Thursday, April 23, 2015

SCAS Monthly Newsletter

Below is the latest edition of the South Carolina Autism Society's monthly newsletter.

Wow!  It has been a busy month already at the South Carolina Autism Society! 
We kicked off April with Upstate Strides for Autism at Heritage Park in Simpsonville.  Those who attended enjoyed a beautiful morning of fun activities, learning about various autism resources, and connecting with others in the autism community.  Thank you to everyone who came and all who volunteered, especially the AT&T Pioneers, Cub Scout Pack 527, and students from Bob Jones University.
Last Friday, we had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Jed Baker talk about preparing for the future and social skills at our Annual Conference.  There was a great turnout, including caregivers, educators, professionals, and self-advocates.  Thank you also to all the wonderful breakout session presenters who shared their expertise with our conference attendees!  
Not to slow down, on Saturday we partnered with several other organizations to bring Wings for Autism to the Columbia Airport.  Wings is a flight-rehearsal program designed to help individuals with autism become accustomed to the airport and flight experience.  Seeing the participants' reactions as they came of the plane proved that it was a successful and exciting experience for all who attended.
But Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month is not over yet!  We still have lots of great ways for you to get involved.  Consider participating in our Midlands Strides for Autism on May 2nd, or one of our other many opportunities mentioned in this newsletter.
Please contact us if you have questions, need assistance, or would like to get further involved.  Our main number is 803-750-6988, or visit our website at

Kim Thomas, President & CEO
South Carolina Autism Society

To access the CDR Library:

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

South Carolina Autism Society Golf Tournament Rescheduled

South Carolina Autism Society Golf Tournament New Date: May 13th

Indian River is once again hosting their annual tournament in which all proceeds go directly to South Carolina Autism Society!
This will be a 4 Member Captain’s Choice (Best Ball).
Registration will be at 8:00am.  Tournament begins at 9:00 am
Each player pays $45.  
This fee includes: Green Fee – Prizes – Lunch and Drinks (cocktails included) – Golf Cart

For more information, contact Buddy at (803) 240-7097 

To access the CDR Library:

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Paula's Place: Learning Lab and Software Training

The South Carolina Autism Society would like to announce the addition of Paula’s Place to their main office in West Columbia. Paula’s Place is a learning lab dedicated to individuals with autism of all ages, parents, educators, paraprofessionals, and therapists to learn how to use various software and how to create supports for school and home use.

Paula’s Place contains software for visual supports, behavioral and communication supports, social stories, and various software that can assist individuals with ASD with accessing assistive technology and assisting with the curriculum.  Software that will be available will be text-to-speech, word prediction, speech recognition, and Microsoft Accessibility Options (which assists with access to the computer).  Switch Access is also available for physical involved individuals that require assistance with accessing technology.

Please contact Delilah (803)–750-6988 Ext. 108 if you are interested in using the lab or if you’re interested in individualize training as well as more information.  Paula’s Place will officially open on April 23, 2015 and will be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays of each week.  The lab will have early morning hours on Tuesdays, starting at 7:00 AM, for educators, therapists, or early risers and evening hours on Thursdays, until 8:00 PM.

Valeska Gioia, a Nationally Certified Autism Consultant and Nationally Certified Assistive Technology Practitioner (ATP) will be assisting and training individuals on the software and guiding them to create needed materials. 

This lab was created in Paula Devan’s memory, who was an individual with autism.  Paula worked at the South Carolina Autism Society for many years.  She was loved by all who knew her, and worked with her.  Paula was a remarkable, funny, and loving woman who is greatly missed.
                                To access the CDR Library:

Monday, April 20, 2015

SC Spinal Cord Injury Association

Want to Learn About Innovative Equipment Designed for Wheelchair Users?

Need the Use of a Portable Ramp on a Temporary Basis?

If The Answer To Either of These Questions is “yes,”
a New Free Service Is Available.

The South Carolina Spinal Cord Injury Association recently purchased a number of pieces of equipment, funded by a Quality of Life Grant from The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. This equipment will be available for individuals in South Carolina with spinal cord injuries to borrow at no cost.

In addition to the ramps filling a temporary need, this service gives people a chance to try out different assistive technology options before making the decision to purchase, or in some cases, the decision not to purchase. All the equipment will be housed at and loaned out through South Carolina Assistive Technology Program in Columbia, who is partnering with the association on this service.

To see the equipment for loan, click HERE to download the packet! 

