Friday, October 29, 2010

Radio Series Highlights Women with Disabilities in Science

image of radio receiver
Disabled World

"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.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Computational Model of Swimming Fish Could Inspire Design of Robots or Medical Prosthetics

illustration of fish swimmingScienceDaily (Oct. 18, 2010) — Scientists at the University of Maryland and Tulane University have developed a computational model of a swimming fish that is the first to address the interaction of both internal and external forces on locomotion. The interdisciplinary research team simulated how the fish's flexible body bends, depending on both the forces from the fluid moving around it as well as the muscles inside. Understanding these interactions, even in fish, will help design medical prosthetics for humans that work with the body's natural mechanics, rather than against them.

Understanding the general principles of animal movement could help to design and inspire engineered systems, including robots and medical prosthetics. This simulation was developed for the lamprey, a primitive vertebrate whose nervous system is being used as a model by Cohen and colleagues to develop prosthetic devices for people with spinal cord injuries.

"The devices may one day help people regain control over their legs and walk again," Cohen said. "We understand to first order the neural circuit that controls the muscles for swimming or walking. Now, for neuroprosthetics, we need to understand how the muscles interact with the body and the environment -- our model helps us do that."

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

Monday, October 25, 2010

Government of Canada Helps People with Disabilities in Brandon Develop Job Skills

resume photoHuman Resources and Skills Development Canada (2010-10-16) - Mr. Merv Tweed, Member of Parliament for Brandon-Souris, made the announcement today on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development."

In today's environment, it is more important than ever that all Canadians have the skills they need to participate and succeed in the job market," said Mr. Tweed. "By supporting this project, our government is helping Canadians with disabilities maximize their potential and independence."

The Optimist Club of Brandon will receive over $28,000 under the Enhanced Employment Assistance Services component of the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities. This project will help over 25 individuals with disabilities gain the skills they need to obtain jobs.

The Opportunities Fund helps support an array of activities, such as increasing employability skills, providing work experience and preparing individuals for self-employment. The Government of Canada is committed to breaking down barriers that prevent Canadians with disabilities from reaching their full potential with a wide range of effective policies, programs and services.

The Fund is part of the Government of Canada's strategy to create the best educated, most skilled and most flexible workforce in the world. The Government underscored its commitment to this strategy in Canada's Economic Action Plan. A key component of the Plan is to create more and better opportunities for Canadian workers through skills development. To learn more about Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit

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

Friday, October 22, 2010

Aditi Shankardass talk: A second opinion on learning disorders

image of brain
TED. Ideas Worth Spreading. 7 min talk.
"Developmental disorders in children are typically diagnosed by observing behavior, but Aditi Shankardass knew that we should be looking directly at their brains. She explains how a remarkable EEG device has revealed mistaken diagnoses and transformed children's lives.

Aditi Shankardass is a neuroscientist trained across three disciplines of the field: neurophysiology, neuroanatomy and neuropsychology. She has also worked across different levels of the field, from cellular to cognitive neuroscience, and been based in research labs as well as diagnostic clinics. Currently, she leads the Neurophysiology Lab of the Communicative Disorders Department at California State University.

Much of Shankardass' work has been devoted to the use of an advanced form of digital quantitative EEG (electroencephalography) technology that records the brain's activity in real time, and then analyzes it using complex display schematics and statistical comparisons to norms, enabling far more accurate diagnoses for children with developmental disorders. She is also actively involved in public outreach to increase understanding of brain disorders as a board member of the Global Neuroscience Initiative Foundation and a consultant for the BBC Science Line."
To watch the video click on the title above.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Temple Grandin talk: The world needs all kinds of minds

image of video

TED. Ideas Worth Spreading. 20-min talk

"Temple Grandin, diagnosed with autism as a child, talks about how her mind works -- sharing her ability to "think in pictures," which helps her solve problems that neurotypical brains might miss. She makes the case that the world needs people on the autism spectrum: visual thinkers, pattern thinkers, verbal thinkers, and all kinds of smart geeky kids.

An expert on animal behavior, Temple Grandin has designed humane handling systems for half the cattle-processing facilities in the US, and consults with the meat industry to develop animal welfare guidelines. As PETA wrote when awarding her a 2004 Proggy: “Dr. Grandin's improvements to animal-handling systems found in slaughterhouses have decreased the amount of fear and pain that animals experience in their final hours, and she is widely considered the world's leading expert on the welfare of cattle and pigs.”

