Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Smartphone Technology Improves Prosthetic Limbs

ScienceDaily (Dec. 13, 2010) — Losing a limb can be a devastating experience, and while electrically powered prostheses can serve as a replacement for a lost arm, they are notoriously difficult to operate, and will never fully replace normal hand function. Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) are working to improve this situation through the use of smartphone technology. The technology, called an accelerometer, gives users a better sense of the orientation of their artificial limb -- thus making the limb easier to operate.

NOTE: To read the entire article, click on the title above.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Disability Action Center is moving!

This comes from Kimberly Tissot, Director of Program Services of the Disability Action Center, Inc. :

The Disability Action Center is pleased to announce it is moving! This move will help to further the mission and grow programs and services.

Please note effective December 15th, our physical and mailing address with be:
136 Stonemark Lane, Suite 100
Columbia, SC 29210

The Disability Action Center for Independent Living serves the citizens of 23 South Carolina counties. Programs and services provide knowledge and tools to help people with disabilities recognize existing community resources, enhance personal opportunities, and determine the future direction of their lives.
Voice: (803) 779-5121
TTY: (803) 779-0949
Toll Free: (800) 681-6805
Fax: (803) 779-5114

Empowering people with disabilities to reach their highest level of independence.
NOTE: Click on the title above to go to the website.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Read an Assistive Technology Holiday Success Story!

Sent by Janet Jendron (SCATP)--Recently we sent out an appeal from the Lexington County Auditor’s Office, looking to fulfill a wish for a wheelchair desk by a foster child they “adopted” this holiday season. We sent this out to our reuse listserve.

As usual, the response was gratifying. We had some folks who tried to help with a cheaper alternative, and so forth. I talked to Ronda Catron several times about it. In the first conversation, I suggested that she just try to call the company (Rifton) to ask if they’d give one to the child. We thought, “What does it hurt to try?”

Within a couple of days, the folks at Rifton responded with a positive answer and are shipping the desk with a few attachments.

You can read more about the company at www.rifton.com

And see a video at http://www.rifton.com/products/mobility/pacergaittrainers/seancarter/

Ann at Rifton wrote:

Thank you for passing on through Valerie the story of how an office team in SC has adopted the Christmas Wish Lists of foster children. This is the kind of thing we wish we could see so much more often in our world today. We would like to make this a special Christmas for this child. We are happy to be able to release it today so that it will be received before Christmas.

Rifton has agreed that we can tell our listserv about this, but also with the explanation that they do regret that they’re unable to respond favorably to the dozens of donation requests they receive, but we were so touched by this request that they responded to this one.

Isn’t this a wonderful Holiday story? When I said “it takes a village” in regards to transporting a piece of equipment right before Thanksgiving, it was even more prophetic than we realized.


NOTE: Click on title above to go to the South Carolina Assistive Technology Program's web site.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Many may be cut from BabyNet

babynet logo
Post and Courier, November 29 -

Hundreds of special-needs babies and toddlers are at risk of being cut from or left out of BabyNet, a state- and federally funded program that pairs developmentally disabled children with therapists who help them walk and talk.

South Carolina First Steps to School Readiness, the agency that oversees BabyNet, has proposed tightening the program's eligibility requirements. If the proposal passes, fewer children would be admitted to the program, which now serves about 4,000 special-needs babies.

Over the past year, South Carolina's funding for BabyNet has been severely cut, putting federal cash infusions at risk, said Dan Wuori, chief program officer for First Steps. State funding channeled through the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control has been cut in half, to $1.6 million this fiscal year, down from $3.2 million last year.

The eligibility proposal comes in response to a federal mandate requiring state governments to maintain year-to-year funding for BabyNet, Wuori said. The federal requirement can be waived if fewer children are admitted to the program, as would be the case if eligibility became stricter, Wuori said.

The eligibility change also is an attempt to rein in program costs, which have risen sharply in the past five years as reimbursement rates to therapists have increased, according to financial data provided by First Steps. In addition to making fewer babies eligible for the program, First Steps also is considering cutting reimbursement rates to therapists, Wuori said.

To view the entire article, follow the link in this post's title.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

TARGET Discovery Series on YouTube - AT success story


The TARGET Center, under the US Department of Agriculture, provides a Discovery Series that presents a lot of good information about assistive technology and electronic information accessibility. Here’s a recent announcement about their YouTube series:

The TARGET Discovery Series will return with a new session on December 8th, but in the meantime we are excited to announce that our first Profiles in Technology video is available at USDA YouTube.

Through this video series, individuals with disabilities will share brief stories about how technology has impacted their career.

In our first episode, we introduce Dr. Denise Decker, an NRCS employee who has a successful career at Agriculture during which she has travelled the world and written a published book about her guide dog, all with the help of assistive technology.

Look for additional episodes coming soon.

NOTE: To view the video of Dr. Denise Decker, click on the title above.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Hubscrub Event December 8 - DRC Charleston


This announcement comes from Walton Options, part of the SC STAR Network for Equipment Reutilization.

This is a great opportunity to get equipment sanitized by the Hubscrub, which doesn’t come often to our state.

Bring your medical equipment to get Santa-tized!