To borrow a piece of equipment, contact the South Carolina Assistive Technology Program at 803-935-5337 or Toll-Free at 800-915-4522 to receive the necessary paperwork or download it here

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Provider of Online Courses Agrees to Make Its Website Accessible to People with Disabilities

The U.S. Department of Justice has reached an agreement with edX Inc. to settle alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The online education and training provider has agreed to make its website and mobile applications fully accessible to people with disabilities, including those who have vision, hearing or physical disabilities. edX was created by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University as a nonprofit platform for select universities to offer free online courses.

To read more please visit:

To access the CDR Library:

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

South Carolina Pathways to Justice Conference

The Arc’s National Center on Criminal Justice and Disability™ (NCCJD) is excited to offer this first-of-its kind training program, Pathways to Justice™, dedicated to creating a multi-disciplinary approach focused on both victim/witness and suspect/offender issues, addressing pervasive problems faced by criminal justice professionals, people with disabilities, and their families. This training empowers individual professionals and communities, and both new and experienced criminal justice or disability advocacy/training professionals.

Pathways to Justice™ hopes to reveal “hidden disabilities”  and increase awareness of  intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), and also disabilities generally, within the United States criminal justice system.  The training relies heavily on evidence-based models currently used in mental health, victim advocacy, policing, and legal fields. The overall goal of the training is to create site-specific, holistic solutions to complex challenges that occur when people with disabilities become involved in the criminal justice system as victims, witnesses, suspects or offenders.

It is offered at no cost to participants through funding from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), the U.S. Department of Justice, and The Arc. Please note seating is limited. 

The program is scheduled from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm on Monday, May 4th, 2015. A special conference room rate is available for NCCJD participants traveling in from different parts of the state. Use this reservation link to book your group rate for Pathways to Justice

To access the CDR Library:

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

South Carolina Autism Society 2015 Annual Conference


This Friday, April 17, 2015
Time: 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
Cost: $50 per person
Location:  Saluda Shoals, 5605 Bush River Road, Irmo, SC  29212

Click here to Register for the Conference 
Click here to Exhibit at the Conference

Jed Baker, Ph.D. is the director of the Social Skills Training Project, a private organization, serving individuals with autism and social communication problems. He is on the professional advisory board of Autism Today, ASPEN, ANSWER, YAI, the Kelberman Center and several other autism organizations. In addition, he writes, lectures, and provides training internationally on the topic of social skills training and managing challenging behaviors. He is an award-winning author of five books. His presentation is titled, “Preparing for Real Life: Harnessing Strengths, Overcoming Obstacles and Learning Relevant Skills” and reviews some of the key predictors of successful adult outcomes among students with special needs, including the awareness of strengths and challenges, perseverance, learning skills to accomplish realistic goals, and preventing disruptive behaviors. The second part of the presentation details effective social skill training strategies for all individuals and reviews some common skill needs for young adults, including the realm of sexuality and dating.
Registration is $50, which includes lunch.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Peer Visitor Program

Are You New to Spinal Cord Injury or Living with One and Have Questions?
We understand the profound effect that a spinal cord injury has on an individual and his or her family. That's why we offer one-on-one visits by volunteer Peer Visitors who have successfully been living with spinal cord injuries. Their personal experiences put them in a unique position to offer support, motivation, and a listening ear.

Peer Visitors make visits to hospitals, rehabilitation hospitals, homes, and in the community - whichever is most convenient and beneficial to the person involved. During the visit each individual receives a backpack that fits on the back of a wheelchair. The backpack is stocked with helpful supplies and resource materials, including a foldable grabber tool, inspection mirror, and a copy of "From There to Here," a collection of 45 essays on adjustment to spinal cord injury.

To access the CDR Library:

Thursday, April 09, 2015

The South Carolina Youth Leadership Forum

This leadership forum is designed to help youth with disabilities to further develop leadership skills that can help them face challenges to being participating members of their communities. Students who will be a junior or senior during the 2014-2015 school year or will graduate in June 2014 are eligible to apply. While there is no cost to attend, students must provide their own transportation to and from Newberry College. 

When: July 8-10, 2014 
Where: Columbia College
Deadline for Application: April 15, 2015
Cost: Free

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

AbleThrive, Empowering People with Disabilities Throughout The World

AbleThrive is an online support network of crowdsourced tips and advice for people with disabilities and their families to overcome challenges and thrive. With sharing and bookmarking of discussions, videos and people, members not only recognize their own potential, but also have the tools and motivation to fulfill it. Whether our members want to drive, skydive or just connect with someone in a similar situation, we can provide quality connections and relevant information that engage and unite this global community.

