Children with Disabilities Are Disciplined Twice As Much As Their

A new report conducted by National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools reveals that both public and charter school children with disabilities are disciplined far more than their peers, even by those teachers who are specialists in their education. Check out the article: “Disciplining Children with Disabilities”.... >> read more

Education Department notes big rise in disability complaints

A new study is set to show that complaints of discrimination against students with disabilities rose sharply in 2017. Check out the article from Disability Scoop: “Discrimination against People with Disabilities Is on the Rise”.... >> read more

Many Parents Not Planning For Future of Children With Disabilities According To New Study

A web-based national survey asked parents of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to state whether they had completed 11 items related to planning for their offspring’s long term needs, such as identifying a successor to the current caregiver in the event s/he died or became incapacitated. More than 380 parents, mostly mothers, completed the […]... >> read more

Clausen House 50th Year in Review

Clausen House celebrated its 50th Anniversary Year with three events: 1) A Community Celebration on July 16, 2017, at Oakland’s beautiful Preservation Park. 2) An Art Show on September 7, 2017 that featured a variety of art pieces created by our talented clients. 3) A Gala Celebration on November 4, 2017 at the stunning Claremont […]... >> read more

Heart of Gold Gala featured in Oakland/Alameda magazines

2018 Oakland magazine – Snapshots Gala Jan 2018... >> read more

Clausen House featured in “Piedmont Post”

Thank you to Board member Roger Eliassen who did all the research for this history of Clausen House, and thank you to Piedmont Post for including the article! Check it out: 2017 Piedmont Post – 50th Anniversary Gala 100417.... >> read more

Bipartisan Congressional Group Formed to Prioritize Policies Increasing Employment Opportunities For Individuals With Developmental Disabilities

Five members of the U.S. House of Representatives announced that they have formed a bipartisan group of federal lawmakers called the Bipartisan House Working Group on Employing People with Disabilities in an effort to promote policies aimed at increasing employment among people with developmental disabilities.  The group will work to identify polices and regulations that […]... >> read more

Nonprofit Called ‘Creative Spirit’ Seeks to Create 130k Jobs for People With Developmental Disabilities

Leaders of several New York advertising agencies have formed the nonprofit Creative Spirit, which will work to grow employment opportunities for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities at advertising, media, marketing and technology firms across the country. They have set an ambitious goal of creating 130,000 jobs for people with developmental disabilities by 2020. The […]... >> read more

Clausen House in “Oakland” & “Alameda” magazines

The October issue. Tickets are available to our 50th Anniversary Gala. Go to: Gala Tickets .... >> read more

Clausen House is producing a commemorative 50th Anniversary Yearbook!

…And you can participate! As part of the 50th Celebration, Clausen House is creating a Commemorative Yearbook honoring our founders, celebrating our history, and saluting our clients, families, staff and heroes. You and your family can participate and support this project by purchasing an ad. With your ad, you can: • Remember or honor a […]... >> read more

Down Syndrome Based Reality Show ‘Born This Way’ to Return for 4th Season

A&E Network said it has renewed “Born This Way” for a fourth season.  The show, which centers on seven young adults with Down syndrome and their families, will return with eight new episodes, the network said.  The renewal comes a month after “Born This Way” was nominated for Emmy Awards for its casting, cinematography and […]... >> read more

Study Shows Down Syndrome Prevalence In Nine States on the Rise

According to a study published in August in the American Journal of Medical Genetics, Part A, researchers found that the Down syndrome population steadily increased between 1950 and 2010. According to the study’s authors, “racial and ethnic groups, other than non-Hispanic whites, comprise a growing proportion within these Down syndrome communities, particularly among younger-aged persons.” […]... >> read more

Clausen House in the Episcopal Diocese of CA’s Diobytes

The Episcopal Diocese of California has a story about our 50th Anniversary Community Party in its online publication “Diobytes.” To view the article click here.... >> read more


As part of PBS’ POV (Point of View) series, the Chilean documentary “The Grown Ups” will air on Monday, September 4 at 10 pm.  The documentary is an “‘empathetic study of middle-aged students at a school for Down’s  Syndrome [adults that] shows them to be stuck in a tragic state of limbo: Mature enough to […]... >> read more

