Here is a collection of news stories and editorials relating to our work and the issues we address through our advocacy.

  • People With Disabilities, On Screen And Sans Clichés

    Isaac Zablocki co-founded a film festival to showcase films made by and about people with disabilities. The festival, called ReelAbilities, is now in its seventh year. "We tend not to like the films that show disability in a more clichéd sense," he says. "We like a more nuanced sense — or possibly even films that are not about the disability, but rather just happen to have disability in them."

  • United Nations International Day of Happiness

    The United Nations focuses strongly on “the pursuit of happiness” as “a fundamental human goal.”

  • Civil rights complaints to U.S. Department of Education reach a record high

    The number of unresolved cases has mushroomed, as complaints have poured in from around the country about students from kindergarten through college facing discrimination on the basis of race, sex and disabilities.

  • L'Arche Founder Awarded Templeton Prize

    Jean Vanier, a Canadian, founder of L'Arche network of communities for people with mental disabilities, has won the 2015 Templeton Prize worth $1.7 million.

  • Judge Overturns Same-Sex Marriage Ban

    A U.S. district judge has struck down Nebraska's voter-approved ban on same sex marriage.

  • Republicans want to reform disability insurance. Here’s why that’s hard.

    Will reform happen? The automatic triggering of draconian cuts makes it seem more likely, but the nearly 60-year history of SSDI suggests five major obstacles listed in this blog post from the Washington Post

  • Feds Put New Focus On Down Syndrome

    As people with Down syndrome live longer than ever before, the National Institutes of Health is looking to reshape its efforts related to the chromosomal disorder.

  • Congress torn over depleted disability fund

    A Social Security fund that provides benefits to nearly nine million people with disabilities is projected to run out by the end of 2016, and a new House rule could cause headaches for majority Republicans during the upcoming push to shore it up.

  • Why The Theory of Everything Is a Disappointing Depiction of Disability

    Film critic Scott Jordan Harris, who himself has a disability, approaches the validity of having non-disabled actors play persons with disabilities onscreen.

  • Pennsylvania to expand treatment for mentally ill inmates

    As a result of actions brought by the Pennsylvania Disability Rights Network, Pennsylvania prison inmates with serious mental illness who misbehave will be diverted to special treatment units instead of being put in isolated cells, according to a settlement released Tuesday.

  • A disabilities act, long in planning, is finally law

    The ABLE Act allows people with disabilities to set aside money, safe from the IRS, for certain purposes, without sacrificing their benefits.

  • School expulsion rates higher for children of color

    A report showing students with disabilities and students of color are being suspended and expelled in the state's public schools at much higher rates than their non-disabled, white peers.

  • The Coming Congressional War Over Social Security Disability

    A technical rule change engineered by House Republicans on the first day of the new Congress may signal the beginning of a major battle over the future of the Social Security Disability program—and, more broadly, other federal programs for people with disabilities.

  • Things to know about the 2015 Nebraska legislative session

    A new Nebraska Legislature will kick off its 90-day session, during which it is expected to debate property taxes, prisons and the state budget, among other things.

  • Song and Daughter Inspire Plans to Celebrate People With Disabilities

    Jazz pianist Mike LeDonne takes inspiration from his daughter Mary to create an annual Disability Pride Day and parade in New York City.

  • Federal Oversight of BSDC May Be Ending

    A new independent report is calling for less federal oversight of the Beatrice State Development Center.

  • Editorial: Bluffs Mental Health Courts Worth Watching

    New mental health court to be tested in Iowa's 4th Judicial District. May provide a model for Nebraska.

  • DisArt Festival: Why Grand Rapids will mount 'the largest disability arts festival in America'

    DisArt Festival, a 15-day, multi-faceted celebration of arts, will be launched in downtown Grand Rapids in April to change perceptions about disabilities through art as well as to showcase the work of artists with disabilities.

  • Two Sides of Disability Housing Debate

    Thoughtful article - what does independence and inclusion look like, and for whom, and where?

  • Senate Inaction on Disability Treaty

    U.S. Senate Chose Politics over more than 1 Billion People with Disabilities

  • Schools Must Offer Communication Supports, Feds Say

    The Obama administration is reminding schools of their wide-ranging responsibilities to students with disabilities who struggle with speech and other communication difficulties.

  • Deaf Men Say Hospital Failed To Provide Interpreters

    Two deaf men have filed a federal lawsuit against Cookeville Regional Medical Center, accusing the hospital of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act for not providing sign language interpreters.

  • Disability Rights Nebraska Report Cites Need for Reforms

    Nebraska group that advocates for the people with disabilities has joined the call for reforms in the use of solitary confinement in state prisons and for better mental health care behind bars.

  • For Many With Disabilities, Special Education Leads To Jail

    Experts attribute the high percentage of individuals with disabilities in the nation’s bloated prison population — which has grown 700 percent since 1970 — in part to deep problems in the education of children with special needs.

  • ATAP ICT Trainings

    Welcome to the ATAP ICT Accessibility Training Portal.

  • When Social Security will let you take only one benefit at a time

    Boston University economist Larry Kotlikoff has spent every week, for over two years, answering questions about what is likely your largest financial asset — your Social Security benefits. His Social Security original 34 “secrets”, his additional secrets, his Social Security “mistakes” and his Social Security gotchas have prompted so many of you to write in that we feature “Ask Larry” every Monday. Find a complete list of his columns here. And keep sending us your Social Security questions.

