Monday, June 26, 2017

SC Autism Society Newsletter

Call to Action

Senate Prepares to Vote on Healthcare Plan

June 26, 2017

From The President

Hello SCAS friend!
The United States Senate is preparing to vote on its' proposed Health Care Bill.  The South Carolina Autism Society shares the concerns of many other disability organizations about the effect this Bill, if enacted, would have on individuals with autism and other disabilities.
This bill proposes the biggest cuts to Medicaid in it's history, an estimated $800 billion over the next 10 years.  It shifts the burden of paying for Medicaid to the states, a cost South Carolina would struggle to afford.
If these cuts occur, what could happen?
• Already lengthy waiting lists for disability Waiver services will grow to record levels, and services may be severely limited. 
• People with disabilities who require Medicaid services to make it possible to live in their own homes, hold jobs, and participate in communities may be without those supports.
• Schools may no longer be reimbursed for services provided within the school setting.  This would only increase the burden on schools, and monies would have to come from other educational sources. 
For more information on how this bill would affect individuals with disabilities, please review the following reports:
• The Consortium for Citizen's with Disabilities (CCD) statement on the Better Care Reconciliation Act
• Center for Budget and Policy Priorities' report on the effects of the bill on individuals with disabilities.

We encourage everyone to contact their United States Senators and tell them you oppose this bill and any cuts or caps to Medicaid.

Here’s how you can Take Action Now!

• Find your legislators at
• South Carolina Residents can contact Senator Lindsey Graham and Senator Tim Scott
• Call your United States Senators and tell them to oppose the proposed Medicaid cuts in the Senate Health Care Bill! 
• Call your Governor and State Legislators.  Remind them what cuts to the Medicaid would affect the state budget and why Medicaid matters to you.
• Ask your family and friends to support you and do the same!
What to Say:
• I am your constituent.
• Explain if you are a person with a disability, a family member of someone with a disability, or a professional in the disability field.
• Tell them that you do not want cuts or caps on Medicaid! 
• Explain how Medicaid helps you or your family member to have health care and community based services.
If you need assistance in learning how to get engaged, visit ASAN’s toolkit on basic civic engagement for self-advocates.
Thank you for all your efforts to advocate for those with autism and other disabilities!
Kim Thomas, President & CEO
South Carolina Autism Society
Always online for you :

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Free Training  - Working and Your Benefits

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!
Thursday, August 17, 2017
1:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Florence Library, Stukes Meeting Room
509 South Dargan Street
Florence, SC 29506
Register Here Today!
For more information, email Sandy Jordan at or call 800.681.7715 or TTY 864.235.8798
Please make reasonable accommodation requests by August 10, 2017.
This event is coordinated through the efforts of the SC Disability Employment Coalition. Members of the Coalition are employers, state, and private agencies working to address the employment barriers of people with disabilities in South Carolina. The SCDEC is supported through funding from the SC Developmental Disabilities Council and the Administration for Community Living at the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Texthelp UDL Tools


Date: June 29, 2017
Time: 9:30-11:30
Place: SC Assistive Technology Program, Poplar Conference Room
Midlands Center, Poplar Building, 8301 Farrow Road, Columbia, SC 29203
Cost: Free!

We will look closely at a series of Texthelp UDL tools, both ELA as well as STEAM, which can significantly enhance student access and success.   We will also discuss ways to disseminate the availability of assistive technology options to a variety of students and teachers.   Participants will be eligible to obtain a FREE copy of Read&Write!

Speaker: Jeff Levinson

Jeff is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Stanford Business School,  Jeff has been working in technology for over 20 years, most of it in the educational sector.   For the past eight years he has been responsible for Texthelp's efforts in the mid-atlantic and southeastern U.S.  and worked with some of the largest universities and school districts in the nation.  Perhaps Jeff's most significant accomplishments are his marriage of over 35 years and "management/survival" of seven (7!) children.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Attention! New Blog..."Perfectly Peter: A Family's Journey Through Autism"

Perfectly Peter is meant to be a way for our family to share information about autism with your family.
I am Laura, and I am the mother of three boys ages 18, 14, and 8.  Our youngest, Peter, was diagnosed with autism before the age of 2.  We have been on this path – this crazy, confusing, heartbreaking, and enlightening journey – for many years now.  Along the way we have learned a thing or two that might benefit families who join us on this road.
I intend to share what we have learned – the good and the bad – so that families in similar situations may find their way along the path just that tiny bit easier.  Please allow our family to help yours, and know that you are not alone.

