Here is a collection of news stories and editorials relating to our work and the issues we address through our advocacy.
- Tim Shaw on 10/21/2014
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.
- Tim Shaw on 09/30/2014
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.
- Tim Shaw on 09/03/2014
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.
- Tim Shaw on 06/09/2014
Creighton University claims it's a hardship to serve deaf student.
- Posted on 06/04/2014
“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.
- Posted on 05/22/2014
A key U.S. senator is looking to introduce legislation to dramatically expand access to community-based services for people with disabilities nationwide.
- Posted on 05/09/2014
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.
- Posted on 04/21/2014
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.
- Posted on 04/11/2014
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.
- Posted on 04/08/2014
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.
- Posted on 04/02/2014
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.
- Posted on 03/19/2014
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.
- Posted on 03/12/2014
Technology companies have discovered the value in hiring workers with intellectual disabilities.
- Posted on 02/27/2014
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 ServicesPosted on 01/16/2014
- Posted on 01/16/2014
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.
- Posted on 01/02/2014
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.
CLASS ACTION LAW SUITPosted on 12/11/2013
If you purchased a disposable hypodermic product manufactured by Becton, Dickinson and Company from a distributor, wholesaler or other third party between January 1, 1988 and July 30, 2013, you may be entitled to benefits from a class action settlement.
Call: 1-800-248-2618 or
Go to this website:
A federal court authorized this notice. This is not a solicitation from a lawyer.
- Posted on 12/10/2013
How people with developmental disabilities are served in Nebraska drew attention from two legislative committees Monday.
- Posted on 12/05/2013
Disability Rights Nebraska CEO Tim Shaw: “Our current guardianship system needs reform...This case is yet another example of that need.”
- Posted on 11/27/2013
"The Nebraska Supreme Court has ordered a systematic review of every guardianship assigned to a Gering woman who was arrested for allegedly embezzling thousands of dollars intended for elderly, blind and disabled residents."
- Posted on 11/26/2013
Judith Widener, Director of Safe Haven, charged with the theft of state ward funds was released Tuesday afternoon from the Scotts Bluff County Jail after posting a $50,000 cash bond.
- Posted on 11/25/2013
Nebraska Auditor finds HHS program for people with disabilities “riddled with problems”; one guardian of 600 individuals arrested for embezzlement.
- Posted on 11/11/2013
A new study revealed that half of the veterans recently separated from the U.S. military and are currently unemployed have not had a full- or part-time job since leaving the military.
- Posted on 11/08/2013
People with disabilities are among the most marginalized groups in the world. People with disabilities have poorer health outcomes, lower education achievements, less economic participation and higher rates of poverty than people without disabilities.
- Posted on 11/06/2013
US Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD).
- Posted on 10/10/2013
Three months after receiving a new kidney, a girl who made national headlines when her parents said she was initially denied a transplant due to her intellectual disability is now doing well.
- Posted on 08/28/2013
The United States’ complaint seeks a declaration the voter photo identification law (SB 14) violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, as well as the voting guarantees of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.
- Posted on 08/06/2013
The Social Security Administration will become the latest federal agency to start using the term “intellectual disability” in lieu of “mental retardation.”
- Posted on 07/25/2013
A new documentary set to premiere on PBS takes a look at life with autism from the perspective of those with the developmental disorder. “Neurotypical” will have its national broadcast debut Monday, July 29, at 10 p.m. ET on the POV series on PBS.
- Posted on 07/24/2013
On July 22, 2013, the United States filed a lawsuit against the State of Florida to challenge ADA violations from the State’s failure to provide services and supports to children with significant medical needs in the most integrated setting appropriate for them. Nearly 200 children with disabilities are currently living in nursing facilities in Florida, often very far from home. They could be served in their family homes or other community-based settings, but remain institutionalized because of deficiencies in Florida’s service system.
- Posted on 07/23/2013
In a landmark settlement, thousands of adults with mental disabilities in New York will have a choice in where and how they live with services to succeed and participate in their communities.
- Posted on 07/08/2013
Teach Them to Understand Their Emotions. After teaching students to understand and talk through their conflicts, schools in Denver and Los Angeles have seen major reductions in disciplinary action.
- Posted on 07/02/2013
“The Fair Housing Act ensures that individuals with disabilities who live with and benefit from assistance animals have equal access to housing,” said Eric Halperin, Senior Counsel and Special Counsel for Fair Lending in the Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department will continue its vigorous enforcement of fair housing laws that protect the rights of persons with disabilities.”
- Posted on 07/02/2013
According to the World Blind Union, of the million or so books published in the world each year, less than 5 percent are made available in formats accessible to the visually-impaired. The adopted treaty can help by facilitating the development and distribution of accessible-format print works within the framework of the international copyright system.
- Posted on 06/20/2013
“The health care law is providing consumers value for their premium dollars and ensuring the money they pay every month to insurance companies goes toward patient care,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said. “Thanks to the law, 8.5 million Americans will receive $500 million back in their pockets and purses.”
- Posted on 06/04/2013
Disability advocates are looking to jump-start their efforts to end abusive restraint and seclusion practices in the nation’s schools with a campaign kicking off this week.
- Posted on 05/14/2013
Oregon experiment with expansion of Medicaid. Results - Medicaid works as health insurance: (1) folks on Medicaid received more care, reported better health (both physical and mental), and experienced fewer financial problems than the people who weren’t on Medicaid; (2) people who gained access to Medicaid used more health care so “We can eliminate the story that Medicaid is so lousy you can’t get in to see a doctor.” (3) didn’t see much improvement in some of the health indicators that were tracked - blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes - but in mental health: depression rates fell by 30 percent!!
- Posted on 05/07/2013
In a decision that legal experts are calling "stunning," an Iowa jury this morning awarded $240 million to the 32 mentally disabled men who faced decades of discrimination and abuse while working for Henry's Turkey Service in Atalissa.
- Posted on 04/30/2013
New guidance released today by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Justice reinforces the Fair Housing Act requirement that multifamily housing be designed and constructed so as to be accessible to persons with disabilities.
- Posted on 04/11/2013
Supplemental Security Income benefits for people with disabilities are calculated appear to be off the table -- for the moment, at least.
- Posted on 04/09/2013
Obama is reportedly set to include a proposal to change the way that annual cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security benefits are figured in the coming years.
- Posted on 04/05/2013
Justice Department settled with eight health care providers from across the United States to ensure provision of effective communication to people who are deaf or have hearing disabilities.
- Posted on 04/03/2013
The job numbers for people with disabilities haven’t budged much since the passage of the ADA in 1990.
- Posted on 04/02/2013
The Obama administration is looking to become directly involved in a class-action lawsuit that has people with developmental disabilities seeking greater employment opportunities.
- Posted on 03/30/2013
The Miracle Project, an autism and arts nonprofit, will be welcomed by the United Nations to present and perform during the celebration of World Autism Awareness Day at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on April 2, 2013.
- Posted on 03/27/2013
Sen. Lathrop thinks funding the waiting list is doable and needs to be resolved.
- Posted on 03/26/2013
Congress makes a rule change in IDEA that is expected to be helpful to students with disabilities.
- Posted on 03/22/2013
Toys "R" Us, Inc., one of the world's largest retailers of toys, was sued by the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for employment discrimination. The lawsuit asserts the retailer violated federal law when it first refused to provide an interpreter for a deaf job applicant and then failed to hire her.
- Posted on 03/15/2013
An audio story affirming the power of valued social roles and inclusion of people with disabilities in their communities.