CDC Updates Developmental Milestones

Autism NJ reports: Earlier this month, the CDC unveiled revised developmental milestone checklists in their Learn the Signs. Act Early program. The goal of this first-ever update to the checklists is to improve the early identification and diagnosis of autism and other developmental disabilities.

A group of eight (8) autism experts, pediatric medicine, developmental disability identification, and screening tools convened to review existing published research on developmental milestones and assessment, as well as clinical opinion on best practices. This clinical review provided the empirical basis for the revised developmental checklists.

CDC Updates List of Those with Increased Risk from COVID-19 to Include People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated its list of conditions that put people at increased risk from COVID-19. The CDC had previously included people with disabilities on the list based on factors including “underlying medical conditions, living in congregate settings, or systemic health and social inequities,” but it had failed to include people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). The latest update now includes people with I/DD under the category of disabilities and defines the group as including people with ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, hearing loss, intellectual disability, learning disability, vision impairment, and other developmental delays.
  • Read more here:CDC Adds IDD To List Of Conditions At Increased Risk From COVID-19

White House Unveils COVID Plan Focused On People With Disabilities

On Thursday, the Biden administration announced a new plan to address the needs of people with disabilities and older adults in response to and in recovery from COVID-19. The announcement stated that the Administration will be taking key steps to ensure that people with disabilities “have equitable access to COVID-19 testing, masks, and other critical mitigation strategies.” The action plan will focus on:

  • Equipping schools with guidance and support to ensure schools can provide safe, in-person instruction for all students.
  • Expanding the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Administration for Community Living’s Disability Information and Access Line (DIAL) to support people with disabilities who need assistance using at-home tests or in finding alternative tests. The DIAL line is available at 1-888-677-1199.
  • Improving COVID-19 testing guidance through updating CDC guidance in American Sign Language and reviewing all existing COVID-19 guidance to ensure accessibility, including adding information in Braille, ASL translation, simplified text, and other alternative formats.
  • Developing at-home COVID-19 tests that are accessible to all through a partnership with the National Institutes of Health and organizations representing communities in need of accessible tests.
  • Issuing a formal Request for Information (RFI) to incentivize domestic manufacturers to prioritize the accessibility of at-home tests for people with disabilities and those individuals who need non-English language or literacy support.
  • Requesting accessible instructions from test manufacturers who have received a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to ensure instructions are accessible and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Distributing masks to individuals with disabilities. HHS is partnering with community health centers and rural health clinics to ensure individuals with disabilities and those unable to leave their homes have access to free, high-quality N95 masks. The Administration is also calling on states and territories to work in partnership with community-based health centers to distribute masks.

Read more here