Author: Catherine

Stereotypes Impede Driver Licenses

For your convience, article was copied into the bog post from Disability Scoop. If you wish to read the article at the original website, click the link or copy and paste the link into your  browser:

Suit: Red Tape, Disability Stereotypes Mar Path To Driving


Suit: Red Tape, Disability Stereotypes Mar Path To Driving


February 26, 2014

Advocates are suing claiming that people with disabilities seeking driver’s licenses are being subjected to unfair scrutiny because of stereotypes about their abilities.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court last week on behalf of six North Carolina residents, attorneys with Disability Rights North Carolina claim that the state’s Division of Motor Vehicles is forcing those with special needs to undergo unnecessary road testing and medical exams.

The suit alleges that Logan Wilson, 18, who has cerebral palsy, was required to participate in extra testing even though his doctor provided assurances to the DMV that such measures were unnecessary for the Chapel Hill, N.C. resident.

In another case, Steven Chambers, 19, of Vale, N.C., who also has cerebral palsy, passed his driving test and provided documentation from his physician asserting that no follow-up on his condition should be necessary. Nonetheless, the lawsuit alleges that Chambers has been required to provide medical information to the DMV each year for four years. What’s more, Chambers says he was told to undergo and pay for a costly “behind the wheel assessment” conducted by an occupational therapist.

Other individuals with disabilities included in the suit say they were barred from driving more than a specified distance from their home or subjected to repeated testing, among other restrictions, according to the complaint.

“We can’t sit by and allow the DMV to stereotype and demean North Carolina drivers with disabilities,” said Vicki Smith, executive director of Disability Rights North Carolina.

“These individuals continue to be subjected to the DMV’s discriminatory operation of its driver licensing program,” Smith said. “This must end.”

The lawsuit alleges violations of state law as well as the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and Rehabilitation Act and seeks changes in the DMV’s policies and practices.

Marge Howell, a spokeswoman for the North Carolina DMV, said in a statement that the agency is reviewing the complaint.

“We will work to resolve the matter as quickly as possible. We are disappointed that the organization decided to take legal action,” the statement said.

Kids’ Autism Care Runs $11.5 Billion Annually, Study Finds


Article is copied into blog for your convenience on 02/16/14.  If you would like to read the article on the original site, click on or copy and paste the following link into your web browser: 

Kids’ Autism Care Runs $11.5 Billion Annually, Study Finds


Kids’ Autism Care Runs $11.5 Billion Annually, Study Finds


February 10, 2014

Substantial costs come along with an autism diagnosis, researchers say in a new study that attempts to put a price tag on the care needed by children with the developmental disorder.

When factoring expenses for health care, schooling, caregiving, therapy and similar family-coordinated services, a study published online Monday in the journal Pediatrics suggests that an autism diagnosis brings an annual cost of $17,081 per child.

For the study, researchers surveyed more than 200 parents and looked at data from the federal government’s Medical Expenditure Panel Survey and National Health Interview Survey. They compared the cost of care for kids with autism ages 3 to 17 to expenses for typically-developing children.

Health care expenses for those with autism were about $3,000 higher than for other children, the study found. But it was school-related costs that packed the biggest punch, adding over $8,600 per year.

Nationally, with 673,000 kids estimated to be on the autism spectrum, the researchers said that the cost of caring for this group in 2011 likely totaled $11.5 billion in the U.S. alone.

2012 study found that autism costs total $137 billion annually, but indicated that adults account for the majority of spending since they require housing and are often unemployed or underemployed. The current study focused exclusively on children.

Despite the hefty price tag, parents of kids with autism did not report significantly higher out-of-pocket costs, the study found. Rather, the expense is largely borne by society through special education services and other offerings.

“There is a large economic burden associated with caring for a child with ASD,” wrote researchers from Harvard University, Boston Children’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital and the University of Michigan in the study. “These costs have been under-recognized.”

“Comprehensive policies are needed to ensure that funds are allocated to meet the needs of this population, and future cost-effectiveness analyses should inform how these funds are spent to ensure the best possible outcomes for children with ASD,” they added.

Another Day on the Farm


Hello farmers!  

The rain has been doing some good on the farm; our vegetables are growing.  Some are ready to be picked, others are  almost ready.  




 This is the last of the cabbage.  However, don’t worry, more cabbage will grow if you weren’t able to get some in the first round.



Trisha is showing me the flower on a broccoli plant.  The broccoli will be picked when the flower head is large and tight, like what you would see at the grocery store. 



The cauliflower, more developed than the broccoli, is ready to be picked.    

The Farm is Open Today!

Hello farmers and friends of Big Wave,


Are you looking for something to do today that is fun, free and local?  Well, look no further than the Big Wave Farm.  Come anywhere between 1:00-4:00.  The Farm is open today.

You can meet and greet our new residents!  If you have some food scraps including greens, you can bring that too.  (no meat, fish, onions or processed please).  They aren’t too picky, and are kid friendly.

You can also look to see what is happening down on the farm.  We are building a green house for our seed starts and tomatoes.  Strawberries are being planted today too.

Please stop by if you’re in the area.  There will be a few snacks.  If you have a snack or something to share, you can bring that, but not necessary.

 Hope to see you!

 Next a Farm Day is Saturday a March 8, from 1:00-4:00.  we will be painting the hen house, the colors of the rainbow!!!Save the date!


Farmer Jon

Farm Day Postponed

Hello farmers!

Although the rain is a blessing for California during this time of drought, we will not be having any upcoming farm days.  You can still stop by the farm to pick some leady greens and say hello to our chickens!

Stay tuned for more news!

Building Compost Bins

Jeff Peck and a local carpenter, Steven Mack, worked together on Saturday to build compost bins. Using pallets as the frames, the men constructed the bins with plastic roofing.  When the bins are completed, they will be filled with plant and food waste that will decompose into a rich, nutrient compost soil to be used on the farm.


Below are a few pictures to exemplify Jeff’s and Steven’s progress. 

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Farm Day Pictures 11/02

Thanks for braving the chilly weather to come out to farm day this past Saturday.  Although there were only a few of us, we had a good time and got a lot done. 

Check out some of the photos below.


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Patrick and Kathy are planting lettuce 


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The carrots are growing, but not ready yet.

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Patrick is shoveling compost into a wine barrel before


  Joey is planting broccoli plants.