Smartbox Grid 3 Software & Eye Gaze Training

Date: 6/27/2017
Time: 12:00-2:00PM 
8301 Farrow Drive, Columbia SC 29203
Speaker: Chris Gibbons, PhD, CCC-SLP, VP of Education & Assessment at Smartbox Inc.
Cost: Free

Join us for a discussion of clinical applications for Grid 3 including neurodegenerative and acquired communication disability, language strategies for early SGD users, and symbol communication. Client examples will be used to introduce grid set development, user profiles, and access solutions.  Learn about specific grid sets including those with core language systems, symbol set development and organization, as well as robust language and access training tools built into Grid 3. All with full alternative access from direct selection to eyegaze for communication, home automation, and computer needs.

Speaker: Chris Gibbons has worked in a variety of AAC clinical, research, and industry settings as a private practitioner, assistive technology specialist, and policy level consultant. For more than 20 years he has advocated for and contributing to SGD user success through increased access efficiencies and by working to improve funding for SGDs. As VP of Education and Assessment at Smartbox, Inc., Chris is focused on fully integrated AAC systems designed to provide maximum independence for the user.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Free Assistive Technology Trainings

Free Webinars -  All Ages, Adults or Seniors

Augmentative and Alternative Communication and Aging from MaineCITE
Monday, June 5, 2017 at 10am Pacific, 1:00pm Eastern

New Technologies and Solutions for an Aging Society from AbilityTools
Wednesday, June 7th, 2017 at 10:30am Pacific, 1:30pm Eastern

Think College: Inclusive Higher Education for People with Intellectual Disability from ADALive on Wednesday, June 7, 2017 at 11am Pacific, 1pm Eastern

Digital Accessibility for the Travel and Hospitality Industry from SSB BART
Tuesday, June 13th at 11am Pacific, 2pm Eastern

Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) Accessibility Basics from SSB BART
Tuesday, June 20th at 11am Pacific, 2pm Eastern

Smartphones and Smart Ideas: How to Use Your Smartphone to Boost Your Education, Career Readiness, and Daily Life from PACER
Tuesday, June 27, 2017 at 4:30pm Pacific, 7:30pm Eastern (90 min.)

Free Webinars -  K-12 Educators & Parents

Pediatric and Adult Eye Gaze Evaluations – Session 1 from AbleNet
June 1, 2017 at 8am Pacific, 11am Eastern and Session 2 on
June 21, 2017, same times

Clicker 7 Overview from SETC
June 1, 2017 at 3:30pm Pacific, 6:30pm Eastern

Creating Core Boards in Symbolstix Prime from SETC
June 5, 2017 at 1pm Pacific, 3pm Eastern

Speech Dude Tells More: Practical Technology for Moderate to Severe Students
from AbleNet on June 8, 2017 at 12pm Pacific, 3pm Eastern

Recently Archived Webinars

AAIDD's 141st Annual Meeting, Promoting Health & Wellbeing, June 26-29 in Hartford, Connecticut

Promoting Health & Wellbeing
AAIDD's 141st Annual Meeting, Promoting Health & Wellbeing, June 26-29 in Hartford, Connecticut, is really the "must attend" meeting of the year!
Join us for informative and inspiring plenary sessions, cutting edge concurrent sessions, posters addressing emerging issues, and in-depth pre- and post-conference meetings on a number of important topics.

Monday, June 05, 2017

June is National Vision Research Month!

June is National Vision Research Month! 

What better way to celebrate than to help improve vision for you or someone you love?

Check out some of our low vision items listed below. They are all available for FREE through our reuse program.  Each item is linked to a website (if available) that provides additional details.

Looking for help seeing small objects close-up?

For help with distance:

Other useful items:

If you have questions or want to pick up an item, please email me, Alli Upchurch, or call 803-935-5273.

Don’t see what you are looking for? Check out the AT Exchange!

Alli Upchurch | Program Coordinator II | SC Assistive Technology Program | Center for Disability Resources (UCEDD) | University of South Carolina School of Medicine | Columbia, SC  29208 | | Phone: 803-935-5273 | Fax: 803-935-5342

Thursday, June 01, 2017

South Carolina's 4th Annual Transition Conference

Transition Alliance of South Carolina logo


We hope you will be able to be a part of our 4th Annual Transition Conference! We expect 300-400 transition professionals from around the state of South Carolina to attend this year's event. Space in the hotel ballroom is limited this year to 400 participants. We encourage you to register early to ensure your participation! 

Conference Registration Poster


© Copyright 2016 — Center for Disability Resources
University of South Carolina School of Medicine (UCEDD)

Contact Information:

Center for Disability Resources
University of South Carolina School of Medicine  Department of Pediatrics
Columbia, SC 29208

The Transition Alliance of South Carolina
is made possible by funding from:
The South Carolina Department of Education,
The South Carolina Developmental Disabilities Council
The South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs

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2017 Life with Brain Injury Conference Exhibitors and Sponsors

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Registration is Open! 
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