When: December 8, 2010 ---12 noon- 2PM

Where: Disability Resource Center

7944 Dorchester Rd, Ste 5
North Charleston, SC 29418

843-225-5080

Bring your medical equipment to be: Sanitized, Disinfected, Lubed. (no electrical or battery operated items)

No limit per person. Donations Accepted

For more information,or to get a flyer about this event, contact Ebony or Kathy at 1-877-821-8400

NOTE: To read more about SCATP Reutilization programs, click on the title above.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Brain Scans Detect Autism's Signature

image of brain
ScienceDaily (Dec. 1, 2010) — "An autism study by Yale School of Medicine researchers using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has identified a pattern of brain activity that may characterize the genetic vulnerability to developing autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Published Nov. 15 in the early edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study could eventually lead to earlier and more accurate autism diagnosis.ASD is defined by impaired social interaction and communication, and can disrupt the brain's ability to interpret the movements of other people, known as "biological motion." ASD is a strongly genetic, highly prevalent disorder.
Using fMRI, Yale researchers Martha Kaiser, Kevin Pelphrey and colleagues scanned the brains of children with autism and their unaffected siblings, as well as those of typically developing children as the three groups watched animations of biological movement. The study included 62 children age 4 to 17.
The team identified three distinct "neural signatures": trait markers -- brain regions with reduced activity in children with ASD and their unaffected siblings; state markers -- brain areas with reduced activity found only in children with autism; and compensatory activity -- enhanced activity seen only in unaffected siblings."
NOTE: To read the entire article, click on the title above.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Workshop: Building or Updating Your Home for Accessibility

clipart of a house

Date: Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Time: 6:00pm – 8:00pm


Location:


2nd Floor Conference Room,


Family Practice Center


Interagency Office of Disability and Health


3209 Colonial Drive


Columbia, SC 29203


Cost: Free

Directions and a map are provided for Family Medicine (PDF)

Note about parking: Parking is in the chain link fenced area adjacent to the building. Conference room is on the second floor. It is the only room you can enter without a pass card and is on your left when you come off the elevator. (On your right if you come up the stairs).

Presenters:


Wesley Farnum, CAPS, owner of MyHome Builders, LLC


Catherine Leigh Graham, MEMBE, Interagency Office of Disability and Health, USC School of Medicine

Description: Wesley and Catherine will discuss a variety of home design features that can improve accessibility for people with disabilities or those wishing to remain in their homes as they age. The design features covered are common to all homes and are available without sacrificing aesthetics and style. The objective of this seminar is to educate participants on design, features and products that can make a home more accessible and enjoyable. Before and after pictures will illustrate options. Listed below are a few of the topics that will be discussed:

  • Exterior features for accessibility and curb appeal
  • Kitchen design
  • Electrical items for safety and comfort
  • Bath and shower design and products
  • Flooring that works
  • Funding options

After the presentation is completed, the presenters will be available for one-on-one questions.

More about the presenters: Wesley is a local builder and business owner and a Certified Aging in Place Specialist. Catherine is a rehabilitation engineer who has been a wheelchair user for over 20 years. They, in conjunction with the SC Assistive Technology Program, are offering this free seminar.

To register for this workshop:

To view the map and directions to the conference, follow the link in this post's title.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Growth-Factor Gel Shows Promise as Hearing-Loss Treatment

image of ear
ScienceDaily (Nov. 26, 2010) — A new treatment has been developed for sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL), a condition that causes deafness in 40,000 Americans each year, usually in early middle-age. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Medicine describe the positive results of a preliminary trial of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1), applied as a topical gel.

Takayuki Nakagawa, from Kyoto University, Japan, worked with a team of researchers to test the gel in 25 patients whose SSHL had not responded to the normal treatment of systemic gluticosteroids. He said, "The results indicated that the topical IGF1 application using gelatin hydrogels was safe, and had equivalent or superior efficiency to the hyperbaric oxygen therapy that was used as a historical control; this suggests that the efficacy of topical IGF1 application should be further evaluated using randomized clinical trials."

NOTE: To read the entire article, click on the title above.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

New Spinal Implant to Help People With Paraplegia Exercise Paralyzed Limbs

art of the spineScienceDaily (Nov. 22, 2010) — Engineers have developed a new type of microchip muscle stimulator implant that will enable people with paraplegia to exercise their paralysed leg muscles.

It is the first time that researchers have developed a device of this kind that is small enough to be implanted into the spinal canal and incorporates the electrodes and muscle stimulator in one unit. The implant is the size of a child's fingernail.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) project is being led by Professor Andreas Demosthenous from University College London. It includes engineers from Freiburg University and the Tyndall Institute in Cork.

"The work has the potential to stimulate more muscle groups than is currently possible with existing technology because a number of these devices can be implanted into the spinal canal," said Professor Andreas Demosthenous. "Stimulation of more muscle groups means users can perform enough movement to carry out controlled exercise such as cycling or rowing."

The devices could also be used for a wide range of restorative functions such as stimulating bladder muscles to help overcome incontinence and stimulating nerves to improve bowel capacity and suppress spasms.

To read the entire article, follow the link in this post's title.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Modulating a Protein in the Brain Could Help Control Alzheimer's Disease

drawing of the brainScienceDaily (Nov. 18, 2010) — A protein known to exist in the brain for more than 30 years, called 5-lipoxygenase, has been found to play a regulatory role in the formation of the amyloid beta in the brain, the major component of plaques implicated in the development of Alzheimer's disease, according to researchers at Temple University's School of Medicine.

The researchers also found that inhibitors of this protein currently used to control asthma could possibly be used to prevent or treat Alzheimer's disease.

The researchers published their findings in the Annals of Neurology.According to Domenico Praticò, an associate professor of pharmacology in Temple's School of Medicine and the study's lead researcher, the 5-Lipoxygenase enzyme is found in abundance mainly in the region of the brain, the hippocampus, involved in memory.

Praticò and his team discovered that 5-lipoxygenase, which unlike most proteins in the brain increases its levels during the aging process. It also controls the activation state of another protein, called gamma secretase, a complex of four elements which are necessary and responsible for the final production of the amyloid beta, a peptide that when produced in excess deposits and forms plaques in the brain. Today the amount of these amyloid plaques in the brain is used as a measurement of the severity of Alzheimer's.

To read the entire article, follow the link in this post's title.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Controlling Cursors With Thoughts: Faster, Simpler, and More Accurately; Advance Helps People Regulate Their Own Brain Response, With Therapeutic Impl

cursor iconScienceDaily (Nov. 16, 2010) — Using a new brain-computer training approach, 14 volunteers learned in only six minutes how to move a screen cursor with their thoughts. Near-instant feedback helped the people quickly master some of their own brain responses.