Clausen House 50th Anniversary Art Show & Reception

Clausen House is holding a special 50th Anniversary Art Show in conjunction with Grand Avenue’s First Thursday, on Thursday, September 7, 2017, from 6:00-8:00pm at the Clarence J. Woodard Community Center, 650 Grand Avenue in Oakland. The displays will feature paintings (oil, acrylic and watercolor), sculptures and an entire section of fantastic urban art and […]... >> read more

Clausen House in the Piedmont Post

On the occasion of Clausen House’s 50th Anniversary, “Piedmont Post” published a feature story on the Clausens and why there needed to be a Clausen House 50 years ago and will still need to be one 50 years from now. 2017 Piedmont Post – 50th Anniversary 071917... >> read more


In the late 1960’s options were limited for families of individuals with developmental disabilities. The choice was to keep their loved one isolated in the family home or institutionalized in one of California’s overcrowded mental institutions. Two Piedmont families, Dr. Edwin and Shirley Clausen and Helen and Ralph Pahlmeyer, were facing this stark circumstance for […]... >> read more


The U.S. Department of Education launched a new website Thursday morning dedicated to housing information on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The updated website is based on feedback from parents, educators, disability advocates and other stakeholders, according to an agency statement.  The website features better search capabilities, enhanced accessibility and more content, the […]... >> read more

Trump Budget Threatens Services for Individuals With Developmental Disabilities

The $4.1 trillion budget proposed by the Trump Administration released Tuesday puts safety-net programs such as Medicaid on the chopping block while bolstering defense spending. The budget released this week spells out  Trump’s priorities, which include making deep cuts to Medicaid and other programs people with disabilities rely on. Trump’s budget slashes $610 billion from […]... >> read more

Ford Foundation President recognizes subtle discrimination against persons with disabilities

Innocuous discrimination against adults with disabilities is, sadly, rampant in all corners of our society. Here is a wonderful realization and apology from Ford Foundation President Darren Walker, who realized just how strong and wrong this discrimination is, even among those who think they are aware: Darren Walker-Ford Foundation President.... >> read more

Scandalously Wide Graduation Gaps for Students with Disabilities Persist

According to this article, published in the Nonprofit Quarterly, students with disabilities are graduating at much lower rates than average, even as the overall graduation rate is at an all-time high. To read the entire article, please go to: High School Graduation Gap.... >> read more


The Emmy Award winning reality series called “Born This Way” returns to A&E on May 16, 2017.  The one-hour show focuses on the real world challenges of seven young adults and their families as they strive for independence. Past shows have explored issues around moving to a new city, getting an apartment, starting a business, […]... >> read more


The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued a notice on April 12, 2017, to consumers warning that “products or treatments claiming to ‘cure’ autism do not work as claimed.”  The notice said the same is true of many products claiming to ‘treat’ autism or autism-related symptoms and some claimed treatments may actually carry significant […]... >> read more


ABC’s ‘Speechless’ is a prime time half-hour comedy focusing on the life of a teenager with cerebral palsy and his family. The show is receiving  a special commendation from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences,  the same people behind the Emmy Awards, for  “programing that explores and confronts significant issues facing our society in […]... >> read more


In a recent article published in the journal PLOS Computational Biology, scientists say they can predict with greater than 97% accuracy whether or not a child has autism from a blood sample.  According to the authors, the import of these findings is that a blood test can lead to an earlier diagnosis and a more favorable […]... >> read more

Education Department Is Seeking Comments to Revamp IDEA Website

The U.S. Department of Education is seeking comment  on ways to re-imagine and improve the website.  The website posts information about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”).  The Education Department wants to know what resources on the site are most used and what new information or functionalities people would like to see. This […]... >> read more


Earlier this week Republican leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives revealed their plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act , commonly known as “Obamacare.”  Under this Republican plan,  new limits would be placed on federal Medicaid spending.  Rather than provide matching grants to states to cover anyone who meets eligibility requirements, the […]... >> read more