For more information please visit:

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Advocacy Day for Access and Independence

APRIL 16, 2015 9:30AM-1:00PM
Join us at the SC State House as we celebrate 25 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act and continue to move closer to our goal of equal rights and full inclusion for people with disabilities! 
Hear from speakers from the disability community and meet your lawmakers to discuss the issues that are important to you: 
  • Employment
  • Housing
  • Healthcare
  • Transportation
Please make accommodation requests during registration at least one week in advance of event date.
T-shirts and lunch will be provided as supplies last on a first come, first served basis.

To access the CDR Library:

Friday, April 03, 2015

AT for Low Vision Workshop

DateThursday, April 30, 2015
Time1:00 - 2:30 pmLocation:
Poplar Building Conference RoomSC Assistive Technology Program
8301 Farrow Road, Columbia, SC

Audience: Teachers, administrators, VR counselors, students, AT Consultants/Specialists, individuals who are visually impaired, anyone interested in Low Vision Technology

Description: Assistive Technology is a lifeline for people who are visually impaired. From video magnifiers to screen enlargement software - all of these items are essential to the person with a vision impairment. Whether you're a teacher of students with vision impairments, an AT Specialist, a counselor, or a person with a visual impairment, this presentation will be of benefit.
An overview of the latest and greatest - from portable video magnifiers to OCR products to the new release of MAGic Software - you will see it all. Please join us for this informative and hands-on presentation.

Cost: Free, but pre-registration is required.

To register for this workshop: 

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Coffee Talk Parent Support: April 1st

Monthly coffee talk on the first Wednesday of every month at SCAS upstate office. Families can visit, talk, share resources, and have coffee with homemade goodies. Children are always welcomed, but childcare is not provided.

Important Provider Notice:
Please note that this is a parent and caregiver support format. Businesses, organizations, and providers are welcome to send or drop materials for us to distribute.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Autism Awareness Month

1 in 68 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Show your support for families affected by autism by wearing BLUE tomorrow!

April is Autism Awareness Month, and tomorrow, April 2nd, is World Autism Awareness Day (called “Light It Up Blue”).   There are many events planned worldwide to mark this date, most of which include turning things blue with lights or dye.  We even have stuff happening in our own city:

-        Yesterday the School of Public Health offered a screening of a documentary called “Sounding the Alarm” about families affected by autism
-        Today at 4:30 pm, Autism Academy staff will turn the Five Points Fountain blue!
-        Today is the annual walk from Autism Academy to the State House to meet with S.C. Legislators about autism insurance policy reform
-        Tomorrow, Autism Academy is hosting a carnival-type celebration, and then a “Color Me Blue Fun Run.”  The run happens at night and will be “lit up in blue.”  The walk goes to the Governor’s Mansion, which will be lit up in blue as well.
-        S.C. Autism Society has its annual conference and Strides for Autism Walk this month
-        Many local restaurants are participating in fundraisers for autism benefits

For more information, visit Academy of S.C.), (S.C. Autism Society), and (Autism Speaks).

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Askate Skateboard Clinic in Aiken

The Askate foundation is developing their first autism friendly skateboard clinic in SC. They are hosting a free event in Aiken, SC on March 29th from 2-4 pm.

For more information, please email

To access the CDR Library:

Monday, March 30, 2015

Strides for Autism 2015!

Register online now!
Strides for Autism is the South Carolina Autism Society’s signature fund-raising and awareness walk. Each event includes a fun-walk, entertainment, resource fair, and family-fun activities.
Monies raised for the SC Autism Society stay in South Carolina and go towards family supports, education, advocacy, and South Carolina-based research. 

Dates & locations:

Saturday, April 11, 2015
Heritage Park, Simpsonville

Saturday, May 2, 2015
Saluda Shoals Park, Irmo

Friday, March 27, 2015

Brain Injury Association Annual Golf Tournament Fundraiser

Golf FORE! Awareness!  *  Golf FORE! Support!  *  Golf FORE! a Better Future!

Register Today!
Support the Brain Injury Association of South Carolina and register your team for the 12th Annual Golf Tournament Fundraiser!

Date: Friday, April 17, 2015
Location: Indian River Golf Club, 200 Indian River Drive, West Columbia, SC 
Format: Captain's Choice
Tee Off Time: 11:00am Shotgun Start
How to Register: Register online here.

*There are also sponsorship opportunities! Click on the link above to become a 2015 BIASC Golf Tournament Sponsor.

