Friday, February 24, 2017

Local Businesses Cater to Autistic Visitors


Dimmed lights, loosened rules:
Growing number of businesses cater to autistic visitors
(STAT News) - Toy stores are dimming the lights and turning off the music. A ferris wheel is letting children and their parents stay on as long as they want. And cinemas are letting patrons wander around the theater if they don’t want to stay in their seat.
Those patrons are individuals with autism.
It’s “the equivalent of building wheelchair ramps or accessible bathrooms, except it’s for cognitive disabilities, rather than physical disabilities,” said Steve Silberman, autism expert and author of a book on the history of the condition.
Autism is sometimes accompanied by a heightened sensitivity to light, color, noise, and smells, which can cause anxiety or physical pain in individuals with the condition. But as general awareness of autism grows, more private businesses are changing their practices during select times to accommodate individuals with autism.
Some of the forerunners of the trend have been retailers. For individuals with autism, a trip to the store, with its bright lights and blaring background music, can be paralyzing. So, stores across the US and around the world have experimented with toning down the stimuli.

AT Expo: Free Parking and New Location

Mark your calendar! Share with your friends and colleagues!

SC Assistive Technology Expo 2017
Open to the General Public
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
8:30 am – 3:30 pm
Columbia Metropolitan Convention Ctr.
1101 Lincoln St., Columbia, SC 29201

Cost: Free

Parking: Free (on grounds and at Park Street Parking Garage)

Come see what's new in assistive technology and attend presentations 
about assistive technology and its use. 
It’s the only event of its kind in the state!

To learn more about the SCATP Expo 2017 visit: 

We are looking forward to seeing you at the SC Assistive Technology Expo 2017!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Mapping Your Future

Young adults at tables interacting during last year's Mapping Your Future conference

Mapping Your Future!

March 11, 2017 at Furman University, Trone Student Center
The 4th annual Mapping Your Future Transition Conference is a FREE event for young adults with disabilities and up to 2 parents or other family member who are ready to learn how to navigate the transition process.  The conference includes a full day of learning how to transition to employment, independent living, and further education with experts in the field. Connect with community service providers that are there to support you with every step.  Network with your peers!

Ready to transition and need information on employment or independent living skills?  Do you want to further your education?  Are you looking for information and services to help you achieve these goals? The Mapping Your Future Transition Conference is for you! This full day, free training starts at 8:00 am and includes lunch!     

This year's conference will take place at Furman University's Trone Student Center in Greenville, SC.  Please contact the Hampton Inn - Travelers Rest at 864-834-5550 for overnight accommodations

You don't want to miss this important transition conference!

Click Here to Register

Brain Scans Detect Signs of Autism in High-Risk Infants

Brain Scans Detect Signs of Autism in High-Risk Babies Before the Age of 1

(NBC News) - Results from a small study suggest that it may be possible to detect autism in babies before their first birthdays. Researchers at the University of North Carolina were able to predict - with 80% accuracy - which babies with an older sibling with autism would later be diagnosed with the disorder through the use of magnetic-resonance imaging scans.

 Brain imaging in babies who later met the criteria for autism showed significant growth in brain volume during the first year. "It's the first marker of any sort, brain or behavior, in infants, to predict which individuals would be classified as autistic at 24 months of age," said Dr. Joseph Piven, senior author of the study and director of the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities in Carrboro, North Carolina. The report was published Wednesday in the journal Nature.

The new study is experimental, and more research is needed before MRI scans could be used as clinical tests for autism, Piven said. And because it was tested only on high-risk infants, it's also unclear whether the procedure would help predict autism in typical, healthy families. But it's a major step forward in how early autism can be detected, even before symptoms appear.

By lowering the age of diagnosis for a child with autism, the earlier that behavioral intervention or treatment can be provided — and the more profound the benefits in communication and social skills could be.

"If we can target interventions before autism appears and before the brain changes appear, during a time when the brain is highly malleable or plastic, we can have a bigger impact on the outcome," Piven said.

 To read the full article via NBC News, click here

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

SC Youth Leadership Forum Applications

Youth Leadership Forum
Apply for the SC Youth Leadership Forum this year and be part of the BIG PICTURE!
2017 SC Youth Leadership Forum applications are now OPEN!
 Applications must be submitted by March 31, 2017 to be considered.

New to the forum?

The SC YLF is a unique 4 day, 3 night summer FREE leadership experience that builds advocacy skills for young adults (juniors, seniors, and recent high school graduates) with disabilities. Young adults will work together to learn how to reach their personal, educational, and career goals. They will take part in leadership activities with peers, mentors, lawmakers, and successful role models with disabilities.

What is a SC YLF Delegate?