Trump’s Plan to Issue Block Grants Threatens Services for Individuals With Developmental Disabilities

The Trump administration is talking about fundamentally changing the Medicaid system by moving to block grants.  While few details have been released, such a shift may mean significantly less funding for Medicaid which funds many of the services provided to individuals with developmental disabilities, from healthcare to home and community-based services. Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s counselor, […]... >> read more

Trump Education Nominee Betsy DeVos Confirmed Despite Concerns Over IDEA

The U.S. Senate confirmed Betsy DeVos to be Secretary of the Department of Education despite widespread concerns about her comments on special education.  With all Senate Democrats and two Senate Republicans voting against confirmation of DeVos, Vice President Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking vote on Tuesday in favor of DeVos. The vote came after a […]... >> read more

Lawsuit Filed Against Walmart For Discrimination Against Employee With Down Sydrome

A lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission  alleges that Walmart violated the Americans With Disabilities Act when it fired a long-term employee with Down Syndrome.  The lawsuit alleges that Marlo Spaeth worked at a Wisconsin Walmart store for 15 years, receiving […]... >> read more

Trump Education Pick Confused About Federal Law Aimed At Securing Appropriate Education for Students with Disabilities

Donald Trump’s nominee to head the U.S. Department of Education, billionaire Betsy DeVos, demonstrated confusion over federal law that requires that students with disabilities be provided appropriate public education during confirmation hearings on Tuesday. Ms. DeVos’ answers to questioning during the confirmation hearing left some lawmakers and disability advocates questioning her knowledge of the needs […]... >> read more

Justice Department Issues Guidance To Reduce Discrimination and Mistreatment of Individuals With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in the Criminal Justice System

In a guidance document issued in January 2017, the US Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, is setting forth the responsibilities of local and state authorities within the criminal justice system to treat individuals with mental health, intellectual and developmental disabilities fairly.  As the guidance document states, “Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act […]... >> read more

Study Quantifies High Cost of Family Members Caring for Children With Special Needs

In a study entitled “Family-Provided Health Care for Children With Special Health Care Needs” published in the December journal Pediatrics, researches concluded that families of children with special needs provide billions of dollars in unpaid medical care each year, researchers say, significantly compromising their own ability to earn a living. The study investigators analyzed data […]... >> read more


According to the 2016 report issued by the U.S, Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, allegations of disability discrimination rose dramatically in 2016. The report, entitled “Securing Equal Educational Opportunity Report to the President and Secretary of Education,” states that 5,936 complaints of disability discrimination were submitted to the Education Department’s Office for Civil […]... >> read more

US Supreme Court Posed to Hear Case Determining What Satisfies the Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) Mandate

In a case known as Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, the US Supreme Court will consider how much educational benefit schools must provide students with disabilities. The case marks the first time in more than three decades that the Supreme Court will hear arguments about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act’s (IDEA) mandate […]... >> read more


Data released this week from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program indicates that there were 88 reported hate crime offenses during 2015 related to disability bias, representing 1.2% of the total hate crimes reported.  That’s down from 95 the previous year, even while the general trend of hate crimes reported is increasing.   The FBI report […]... >> read more

Trump Win Brings Uncertainty for Disability Community

In the days following the unexpected election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, there is concern and uncertainty among disability advocates regarding what this will mean for the disability community. Mr. Trump’ s campaign was short on policy specifics and barely touched on disability issues. Trump  also raised alarm bells with comments as […]... >> read more


In a 13-page guidance document issued this week, the U.S. Department of Justice says that the integration mandate of the Americans with Disabilities Act applies broadly. Thus, just as people with disabilities have a right to live in the community, the U.S. Department of Justice is telling the states that the same rights apply to […]... >> read more

States Ranked With Best Disability Services

United Cerebral Palsey issued its annual report “The Case For Inclusion” ranking all 50 states and the District of Columbia on service outcomes for Americans with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD). This year’s report shows that: All states have room for some improvement, but some have consistently remained at the bottom of the rankings since […]... >> read more