Researchers have developed a speedier system that allows people to control a cursor with thought alone. Studies show that when people and animals are given feedback about their brain signals, they can gain some control over those signals. It's now possible to acquire that feedback faster than ever before -- in "real time" -- using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which registers blood flow in active brain regions.

"For most of us, most of the time, the ongoing activity of the brain is hidden and not under voluntary control," said lead author Anna Rose Childress, PhD, of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. "Brain feedback studies are changing this long-standing, one-way relationship.

"Thought-only cursor control may provide more options for people with "locked-in" syndromes -- in which a person is aware but unable to communicate -- and individuals with brain injuries. Previous trials have also shown that people can learn to control pain using real-time fMRI, and researchers believe this same technique may be applied to other conditions. They theorize that if the structures that underlie these diseases can be controlled, the disease itself can be altered.

To view the full article, follow the link in this post's title.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

New Technology Allows Medical Workers to Better Assess Brain Injuries

alphabet blocksScienceDaily (Nov. 15, 2010) — A Queen's University neuroscientist is launching a medical tool at the world's largest neuroscience conference in San Diego on Nov. 15. The KINARM Assessment Station will greatly improve the way healthcare workers assess patients suffering from brain injuries and disease.

The new technology, invented by Stephen Scott, is the only objective tool for assessing brain function, and clinical researchers need this tool to develop better therapies for treating brain injury or disease.

KINARM combines a chair with robotic 'arms' and a virtual/augmented reality system that enables neuroscience and rehabilitation researchers to guide their patient through a series of standardized tasks, such as hitting balls with virtual paddles. Once the tests are completed, the system instantly generates a detailed report, pinpointing variations from normal behaviour.

To view the full article, follow the link in this post's title.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

'Magic Number' 695 Opens Up New Areas for Alzheimer's Research

DNA modelScienceDaily (Nov. 15, 2010) — Alzheimer's disease is widely believed to be caused by the gradual accumulation in the brain of amyloid-beta peptide which is toxic to nerve cells. Amyloid beta peptide is formed from a protein known as APP, which is found in three forms. Most research into APP -- a key area of study for the disease -- does not distinguish between the different forms of the protein.

The findings, published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, show that amyloid beta peptide is actually created mainly by just one form of APP -- known as APP695 for the number of its amino acids. APP695 is found at greater concentration in brain and nerve cells, but this study -- funded by the Medical Research Council and the Alzheimer's Research Trust -- is the first time the significance of that has been shown. This discovery will now enable research to focus more clearly on the exact mechanism by which amyloid beta peptide accumulates in the brain.

To read the full article, follow the link in this post's title.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Functional MRI Predicts Outcome to Talk Therapy in Children With an Anxiety Disorder

brain clipartScienceDaily (Nov. 14, 2010) — A brain scan with functional MRI (fMRI) is enough to predict which patients with pediatric anxiety disorder will respond to "talk therapy," and so may not need to use psychiatric medication, say neuroscientists from Georgetown University Medical Center.

Their study, being presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in San Diego, showed that children and adolescents, ages 8 to16, who show fear when looking at happy faces on a screen inside an fMRI scanner were those who had least success with an eight-week course of cognitive behavioral therapy.

Conversely, children who showed fear while looking at fearful faces benefitted from the treatment, which is also known as talk therapy, the researchers found.

To view the full article, follow the link in this post's title.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Helping Older Adults Live Independently and Safely using Technology

image of remote
Technologies for Monitoring Safe Medication Regimens

Learn about current research efforts underway and exciting collaborative opportunities as part of the SmartHOME® initiative to help older adults live independently and safely. This lunch seminar is presented by Sue Levkoff, MSW, SM, ScD, Director, SeniorSMART® & CoEE Chair, SmartHOME®, Professor, College of Social Work; and Deb Krotish, PhD, Assistant Director SeniorSMART®, Assistant Professor, USC School of Medicine, Division of Geriatrics.

Admission: Free
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
12:00 PM -1:00 PM
Coker Life Sciences Building, CLS110
Open to Faculty, Staff, Students and the general public
Please feel free to bring a brown bag lunch

For directions or more information on this seminar contact Pam Weiss at pweiss@mailbox.sc.edu, or 803-576-6074.
If you plan to attend and need special accommodations, please let Pam Weiss know.

Specialized Phone Equipment

scedp logoMany people with hearing or speech impairments have difficulty using a typical phone. The South Carolina Equipment Distribution Program (SCEDP) provides free, specialized phone equipment.

Examples are: a phone that amplifies the signal so the caller can be better heard, or text on a screen that shows what the caller is saying. Other equipment amplifies the user’s voice.
SCEDPs Product Guide provides information about available equipment to help find the best solution to meet individual needs. The Guide also answers many questions about the specific equipment offered by the program.

Applying for specialized phone equipment can be done in five easy steps. Qualifying disabilities are: hard-of-hearing, deaf, deaf-blind, blind/low vision with hearing loss, or speech impaired. A landline phone is also necessary to qualify for equipment.

(Note: LifeLine/Linkup is a state-funded program that helps people with low-incomes install and pay for a landline phone.)