Delegates of the South Carolina Youth Leadership Forum represent the best of the young adult leaders in the state. These young adults may or may not have previous leadership experience; the biggest requirement is that they have a desire to LEARN!

Anyone interested in applying for the 2017 SC Youth Leadership Forum must:

  • Submit one or two letters of recommendation
  • Complete an interview with the SC YLF team
This is a competitive process so youth are encouraged to be creative with the application!

SC YLF is made possible by our partnering organizations: AccessAbility, Family Connection of SC, COMET Transit System, SC Assistive Technology Program, SC Developmental Disabilities Council, SC Commission for the Blind, SC Vocational Rehabilitation Department and Walton Options for Independent Living.


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Do You Love Someone with Autism? Join us for Strides!

Do you love someone with autism?  
Today would be a great day to sign up to participate in 
Strides for Autism 
to show how much you care!
Join us April 1, 2017

To register, set up your own fundraising page, and create/join a team, please text STRIDES to 71777 and follow the link, or click here. Please note: After initially registering, you will be asked if you would like to become a fundraiser. Please click 'yes' to join our cause and set up your page and/or team.  

Click here for information on creating your own fundraising team!

Registration is $15 per person, which includes the annual t-shirt and your own website to help promote your efforts and receive donations from your friends and family. 

Day Agenda
8:30 a.m. - Registration/Check In
9:00 a.m. - Honorary Chair
9:10 a.m. - Start Walk
10:00 a.m. - Team Awards
Heritage Park
861 S.E. Main St.
Simpsonville, S.C. 29681
* Fox Carolina's Cody Alcorn, Honorary Chair
* Bojangles Bo-Berry Biscuits
* Kona Ice
* $1 Special Train Tickets
* Field Games by Scout Troop
Saluda Shoals
5605 Bush River Rd.
Columbia, S.C. 29212
* Cosplay Superheros
* Field Games by School Group

If you have any questions, please reach out to Brandy or Breck at

 We hope to see you there!


Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Free Training: Disability Benefits & Employment

Disability Benefits & Employment:
Make it Work for You!
  • Are you interested in going to work or increasing your earnings?
  • Do you need information on how working will affect your disability benefits (SSI & SSDI)?
  • Do you want to connect with local agencies that can assist with finding a job and providing supports?

Please join us for this FREE community event!
1:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Trident SC Works Center
1930 Hanahan Road, Suite 200
North Charleston, SC 29406

For more information, call 1-800-681-7715 or TTY 864-235-8798
or Email Sandy Jordan at

Reasonable accommodation requests must be made by 02/15/2017 

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Free Assistive Technology Training

Free Assistive Technology Training
 Image result for assistive technology
Free Webinars - Transition, Adult, and General

Section 508 Refresh – ICT Final Standards and Guidelines from Great Lakes ADA
1/31/2017 at 10am Pacific, 1pm Eastern
AND on 2/2/2017 at 1pm Pacific, 4pm Eastern from the
Access Board.
Supports for Vision and Literacy Across Platforms (iOS and Chrome) from AbleNet
2/14/2017 at 10am Pacific, 1pm Eastern
AT Discovery Webinar Topic: Hearing from ABLE Tech OK (audio conference)
2/14/2017 at 1:45pm Pacific, 4:45 Eastern
AEM to Improve Job Training and Workforce Development Program from NCAEM on 2/21/2017 at 11am Pacific, 2pm Eastern
Free Webinars -  K-12 Educators & Parents

Enhancing Teaching and Learning with UDL: Multiple Formats for Access and Engagement from AbleNet
2/7/2017 at 9am Pacific, 12pm Eastern
Teaching the Swipe Generation from NCAEM
2/8/2017 at 12p Pacific, 3pm Eastern
Apps for Access from the FL Instructional Materials Ctr for the Visually Impaired 
2/16/2017 at 11am Pacific, 2pm Eastern (90 min.)
Technology Consideration and Assessment for Secondary Students from CTD
2/16/17 at 1pm Pacific 4pm Eastern
Video Modeling in Early Childhood from PACER
2/21/2017 at 4:30pm Pacific,  7:30pm Eastern
Building Memory and Focus – for Students with Autism and Intellectual Disabilities from AbleNet
2/22/2017 at 9am Pacific, 12p Eastern (45 min.)
Apps for Video Modeling from PACER (streaming)
2/23/2017 at 9am Pacific, 12pm Eastern
Expanding Opportunities for Student Action and Response Supported with UDL Application from AbleNet
3/1/2017 at 9am Pacific, 12p Eastern (45 min.)
SETC webinars are at 3:30pm Pacific, 6:30pm Eastern
2/6      AT Consideration & Assessment
2/7      TouchChat HD w/Word Power: embedded literacy support
2/8      Mobile Device Management Overview and Q&A
2/9      Websites with reading supports: Tween Tribune, Rewordify and more
2/14    AT Implementation Plans
2/15    Chrome Book Accessibility
2/16    Snap&Read & Co:Writer: Supporting Struggling Readers & Writers
2/22    Apps and Accessories for OTs, part l
2/23    Math Websites with Great Free Tools, Activities and Lesson Plans
2/27    Apps & Accessories for OTs-part ll
Recently Recorded Webinars 