SSI Benefits To Increase Slightly In 2017

After issuing no change in benefits in 2016, the Social Security Administration announced this month that commencing in January there will be a 0.3 per cent increase in payments to individuals with disabilities receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and other Social Security benefits. The bump up is due to an automatic cost-of-living adjustment, known as […]... >> read more

Congressional Leaders Renew Plea to Department of Health and Human Services to Issue Guidance Preventing Organ Transplant Discrimination Against Persons With Developmental Disabilities

In a letter dated October 12, 2016  to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights, 30 members of the U.S. House of Representatives urged the agency to address what they called “persistent” organ transplant discrimination. Recognizing that many transplant centers and surgeons continue to refuse to provide access to transplant […]... >> read more

2016 Best & Worst Cities for People With Disabilities

A new analysis is ranking the nation’s most populated cities based on how desirable they are for people with disabilities.  The listing comes from the personal finance website WalletHub, which assessed 25 factors ranging from availability of doctors to employment rates and park accessibility, in order to compile the ranking of 150 locales across the […]... >> read more

‘The Accountant’ Features Main Character on The Autism Spectrum

Warner Bros.’ “The Accountant,” opens Friday, with Ben Affleck staring as Christian Wolff, a small-town accountant on the autism spectrum who freelances in secret for criminal organizations. When Christian takes on a high-profile new client, Treasury Department agents start to close in on him, drawing the accountant — who is far better at dealing with […]... >> read more

US Department of Education Awarding Grants to Help Disabled Students Transition to Competitive Employment and Post-Secondary Education

The U.S. Department of Education said it is awarding $39 million to five states for demonstration projects providing work-based learning experiences. The state agencies that will receive the funds are in California, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts and Vermont. The goal is to support and increase the effort to better prepare students with disabilities for post-secondary education […]... >> read more


In a speech Wednesday, September 21, 2016,  in Orlando, Fla., Clinton promised to be a champion of disability rights.  “We can’t be satisfied, not when over 60 percent of adults with disabilities aren’t in the workforce, not when businesses are allowed to pay employees with disabilities a subminimum wage, not when people with physical and […]... >> read more

Clausen House 4th Annual Walk Registration Opens

On Saturday, October 15, 2016 at the Lake Merritt Bandstand Clausen House will have its 4th Annual Walk to support programs and services for adults with developmental disabilities.  The Walk launches at 9:00 a.m. The theme of the walk is 1000 Steps for Independence.  Every day at Clausen House, we dedicate ourselves to serving more […]... >> read more

California Set To Receive Federal Funds For Disability Employment

The U.S. Department of Labor said this month that nearly $15 million will go to six states to improve job opportunities for adults and youth with disabilities. Funding will be targeted to enhance job training for this demographic, help young people transition into the workforce and develop strategies to assist individuals with significant disabilities.  In […]... >> read more

Service Providers Seek Legislation to Help Meet Wage Increase Mandate

The U.S. House of Representatives introduced a bill during the summer session that would offer a temporary increase in federal Medicaid dollars for programs serving people with developmental disabilities. The legislation is known as the Disability Community Act and  is supported by service providers who are looking to Congress to provide a substantial boost in […]... >> read more

New Study Finds Younger Siblings of Children On Autism Spectrum At Higher Risk

A study published online this month in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics suggests that the younger siblings of those with autism are about twelve times more likely than other kids to have the developmental disorder too. The risk did not appear to be affected by a child’s race or whether they were born […]... >> read more

Jerry Metzker Joins Clausen House as Development Director

Commencing August 1st, Clausen House welcomes Jerry Metzker as their new Development Director. Mr. Metzker comes to Clausen House with near 20 years of experience fundraising and driving communications for Oakland area organizations. Prior to coming to Clausen House, Mr. Metzker worked as a contractor and consultant as well as managed the development offices of […]... >> read more

Four Public Hearings Announced to Review Developmental Services

The Department of Developmental Services will hold four public meetings to consult with  stakeholders, including consumers and families, advocates, providers, and protection/advocacy agencies, to review purchase of service data and develop recommendations to help reduce disparities. Discussion areas will include identifying cultural barriers and challenges in obtaining regional center services and the areas that need […]... >> read more

