March 1st, 400 disabled people and their supporters held a protest against cuts to essential services, outside the governor's office. ...

USA: Billions available to support independent living

Posted 28/02-11 at 17.08

Under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government is to spend $4.3 billion to help establish and expand community-based alternatives to long-term institutional care. $621 million will be provided over the next five years to expand the Money F ...

USA: Virginia warned over failure on independent living

Posted 20/02-11 at 03.37

A Justice Department investigation has found that Virginia is violating the rights of disabled residents by failing to provide sufficient community living options for those who are currently in institutions. It was also found that the state is no ...

USA: City’s disaster plans to discriminate against disabled people

Posted 14/02-11 at 17.43

A federal judge has ruled that Los Angeles is discriminating against disabled people by failing to include them in its emergency preparedness plans. The judge wrote that, "Because of the city's failure to address their unique needs, individuals w ...

USA: State sued over failure to move disabled people from institutional care

Posted 11/02-11 at 01.25

In a lawsuit against the state of Arkansas, the US Justice Department claims that residents of the Conway Human Development Center aren't being given enough of a chance to move out into the community. The state-run institution holds around 510 pe ...

USA: McDonald’s sued over abuse of disabled man by employees

Posted 08/02-11 at 12.46

A civil action has been started by the mother of a Navajo man with learning difficulties who was allegedly abused by three employees of one of McDonald's restaurants in New Mexico. It is claimed that the restaurant in Farmington hired employees in ...

USA: Sharp rise in employment disability discrimination claims

Posted 20/01-11 at 19.37

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reports that charges of disability discrimination rose by about 17 percent last year to 25,165 claims. The spike in disability claims began in the months after Congress approved changes to the Am ...

USA: Sexual assaults on disabled women in care home

Posted 14/01-11 at 13.14

Police in Los Angeles arrested a suspect believed to be one of four men shown in a video apparently sexually assaulting disabled women in a care home and other places in about 2007. ...

USA: Violent crime against disabled people twice that experienced by non-disabled people

Posted 13/12-10 at 01.07

A Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) report of the latest figures for crime (2008), show disabled people were twice as likely to be the victims of crime than their non-disabled peers. The violent crimes included 40,000 rapes or sexual assa ...

USA: Photo history of disability movement on show in Chicago

Posted 28/11-10 at 00.28

More than 25 years of the work of ADAPT, the militant arm of the disability rights movement in the US, is chronicled in a photo exhibition the opens this week at Chicago's Center for Independent Living. ...

USA: Budget cuts could dump disabled people in homeless shelters

Posted 02/11-10 at 15.15

A family in Battle Ground, Indiana, have been told that because the state won't pay for their disabled son to live independently, they should consider leaving him at a shelter for homeless people. The state bureau responsible denied this i ...

USA: “Too disabled to fly alone” Disabled man thrown off airplane

Posted 21/10-10 at 15.54

Johnnie Tuitel, 47, who has flown over 500,000 miles to give motivational speeches, said he was humiliated when he was kicked off a US Airways flight after being told he was too disabled to fly alone. After helping him into his seat aboard ...

USA: US wrongfully deports citizen with mental health problems

Posted 19/10-10 at 13.10

Mark Lyttle, a U.S. citizen of Puerto Rican descent with severe mental health problems was illegally deported to Mexico by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). He spent over four months living on the streets and in the shelters and prisons of M ...

USA: Leader of Autism Network International tells it like it is

Posted 11/10-10 at 17.53

Ari Ne'eman is the first person recognised with autism to be appointed to a Presidential advisory body, in this case the National Council on Disability. As we have reported previously, his appointment was initially blocked in the Senate. The suspi ...

USA: People with learning difficulties abused in California prisons

Posted 23/09-10 at 21.44

Nine years ago a federal judge ordered California to protect inmates with learning difficulties in state prisons. Last July, the state asked that the decree be lifted. However, the judge refused saying that these prisoners are still being, ‘verball ...

USA: Employment programs fail to assist disabled people

Posted 15/09-10 at 23.24

A study carried out by the University of Kansas has found two major federal government programs designed to help disabled people find jobs are not working. "The biggest problem is that these are one-size-fits-all programs," said one of the ...