SCEDP
101 Executive Center Drive, Suite 120, Saluda Building, Columbia, SC 29210
toll free: 877.225.8337 (Voice), 877.889.8337 (TTY)
local: 803.896.8337 (Voice), 803.896.8334 (TTY)
fax: 803.896.8345
email: AmplifyLife@scedp.org

To view the SCEDP website, follow the link in this post's title.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Professional Patient Advocate Workshop

image of a handshake
Sharpen case and care management skills when working with consumers.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010
8:30-4:30
New York, NY
Continuing education: 7.0 hours of CE

The Professional Patient Advocate Workshop is a one-day course designed to improve your skills and effectiveness as a patient advocate and offers a step towards earning a Certificate in Patient Advocacy. This course is an introduction to advocacy with a focus on both private advocates as well as those employed by a hospital, an employer group or another setting. This course can be taken as part of the series of requirements to earn a Certificate or as a stand-alone educational opportunity. The Certificate Program is a comprehensive training process aimed to enhance the working knowledge of those in this specialized field, and it serves as a point of entry to professionals who want to transition to this new role, providing a course of study that builds on an existing body of knowledge.

Target Audience: Those who work directly with the consumer in any setting would benefit from this material.

The course addresses these basic health consumer needs:
1. When it comes to healthcare, what really matters to consumers? Answer: Feel good, pay only appropriate costs, get help with available resources, understand options, trust a health care advisor
2. Grant every patient access to a professional dedicated to his/her best health interests
3. Eliminate the need for the patient or family to navigate the complex healthcare system alone
4. Promote health care based on a competent and trusted advisor relationship
5. Understand basic state, federal and private healthcare programs
6. Help patients access basic behavioral and medical health services through insurance benefits and state programs
7. Advise about programs to extend benefits
By the end of this course, you will be able to:
Understand the trends in healthcare that lead to increased fragmentation, as well as unprecedented innovation and increased consumer responsibility.
Define patient advocacy and who can serve as a Professional Patient Advocate.
Define what services a Professional Patient Advocate can provide.
Define the scope of the Professional Patient Advocate Certificate Program.


Patient Needs Assessment/Coordination of Care
Analyze the patient’s needs, desires and options based on a patient/family interview, physician interview, medical records review, and employer review when appropriate.
Prioritize health management issues jointly with the patient and physician.
Explore options and related costs for addressing identified needs.
Explore both medical and behavioral health needs.
Advise about programs available to extend benefits.


Patient & Family Support Communication and Cultural Competence Skills
Provide support to the patient and family so that they are safe, comfortable and informed.
Interpret medical jargon, including diagnosis and treatment information, to the patient and family when appropriate.
Assist the patient in accessing reliable web-based information and assist them in understanding when it is appropriate.
Explain various diagnostic tests, treatments and medications.
Provide education and support for the patient's religion, values, dietary habits and end-of-life beliefs and desires.
Provide education related to various complementary and alternative medicine modalities.


Direct Patient Contracting
Provide an agreement with the patient for health advocacy services to be provided, outlining the specific service to be provided and the related fees.
Offer cost estimates.
Make payment arrangements.
Utilize legal consent and disclosure forms.
Understand transitions of care appointments and scheduling.
Schedule and coordinate doctor and treatment appointments.
Help transfer medical records, X-rays, and lab results.


Payer Provisions
Obtain an understanding of insurance contracts, patient co-pays, provider network features, pharmacy benefits, vision, dental and specialty policies.
Understand Medicare options, including Parts A, B and D, with the ability to help patients understand out-of-pocket costs and care implications for various choices.
Understand Veterans care, Tricare, CHAMPUS and various military service-related care plans, costs and implications to families.
Determine benefits available to families from long-term care policies.
Advise about programs available to extend benefits.


Healthcare Billing
Understand the basic medical codes utilized by providers and assist patients In resolving payment concerns and denials.
Analyze and negotiate provider bills to decrease inappropriate billing, thus saving money for the patient.
Obtain approvals for covered services.
Coordinate among multiple providers.
Identify the reporting needed and documentation required to accomplish the above.
Business Considerations.Create a business skills self-assessment to understand your strengths and potential weaknesses.
Create a full-fledged business and financial plan.
Learn how to create marketing and public relations materials, as well as fee structures and referral sources.
Explore the implications of and tips for success in operating a home-based business.

Agenda:
8-8:45Intro to Patient Advocacy
8:45-10:00Assessment & Coordination of Care
10:00-10:15Break
10:15-11:15Patient & Family Support/Communication & Cultural Competence Skills
11:15-12:15Direct Patient Contracting: Agreements, Payments, Transitions of Care & More
12:15-1:00Lunch Break
1:00-1:45Payer Provisions: Insurance Contracts, Medicare, Veterans & More
1:45-2:45Healthcare Billing: Medical Codes, Approvals, Negotiations, Approvals
2:45-3:00Break
3:00-4:15Business Considerations: Business Plans, Skills, Marketing, & More
4:15-4:30Q&A

Location: Offices of Access Intelligence,110 William Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY
Continuing education: 7.0 hours of CE
Instructors: Catherine M. Mullahy, RN, BS, CRRN, CCM and Jeanne H. Boling, RN, MSN, CCM of Mullahy & Associates, LLC Huntington, NY
Questions or for registration assistance, contact: Carol Brault, 301-354-1763
For more information on this event and to register online, click on the title above.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Gene Associated With Autism May Alter How Brain Functions

picture of building bloks

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 3 (HealthDay News) -- People with a common genetic variant that's associated with autism have a "disconnect" between their frontal lobe and other areas of the brain important for language, brain scans show.

The disconnect may help explain some of the language and communication difficulties that are characteristic of autism, researchers report in the Nov. 3 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

About one-third of all people carry the variant of the CNTNAP2 gene that is associated with a heightened risk of autism, as well as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, Tourette syndrome, schizophrenia and other language difficulties.

In the study, researchers performed functional MRI brain scans -- which measure blood flow in the brain -- on 32 children who had the gene variant. Half had an autism spectrum disorder, while half were developing normally.Regardless of whether the kids had autism or not, children with the CNTNAP2 "risk" gene showed more activity in the frontal lobe of the brain (specifically, inside the prefrontal cortex) during a "language learning" task than those without the risk gene.