Come and enjoy a great afternoon of golf, lunch provided by Zaxby's, dinner sponsored by Travinia Italian Kitchen and Wine Bar and awesome gifts and prizes for all! 

Contests include: 
-Top three teams
-Hole in one prizes- Kindle Fire, $500 Visa Giftcard, Nike Irons, $10,000 cash prize. 
-Men's and Women's longest drive
-Closest to the pin
-$50,000 Putting Shot Chance*

*Purchase $10 tickets for a chance to putt for $50,000! Ten different names will be drawn at the end of the tournament. The ten individuals whose names are drawn will get a chance to putt 10 ft, 30 ft, and 50 ft away from hole. Those that make it in all three times will win $50,000! There is no limit to the number of tickets you can purchase. 

For more information on other ways to register or sponsor, please contact us at 803.731.9823/877.TBI.FACT or visit our website,

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Parent Training Workshops

Institute for Behavioral Training and Project HOPE Foundation Partner to Provide Training

Project HOPE Foundation and Institute for Behavioral Training (IBT) today announced a partnership to provide training resources to South Carolina parents of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who are waiting for therapy services. Project HOPE Foundation has been serving the South Carolina autism community for almost 20 years.   IBT has trained over 5,000 people across the U.S. and other countries since 2013.  The training resources include parent training workshops across the state as well as online tools that provide parents and caregivers with in-depth training on ASD, applied behavior analysis (ABA), behavior management techniques, and other important topics.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s announcement on March 27, 2014, autism impacts one in 68 children and one in 42 boys. Rates of autism in South Carolina are consistent with these statistics.  The South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (SCDDSN) indicates that there are over 1,200 families waiting for services for their children diagnosed with ASD.  Project HOPE Foundation and the Institute for Behavioral Training were awarded a $125,000 DDSN training grant to provide training for South Carolina families that are waiting.

"At Hope Reach we frequently impress upon our staff two principles:  ABA changes lives and every moment counts,” says Mark Knight, director of HOPE Reach, a program of Project HOPE Foundation.  “Through this grant and the partnership with IBT, we will help empower hundreds of families waiting for services to capture teaching opportunities and experience the benefits of ABA."

Project HOPE Foundation and IBT will host eight parent training workshops across the state of South Carolina in 2015.  The first event will take place in Spartanburg on April 30, 2015, at the Mary Black Foundation (downtown Spartanburg) from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  The second event will take place on May 11, 2015 in Aiken, South Carolina.  Additional events will take place in Charleston, Greenwood, Columbia, Florence, Clemson and Greenville.  Project HOPE staff will be on site to provide in-person training to parents on ASD, behavior management techniques, ABA and other topics.  IBT staff will be on site to provide free access to its popular Parent eLearning program, allowing parents to continue their training at home, at their own pace.  Families will also be able to access Skills®, the leading online assessment and curriculum utilized by autism treatment centers worldwide (, as well as a recently published book on evidence-based treatment for individuals with ASD.

Eligible parents should attend the training event that is most convenient for them.  For registration and more information about the events, please visit the Project HOPE Foundation website at or call Project HOPE Foundation at 864-476-7400; parents can also visit the IBT website at

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

SC Autism Society Media Club


NEW!  SCAS Media Club!

The South Carolina Autism Society is accepting video applications for our new Media Club located in the Midlands. 

Applicants must have the ability to work in a team atmosphere and must feel comfortable talking about Autism in relation to themselves, as well as current events. They will shoot visually exciting content that promotes issues in the autism community, educational tips, life-saving information and more. 

Interested applicants are required to create their own digital video about who they are and why they would be an asset to the SCAS Media Club. Videos should be no more than 3 minutes long and emailed as an attachment by April 12th to Christie Fleming at:

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Universal Design Workshop Series

Universal Design Workshop Series free event, with food provided
Facilitated by Kehoe Constructors / Tim Kehoe

April 8th   5:30pm – 7:00pm
What is Universal Design? - An introduction to making homes functional and attractive, inclusive, flexible, and barrier free and visitable for everyone, every day, at all stages of life – photos / UD planning + actual UD local results – program includes Q & A 

April 15th 5:30pm – 7:00pm
Planning Homes for Visitability / Livable Design - Creating lifelong homes using Universal Design, and green building practices; providing ‘a better way to live’ with spacious living, convenience and functionality, and a comfortable place to retreat, for family and friends -- program includes Q & A 

Where: USC’s Swearingen Engineering Bldg.
315 Main St, Columbia, SC  
Room 1D49

RSVP to Jenay Beer
Phone:  803-777-7361