KUNM

developmental disabilities

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About one in 60 children is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) nationwide, and that rate is rising. The New Mexico Public Education Department announced Wednesday a new online autism portal where families and educators can go to find resources and support.

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People with intellectual and developmental disabilities often get individualized support in order to hold a job. Many work for regular pay, but a nearly century-old federal labor law allows some employers to pay these workers less than minimum wage.

Lawmakers called a task force to study this issue earlier this year. The Legislative Health and Human Services' Disabilities Concerns Subcommittee heard arguments Wednesday for and against the controversial practice.

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Let's Talk New Mexico 7/18 8a: Thousands of New Mexicans with intellectual and developmental disabilities have waited years to get access to group homes, therapies and other services. We’ll discuss the plan Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced this month to get everyone off the waitlist for the developmental disability (DD) waiver program over the next six years. Have you or someone you know been on the waitlist? What would it take to get everyone the services they are eligible for in a timely fashion? Email us your thoughts at LetsTalk@kunm.org, or call in live during the show.

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There could be more peace of mind for people in Albuquerque who don’t qualify for the state’s medical cannabis program if Mayor Tim Keller signs a measure city councilors passed on Monday. It would decriminalize possession of small amounts of cannabis.

 

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The state Supreme Court created a commission to look at how adult guardianship works in New Mexico, and to figure out how to improve the system. After a series of public meetings, the group released 17 recommendations, mostly aimed at accountability. 

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Funding for people with developmental disabilities in this state has been tight for years. And one organization might have had thousands less than it should have. The state auditor says a program director may have siphoned federal funding into his personal bank account.

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New Mexico’s auditor identified more than $4.5 billion in unspent state funds earlier this year. Now a national agency wants to see some of that money go to a program for people with disabilities.

It’s known as the DD Waiver, and it’s a program that helps folks with developmental disabilities get services. But the waiting list is up to 10 years long.