Grandin’s books about her interior life as an autistic person have increased the world's understanding of the condition with personal immediacy -- and with import, as rates of autism diagnosis rise. She is revered by animal rights groups and members of autistic community, perhaps because in both regards she is a voice for those who are sometimes challenged to make themselves heard."
To watch the video of Temple Grandin's talk click on the title above.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

2010 Life With Brain Injury Statewide Conference

image of BIA logo
The 2010 Life with Brain Injury Statewide Conference, hosted by the Brain Injury Association of South Carolina and South Carolina Brain Injury Leadership Council was held July 15th and 16th at the Columbia Conference Center.
We are proud to announce that aside from the current state of our economy, we had over 300 registrants and 36 exhibitors for this year's conference! We also added another element to the conference: a silent auction that included a number of wonderful items ranging from tailgating packages to jewelry. the silent auction raised over $2,500.00 for the BIASC!
This year's conference included two Keynote Speakers: Dr. Kevin W. Kopera, Medical Director of Roger C. Peace Rehabilitation Hospital in Greenville, South Carolina and Mickey Plyler, recruiting analyst and host of Rush Hour (6-9am) on WCCP 104.9 in Upstate, South Carolina.
The BIASC would like to thank everyone who attended the 2010 Conference, our two Keynote Speakers: Dr. Kopera and Mr. Plyler, all of our exhibitors, our conference speakers and our wonderful sponsors:
Roger C. Peace Rehabilitation Hospital - Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center
SC Department of Disabilities and Special Needs - Head and Spinal Cord Injury Division
SC Department of Health and Environmental Control- Division of Injury and Violence Prevention
SC Developmental Disabilities Council
SC Mentor
SC Vocational Rehabilitation Department
Center for Disability Resources
University of South Carolina School of Medicine

NOTE: To view the Brain Injury Association of South Carolina's web page, click on the title above.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Aktion Club Convention, by Kelly Doyle

image of dancer Kelly Doyle--"The first night I came to the convention I danced to NSYNC in the talent show. The next day we had a keynote speaker named Wilson Cherry. He talked about how the Aktion Club is a hero to everybody. And how it would help us in our life. I think he was a really great speaker. It made me think about what I can do with my life. And why I haven’ t done all of the things I want to do. I know that I need to change that. But I do have a job working one day a week. I figure that since I can’ t find another job that maybe I should start my own business. But it is hard to find customers for my business. And that is what I learned from the keynote speaker. After that we went to workshops. Then we had the speech contest. I lost in the speech contest. Then later that night we had a dance. The theme was Halloween night. I had a lot of fun. On Sunday we went to church. Then we went to CiCi’ s pizza. We ate a lot of food. Then we went home."

Monday, October 18, 2010

Strides for Autism Walks Across South Carolina

SCAS logo
The South Carolina Autism Society's annual fundraising walk, Strides for Autism, will be ongoing in South Carolina soon!

Saturday, November 6, 2010
8:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Grand Park - Myrtle Beach

Saturday, November 13, 2010
8:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Memorial Waterfront Park - Mt. Pleasant

Saturday, April 9, 2011
8:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Heritage Park - Simpsonville

Saturday, May 21, 2011
8:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Finlay Park - Columbia

Further information and registration info may be found by clicking the link in this post's title.

Friday, October 15, 2010

SC Autism Society: Fun in the Fall Golf Tournament

photo of golf club

The Eighth Annual Fun in the Fall Golf Tournament is set for Monday, October 25th at Woodcreek. This is the eighth year SCAS has held this wonderful event, sponsored by the Zvejnieks Foundation. Thermal Technologies, Inc. has joined us again as a sponsor, and proceeds will benefit SCAS and its mission to enable all individuals with ASDs to reach their maximum potential.

Fee: $125/player & $500/foursome; fee includes greens fee, cart, practice balls, lunch, refreshments, gift bag, and beverages.

Registration begins at 9:00 AM, with a 10:00 AM tee time.

Sponsorships for this golf tournament are available, please contact Susie Phillips, Director of Outreach & Special Events at 803-750-6988 OR 800-438-4790 ext. 104. Online registration is now available here!

To view the flyer and get more information, follow the link in this post's title.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

KU wins grant to study special ed

Wichita Eagle, TOPEKA — The University of Kansas was awarded a $22 million, four-year grant on Tuesday to create a new system to measure the academic progress of special-education students.

The federal grant is the largest ever received by KU. The lead researcher behind the program said he hopes the work will someday transform how public schools test the progress of all students.

"With this grant, the University of Kansas has an opportunity to improve the quality of education received by countless children throughout this country," said KU chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little.

To read more, go here or click on the title above:

SC State library Talking Book Services Art Gallery Unveiling

SC state library logo
October 27, 2010
11:30 am - 1:00 pm
1430 Senate St.
Columbia, SC

Talking Book Services Art Gallery unveiling

The State Library's talking Book Services Art Gallery features artwork from students that are blind, visually impaired and physically handicapped from around the state of South Carolina.