To read the full article, follow the link in this post's title.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Brain May Be More Developed at Birth Than Thought

brain clipart

THURSDAY, Nov. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Babies are born with an important collection of fully formed brain networks, including one linked to introspection, a new study shows.

The findings challenge previous ideas about early-stage brain development and activity.Scientists at the MRC Clinical Sciences Center at Imperial College London used functional MRI to examine the brains of 70 babies born at between 29 and 43 weeks. The scans showed that full-term babies have adult-equivalent resting state networks. These are connected systems of neurons that are always active, even when a person is not focusing on a particular task or is asleep.

One fully formed resting state network identified in babies is called the default mode network, which is believed to be involved in introspection and daydreaming. Previous research had indicated this network was incomplete at birth and developed during early childhood.

"Some researchers have said that the default mode network is responsible for introspection -- retrieving autobiographical memories and envisioning the future, etc. The fact that we found it in newborn babies suggests that either being a fetus is a lot more fun than any of us can remember -- lying there happily introspecting and thinking about the future -- or that this theory is mistaken," lead author David Edwards said in a news release from Imperial College London.

To read the full article, follow the link in this post's title.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Pro-Parents Calendar of Workshops

pro-parents logo
11/16/2010
9:30 am - 11:30 am

Office of Civil Rights (Washington DC)
Section 504 Information and Updates
Glenforest School – Auditorium
1041 Harbor Drive
West Columbia, SC

PRO-Parents of SC

For More Information or To Register Call:
1-800-759-4776 or (803) 772-5688 or go to:
www.proparents.org to Sign Up


11/16/2010
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Getting and Keeping the First Job Workshop
Laurens County DSS
93 Human Services Road
Laurens, SC

Rene Sharkey, PRO-Parents of SC
South Carolina Special Kids Project
Project Coordinator

For More Information or To Register Call:
1-800-759-4776 or (803) 772-5688


11/17/2010
10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Positive Behavior Interventions (PBI) Workshop
SCYAP
3815 Montague Avenue
North Charleston, SC

Gayle Munn, PRO-Parents of SC
Region 1, Education Coordinator

For More Information or To Register Call:
1-800-759-4776 or (803) 772-5688


11/17/2010
11:30 am - 1:00 pm

*** WEBINAR ***

The Benefit Bank of SC

Internet and Phone Line Required to Participate

Registration Closes on November 16th, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Melanie Burnett, PRO-Parents of SC
South Carolina Adult Sibling Leadership Network

For More Information or To Register Call:
1-800-759-4776 or (803) 772-5688


11/17/2010
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

*** WEBINAR ***

Positive Behavior Interventions (PBI) Webinar

Internet and Phone Line Required to Participate

Registration Closes on November 16th, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Tanya Inabinet, PRO-Parents of SC
Region 2, Education Coordinator

For More Information or To Register Call:
1-800-759-4776 or (803) 772-5688


11/18/2010
10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Transition Into Special Education (Early Intervention) Workshop
Anderson DDSN
221 McGee Road
Anderson, SC

Susan Bruce, PRO-Parents of SC
Region 3, Education Coordinator

For More Information or To Register Call:
1-800-759-4776 or (803) 772-5688


11/18/2010
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Journey to Adulthood – What Parents Need to Know Workshop — Sexuality Training for Parents of Youth with Disabilities (Part I)
Saxe Gotha Presbyterian Church
5503 Sunset Blvd
Lexington, SC

Rene Sharkey, PRO-Parents of SC
South Carolina Special Kids Project
Project Coordinator

For More Information or To Register Call:
1-800-759-4776 or (803) 772-5688


11/22/2010
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Individual Education Program (IEP) Workshop
Oakdale Elementary
1129 Oakdale Drive
Rock Hill, SC 29730

Susan Bruce, PRO-Parents of SC
Region 3, Education Coordinator

For More Information or To Register Call:
1-800-759-4776 or (803) 772-5688


11/23/2010
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Journey to Adulthood – What Parents Need to Know Workshop — Sexuality Training for Parents of Youth with Disabilities
Outreach Family Fellowship (YANA)
136 Pee Dee Church Road
Dillon, SC

Gayle Munn, PRO-Parents of SC
Region 1, Education Coordinator

For More Information or To Register Call:
1-800-759-4776 or (803) 772-5688


11/29/2010
9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Positive Behavior Interventions (PBI) Workshop
Beaufort Marine Corps Air Station
Building 807
Beaufort, SC

Gayle Munn, PRO-Parents of SC
Region 1, Education Coordinator

For More Information or To Register Call:
1-800-759-4776 or (803) 772-5688


11/30/2010
10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Transition Into Special Education (Early Intervention) Workshop
Williamsburg DDSN Office
61 Greenlee Street
Kingstree, SC

Gayle Munn, PRO-Parents of SC
Region 1, Education Coordinator

For More Information or To Register Call:
1-800-759-4776 or (803) 772-5688


12/02/2010
9:30 am - 11:30 am

ADD / ADHD Workshop
Pediatric TEAM
1807 A East Main Street
Easley, SC

Susan Bruce, PRO-Parents of SC
Region 3, Education Coordinator

For More Information or To Register Call:
1-800-759-4776 or (803) 772-5688


12/02/2010
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Communications Workshop
Pediatric TEAM
1807 A East Main Street
Easley, SC

Susan Bruce, PRO-Parents of SC
Region 3, Education Coordinator

For More Information or To Register Call:
1-800-759-4776 or (803) 772-5688


12/06/2010
10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Getting and Keeping the First Job Workshop
Sponsored By: York County DDSN
McCelvey Center
212 East Jefferson Street
York, SC 29745

Susan Bruce, PRO-Parents of SC
Region 3, Education Coordinator

For More Information or To Register Call:
1-800-759-4776 or (803) 772-5688


12/08/2010
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Individual Education Program (IEP) Workshop
United Ministries
503 Vardry Street
Greenville, SC 29601

Susan Bruce, PRO-Parents of SC
Region 3, Education Coordinator

For More Information or To Register Call:
1-800-759-4776 or (803) 772-5688


12/09/2010
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Individual Education Program (IEP) Workshop
The Master’s Baptist Church
Subertown Road
Whitmire, SC

Susan Bruce, PRO-Parents of SC
Region 3, Education Coordinator

For More Information or To Register Call:
1-800-759-4776 or (803) 772-5688


12/14/2010
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Getting and Keeping the First Job Workshop
Family Connection of SC
Spartanburg Library
151 South Church Street
Spartanburg, SC

Susan Bruce, PRO-Parents of SC
Region 3, Education Coordinator

For More Information or To Register Call:
1-800-759-4776 or (803) 772-5688

To view the full calendar of events, follow the link in this post's title.

