Author: Claudia Boyd-Barrett

Parents Caring for Children with Disabilities Have Some Advice

After almost 10 months of staying home, some of these families have settled into the new reality and are receiving better support. Some have found creative ways to adapt. But others are still struggling to get their children the help they need.

How well families are doing depends a lot on their resources, both relational and financial. To help families that are struggling, lawmakers need to provide greater financial support such as stimulus payments, food subsidies and rental relief, advocates said.

Nakenya Allen outside her home in Martinez, California. Martin do Nascimento / Resolve Magazine

How Families Are Fighting Racism and Disability Discrimination

Many parents of children with special needs — regardless of race — struggle to receive prompt diagnoses and services. But for families of color, the challenge is more acute.

“There’s just a lot of systemic racism,” said Kausha King, director of the Community Empowerment Project, a program that provides navigation support and training to Black families of children with special needs in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

For Medically Fragile Children, Pandemic-Induced Supply Shortages Continue

Suppliers and parents began reporting shortages — most notably of ventilator circuits — early in the pandemic. Now, they say the problem is ongoing and kids are paying the price.

Based on national estimates, it’s likely that California is home to about 35,000 children with medical complexities, although no one tracks state-specific data. These are children with chronic conditions that require significant medical attention and specialized equipment, such as ventilators.

Safely mailing an application for ballot for 2020 election at a drive-up mailbox at the US Post Office

Having Trouble Voting in California? Let Us Know

At the California Health Report, we want to make sure any voting problems in our state are investigated and made public. To do that, we’re partnering with the nonprofit, investigative news service ProPublica and newsrooms across the country to collect tips from readers about challenges they’ve experienced during the voting process.

The project, Electionland, includes a tip line that eligible voters can use to report issues that come up when casting absentee ballots or voting at the polls.

Children Missing Out On Developmental Services Because Of Labyrinth System

To get services for their children, parents often must navigate a dizzying array of health care providers, special education entities and insurance programs, often with little support or guidance.

By the time these children receive treatment — which is often contingent upon getting a diagnosis — they may have missed out on a critical window of time during which interventions can be most effective.

Bill Would Reverse ‘Discriminatory’ Policy That Mostly Impacts Women of Color

California is close to revising a rule that excludes family caregivers from unemployment.

If signed into law, the bill is expected to extend unemployment eligibility to more than 119,000 family caregivers, who are primarily low-income women of color, according to a home care workers union. Supporters say that’s only fair, given that people employed as in-home caregivers who are not family members do receive unemployment benefits.

Pandemic Pushes Parents Of Kids With Special Needs To Breaking Point

Thousands of parents across California are caring for children with physical, behavioral and developmental conditions. They typically rely on a small army of teachers, therapists, nurses and other caregivers to get through the week. But that has been stripped away due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Parents are feeling isolated, stressed and overwhelmed at a time when families need more support than ever to deal with a loss of routine, heightened anxiety and other challenges.

Amid Pandemic, Young Kids With Special Needs Missing Out On Services

As COVID-19 disrupts the transition from early intervention to school, children are going without occupational, physical and speech therapies and other services they’re entitled to.

The danger, advocates for children with special needs said, is that these kids are missing out on interventions at a critical moment in their lives. Since mid-March, California’s complex special needs care system has struggled to move children from one program to another, parents and advocates said.

How Colleges Are Supporting Students Leaving Abusive Relationships

Relationship violence threatens not only students’ physical safety and emotional well-being, but also their academic prospects. Some campuses are finding solutions to help keep survivors in school.

Federal law requires schools and universities that receive government funding to prevent gender-based violence and harassment, and address the needs of survivors so they can continue their education. Survivors have the right to special accommodations such as extra time to complete their school work.

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