Nominations Are Open For 2d Annual Client and Community Partner Awards

From now through August 31, 2016, Clausen House will be accepting nominations in the following client and community partner award categories: (Client Awards): Adult Education Advocacy Health and Wellness Independent Living Leadership Residential Supported Employment Supported Living (Community Partner Awards): Case Manager Employer Volunteer/Donor For a full explanation of the  Selection Process and/or the Nomination Process […]... >> read more

Summer Television Series Addresses Autism

SundanceTV will air a six-episode series focusing on one family’s experience with a child on the autism spectrum beginning July 13 at 10 p.m. ET.  The show is called  “The A Word.” The one-hour drama aired on BBC One earlier this year in the United Kingdom,  and is based on an Israeli series called “Yellow Peppers.”  […]... >> read more

University of California Irvine Receives $4.7 Million Grant to Study Link Between Down Syndrome & Alzheimer’s

UC Irvine (“UCI”) has received $4.7 million from the National Institute on Aging to launch a five-year study this summer aimed at identifying who with Down syndrome is most at risk for developing dementia.   According to UCI, a 45-year-old adult with Down syndrome has a 20 percent to 25 percent risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease […]... >> read more

Showtime Comedian Agrees to Remove Offensive Content After Meeting With Self-Advocates with Special Needs

After being confronted and criticized by disability advocates, comic Gary Owen, who repeatedly used the word “retard” and mocked people with intellectual disability as part of his Showtime special “Gary Owen: I  Agree With Myself,” agreed to remove the content from his show and refrain from using the word “retarded” in future routines.  This decision […]... >> read more

Clausen House Is Awarded Developmental Disability Council Awards for Volunteerism and Lifetime Service

On June 6, 2016, the Alameda County Developmental Disability Council awarded Clausen House’s Board of Director Curt Engelhard the Dana Sanbor Volunteerism Award and Residential Staff Member Mattie Abner the Lifetime Service Award in recognition of their outstanding service to and on behalf of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The award ceremony was held […]... >> read more

Feds Remind States of Their Obligations to Children with Disabilities under IDEA No Matter Where They Live

The US Department of Education issued a letter to states and school districts that they have an obligation to provide special education services to kids with disabilities even if they live in institutional settings. Signed by Ruth Ryder, acting director of the Education Department’s special education office, and Michael Yudin, who recently left his role […]... >> read more


Continuing the very successful event that showcases and honors the achievements of Clausen House clients and community partners, Clausen  House has set the date of Thursday, November 10, 2016 for its 2d Annual Client and Community Partner Award Ceremony. The event will start at 6 p.m. and be held at the St. Paul’s Parish Hall […]... >> read more


The A&E Network documentary series called “Born This Way”  is getting a special honor from the people behind the Emmy awards. The Television Academy named the show one of six honorees for the Ninth Annual Television Academy Honors. The honor is given in recognition of “extraordinary programming that leverages the unique immediacy of television to […]... >> read more

Ad Campaign Launched to Stop Hollywood Mocking Individuals With Disabilities

Family Member, a nonprofit focused on fair representations of disability in media, launched  a new advertising campaign to put Hollywood on notice that it’s not acceptable to mock people with disabilities.  A quarter-page advertisement running in The Hollywood Reporter is discouraging use of the word “retard” and other potentially hurtful references to disabilities on screen. […]... >> read more

PBS Children’s Show to Feature Character with Autism

“PBS Show to Feature Boy with Autism“- Charlie Owens, an 11-year-old with autism, will soon make his nationwide television debut on the PBS show “Max & Moxy.” The show, which is aimed at kids ages 3 to 7, includes dual segments, each of which explores a different cause. Owens’ episode, which is set to air […]... >> read more

3 Bills With Bipartisan Support Seek to Expand ABLE Act Eligibility

On March 17, 2016, 3 bills were introduced at the federal level to make improvements to the federal Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE Act). The bills are known as the The ABLE to Work Act,  The ABLE Financial Planning Act, and The ABLE Age Adjustment Act and are sponsored by U.S. Sen. Richard […]... >> read more