USA: Executing people with learning difficulties

Posted 13/09-10 at 22.21

On September 9th, Holly Wood, an African-American with learning difficulties, was executed in Alabama, for the 1993 murder of his ...

USA: Airline fined for illegal treatment of disabled passengers

Posted 10/09-10 at 02.08

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has fined AirTran Airways $500,000 for violations of the legal requirement to offer boarding assistance to disabled people. In addition, the airline frequently did not provide an adequate written response t ...

USA: Reports shows continued abuse of disabled people’s human rights

Posted 29/08-10 at 19.30

The UN Human Rights Council's Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a review of the human rights records of all 192 UN Member States carried out once every four years. It provides an opportunity for all States to report on what actions they have take ...

USA: Disabled people arrested in protest against cuts

Posted 27/08-10 at 13.18

Twenty-two disabled people were arrested when they stopped traffic during a large, colourful demonstration outside California's Capitol Building on August 18th. 200 to 300 people had come to protest against the savage cuts to programmes supporting ...

USA: Obama celebrates 20 years of ADA with executive order to increase employment of disabled people

Posted 02/08-10 at 06.47

"Not dependence but independence: That's what the ADA was all about," President Barack Obama said at a White House reception to mark the 20th anniversary of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). Obama also signed an executive order th ...

USA: 20 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and discrimination remains a major problem

Posted 27/07-10 at 09.21

July 26th marks the 20th anniversary of the signing of the ADA. A major report, the sixth in a series carried out since 1986, has found that, "While there has been modest improvement among a few indicators... there has yet to be significant progress ...

USA: Physical abuse claims at school for Deaf

Posted 23/07-10 at 07.26

The director of a residential school for Deaf children in North Carolina has been suspended after allegations that she failed to act on reports that staff members slapped a student, shoved another and held one girl face-down on the floor with a force ...

USA: Demonstration in support of disabled boy attacked by gang

Posted 13/07-10 at 00.45

Over 100 people gathered in front of City Hall in Havana, Illinois to demand action to protect Cory Miller, a 16-year-old wheelchair user, and to find and prosecute the youths who viciously attacked him on Saturday afternoon on Main Street. ...

USA: Father fights Do Not Resuscitate order on disabled child

Posted 06/07-10 at 03.07

A DNR (Do Not Resusciate) order was issued on Jack Frost's 8 year old disabled child, without his input or permission. He has been fighting for months both to have the DNR revoked and raise awareness of the issue more generally. Frost maintains t ...

USA: Update. National Council on Disability

Posted 06/07-10 at 02.59

In our May issue of Our Rights, we reported that Ari Ne'eman, founder of the he Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, had his nomination to sit on National Council on Disability held up in the US Senate. It had been suggested this happened because some par ...

USA: Judge rules Florida must provide independent living support

Posted 06/07-10 at 02.49

Michele Haddad had been told that community services would only be available if she was willing to enter a nursing home for 60 days. However, on June 23rd, a U.S. District Court in Jacksonville, Florida, citing the Americans with Disabilities Act's ( ...

USA: Court orders independent living move for people held in institutions.

Posted 02/07-10 at 02.16

Afederal appeals court has ruled that New York State must comply with a lower court's order to begin immediately transferring thousands of people with mental health problems in New York City out of large, institutional group homes and into their o ...

USA: Disability group in court to fight for independent living

Posted 25/06-10 at 21.10

Disability Rights California (DRC) was in the Circuit Court of Appeals on June 15th to argue why the state should not make cuts to independent living support. Outside the court dozens of disabled and elderly people demonstrated in support of DRC. ...

USA: Support for disabled people face drastic cuts in California

Posted 12/06-10 at 15.12

Disability programmes in California are being slashed to cope with the state's massive financial deficit. Benefit payments were reduced last year and dental coverage was eliminated. The governor's current budget plan would eliminate in-home suppor ...

