The world’s largest study on autism has just begun

Scientists and researchers are aiming to collect DNA and other vital information from 50,000 individuals with autism and their family members.

Known as SPARK (Simons Foundation Powering Autism Research for Knowledge), the project developers intend to create an online research database through responses from those with autism and their relatives.

Forum explores issue of abuse of people with disabilities

Nancy Smith first noticed something missing from existing programs on domestic and sexual violence when she was working at an Ohio YWCA in 2001.

While collaborating with an independent living center near the YWCA, she learned that almost every person the organization was serving — people with disabilities in the community — had a history of sexual violence.

“I was stunned,” Smith said. She had a master’s degree in women’s studies, worked with survivors of sexual assault and studied oppression of women and people of color, but said she had “never, ever thought about domestic and sexual violence against people with disabilities.”