Charters Suspending Students With Disabilities At Higher Rate

In an analysis of discipline records for every one of the nation’s 95,000 public schools, including over 5,250 charter schools, researchers identified deep disparities across all grades (elementary and secondary) even though fewer children with disabilities attending such schools, according to the report from the Center for Civil Rights Remedies at the Civil Rights Project […]... >> read more

California Unemployment Rate For People With Disabilities Not Best, Not Worst, But Not Good

The recently released “Disability Statistics Annual Report” produced by the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability sets forth data pertaining to the number of people with disabilities who are employed on a state by state basis, together with what the employment rates are for individuals without disabilities. The report also looks at median earnings, […]... >> read more

City of Oakland Seeks Feedback Regarding City Programs, Activities and Services for the Disabled

The City of Oakland seeks the feedback from individuals with disabilities and their family members as it renews their commitment to equity and inclusion in all City programs, activities and services. In a letter addressed to the public at large, the City of Oakland asked to hear from individuals with disabilities, their family and friends, […]... >> read more


As states prepare to offer accounts under the Achieving a Better Life Experience, or ABLE, Act, to allow people with disabilities to save without losing government benefits, a new website is being launched to help families determine their best options.  The website is from the ABLE National Resource Center and is designed to be a […]... >> read more


The unemployment rate for those with disabilities grew to 12.5 percent in February, the U.S. Department of Labor said in its monthly report released earlier this month. That’s a rise over the 10.8 percent reported for January. The shift comes as a greater number of people with disabilities actively sought work, yet fewer were employed. […]... >> read more


A bill introduced during the week of March 11, 2016, in the U.S. House of Representatives by Linda Sánchez, D-California and Tom Reed, R-New York would allow family members who care for older people and those with disabilities to receive up to $3,000 in tax savings annually. The bill is known as the Credit for […]... >> read more


On Monday, February 29,  State lawmakers unanimously approved a plan to send $300 million to California’s developmental disabilities system. The Senate and Assembly included the funding in an agreement to restructure taxes on health insurance plans.  Most of the $300 million will go to care providers, who have faced years of stagnant wages.  The bill […]... >> read more

Lanterman Coalition Call for Action to Support Agreement Providing Relief for Developmental Services

The Lanterman Coalition has been in a fight for the survival of the California Developmental Services system for more than a year.  Yesterday, the Coalition finally came to an agreement for the best way forward.  The agreement doesn’t achieve everything that is needed, but it provides a critically important step to provide relief and recovery […]... >> read more


On Friday, February 26, 2016, Whole Foods located on the corner of Harrison and 27th in Oakland California will donate a portion of its profits to Clausen House, as part of its Oakland Gives program. Clausen House was nominated to be one of the non-profits to receive a portion of store revenue.  Clausen House was […]... >> read more

Unemployment Rate for Persons With Disabilities Rises Against National Trend

The unemployment rate for individuals with disabilities reached 10.8 percent in January, up from 10.3 percent at the close of 2015 according to the Department of Labor’s monthly jobs report. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate for the general population is at the lowest rate in years, falling below 5 per cent and reaching 4.9 percent, as 151,000 jobs […]... >> read more

TV Drama Featuring Child with Autism to Air in Spring

SundanceTV is scheduled to air six one-hour episodes of a family drama featuring a 5-year-old child newly diagnosed with autism.  The name of the show is “The A-Word.’ It is scheduled to begin this spring.  The show, according to Joel Stillerman, president of original programming and development for AMC and SundanceTV,  is “hopeful, honest and […]... >> read more

New Study Finds Association Between Maternal Obesity and Diabetes to Risk for Giving Birth to Child With Autism Spectrum Disorder

A study just published in the February 2016 journal Pediatrics, concludes that maternal pre-pregnancy obesity and maternal diabetes in combination were associated with increased risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and intellectual disability (ID). The study was based on 2734 children seen at Boston Medical Center between 1998 and 2014. The study “calls attention to […]... >> read more

Obama Administration Asked by Supreme Court to Weigh In On Special Education Matter