USA: Disability benefits system swamped due to economic recession

Posted 01/06-10 at 17.37

About 12.8 people in the US receive Social Security disability benefits.* At the moment, nearly 2 million people are waiting to find out if they qualify. The system is so overwhelmed by applications that many people are waiting more than two years fo ...

USA: Renowned disability activist to join US State Department

Posted 28/05-10 at 20.42

Judy Heumann, a well-known international disability rights advocate, has been appointed Special Advisor for International Disability Rights at the U.S. Department of State. Between 2002 - 2006, Judy was the Advisor on Disability and Develo ...

USA: Battle against physician-assisted suicide highlights dangers for disabled people

Posted 27/05-10 at 18.31

Two Connecticut doctors, Gary Blick and Ron Levine, supported by Compassion and Choices, an euthanasia pressure group, are suing the State of Connecticut in order to legalise physician-assisted suicide. Opposition has come from Not Dead Yet, indiv ...

USA: Republican Senate candidate critical of Americans with Disabilities Act

Posted 26/05-10 at 18.17

Rand Paul, the newly nominated Republican Senatorial candidate for Kentucky, has voiced opposition to both the Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Paul, who claims to have a mandate from the ultra-rightwing Tea Party, m ...

USA: Disabled child starved to death in state care facility

Posted 26/05-10 at 17.26

Johnny Andron, a ten-year-old disabled boy, died of starvation while in foster case in Michigan. His mother, Elena, a single parent, had asked for help when she lost her job. The ‘help’ was to take her son into care.   ...

USA: Federal government sues Arkansas for holding disabled people in institutions

Posted 16/05-10 at 21.52

The US Department of Justice is taking legal action against the state of Arkansas for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The lawsuit claims that, ‘The state gives individuals with developmental disabilities the draconian choice ...

USA: Disabled child found chained to a bed

Posted 11/05-10 at 01.35

After a 911 call from a 6-year old boy, police arrived at a house in the village of Park Forest, just south of Chicago, to find the boy's cousin, an 8-year-old disabled girl, chained to a bed. She was wearing a nylon dog harness and lying in her w ...

USA: Disabled nominee for National Council on Disability not confirmed by Senate

Posted 08/05-10 at 17.14

Ari Ne'eman is a neurodiverse university student in his early 20s, nominated by President Obama to serve on the National Council on Disability. He is the only one of the eight new nominees who is disabled and also the only one not to be confirmed ...

USA: Torture alleged at ‘special needs school’

Posted 06/05-10 at 01.23

Mental Disability Rights International (MDRI) has claimed that in the name of ‘treatment' disabled children and young adults are in effect being tortured at the Judge Rotenberg Centre (JRC) in Canton, Massachusetts. According to their report, JR ...

USA: New York City to mainstream more disabled students

Posted 04/05-10 at 11.39

By 2011 all of New York City's 1500 schools will be expected to enrol all but the most severely disabled students. This is being done to bring the city in line with national trend of mainstreaming and also because of the spiralling cost of ‘spec ...

USA: State budget cuts hit services for disabled people

Posted 16/03-10 at 21.55

The chief executive of the American Association of People with Disabilities, said that of all the budget cuts hitting services for disabled people throughout the US, South Carolina is the most extreme example. To help deal with a $560 mill ...

USA: “Disabled children are God’s punishment for having an abortion.”

Posted 08/03-10 at 21.08

Bob Marshall, a Republican state delegate in Virginia, has said, "The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion with handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the first born of any, nature takes its ve ...

USA: Hate crime murder of young woman with learning difficulties

Posted 04/03-10 at 15.34

Laura Cummings, a 23-year old with learning difficulties from North Collins, New York, was tortured and then murdered, allegedly by her mother and half brother. They will now stand trial after being indicted by a grand jury. It has been cl ...

US: Brutal murder of woman with learning difficulty may test new hate crime law

Posted 22/02-10 at 13.28

On February 11th, Jennifer Daugherty (30), who had learning difficulties, was found dead in a plastic garbage container at a middle school in Greenburg, Pennsylvania. She had been bound, beaten and stabbed repeatedly. Police have charged three men ...