Great Lakes ADA:
  • Modern Web Accessibility - revisiting fundamentals and new challenges
  • Accessible IT - A status report on legal milestones
  • Speaking the Same Language: Making Closed Captioning Work
From CTD:
  • Funding AT for K-12
  • Envision-IT: Enhancing Transition Through Technology
  • AT Assessment Tools & Interventions: Tots Can Tech Too!
  • Acquiring Accessible Print Materials in K-12
  • Acquiring Accessible Digital Materials
  • Is it Accessible? What Does that Mean?
  • Best Practices for More Accessible Social Media

Strides for Autism

Please join us April 1, 2017 for Strides for Autism!
We are 2 months away from Strides for Autism!  To register, set up your own fundraising page, and create/join a team, please text STRIDES to 71777 and follow the link, or click here. Please note: After initially registering, you will be asked if you would like to become a fundraiser. Please click 'yes' to join our cause and set up your page and/or team.

Registration is $15 per person, which includes the annual t-shirt and your own website to help promote your efforts and receive donations from your friends and family.

Strides for Autism is the South Carolina Autism Society’s signature fund-raising and awareness walk. Monies raised for South Carolina Autism Society stay in South Carolina and go towards individual and family supports, education, advocacy, and training. According to the South Carolina Secretary of State, the South Carolina Autism Society devoted nearly 90% of its total expenses to program services.

Heritage Park
861 S.E. Main St.
Simpsonville, S.C. 29681
Saluda Shoals
5605 Bush River Rd.
Columbia, S.C. 29212

Day Agenda
8:30 a.m. - Registration/Check In
9:00 a.m. - Honorary Chair
9:10 a.m. - Start Walk
10:00 a.m. - Team Awards

If you have any questions, please reach out to Brandy or Breck at

We hope to see you there!

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

NEDA Walk: Columbia, SC

Columbia, SC NEDA Walk

Event Details
Walk Venue: University of South Carolina
Walk Location: Columbia, SC 29208
Walk Date: Saturday, February 18, 2017
Check In Time: 10am
Opening Ceremony: 11am
Walk End Time: 12pm
Walk Fundraising Goal: $15,000

For more information email
Event Speaker: Katie Ashley
Katie Ashley believes in living life on purpose. Through her writing, workshops and individual mentoring Katie offers ancient teachings from a modern perspective in a way that is practical, actionable, and inspiring. She has studied with and trained under some of the most renowned and respected teachers in the disciplines of meditation, yoga, integrative movement therapy, and yoga therapy. In her work she blends the knowledge of her lineage with personal insights and observations gained through her dedicated personal practice and experience mentoring students around the world. Her teachings offer her readers and students simple ways to bring their practice off the mat and meditation cushion and into their ever more purposefully lived lives. 

Friday, January 27, 2017

Nutrition for People with a Spinal Cord Injury

Good Nutrition Leads to Healthy Life

Greetings everyone,

The United Spinal Association is raising awareness on the secondary health issues of people with spinal cord injuries due to poor nutrition by hosting a webinar. The two main health issues that they will address are obesity and pressure sores. The discussion will include the types of food that promote good health verses food that promote bad health, the amount of food intake, and nutritional strategies that promote healthy dieting. The audience includes people with spinal cord injury and their family members, caregivers, and health care providers.

When: Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 3:00-4:00 pm

If you are interested in participating, register here

Presenters:  Kylie James and Joanne Smith

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Save the Date! Advocacy Day

Advocacy Day for Access & Independence was first created as an initiative in the State Plan for Independent Living in 2014, its inaugural gathering attracted over 300 South Carolina residents in May 2014. Since then, support has grown to 25 organizations statewide all unified in an effort to ensure people with disabilities have equal access and opportunity. People with disabilities face unnecessary and discriminatory barriers to transportation, employment, healthcare, and housing. Advocacy Day for Access and Independence will shine a light on these barriers in hopes of improving the lives of all South Carolinians.
For more information click here.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Shuck-A-Rama is Coming Up!

We hope you plan on joining us! 
Get your tickets today by visiting
Sponsorship Opportunities are available until January 27,2017. 

