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Autism Speaks is thrilled to announce that through the generosity of Sevenly.org and the James W. Pickle Foundation, 625 financially disadvantaged individuals with autism and schools will receive an Apple iPad 2!
Eligible applicants are individuals who:
- Have been diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder by a licensed professional,
- Reside in the United States,
- Have limited income and cannot afford to purchase an iPad.
Note: If you already submitted an application for the iPad 2 grant in February 2012, you must re-apply to be considered for the new round.
Please read the following message from Nebraska Appleseed below. If you or someone you know fits into one of these categories, please contact Nebraska Appleseed to offer your story. You can contact Nebraska Appleseed at (402)-438-8853 or 800-845-3746. This is relating to a denial from Medicaid / Megellan and not related to a denial from private healthcare providers.
On May 18, 2012, Nebraska Appleseed and the National Health Law Program (NHeLP) filed a class action lawsuit against Vivianne Chaumont and Kerry Winterer, in their official capacities as officers of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The lawsuit challenges Nebraska Medicaid policies that deny coverage for certain mental and behavioral health treatments for children with particular diagnoses and conditions, including developmental disabilities and autism. The lawsuit, if successful, would effectively strike down Nebraska’s Medicaid policies as in violation of federal law and would ensure that Medicaid eligible children would receive necessary early behavioral health interventions as recommended by their providers.
Appleseed would like to speak with parents/caregivers of children who may have been affected by these policies as well as attorneys and providers who have worked with children in this situation. Read the rest of this entry »
Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to educate Nebraska’s Legislature on the importance of passing insurance coverage for people with autism. We made a great showing during this session, and have a lot to be proud of!
Getting a bill passed this session, we knew, was going to be extremely difficult. Because this session is only 3 months long, and there are hundreds of bills, many still in committee, LB 1129 will not be advancing this session. But, here’s the good news!
The Nebraska Legislature is primed and ready to hear our issue again next session, and much of the ground work has been laid to get us off to a fantastic start. Senator Colby Coash remains committed to this issue, and discussions will be in progress with him as soon as this legislative session is over to begin planning for next session. We are VERY optimistic that we will get a bill passed next session, and we are looking forward to working with his office on this.
Although much has been done, there is still so much to do. We will be working very closely with Autism Speaks, a national organization that is helping many states all over the US get legislation passed. Autism Speaks has already provided us with critical financial information, outlining the fiscal impact insurance coverage will have on Nebraskans with autism (which is minimal). Additionally, Autism Speaks has offered to hold grassroots training sessions and conference calls to educate Nebraskans on how to best advocate for insurance legislation to our Senators, for which we are extremely grateful!
This spring, messages and information will be posted on how you can get involved, (or stay involved) and how you can help for the 2013 Nebraska Legislative Session. WE NEED YOU (and your friends!). Our Senators listen to their constituents, and it is imperative that we make sure every State Senator in Nebraska understands the need for insurance coverage for people with autism, and how the lack of coverage is impacting their own constituents.
Please stay tuned for this information. If you are interested in helping to lead this effort, we want to talk to you! Please contact me at email@example.com if you would like to help.
Again, thank you for all your hard work during this session. Although it is disappointing LB 1129 will not advance, there is much hope for 2013, and we will be working hard throughout the spring, summer and fall of 2012 to continue this effort. Working together, we can get this done!!
Chrissy McNair, Nebraska Autism Insurance Steering Committee
Autism Speaks remains committed to helping Nebraska enact autism insurance reform. During the upcoming interim session (April 2012 – January 2013) it is crucial that we continue to work together to expand our grassroots network of advocates and educate our legislators.
To assist in organizing this effort, Autism Speaks will be hosting monthly conference calls with Director of Grassroots Development, Shelley Hendrix. We also hope to arrange a meeting in Lincoln and/or Omaha prior to the beginning of the 2013 session for direct grassroots training and Q&A.
Michael Wasmer, Associate Director, State Government Affairs, Autism Speaks
Autism Action Partnership (AAP) is asking you to design a T shirt to celebrate Autism Awareness Month. The winning design T shirts will be sold in the Omaha Storm Chasers front gift shop and online. The winner will have a chance to be an Omaha Storm Chaser for the day and will receive a variety of very special privileges at the stadium! Download a flyer HERE for more information.
Theme: What is baseball to you? Must incorporate a puzzle piece into a baseball theme.
Must be received by March 21st at their office located at:
Autism Action Partnership
14301 FNB Parkway, Suite 115
Omaha, NE 68154
Each year at the Nebraska State ASD Conference, an educator is recognized and awarded the “Friend of Autism” award.
The Friend of Autism award is given to an educator that exhibits the following qualities:
1. Commitment—has the education of families, children and youth with ASD as a primary focus
2. Vision: sees potential in all individuals with ASD
3. Innovation: is aware of empirically supported practices and uses resources creatively
4. Inspiration: displays positive interactions with students with ASD, parents and peers
For more information, please visit the State ASD webpage—www.unl.edu/asdnetwork.
