disabilities

Calming-Sirens

Zefer Foundation to Participate in CALMING SIRENS

Join Zefer Foundation at CALMING SIRENS – An event in cooperation with several public safety organizations from Burlington County specifically for the SPECIAL NEEDS POPULATION.

There will be firetrucks, police cars, an ambulance, and staff
on location to help familiarize the special needs population with emergency services in a fun, non-judgmental way!

Saturday, May 6th Noon – 2 pm at the
RCBS Mount Laurel Campus Enterprise Center
For directions, click here.

Come visit us at our info table!

Luke’s Best Chance: One Man’s Fight for His Autistic Son

Luke-AutismMore than a million children in America are the autism spectrum. What happens when they come of age? Luke greets me in the hallway, thrusting a book in my direction, then snatches it back and darts into his room. It’s been two weeks since I’ve seen him, and what I desperately want to do is grab him up and hug him till he howls. But because it’s been two weeks – and because he is autistic – I must begin again, from the start line, with my son.  His bedroom, per usual, is a hot mess. The floor is a Slip ‘N Slide of books he’s pulled down,

We Need to Stop Treating People with Disabilities as Less Than Human

Roxan-Perez-joins-more--than-200-protestorsIn the many countries I’ve visited over the past several years while researching conditions for people with disabilities, the one constant – and haunting – refrain I’ve heard from people with disabilities has been: “I am treated as less than human.”

It wasn’t hard to understand why they might feel that way when I saw a five-year old girl in Ghana dressed in rags, with a heavy chain secured to a nearby tree clamped around her legs. This was her fate because her family believed that she was possessed by evil spirits, which is commonly associated with having a disability in many communities.

Families Face Indefinite Wait For Services

Families Face Indefinite Wait For ServicesAbbey Etling lifts the sippy cup to her lips and drinks from it. It’s a small gesture, but one that is laden with meaning
for her mother, Sandy Etling. Being able to lift a cup, drink from it, and set it down without dropping it or spilling it—
it’s something that most adults do without a second thought dozens of times every day. But for Abbey, 22, who has
an intellectual disability and autism, it is a skill that took years to learn and master. She still struggles with putting
the cup down.

Federal Panel Seeks Input On Autism

Federal Panel Seeks Input On AutismA federal autism advisory panel is looking for public feedback as it prepares to update the government’s priorities for addressing the developmental disorder for the first time in years. The Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee is soliciting comments as the group looks to revise its strategic plan. The panel comprised of government officials and members of the autism community is charged with creating and annually updating the federal government’s priorities for autism research, services and policy.

Read the full article here.

The 5 Levels of Inclusion

Autism-AwarenessDehumanization is one of the great societal tragedies. Once we dehumanize a group we are free to exclude them, deny their rights, and inflict violence. Whenever a particular group experiences dehumanization it is the weakest among them who face the most extreme consequences.  On most occasions these are those with disabilities. Inclusion prevents dehumanization. When a group is included they become real to the mainstream population.  What makes them real is the creation of physical, emotional, and intellectual ties or connections.  In short, inclusion makes those previously excluded fully human. When this occurs the mainstream population finds it much more difficult to exclude them socially,