Monday, November 08, 2010

People Blind from Birth Use Visual Brain Area to Improve Other Senses: Can Hear and Feel With Greater Acuity

photo of blind manScienceDaily (Oct. 10, 2010) — People who have been blind from birth make use of the visual parts of their brain to refine their sensation of sound and touch, according to an international team of researchers led by neuroscientists at Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC).

Published in the journal Neuron, the scientists say this finding helps explain why the blind have such advanced perception of these senses -- abilities that far exceed people who can see, they say.

Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the researchers found that the blind use specialized "modules" in the visual cortex that process the spatial location of an object when a person localizes it in space. More generally, they believe that the different functional attributes that make up vision, such as analysis of space, patterns, and motion, still exist in the visual cortex of blind individuals. But instead of using those areas to understand what the eyes see, the blind use them to process what they hear and touch because the same components are necessary to process information from those senses.

To read the entire article, follow the link in this post's title.

Friday, November 05, 2010

EdVenture Free EdCeptional Children Family Nights

edventure logo
EdCeptional Families Nights
Admission is FREE for children and adults! No reservations needed.

Ever wonder what resources are available for your child’s individual needs and challenges?

EdVenture Children’s Museum is proud to provide parents, teachers and caregivers of childrenwith disabilities and special needs the opportunity to expand their knowledge of resources whileallowing their children to explore the largest children’s museum in the Southeast!

November 6, 2010 from 5:00pm-7:00pm

For more information, call 803-400-1133. 211 Gervais Street • Columbia, South Carolina 29201
803-779-3100
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 9:00am-5:00pm Sunday

To see more details about EdCeptional Family Nights, follow the link in this post's title.


Thursday, November 04, 2010

How the Deaf Have Super Vision: Cat Study Points to Brain Reorganization

photo of housecatScienceDaily (Oct. 11, 2010) — Deaf or blind people often report enhanced abilities in their remaining senses, but up until now, no one has explained how and why that could be. Researchers at The University of Western Ontario, led by Stephen Lomber of The Centre for Brain and Mind have discovered there is a causal link between enhanced visual abilities and reorganization of the part of the brain that usually handles auditory input in congenitally deaf cats.

Using congenitally deaf cats and hearing cats, Lomber and his team showed that only two specific visual abilities are enhanced in the deaf: visual localization in the peripheral field and visual motion detection. They found the part of the auditory cortex that would normally pick up peripheral sound enhanced peripheral vision, leading the researchers to conclude the function stays the same but switches from auditory to visual.

"The brain is very efficient, and doesn't let unused space go to waste," says Lomber, an associate professor in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, and Department of Psychology in the Faculty of Social Science. "The brain wants to compensate for the lost sense with enhancements that are beneficial. For example, if you're deaf, you would benefit by seeing a car coming far off in your peripheral vision, because you can't hear that car approaching from the side; the same with being able to more accurately detect how fast something is moving."

To read the entire article, follow the link in this post's title.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

SC Adult Sibling Leadership Network Webinar

image of computer
The Benefit Bank of South Carolina

**WEBINAR**

Presented by MJ Maurer
Director of Training, SC Office of Rural Health

Did you know that $800 million dollars was allocated to SC last year and was not used? Find out how to help people access these benefits…

November 17, 2010
11:30 am-1:00 pm
To register call 1-800-759-4776 or (803) 772-5688 or email Melanie at burnettiandr@aol.com

Internet access and a telephone will be needed to participate via the internet.
(You may also access the audio portion only via telephone.)

To learn more about the SC Adult Sibling Leadership Network or to receive a membership application, please call the numbers listed above or click on the title to get to our website.

$2 Million Dollar Grant Will Help People with Disabilities Study Science

Disabled-World.com-- "Students who dream of studying science but face hurdles because of physical impairments may find new options thanks to a $2 million grant awarded to Purdue University.

"The science community sees a drop in students studying science when they move from undergraduate to graduate work because graduate students need to be able to work independently in laboratories," said Bradley S. Duerstock, an assistant research professor at the Center for Paralysis Research and principal investigator on the project. "Many laboratories do not have the physical space to navigate a wheelchair or adjustable lab equipment that provides people with disabilities the necessary hands-on experience required in a lab. These obstacles are keeping many bright minds from studying and pursuing careers in areas such as biomedical research."

The grant, which is administered by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences and funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will support the creation of an Institute for Accessible Science at Purdue. The institute will create an accessible wet laboratory, which is the standard laboratory for scientists to conduct experiments on chemical and biological matter, and a Web-based interactive community for individuals with disabilities currently working in, or are interested in, biomedical research careers."