Deadline for nominations is March 2, 2012
Do you know someone who demonstrates remarkable advocacy for an individual or group of individuals with autism spectrum disorders? Nominate them for the Autism Society of Nebraska – Autism Advocate Award
A submission should include details of how the nominee exhibits the following qualities as an advocate:
Commitment: Has consistently advocated for an individual or group of individuals on the autism spectrum and is committed to promoting autism awareness and advocacy.
Inspiration: Displays positive interactions with individuals or groups and influences others to advocate and spread awareness and acceptance of individuals with autism.
Vision: Has the ability to see opportunities to help through advocacy and awareness.
Initiative: Learns and takes the steps necessary to use resources and information to advocate for an individual or group of individuals with autism spectrum disorders.
Please also include your contact information.
Nomination Deadline: March 16th, 2012 Nominations can be submitted via email to:
or by mail to:
Autism Society of Nebraska
PO Box 83559
Lincoln, NE 68501-3559
The Autism Advocate Award will be presented during the evening event at the 2012 NE ASD Network State Conference on April 12th at the Cornhusker Hotel in Lincoln.
Winners from prior years will not be eligible. Please contact us with any questions!
The Autism Society of Nebraska is seeking applications for the Dan Archwamety Post Secondary Education Scholarship. A scholarship of up to $500 is available this year for an individual with a diagnosis of ASD. The scholarship must be used toward completing an accredited post-secondary course of study (educational or vocational). Applicant must be currently registered /admitted for the program.
The scholarship will be awarded at the Nebraska State ASD Conference on Thursday, April 12th in Lincoln. Persons who have already received this scholarship will not be eligible.
Download the scholarship form HERE.
The Dan Archwamety scholarship was created to give hope, affirmation, and some financial help to young people diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder who plan to continue their schooling after high school. Dan died on June 1, 1997, as a result of a bike-truck accident, shortly after he completed his sophomore year at University of Nebraska-Kearney. Dan’s family describes him as, ”an above average student who really had to study hard for the good grades he earned”. Dan worked equally hard to learn how to socialize with other students, both his classmates and those who lived at his dorm.
The day after he died, two letters arrived from UNK, awarding him two different scholarships for his junior year. At his funeral service a fellow student confided that she had no idea that he had a disability. She thought he was so much more mature than other college boys because he would offer to help her and other students in the computer lab at UNK.
Dan did not live to receive his scholarships, but he would be very happy to know that the memorials people gave to honor his life are helping other deserving young people with ASD to achieve their dreams.
Due to the winter weather we have received word that the following events on Saturday, Feb 4th are being postponed!
Breakfast Club – rescheduled for next Saturday February 11th at 9am at the Autism Center of Nebraska.
Andrew Benjamin Group’s seminar on Guardianship changes – tentative reschedule date is February 25th
Enjoy your snow day everyone!
We have a new update from the Nebraska Insurance Reform Steering Committee…
The hearing date for LB 1129 has been set. It is Tuesday, February 7th at 1:30pm. The hearing will be at the State Capitol in Lincoln, NE and will be in Room 1507. PLEASE PLAN TO ATTEND! It is so important that the autism community show up in support. Here’s what you need to know:
1. If you attend, WEAR RED! This helps us look unified, and there will be NO MISTAKE on who is there to support insurance for Nebraskans with Autism.
2. You don’t need to speak at the hearing or do anything. Just having people there is important. In the past, we’ve packed the room and had to move some people to an overflow room! LET’S PACK THE HOUSE!!!
3. PLEASE GET YOUR LETTERS READY!!! Write a letter to the committee members (Dear Banking and Insurance Committee, or you can address it to EACH Senator on the committee). Tell them your story, and ask they support LB 1129!!
4. ASK YOUR FRIENDS TO WRITE LETTERS TOO!! Ask at least 10 people to write letters to the committee too. This is so important! People know you and your loved one with autism, and they’ve seen us all struggle. Their voices matter too, and they can be a great advocate on your behalf!
5. SEND YOUR EMAIL/LETTERS ON FEBRUARY 6th or FEBRUARY 7th. Hit the send button on February 6th or 7th, and ask your friends to do the same. Although the letter getting to them early is better than not at all, what an impact it makes when they all come within 24 hours!! PLEASE send me a copy of your email too, and ask your friends to send me a copy as well. (You can do that now if you want). My personal email addresss is: firstname.lastname@example.org
6. IF YOU CAN’T ATTEND: We will HAND DELIVER your letter to YOUR Senator. Just send me that letter soon, and we will make sure someone will walk into their office, and let them know this letter is for you!!!
7. CHECK THE WEBSITE for more information: www.nebraskainsurancereform.org
8. QUESTIONS???? Let me know!
Let’s show our State Senators that we are UNITED, and we are ready for discrimination for our loved ones to END!!! THIS IS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY for us to be heard!!