Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday round-up

From The Associated Press, Trenton, New Jersey (May 13) - Disabled New Jerseyans are planning to protest Gov. Jon S. Corzine's proposed budget outside the Statehouse May 14. The budget calls for cutting $125,000 from five of the state's 12 Centers for Independent Living.

From AP/Houston Chronicle (May 13) - About two dozen disability activists from three advocacy groups unfurled banners and protested at the Texas state Capitol yesterday, alleging the state legislature is “failing the disability community.”

From FOX News in Box Elder County, Utah (May 13) - A Box Elder County school bus driver is on suspension after a five-year-old autistic boy fell asleep on her bus and was later found wandering the streets. The boy, Dylan Snow, has autism spectrum disorder and dozed off as he was going to the early learning center preschool in Corinne. According to the Box Elder County superintendent's office, when the kids were dropped off at the school, neither the bus driver or aide checked to see if everyone got off.

From the Portland Oregonian (May 12) - 47-year-old Margie Tisdale been sentenced to a year in jail for stealing $5,000 from the bank accounts of the adults with disabilities she had been hired to assist. Ms Tisdale was employed by the nonprofit United Cerebral Palsy of Oregon and Southwest Washington. According to prosecutors, she stole money from five people and spent it on manicures, lattes and her rent.

From the San Jose Mercury News (May 12 - Mental health advocates are protesting against the recently opened Psycho Donuts store in Campbell, California, saying it encourages stigma against people with mental illness.

From the Philadelphia News (May 12) - Nicola Cantisani, a blind professional translator en route on a US Airways flight from Philadephia to Belgium was arrested, dragged off the plane and accused of faking his blindness after he stood up and questioned why his was delayed nearly two hours. Mr Cantisani, of Brussels, Belgium, who has been blind since birth, was charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, police said.

From The Coloradoan (May 12) - Activists in Fort Collins, Colarado, are seeking a change in a city ordinance that would permit wheelchairs in bike lanes on city streets. The current ordinance requires wheelchair users, who are defined as pedestrians, to use sidewalks when they are available. When there is no sidewalk, a pedestrian may use the street but is instructed to stay as far to the right shoulder as possible. (h/t Media dis&dat)

From the San Jose Mercury News in Santa Clara, California (May 11) - A federal investigation has found that Millikin School in Santa Clara, the fifth-highest scoring elementary school in California, illegally discriminated against students with disabilities by discouraging them from attending. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights said the Santa Clara Unified School District has been forcing students in special education who need a resource aide to choose between getting an aide or attending Millikin because the school does not routinely provide that service.

From in Corpus Christi, Texas (May 7) - A grand jury indicted six former state school employees on felony charges, accusing them of staging fight club-style brawls between residents. D’Angelo Riley, 22; Jesse Salazar, 25; Guadalupe Delarosa Jr., 22; Vincent Johnson, 22; and Timothy Dixon, 30; all were indicted Thursday on injury to a disabled person, a third-degree felony. Stephanie Garza, 21, faces the same charge but as a state jail felony.