USA: Disability discrimination rises in the US

Posted 30/01-10 at 11.08

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced that 93,277 workplace discrimination charges were filed during Fiscal Year (FY) 2009, the second highest level ever. Of these, 21,451 were cases involving disability discriminat ...

USA: Teenager with autism assaulted by Chicago police

Posted 16/12-09 at 18.13

In April, sixteen-year-old Oscar Guzman was outside his family's restaurant when two officers approached him. He couldn't answer their questions, became frightened and fled inside. Ignoring Oscar's family's explanation that he couldn't understand ...

USA: Bill to get rid of official use of the term “mental retardation”.

Posted 24/11-09 at 02.08

A bill has been introduced in the US Senate to remove the terms "mental retardation" and "mentally retarded" from federal law. They would be replaced with "intellectual disability" and "individual with an intellectual disability." The prop ...

USA: Assisted Suicide is a no go in New Hampshire

Posted 19/11-09 at 19.31

In the state's House Judiciary Committee both opponents and supporters voted 14-3 against the bill that would let terminally ill patients over age 18 obtain lethal prescriptions. Those in favour of assisted suicide did not support the bill ...

USA: Father kills disabled son and then himself

Posted 11/11-09 at 21.41

After telling his son he loved him, a father in Philadelphia shot and killed the boy and then took his own life. Fabian Duque, 17 years old, was autistic and used a wheelchair. Luis Carrasquillo, a family friend, said "...everyone on the ...

USA: House passes hate crime bill

Posted 11/10-09 at 13.25

The House of Representatives voted on October 7th to expand the definition of violent federal hate crimes to those committed because of a victim's sexual orientation, gender or disability.This would add to the current federal law that covers crime ...

USA: Emphasis on prevention and cure leads to health inequality for disabled people

Posted 06/10-09 at 19.37

Amassive (434 page) authoritative report from the National Council on Disability has found that disabled people "...bear a disproportionate burden of poor health compared with the general population ..." The report, which contains over 40 ...

USA: Disabled people face higher rates of crime

Posted 06/10-09 at 19.31

The first national crime survey of crime against disabled people has been produced by the US Justice Department. The figures relate to 2007 and are age adjusted. Among the report's findings are the following: Disable ...

United States: Teacher who abused disabled children can't be sacked

Posted 07/09-09 at 11.43

A special education teacher who was found to have abused her students will not lose her job in Sarasota County, Florida. Diana O'Neill, arrested on charges of child abuse, had subsequently been acquitted in court.Nonetheless, the school di ...

Disabled students face beatings in US school

Posted 26/08-09 at 19.18

More than 40,000 disabled students suffered physical punishment, including beatings, in US state schools (2006-07) . This was revealed in "Impairing Education: Corporal Punishment of Students with Disabiliti ...

Newsflash: Obama Signs Convention

Posted 23/07-09 at 02.51

As he had promised, President Obama is to sign the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) on Friday, July 24, 2009 at the White House. Significantly, this will be the 19th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with D ...

Disabled girl killed and put in bin bags

Posted 26/04-09 at 18.59

On Friday 24 April, a mother in Mitchigan, USA has been charged with murder of a disabled adoptive girl.The 9-year-old Shylea Myza Thomas, whose body was found in bin bags in a storage unit suffered from "severe, ongoing malnutrition and neglect" ...

Disabled people protest over cuts

Posted 09/03-09 at 23.25

About 2000 disabled people and their families turned up on Saturday, 8th March in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA. They wanted to show their disapproval at the govenor's budget plans for May. The proposed cuts would endanger many programs that offer supp ...

Comment: Inauguration of Barak Hussein Obama.

Posted 21/01-09 at 12.45

On 20th January 2009, the man who had became the 44th President of the USA proclaimed an ‘end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recrimination and worn-out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics’. ...

An ally in the White House

Posted 07/11-08 at 14.46

Disabled People were explicitly included in the acceptance speech of the new President elect. He stated that America is a place were all things are possible."It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, bl ...

US Nursing Home Sit-in

Posted 04/10-08 at 16.43

“There is no justice for someone in a nursing home” ...

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