People experiencing a mental health crisis have a new way to reach out for help in U.S. Now, they can simply call or text the numbers 9-8-8. Modeled after 911, the new three-digit 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is designed to be a memorable and quick number that connects people who are suicidal or in any other mental health crisis to a trained mental health professional. The primary goal of the new number is to make it easier for people to call for help. Lawmakers and mental health advocates also see this launch as an opportunity to transform the mental health care system and make care easily accessible everywhere in the United States.
Six Flags Offers Thrills, Inclusivity and Safety for Everyone
Big News, all Six Flags parks in the US are now Certified Autism Centers™ (CAC)! Six Flags is leading a number of safety and accessibility initiatives, and is now the first theme park company to achieve the designation at all of its 25 parks in the US. The certification means that staff have completed autism training, and that sensory guides for attractions and other supports are available for autistic visitors. In addition, Six Flags unveil the first-ever specialized restraint harness that allows access to all thrill rides for guests with physical disabilities.
All Six Flags Parks Utilize the IAC Program
IBCCES Accessibility Card (IAC) is a free resource to help streamline the accommodations process at participating attractions and amusement parks for any accommodations needs, such as waiting in line or assistance with accessible rides and more.
The Department of Rehabilitation (DOR), and the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) received a one-time appropriation of $20 million dollars to fund strategic initiatives to increase the employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. The DOR has allocated $10 million dollars for its Demand Side Employment Initiative (DSEI), an employer incentive program for businesses to expand or begin hiring people with disabilities. DSEI staff will provide helpful resources, technical support, and assistance with implementing equitable recruitment, training, and retention practices. The DSEI funding will be distributed to small and medium-sized businesses through grants beginning in 2022 through 2024.
DSEI KEY ELEMENTS FOR BUSINESSES
- DOR has earmarked over $5 million to incentivize California small to medium-sized businesses to set goals and commitments towards hiring and training individuals with disabilities.
- Small and medium-sized businesses can apply for a grant ranging from $20,000 to $200,000, with the possibility of additional funding in the future.
- This grant will allow businesses to introduce and expand disability inclusive hiring practices.
- Funding is available for, but not limited to, equipment, new hire cost reimbursement, training, consulting services, and physical location improvements.
- Free technical assistance is available to businesses for implementation and support of employing individuals with disabilities.
- DOR is looking for a diverse group of businesses. Have not worked with DOR before? No problem! We encourage all small and medium-sized businesses to apply.
Campaign to Highlight Participating Businesses
- DOR has earmarked $2 million for a targeted media and marketing campaign to support the recruitment and employment of individuals with disabilities.
- This strategic multi-media marketing campaign will spotlight the DSEI grant recipient businesses who are champions for disability inclusive hiring in California.
Have a question? Please email us at DSEI@dor.ca.gov
Free COVID tests are now available for easy online ordering. Every household in the U.S. can order one set of four at-home tests through COVIDtests.gov. This is part of ongoing efforts to scale up access to tests, with site-based testing facilities experiencing high demand.
Tests generally return results within 15 minutes, and do not involve the deep swabbing that some laboratory tests require.
Tips to help you commemorate, celebrate, and support the United Nations World World Autism Awareness Day on April 2nd and National Awareness Day Month in April.
- Check for autism-related conferences in your area.
- Help to advocate and educate people about autism.
- Recommend autism-friendly businesses to others.
- If you own a business, light it up blue to raise awareness about autism
- Raise awareness in the community by hosting an autism social in your area. View Family Autism Network’s social toolkit here.
- Follow organizations celebrating Autism Awareness and share their posts.
- Give special thanks to teachers and therapists that have made a difference.
- Spend time with a friend or family member with autism; consider giving friends and family a respite break.
Bonnie Gillman, Founder and Executive Director of the Grandparent Autism Network and the Family Autism Network program, will be honored on Saturday, March 7, 2020 at California State University-Fullerton’s Honor An Educator event. Bonnie initiated cost-free Socials for Adults with Autism and their Caregivers in 2014 with enthusiastic assistance from faculty members and students at CSUF. Those successful events enabled her to form a unique collaboration with CSUF, Chapman University and the University of California-Irvine. Faculty members and students from all 3 campuses assist at socials – and now students from 10 colleges and universities also participate.
Last October, CSUF hosted 350 guests at the annual Spooktacular Social. The socials enable students to learn about the challenges confronting individuals with autism and how autism impacts three generations in families. Students arrive at the Socials as volunteers – and they leave as autism advocates!
Please support CSUF and this event that honors Bonnie Gillman with the Distinguished Education Partner Award. If you cannot attend, please consider making a donation that benefits the CSUF College of Education.
Dr. Ellen Junn
President, California State University, Stanislaus
Distinguished Education Leadership Award
Zoila Gallegos ’13
Assistant Principal, Brookhurst Junior High School
Distinguished Alumni of the Year Award
Tracy Siudzinski ’08
Manager, Learning & Development, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union
Distinguished Alumni of the Year Award
Westminster School District
Distinguished Education Excellence Award
Founder and Executive Director, Grandparent Autism Network and Family Autism Network Program
Distinguished Education Partner Award
Dan O. Black ’67
Trustee, Black Family Trust
Distinguished Education Community Partner Award
Honor an Educator is a special event paying tribute to community educators and partners who have made a difference in the lives of their students and communities.
You have the opportunity to recognize and honor an extraordinary teacher in your life! Honoring an educator is a meaningful way to applaud the work of educators who impact others every day.
Event proceeds support scholarships for future teachers in Cal State Fullerton’s College of Education.