For more information, contact Pamela Davenport at 803-734-4611.

NOTE: To access the State Library's Talking Books Service, click on the title above.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Alternative Biomedical Treatments for Autism: How Good Is the Evidence?

photo of vitamin E pills

Scientific American, October 7th, 2010--"Parents who research treatments for autism are confronted with a bewildering array of options, almost all of which have never been tested for safety and effectiveness. Organizations like The Cochrane Collaboration, which reviews the quality of evidence for medical treatments, are putting more effort into evaluating popular alternative treatments.

So far, the most comprehensive review of alternative autism treatments comes from two pediatricians: Susan Hyman of the University of Rochester School of Medicine Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong and Susan Levy, a clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Their 2008 analysis gave each treatment a letter grade for the quality of the research conducted up to that point; the mark, however, is not a ranking of the treatment's safety or effectiveness.

The two pediatricians based the grades on the amount of testing done on the treatments, which in most cases was skimpy at best. Research that got an "A" grade included randomized control trials, the gold standard for medical research, and meta-analyses, which compare research from different labs. A "B" went to treatments that had been studied in "well-designed controlled and uncontrolled trials," according to Hyman. The "C" grades, the lowest category (there were no "D"s or "F"s), were based on case reports, theories and anecdotes, which are not considered acceptable for mainstream medical research.

Research on just one treatment, secretin, was good enough to earn an A. In short, there is a lot more work that needs to be done toward testing popular alternative treatments and getting more potential treatments into development at research institutions and pharmaceutical companies."

To view the full article including a list of supplements, follow the link in this post's title.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

SC Autism Society Conference

Steve Wilson: “This past Friday and Saturday I exhibited the library’s services at the South Carolina Autism Society's Annual Conference at the Columbia Conference Center. The theme of this year's conference was "Perspectives in Autism," and included a keynote speech by Autism author and advocate, Jerry Newport, who I was lucky enough to get to meet and talk to a bit after his presentation. It was a great event!"
NOTE: To read more about the conference and the SC Autism Society, click on the title above.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Moms, Music and Coffee! Check Out This Music Therapy Event!

Join us for an evening to meet with other moms, enjoy some coffee, and learn about music therapy. From 6pm to 7pm, you will enjoy coffee and pastries, as well as finding out what music therapy is and how your child can benefit. After this brief presentation, you’ll have the half hour to mingle and get to know others as you please while Natalie Mullis, MT-BC treats your child to a music therapy group focusing on social and motor skills.
October 21st (ages 3-5), 22nd (ages 6-9), 24th (ages 10-13), and 25th ( ages 14-17).
Cost is $5.00 per child participant. Sign up at: or call 678-414-3042

NOTE: Click on the title above to go the the web page.

New Clues to Possible Genetic Basis for ADHD


MONDAY, Oct. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Children whose mothers are likely to produce too little of the brain chemical serotonin because of gene mutations may be at higher risk of developing attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) later in life, Norwegian researchers report.

Serotonin is involved in many physiological functions and plays an important role during development, especially in the development of nerve cells, the researchers say."

An impaired maternal serotonin production may have profound long-term behavioral effects on [offspring], independent of the children's own genotypes," said lead researcher Dr. Jan Haavik, from the Department of Biomedicine at the University of Bergen.

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

Friday, October 08, 2010

Low Apgar Score at Birth Linked to Cerebral Palsy

picture of alphabet blocksScienceDaily (Oct. 7, 2010) — A low Apgar score at birth is strongly associated with cerebral palsy in childhood, concludes a study from researchers in Norway published on the British Medical Journal website.

The Apgar score is a quick and simple way to assess a baby's condition at birth. The baby is assessed on five simple criteria (complexion, pulse rate, reaction when stimulated, muscle tone, and breathing) on a scale from zero to two. The five values are then summed up to obtain a score from zero to 10.

Scores of 3 and below are generally regarded as critically low, 4 to 6 fairly low, and 7 to 10 generally normal.

Cerebral palsy is a rare disease, affecting two to three infants in every 1000 live born children in Western countries. Recent studies have found a strong link between low Apgar score and cerebral palsy in children born to term or with normal birth weight, whereas studies in children with a low birth weight or born preterm have shown conflicting results.