To read the entire article, follow the link in this post's title.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Pro-Parents November Calendar of Workshops

newsletter clipart11/04/2010
10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Journey to Adulthood – What Parents Need to Know Workshop — Sexuality Training for Parents of Youth with Disabilities
Newberry DDSN
115 Nance Street
Newberry, SC

Susan Bruce, PRO-Parents of SC
Region 3, Education Coordinator

For More Information or To Register Call:
1-800-759-4776 or (803) 772-5688


11/06/2010
10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Getting and Keeping the First Job Workshop
Edgefield DSS Office
120 WA Reel Drive
Edgefield, SC

Rene Sharkey, PRO-Parents of SC
South Carolina Special Kids Project
Project Coordinator

For More Information or To Register Call:
1-800-759-4776 or (803) 772-5688


11/08/2010
10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Getting and Keeping the First Job Workshop
Laurens DDSN
1860 Highway 14
Laurens, SC

Susan Bruce, PRO-Parents of SC
Region 3, Education Coordinator

For More Information or To Register Call:
1-800-759-4776 or (803) 772-5688


11/09/2010
11:00 am - 12:30 pm

*** WEBINAR ***

What You Should Know about Section 504 (504 Plan) Webinar

Internet and Phone Line Required to Participate

Registration Closes on November 8th, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Tanya Inabinet, PRO-Parents of SC
Region 2, Education Coordinator

For More Information or To Register Call:
1-800-759-4776 or (803) 772-5688


11/09/2010
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Journey to Adulthood – What Parents Need to Know Workshop — Sexuality Training for Parents of Youth with Disabilities
Horry County DSS
1951 Industrial Park Road
Conway, SC

Kim Preston, PRO-Parents of SC
South Carolina Special Kids Project
Education Coordinator

For More Information or To Register Call:
1-800-759-4776 or (803) 772-5688


11/10/2010
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Journey to Adulthood – What Parents Need to Know Workshop — Sexuality Training for Parents of Youth with Disabilities
Colleton DSS Office
215 South Lemacks Street
Walterboro, SC

Kim Preston, PRO-Parents of SC
South Carolina Special Kids Project
Education Coordinator

For More Information or To Register Call:
1-800-759-4776 or (803) 772-5688


11/12/2010
11:30 am - 2:00 pm

Individual Education Program (IEP) Workshop
Head Start
652 Rutherford Road
Tildon Center B
Greenville, SC

Susan Bruce, PRO-Parents of SC
Region 3, Education Coordinator

For More Information or To Register Call:
1-800-759-4776 or (803) 772-5688


11/13/2010
2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Getting and Keeping the First Job Workshop
Darlington DSS Office
130 East Camden Avenue
Hartsville, SC

Kim Preston, PRO-Parents of SC
South Carolina Special Kids Project
Education Coordinator

For More Information or To Register Call:
1-800-759-4776 or (803) 772-5688


11/15/2010
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Office of Civil Rights (Washington DC)
Section 504 Information and Updates
Glenforest School – Auditorium
1041 Harbor Drive
West Columbia, SC

PRO-Parents of SC

For More Information or To Register Call:
1-800-759-4776 or (803) 772-5688 or go to:
www.proparents.org to Sign Up


11/16/2010
9:30 am - 11:30 am

Office of Civil Rights (Washington DC)
Section 504 Information and Updates
Glenforest School – Auditorium
1041 Harbor Drive
West Columbia, SC

PRO-Parents of SC

For More Information or To Register Call:
1-800-759-4776 or (803) 772-5688 or go to:
www.proparents.org to Sign Up


11/16/2010
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Getting and Keeping the First Job Workshop
Laurens County DSS
93 Human Services Road
Laurens, SC

Rene Sharkey, PRO-Parents of SC
South Carolina Special Kids Project
Project Coordinator

For More Information or To Register Call:
1-800-759-4776 or (803) 772-5688


11/17/2010
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

*** WEBINAR ***

Positive Behavior Interventions (PBI) Webinar

Internet and Phone Line Required to Participate

Registration Closes on November 16th, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Tanya Inabinet, PRO-Parents of SC
Region 2, Education Coordinator

For More Information or To Register Call:
1-800-759-4776 or (803) 772-5688


11/18/2010
10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Transition Into Special Education (Early Intervention) Workshop
Anderson DDSN
221 McGee Road
Anderson, SC

Susan Bruce, PRO-Parents of SC
Region 3, Education Coordinator

For More Information or To Register Call:
1-800-759-4776 or (803) 772-5688


11/18/2010
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Journey to Adulthood – What Parents Need to Know Workshop — Sexuality Training for Parents of Youth with Disabilities (Part I)
Saxe Gotha Presbyterian Church
5503 Sunset Blvd
Lexington, SC

Rene Sharkey, PRO-Parents of SC
South Carolina Special Kids Project
Project Coordinator

For More Information or To Register Call:
1-800-759-4776 or (803) 772-5688

The full Pro-Parents calendar may be viewed by following the link in this post's title.

Check Out These Upcoming Assistive Technology Trainings

image of cubes spelling training
AAC: Creating Conversations and Measuring Progress
Date: Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Time: 8:45 am – noon
Location:Sequoia Building Conference Room B Midlands Center
Cost: $10.00
NOTE: There is a limit of 25 participants.
Presenter: Patricia Quattlebaum, MSP, CCC-SLP
Description: The workshop will focus on the primary purpose of AAC: creating opportunities for interaction. The difference between using picture sets for academic tasks and using symbols for conversation will be discussed. Participants will also discuss how to include caregivers in the interventions and how progress can be measured in meaningful ways.
Each participant should bring at least two examples of symbol pages (picture symbols or written words) that their clients currently use or two examples that might be effective in the future. In addition, each participant needs to bring five example AAC goals/objectives for their clients (or future clients). These items will be used for brainstorming purposes, and no identifying information such as client names or speech-language pathologists’ names should be included.
Following this, each participant will have the opportunity to create message sets that allow for augmented language stimulation and for conversations.

