South Carolina lawmakers have introduced a bill that would end the state's 30-year-old requirement that high-school students pass an exit exam to graduate. Under the bill, students would continue taking the exam for school accountability, while a study group would be set up to consider alternatives. If the bill is approved, the state would join North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama, which have scrapped or are phasing out such tests, according to the Center on Education Policy.
High-tech jobs can be a perfect fit for young adults with autism, experts say. Such workers often are digital natives, highly productive and capable of concentrating deeply on a single task. "This is an untapped labor market," says Alliance Data executive Jim Pierce, who noted that he has hired a dozen people with intellectual disabilities.
Some students with disabilities at an elementary school in New York have received one-hour dance therapy sessions once a week since November, and educators say the classes have improved students' attentiveness and demeanor in class. "They've become much better with following directions," teacher Tauna LeBare said.
University of Rochester researchers in New York have developed mobile applications that offer individuals with disabilities help with real-time needs, such as reading food labels or transcribing audio recordings. For example, VizWiz recently updated its app that helps users with vision impairments identify an object by placing a photo of the object on social media feeds or sending an e-mail to third-party contractors for help.
Some 450 New York families who home-school their children with disabilities will no longer be eligible for district-based support services under a new state education department ruling. Department officials say the change was instituted to comply with 2004 changes to IDEA.