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

Thursday, October 07, 2010

SC Adult Sibling Leadership Network October 23, 2010 Conference

photo of holding handsSC Adult Sibling Leadership Network

October 23, 2010

SCDDSN Midlands Center Training Center
8301 Farrow Rd.
Columbia, SC

The conference will provide an opportunity for individuals to:
*network with each other
*share information
*gain information
*receive training

Hand in Hand—Making Tomorrow’s Plans

• No Cost
• Lunch will be provided
• Door prizes and goodies

Call 803-772-5688 to register.

To view the conference brochure, follow the link in this post's title.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

2010 Disability Fair: Access Anderson (No Pre-registration)

stack of books

2010 Disability Fair: Access Anderson (No Pre-registration)

October 14

9am to 2:30pm

Anderson Recreation Center

1107 North Murray Ave, Anderson, SC 29621

Free Continuing Education Sessions

Computers & AT for the Classroom; Computers and Assistive Technology for Work and Everyday; No Tech to Hi Tech: Communication Devices and Strategies-Birth thru Life; Understanding the Medicare/Medicaid Process for DME; Wheelchair 101: Functional Seating & Mobility and Basic Maintenance; SC Access: Overview of Programs & Resources for Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities; Benefits Bank: One Stop Assistance to Apply for Critical Supports & Services, and more!

A few vendor spaces are available for $25 and must be received by Monday October 11th.

For more Information on vendor opportunities or on the day’s events e-mail Sandy Hanebrink, Mayor’s Committee on Disability Co-chair or call (864) 221-4011.

Music, vendors, concessions, health screens, benefits help and more!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

How Injured Nerves Grow Themselves Back

image of neuron
ScienceDaily (Oct. 3, 2010) — "Unlike nerves of the spinal cord, the peripheral nerves that connect our limbs and organs to the central nervous system have an astonishing ability to regenerate themselves after injury. Now, a new report in the October 1st issue of Cell, a Cell Press publication, offers new insight into how that healing process works.
"We know a lot about how various cell types differentiate during development, but after a serious injury like an amputation, nerves must re-grow," said Allison Lloyd of University College London. "They need a new mechanism to do that because the developmental signals aren't there."
That kind of regrowth isn't easy to pull off. Peripheral nerves are long cells; their nucleus is in the spinal cord and the axons that extend from them and relay nerve messages can reach all the way down a leg. "When a nerve gets cut, all the axons downstream degenerate," Lloyd said. Regrowth requires that the two ends somehow find their way back to each other through damaged tissue.
Scientists knew that Schwann cells were important to that process. Those cells are found wrapped around axons, where under normal circumstances they are rather "quiet" cells. All of that changes when an injury occurs; those Schwann cells de-differentiate back to a stem-cell-like state and play an important role in bridging the gap to repair damaged neurons."
NOTE: To read the entire article click on the title above.

Monday, October 04, 2010

'Firefly' Stem Cells May Help Repair Damaged Hearts

image of firefly
ScienceDaily (Sep. 28, 2010) — "Stem cells that glow like fireflies could someday help doctors heal damaged hearts without cutting into patients' chests.In his University of Central Florida lab, Steven Ebert engineered stem cells with the same enzyme that makes fireflies glow. The "firefly" stem cells glow brighter and brighter as they develop into healthy heart muscle, allowing doctors to track whether and where the stem cells are working.

Researchers are keenly interested in stem cells because they typically morph into the organs where they are transplanted. But why and how fast they do it is still a mystery. Now Ebert's cells give researchers the ability to see the cells in action with the use of a special camera lens that picks up the glow under a microscope.

"The question that we answered was, 'How do you follow these cells in the lab and find out where they're going?'" said Ebert, an associate professor in UCF's College of Medicine."
NOTE: To read the entire article click on the title above

Friday, October 01, 2010

Sugary Sports Drinks Mistakenly Associated With Being Healthy, Say Researchers

bottle of sports drinkScienceDaily (Sep. 27, 2010) — Children who practice healthy lifestyle habits such as eating fruits and vegetables and engaging in physical activity may be negatively impacting their health because they tend to consume large amounts of flavored and sports beverages containing sugar, according to research at The Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

"Children and parents associate these drinks with a healthy lifestyle despite their increased amount of sugar and lack of nutritional value," said Nalini Ranjit, Ph.D., principal investigator and assistant professor of behavioral sciences at the UTHealth School of Public Health. The study will be published in the October issue of Pediatrics.

Researchers examined the association between sugar-sweetened beverage consumption, unhealthy and healthy foods and physical activity levels of 8th and 11thgrade Texas students to determine the relationship between beverage consumption and other behaviors. Sugar-sweetened beverages are drinks that contain added caloric sweeteners such as sugar or high-fructose corn syrup, including a large variety of carbonated and noncarbonated drinks but excluding 100 percent fruit juice.

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