AMPLIFY! LIFE - Grab Life by the Phone. How to get specialized phone equipment FREE.
Date: Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Time: 9:00am – 12:30pm
Location: Assistive Technology Resource Center Midlands Center
Cost: FREE!
Presenters: Anne G. Bader, Outreach Coordinator for the South Carolina Equipment Distribution Program (SCEDP); Nich Godfrey, Assistant Outreach Coordinator for SCEDP
Description: SCEDP is a state supported, non-income based program managed by the S.C. Office of Regulatory Staff and administered by the S.C. School for the Deaf and the Blind.
SCEDP is aware of the daily challenges facing individuals who are hearing or speech impaired. Telecommunications equipment distributed by SCEDP is carefully chosen to cover their various needs, and is distributed at no cost to qualifying South Carolinians. Qualifying disabilities are: hard-of-hearing, deaf, deaf-blind, blind/low vision with hearing loss, or speech impaired.

Building or Updating Your Home for Accessibility
Date: Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Time: 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Location: 2nd Floor Conference Room, Family Practice Center Interagency Office of Disability and Health
Cost: FREE!
Presenters: Wesley Farnum, CAPS, owner of MyHome Builders, LLC and Catherine Leigh Graham, MEMBE, Interagency Office of Disability and Health, USC School of Medicine
Description: Wesley and Catherine will discuss a variety of home design features that can improve accessibility for people with disabilities or those wishing to remain in their homes as they age. The design features covered are common to all homes and are available without sacrificing aesthetics and style. The objective of this seminar is to educate participants on design, features and products that can make a home more accessible and enjoyable. Before and after pictures will illustrate options. Listed below are a few of the topics that will be discussed:
Exterior features for accessibility and curb appeal
Kitchen design, Electrical items for safety and comfort, Bath and shower design and products, Flooring that works, Funding options

Registration is fast and easy! To register, click on the title above.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Brain Imaging Identifies Differences in Childhood Bipolar Disorder, ADHD

brain clipartScienceDaily (Oct. 12, 2010) — Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago are the first to use brain imaging to examine the effects of emotion on working memory function in children with pediatric bipolar disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, researchers at UIC examined the brain activity of children as they performed a working memory task while viewing faces with different emotions, such as angry, happy or neutral expressions.

The children, ages 10 to 18, were asked to remember the faces and to press a button in the MR-scanner if they saw the same face that was presented two trials earlier. The study involved 23 non-medicated children with bipolar disorder, 14 non-medicated children with ADHD and 19 healthy controls.

"It's a simple yet elegant working memory test that tells us a lot about how their brain remembers stimuli like faces or objects," said Alessandra Passarotti, assistant professor of psychiatry at UIC and lead author of the study. "We also added in an emotional component -- because both disorders show emotional deficits -- to study how their working memory is affected by emotional challenge."

To read the entire article, follow the link in this post's title.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Radio Series Highlights Women with Disabilities in Science

image of radio receiver
Disabled World
10/24/2010:

"Concurrent with October's National Disability Employment Awareness Month, WAMC Northeast Public Radio is making available its Access to Advancement series about the opportunities for, and achievements of, women with disabilities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The series is now accessible both online and on free CDs. Divided into two sections, the first part of the series includes five stories that describe the latest practices, programs, and tools for supporting students with disabilities in their pursuit of STEM careers. The second part offers the stories of five successful women with disabilities who are studying or working in STEM fields.

According to the Science and Engineering Indicators: 2010, there are no comprehensive measures of the global S&E labor force, but fragmentary data suggest that the U.S. world share is continuing to decline. Many researchers indicate that women, underrepresented minorities, and people with disabilities represent a largely untapped talent pool. Dr. Angela Lee Foreman, assistant professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology and one of the women profiled for Access to Advancement, explained "everyone has a unique talent that they can bring to the lab or the workplace. And we cannot afford to overlook these unique talents and skills."
To read the entire article click on the title above.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Vigorous Exercise Can Help Seniors Avoid Disability

image of seniors exercising
Health Behavior News Service Glenda Fauntleroy

"Healthy seniors who are physically active and exercise for more than 60 minutes each week can lessen their chances of disability as they age, finds a new long-term study.

“This study contributes to the large body of scientific evidence supporting the importance of continuing to be physical active over one’s life,” said lead author Bonnie Bruce, of the division of immunology and rheumatology at Stanford University Department of Medicine.

The study appears in the July issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

The researchers looked at 805 adults between the ages 50 and 72 at enrollment and followed them for 13 years, from 1989 to 2002. Each year, participants answered survey questions about their overall health and vitality and rated themselves on their ability (or inability) to do tasks such as dressing, eating and reaching. Responses fell on a scale from 0 (no difficulty) to 3 (unable to do).

Participants also reported their level of activity and were considered “active” if they exercised vigorously — for example, by running, brisk walking, swimming, biking and hiking — more than 60 minutes per week, or “inactive” if 60 minutes or less per week."
To read the entire article click on the title above.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Kids With Chronic Illness, Disability More Apt to Be Bullied

image of schoolkids
Health Behavior News Service
Glenda Fauntleroy, October 7, 2010

"On top of all the other hardships they face daily, adolescent students living with a disability or chronic illness are more likely to be victims of bullying from their peers at school, a new French and Irish study finds.

“We were not overly surprised to learn that children with disability are more vulnerable to bullying, because of a lower self-esteem, sometimes differences in appearance or because they have special needs,” said lead author Mariane Sentenac, of the University Paul Sabatier in Toulouse, France.

Sentenac and her colleagues used data from the Irish and French 2006 Health Behavior in School-aged Children World Health Organization collaborative study. In all, 12,048 students ages 11, 13 and 15 participated. The findings appear online in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Students responded to items on how frequently they had experienced bullying at school in the past couple of months. They also answered questions on whether they had a disability or chronic illness such as cerebral palsy, diabetes, arthritis or allergy. Twenty percent of the students in Ireland and 16.6 percent in France reported having one of these conditions."

To read the entire article click on the title above.