The U.S. Supreme Court is asking the Obama administration to provide input as the Court considers whether to take up a case brought by the family of a girl with cerebral palsy who sought to bring her service dog to school. The family of Ehlena Fry petitioned the Supreme Court to take their case last […]... >> read more

Students With Disabilities Lag In Graduation Rates

Data has been collected as part of the national effort to reach a goal of having all high school students graduate at a rate of 90% by 2020.  According to a report released this week produced by Civic Enterprises and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University School of Education, for the first time […]... >> read more

Reality Series Featuring Individuals with Down Syndrome Set to Continue

“Born This Way” is a reality television show featuring adults with Down Syndrome that aired for six episodes on the A&E network starting December 8, 2015.  The show followed seven adults with Down Syndrome and their families, exploring complex issues which included striving for independence, meeting new friends, dating, getting married, the desire to have […]... >> read more

Adjustment to ABLE Law Broadens Availability

Initially, when the Federal government passed the Achieving a Better Life Experience  (ABLE) law, which allowed individuals with disabilities to save up to $100,000 in a bank account without losing government benefits such as Medicaid and Social Security Income, it was left to individual states to enact legislation to implement such accounts.  A recent “tweak” […]... >> read more


The Inland Regional Center provides housing and work programs, therapy and social services for more than 30,000 individuals with developmental disabilities and has about 550 employees. It is unconscionable to accept that people, who dedicate their careers to the welfare of others, should be harmed in any way for the service that they provide. It […]... >> read more


PBS plans to air a documentary called “Autism in Love” on January 11 at 10 p.m. ET.  The film features four individuals on the autism spectrum and follows their challenges and experiences finding love and managing romantic relationships. The documentary debuted earlier this year at the Tribeca Film Festival. One segment follows a couple in […]... >> read more

Young Adults With Down Syndrome Featured in New Reality TV Series

A six-episode reality series called “Born This Way” will air on the A&E Network beginning December 8, 2015, at 10 p.m. ET.  “For the show, cameras followed seven Southern California young adults with Down syndrome and their families as they navigate jobs and relationships and look to gain greater independence.”  The series is produced by […]... >> read more

Confronting the Challenges Facing Individuals with Developmental Disabilities Who Want Healthy Intimate Relationships

A recent article in Disability Scoop outlined the challenges confronting many individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities when it comes to finding ways to foster intimate relationships. The article, entitled, “For Many With Disabilities, Freedom to Be Intimate is Rare” was written by Chris Serres and also appeared in the Minneapolis Star Tribune on November […]... >> read more

Ann Clausen Dies at Age 66

  It is with a heavy heart that we share the sad news of Ann Clausen’s passing on November   5th, 2015, she was 66. She will be remembered for her spirit, spunk and strength and she will live on in the hearts of her loved ones and in the legacy of Clausen House forever. At […]... >> read more

California Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act Passes and Is Signed By the Governor – A Letter Update from the National Down Syndrome Society

The California Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act has passed and been signed by the Governor!  Following the passage of the ABLE Act at the federal level in December 2014, the California ABLE Act made its way through the state legislature and became law on October 11, 2015.  Congratulations and thanks to the many advocates who […]... >> read more

Meet Julia — Sesame Street’s New Character with Autism

For those who watch and learn from Sesame Street, the makers are introducing a new character named Julia, a preschool girl with autism who “does things a little differently than her friends.”  This is part of an effort to reduce stigma and help those on the spectrum learn new life skills.  Julia is part of […]... >> read more

No Cost of Living Increase Announced for 2016 SSI Recipients

The Social Security Administration announced that there will be no automatic cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients in 2016. The reason given by the agency was that inflation was too low to warrant an automatic benefit hike. Click here for the SSA announcement.  Without the adjustment, the maximum federal […]... >> read more

Consumer Group Ranks Best and Worst Livable Cities for People With Disabilities

An analysis from WalletHub, a consumer finance website, ranks the best and worst livable cities in the United States for people with disabilities.  Wallethub compared 150 of the most populated cities across three dimensions (1) Economic Environment, (2) Quality of Life, and (3) Healthcare. Altogether there were 21 key metrics compared that include the number […]... >> read more