  • Final Part - Ten Years after LB 1083 Passed

    Final Part of 3 part series: Nebraska Behavioral Health Service Act 10 Years Later: A Look Back at LB 1083

  • The Risk Of Brain Injuries Shifts As Children Grow Up

    As children grow, they learn to crawl, to walk and then to drive. It turns out, the way they get hurt, and in particular their heads, evolves as as their forms of motion change.

  • Part 2 - Ten Years after LB 1083 Passed

    Part 2 of 3 part series: Nebraska Behavioral Health Service Act 10 Years Later: A Look Back at LB 1083

  • Part 1 - Ten Years after LB 1083 Passed

    Part 1 of 3 part series: Nebraska Behavioral Health Service Act 10 Years Later: A Look Back at LB 1083

  • Children with disabilities exploited to sell candy in nonprofit scam

    A Michigan woman is under investigation for using children with disabilities to sell candy for what appears to be a fake nonprofit. Children trapped for so long, they are now adults, going on for 20 years. The victims don't know they've been robbed of the lives they could have had.

  • It's Still Difficult For People With Disabilities To Vote

    "The trouble with voting is, today is it. There’s no do-over tomorrow," Curtis Decker, executive director of the National Disability Rights Network.

  • Increase in Assaults at Arkansas Juvenile Center

    A startling increase in assaults at the Arkansas Juvenile Assessment and Treatment Center in Alexander has come to light. Disability Rights Arkansas has been monitoring the facility closely.

  • New Director of Office of Public Guardian

    The Nebraska Supreme Court has appointed Nebraska attorney Michelle J. Chaffee as the Director of the Office of Public Guardian. Ms. Chaffee has been serving as Legal Counsel for the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee. She is expected to begin her new position in December, 2014.

  • Housing Developer Sued for Disability Discrimination

    The U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit against West Virginia-based developer Biafora’s Incorporated (Biafora) for violating the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The lawsuit alleges that Biafora violated the law when they designed and constructed twenty-three residential properties with barriers that make them inaccessible to persons with disabilities.

  • Judith Widener Plea Agreement

    Judith Widener has entered a plea agreement. Facing punishment for committing a Class III Felony that carries a minimum of 1 year in prison or a maximum of 20 years plus a $25,000 fine, Widener has agreed to restitution of $25,857. Sentencing set for October 15th.

  • Deaf Student Still Fighting Creighton University

    Creighton University claims it's a hardship to serve deaf student.

  • Treaty on the Rights of People with Disabilities

    “By adding the appropriate language on federalism in a reservation in the treaty, we can have a treaty that recognizes the rights of persons with disabilities, restores American leadership on disability rights, and maintains existing states’ rights and prerogatives under our Constitution,” Sen. Bob Dole.

  • Senator Looks To Strengthen Disability Services

    A key U.S. senator is looking to introduce legislation to dramatically expand access to community-based services for people with disabilities nationwide.

  • Court Awards Legal Fees to Medical Student who is Deaf

    A federal judge has ordered Creighton University in Omaha to pay nearly $500,000 in legal fees for a deaf medical student who successfully sued the school for discrimination.

  • Mother needed court approval of vasectomy for mentally disabled son

    The Iowa Supreme Court ruled on Friday that an Iowa mother should have sought court approval before arranging a vasectomy for her mentally disabled son.

  • Valued in the Community and a Freely Given Relationship

    NPR Story Corps: Collin Smith, 23 years-old, and his friend Ernest Greene, who is 72 shared this story. When Collin was a sophomore in high school, he was in a car accident that left him without the use of his limbs. Ernest attended the same church as Collin's family and though he'd never met Collin, he decided he wanted to help.

    Follow the link for their audio story.

  • Legal Settlement Aims at Ending Exploitation of Disabled Workers

    The Justice Department announced it has entered into the nation’s first statewide civil rights settlement agreement protecting individuals with disabilities who are segregated in sheltered workshops and facility-based day programs.

  • New federal hiring rules go into effect

    The Obama Administration’s much-hyped new hiring rules for federal contractors and subcontractors went into effect March 24, potentially leading to a significant expansion of federal disability hiring.

  • Court Approved Settlement in NY Adult Home Case

    A comprehensive settlement agreement that will provide approximately 4,000 residents of 23 large "adult homes" in New York City the opportunity to live in their own homes has been approved by the US federal court. "Adult homes" are large board and care homes serving primarily people with serious mental illnesses.

  • Tech Companies Hiring Workers with Disabilities

    Technology companies have discovered the value in hiring workers with intellectual disabilities.

  • How Colleges Flunk Mental Health

    According to a national survey, 30 percent of college students report feeling "so depressed that it was difficult to function" at some time over the past year.

  • National Disability Rights Network Applauds Release of Home and Community Based Services Rule by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

  • Nebraska prisons failing at rehabilitation programs, report finds

    A new report indicates rehabilitation programs in Nebraska prisons are inadequate and have not kept pace with a growing population of inmates. The lack of treatment options has exacerbated overcrowding, risks public safety and could violate state laws, according to the report.

  • Adults with Autism Working in Hollywood

    Lloyd Hackl, a 22-year-old student with autism, contributed skilled post-production work on “American Hustle,” the film. Hackl’s name will appear in the end credits, along with those of Eli Katz, Patrick Brady and Arielle Guthrie, all students of Exceptional Minds, a Sherman Oaks, Calif. nonprofit vocational center and animation studio for young adults with autism.