If you are coming from out of town, we have a special hotel rate of $119/night at The Tides on Folly Beach. Please contact Tonie Saxson at 843-633-5437 to book your reservation. Be sure to tell her you are attending the BIASC's event to get the special rate. 

If you have any other questions feel free to contact our office at 803-731-9823.

This will be a fun night and we look forward to seeing you there!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Hurricane Matthew Survivors with Disabilities

Hurricane Matthew Survivors with Disabilities

Are you a survivor of Hurricane Matthew with a disability
living in North or South Carolina?

If so, The University of South Carolina needs your input regarding your experiences during Hurricane Matthew and the subsequent flooding. The information collected will not be identifiable and will be used to enhance the Carolina’s emergency response services for persons with disabilities during and after a crisis.

If you have any questions or if you would like assistance (ie. have the survey read to you, alternative format, etc.) completing the survey, please contact Dr. Robert Dawson at 803-386-1711 or email at
Please Click Here to Complete the Survey

Able SC Transition Conference

Empowering a Future is Able SC’s annual transition conference for professionals working with young adults with disabilities.  Mapping Your Future is the free companion event for young adults with disabilities in transition and up to two family members. Both conferences are intended to raise expectations, foster awareness of best practices, and build critical skills.

Both conferences will be held at Furman University. Empowering a Future will run for a full day on Friday, March 10, 2017. Mapping Your Future will run for a full day on Saturday, March 11, 2017. If you’d like more information about registering, participating as a vendor, or sharing your transition knowledge as a presenter, you have come to the right place!

Important Event Information

This is an open call to share your expertise with professionals! To promote access to more material and better engage attendees, this year’s Empowering a Future will feature short presentations and a much greater variety of presenters. Each presenter will be sharing an innovative practice or practical tool that conference attendees can take with them when they leave. Young adult self-advocates, parents, graduate and undergraduate students, teachers, rehabilitation counselors, professors, and anyone else who has something innovative to share are all encouraged to submit a proposal! All selected presenters will receive a free conference registration to Empowering a Future as our way of thanking you for sharing your expertise. The proposal form is very short and can be found by following this link. The deadline for submitting a proposal to present is January 18, 2017.
      Vendor registration is currently open. Vendor registration is $50.00 and covers a six-foot table and lunch at both conferences (Friday and Saturday). Click here for a vendor registration form and more details. The deadline to register as a vendor is January 18, 2017.
Mapping Your Future and Empowering a Future 2017 are made possible through support from Able South Carolina, Transition Alliance of South Carolina, SC Department of Education, Family Connection of SC, Protection & Advocacy for People with Disabilities, Inc.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

11th Annual Nurturing Developing Minds Conference

Theme: Addressing the Challenges of Adversity

Friday, February 24, 2017
Kroc Conference Center • 424 Westfield Street, Greenville, SC 29601

Keynote Speaker
Jeffrey Brosco, MD, PhD
Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, University of Miami
Associate Director, Mailman Center for Child Development
Regional Medical Director, CMS, South Region

Nurturing Developing Minds is a regional conference providing an innovative learning opportunity for a broad interprofessional workforce. Plenary sessions will feature national experts on brain development and function, the impact of adversity, and interventions to support healthy child development. A selection of breakout sessions will give participants the opportunity to learn practical applications to use in their daily work with children and families.

For detailed program/registration information, go to

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Free UDL Webinar

From CAST:

                          UDL Now! Revised with Katie Novak

Date: Friday, January 27, 2017
Time: 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. EST
Cost: Free
Presenter: Katie Novak


Are you interested in bringing the excitement back to the classroom, engaging your students, and empowering them to personalize their journey? Learn about the importance of involving students in the design and delivery of their instruction, supported by practical tools and strategies to help you begin applying these concepts immediately.

In the revised and expanded edition of her bestseller UDL Now! Katie Novak, a leading UDL expert and author, provides new insights and strategies for helping all learners meet high standards using the Universal Design for Learning framework.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Free Accessibility Trainings

Free Webinars

FittingAccessible Educational Materials in Your Teacher Education Program from NCAEM
1/11/2017 at 11am Pacific, 2pm Eastern

2017Digital Accessibility Trends from SSB BART Group
1/17/2017 at tbd

Teaching Accessible eRecruiting as a Business Strategy from PEAT
1/19/2017  at 11am Pacific, 2PM Eastern

Implementing Accessible Workplace Tech: Videos & Accessibility from ODEP/PEAT
1/26/2017 at 11am Pacific, 2PM Eastern
Accessibilityfor Google Drive: A closer look at Add-ons as AT from Ablenet
1/26/2017 at 12pm Pacific, 3pm Eastern

Recently Recorded Webinar

CreatingAccessible Tables for the Web from PEAT