As Walk Nears, Oakland Mayor Joins In And More Ways to Register Are Added

We are excited to share, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf as well as Jose Hernandez from Representative Barbara Lee’s office will be joining us and speaking at the upcoming Walk. Please register now to join in on all the fun! Also, Donor Pages are back by popular demand, so if you are interested in registering or […]... >> read more

Registration Open for 3rd Annual Walk With Clausen House

Registration is now open for the 3rd Annual Walk with Clausen House.  Themed 1000 Steps for Independence, the Walk takes place on October 10, 2015 starting at 10am. Once again we will meet at the Lake Merritt Bandstand in Oakland. The Walk is more than just a fun day in the sun with live entertainment […]... >> read more

Urgent Call to Support SBx2 14 to Increase Funding for Services for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities

The Association of Regional Center Agencies (ARCA) has issued an urgent plea for all who care about stabilizing the system of providing services to individuals with developmental disabilities to contact their representatives and urge support for SBx2 14, with its amendments.  The deadline for making these calls of support is before 5pm on Thursday, September […]... >> read more

Assemblywoman Bonilla Supports Developmental Disability Services with Cocktails for Healthy Outcomes Act

According to a press release from Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla’s office (D-Concord), on August 31, 2015, Assemblywoman Bonilla introduced Assembly Bill 18 of the Second Extraordinary Session to help restore the community-based system for developmental disability services in California. The legislation, ABx2-18, establishes the Cocktails for Healthy Outcomes Act, which adds a five cent charge per […]... >> read more

New Study Questions Amount of Psychotropic Drugs Prescribed to Individuals With Intellectual Disabilities

New research from the United Kingdom suggests that psychotropic drugs were being over-prescribed to people with intellectual disabilities. The researchers looked at medical records of 33,016 adults with intellectual disabilities between 1999 and 2013. They concluded that the proportion of people with intellectual disabilities who have been treated with psychotropic drugs far exceeds the proportion […]... >> read more

Legislation Allowing ABLE Accounts in California Still Pending

As was reported in March of this year, the federal ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) Act  of 2014, paved the way for individuals with disabilities to open tax-free savings accounts that can accrue up to $100,000 without losing their government benefits such as Social Security or Medicaid.  Funds from ABLE savings accounts can be […]... >> read more

California Funding of Services for Individuals With Developmental Disabilities Causes Worry

Thousands of families across California are grappling with questions how to obtain  sufficient care for their loved ones with developmental disabilities as they mature and age.  Where doctors once told parents that their children with developmental disabilities would likely not live very long, health outcomes have improved and many are outliving such dire predictions.  As […]... >> read more

$28 Million Study Launched to Aid Treatment of Autism in Children

Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine will lead a four-year national study being funded at $28 million that could improve the way that children on the spectrum of autism disorders are treated. The study is being led by James McPartland, associate professor at the Yale Child Study Center. One goal of the study is […]... >> read more


A new report  finds that for the first time ever Medicaid is spending more on community-based services than on institutional care.  The report dated June 30, 2015 is titled “Medicaid Expenditures for Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) in FY 2013: Home and Community-Based Services Were A Majority of LTSS Spending” and is based on data spanning […]... >> read more


An online survey of 2021 people across the country was conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of The Special Olympic International World Games in partnership with Shriver Media from July 13-15, 2015. The findings were recently made public and suggest that attitudes about individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ID) is evolving in relation to the level […]... >> read more


During the week of July 20th the U.S. Department of Labor marked the 25th anniversary of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with a series of events including a conversation between Secretary of Labor Tom Perez and disability employment champions Senator Tom Harkin and Delaware Governor Jack Markell.   Click here for a video of […]... >> read more


President Obama gave a speech on July 20, 2015, at the White House to mark the 25th anniversary of the enactment of the landmark legislation known as the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). While noting the progress that had been made, the President repeatedly stated that there was more work to do and committed to […]... >> read more


Every year since 2006, United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) produces an annual ranking of how well state Medicaid programs serve Americans with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families.  The Case for Inclusion 2015 was just published.  Largely based on data from 2013, the Case assesses a number of factors including how easily services are […]... >> read more