PCAA Upcoming Events and Information

Posted via PCAA Newsletter
PCAA is the Pittsburgh Center for Autistic Advocacy

PCAA Upcoming Events

Learn legislative self-advocacy!

Sunday, August 13
2 PM – 6 PM
Rodef Shalom Congregation (map)

We’re joining the Autism Connection of PA and the Multicultural Disability Leadership Center to present a training on legislative advocacy.

Learn the process, step-by-step, for meeting with your political representatives. Ever wondered how to schedule a meeting or what to say? This training, run by autistic self-advocates and engaged parents, will cover everything you need to know, including opportunities to practice with a panel of legislators and staffers.

Registration encouraged but not required. Reserve your spot here.

August Social Meetup

Sunday, August 27
4 PM – 7 PM
Mellon Park Rose Garden (map)

Come hang out with your local Autistic community! Each month, we host a sensory-friendly social meetup, where we hang out, play games, do puzzles, color, and enjoy ourselves as a community. These events are very laid back. Please do not worry about arriving late or leaving early!

These events seek to be as sensory friendly as possible. Please refrain from wearing strong scents or using noise devices without headphones.

Where is Hope?

Wednesdays, September 6 and 13
6 PM – 8 PM
CLP East Liberty (map)

Join PCAA and Black and disabled community builder, Dustin Gibson, for a screening of the film Where Is Hope?, which explores police violence against people with disabilities, and a panel of local speakers on this phenomena on September 6. The following week, Cori and Dustin will present a workshop on the intersection of ableism and racism, how these phenomena affect us all, and next steps.



Public Policy Report

ACTION STEP: Disability Integration Act

The Disability Integration Act has been introduced in both the US House and Senate. Senator Bob Casey is already a co-sponsor, as are Representatives Robert Brady [PA-1] and Dwight Evans [PA-2].  Key targets for co-sponsorship are Representatives: Brendan Boyle [PA-13], Mike Doyle [PA-14], and Matthew Cartwright [PA-17]. Contact your representative and ask them to co-sponsor this legislation.

Paul’s Law (PA Senate Bill 108)

Paul’s Law passed the Senate, and has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee, where it will likely stay until after the Pennsylvania budget is finalized. Expect future updates after the budget has been resolved.

PA Medicaid (PA House Bill 59)

“Legislation passed by the state Senate late last month could re-shape the commonwealth’s Medicaid program — potentially making benefit changes and requiring work from the program’s able-bodied recipients.”

– For the rest, see link.

National Healthcare Legislation

While the latest GOP attempt at repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act failed, healthcare access is still at risk. President Trump has taken several steps to make the healthcare market more unstable, including threatening to withhold payment to insurers, releasing anti-ACA videos, decreasing the window for enrollment, and considering not enforcing the clause requiring everyone to purchase insurance. The House and Senate appear to have moved on from healthcare….for now. This doesn’t mean they won’t revisit changes in the future.



Studies and CFPs

Diversity of social strengths and challenges in autism spectrum disorder
Women often struggle to get diagnosed and get support, because clinicians and others have a male-biased view of what autism should “look like”. In clinical language, autism involves “restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests or activities” (RRB), at least in childhood. RRBs are known to look different in women compared to men, but little is known about how. This questionnaire aims to ask about women’s own experiences, to understand female autism better, increase acceptance and help women get support.
Study Link
Contact: Kajsa Igelstrom, at kajsa@princeton.edu
Study on the Experiences of Young Adults with Autism
Are you a young adult age 21 through 35 who has a diagosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder or the parent of a young person with ASD in this age range? Are you available for an interview lasting 1 to 1.5 hours?This study seeks to document the experiences of young adults with autism and their families in order to inform human service providers, postsecondary education and training institutions, policymakers, and other interested in helping young adults with autism and their families.
Contact Jake Dembosky at (412)-719-3653 or j.w.dembosky@iup.edu

Participants receive a $20 giftcard to Amazon or Target for their time.

Social Brain Interaction Study
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh are looking for adults diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder to participate in a research study investigating the brain during social interaction. Participants will wear a safe and painless device measuring brain activity using infrared light while interacting with another person and wear a small device that records their daily conversations in their homes.
To see if you qualify: Call 412-383-5280
Text 412-463-1253
childbrain@upmc.edu / www.lcbd.pitt.edu
Autism and Gender Variance Study
Researchers at UMass Boston want to learn more about your experience of identifying as gender diverse (transgender or gender nonconforming) and as being on the Asperger’s/Autism spectrum. This study might be a good fit for you: • If you are willing to talk about your experiences with these two identities • You are 18 years of age and older • Identify (broadly) as being gender diverse (transgender or gender nonconforming) and on the Asperger’s/Autism spectrum. • You are living in the U.S.
To take part in this study, please contact Meredith Maroney at Meredith.Maroney001@umb.edu
ASERT Social Skills Course
ASERT is offering a free 16-week social skills course for 18-35 year old Autistic adults. Each week involves a 75 minute instructive session providing a window into neurotypical social expectations and a 90 minute practice session with neurotypical volunteers. This social skills group is offered as part of a study funded by an Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training Collaborative Grant from the Pennsylvania Bureau of Autism Services, Department of Public Welfare. To participate, you’ll meet with the researchers to confirm your eligibility for the program, participate in a pre-test, and a follow-up a few months after the course.
For more information, contact Ryan Schaitkin (412-339-0956 or rps30@pitt.edu – Subject line: Young Adult Participant.) Study director: Jamie Kulzer, PhD, Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, University of Pittsburgh
Mindfulness and Autism Study
Are you an adult diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder? Do you feel stressed, anxious, or dissatisfied with your life?University of Pittsburgh researchers are conducting a 10-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction research study for adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

This research study will involve:
• Guided mindfulness meditation practices
• Gentle stretching and mindful yoga
• Group discussions

Participants will be asked to attend 8 weekly 2.5 hour classes, a 7.5 hour practice retreat, and complete daily homework assignments. Participants will be paid up to $140.

Contact: 412-383-6727KAB277@pitt.edu

Transportation Study
We are looking for people who are 18 years and older with developmental disabilities to complete a survey asking questions about transportation. We are trying to learn about what transportation people with developmental disabilities use to get to activities in the community. We are also trying to learn about people’s experiences using public transportation (i.e., buses and trains) and what makes it hard or stops a person from using public transportation. We want to know how transportation impacts participation in life activities such as work, doctor’s appointments, shopping, social events, and any other activities important to the person. The findings of this survey will be used to identify transportation issues and help in the development of future transportation training programs.
 If you or someone you know is interested in participating in the study, please click on the following link:
Transportation Survey
Please feel free to contact Dr. Beth Pfeiffer at bpfeiffe@temple.edu or (215) 707-4504 with any questions or if would like additional information about the study.


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