Friday, February 25, 2011

Higher Levels of Social Activity Decrease the Risk of Developing Disability in Old Age

ScienceDaily (Feb. 17, 2011) Afraid of becoming disabled in old age, not being able to dress yourself or walk up and down the stairs? Staying physically active before symptoms set in could help. But so could going out to eat, playing bingo and taking overnight trips.

According to research conducted at Rush University Medical Center, higher levels of social activity are associated with a decreased risk of becoming disabled. The study has just been posted online and will be published in the April issue of the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences.

"Social activity has long been recognized as an essential component of healthy aging, but now we have strong evidence that it is also related to better everyday functioning and less disability in old age," said lead researcher Bryan James, PhD, postdoctoral fellow in the epidemiology of aging and dementia in the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center. "The findings are exciting because social activity is potentially a risk factor that can be modified to help older adults avoid the burdens of disability."

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

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Controlling a Computer With Thoughts?

ScienceDaily (Feb. 18, 2011) Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have been awarded funding for two projects that will place brain-computer interfaces (BCI) in patients with spinal cord injuries to test if it is possible for them to control external devices, such as a computer cursor or a prosthetic limb, with their thoughts.The projects build upon ongoing research conducted in epilepsy patients who had the interfaces temporarily placed on their brains and were able to move cursors and play computer games, as well as in monkeys that through interfaces guided a robotic arm to feed themselves marshmallows and turn a doorknob.
"We are now ready to begin testing BCI technology in the patients who might benefit from it the most, namely those who have lost the ability to move their upper limbs due to a spinal cord injury," said Michael L. Boninger, M.D., director, UPMC Rehabilitation Institute, chair, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Pitt School of Medicine, and a senior scientist on both projects. "It's particularly exciting for us to be able to test two types of interfaces within the brain."

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

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


image of parent and child
We are looking for parents and primary caregivers of children in their pre kindergarten year to participate in an interview.

Parents and caregivers--- we want to get your perspective on what you do with respect to raising your children and why certain practices are important to you.

The interview will take between an hour to an hour and a half and we will come to you.

You will get a $20.00 Walmart gift card for your time.

You can contact Dr. Mark Macauda at 777-7029 or at for more information or to set up an appointment.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bone-Anchored Hearing Aids Appear Beneficial for Hearing-Impaired Children

ScienceDaily (Feb. 21, 2011) Bone-anchored hearing aids appear helpful in improving hearing and quality of life in children with hearing loss in one or both ears, according to a report in the February issue of Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

"Since its introduction more than 30 years ago, the bone-anchored hearing aid (BAHA) has become an established treatment option for auditory rehabilitation in patients with chronic conductive or mixed hearing loss," the authors write as background information in the article. Although the BAHA was most commonly fitted in adults when it was first introduced, it has gradually become a popular option for children with bilateral conductive hearing loss who are too young to undergo alternative surgical options.

Maarten J. F. de Wolf, M.D., and colleagues at the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, the Netherlands, obtained information about 31 children who were current BAHA users. Data were collected through questionnaires answered by the children and their parents. Eligible children were a minimum of 4 years old at the time of BAHA fitting, and had been using the device for one to four years. Patients with both bilateral hearing loss (16 children) and unilateral hearing loss (15 children) were evaluated.

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

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Bundle of Books from Winston's Wish Foundation

image of books
Winston's Wish Foundation is proud to announce the launch of a new statewide initiative for families of children with autism. "Bundle of Books" is a collaborative effort between Winston's Wish Foundation, Junior League of Columbia, and South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs to provide the families of newly diagnosed children with a collection of books to be used as their initial resource for understanding and dealing with a child with autism. Winston's Wish would like to express sincere appreciation to the provisional members of the Junior League who worked together to assemble the initial bundles for this program! Through collaboration with the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs, we will be distributing each "Bundle of Books" to families throughout our state. Thank you to everyone who helped make the kickoff of this program a success!

NOTE: To learn more about Winston's Wish Foundation, click on the title above.

Friday, February 18, 2011

4th Annual Run For Thought

Brain injury association logo
March is Brain Injury Awareness Month!
Help celebrate Brain Injury Awareness Month by coming out and showing your support of the Brain Injury Association of South Carolina at our 4th Annual Run For Thought, presented by Roger C. Peace Rehabilitation Hospital.

5K Run and 1 Mile Walk/Roll
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Start time - 9:00am
Clemson University ICAR
5 Research Drive
Greenville, SC

We would like to challenge EVERYONE to begin fundraising for this great event! This year we are using Network For Good's Charity Badge to allow participants and volunteers to do individual fundraising. You can sync it with your Facebook page, add pictures, videos, and your own picture!

NOTE: For more information and to register, click on the title above.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Columbia Parkinson'​s Support Group

image of meeting room
We are looking forward to seeing you this coming Sunday on

Date - February 20th, 2011
Time - 3:00 p.m. until 4:00 P.M. - with time available after our meetings for socialization among guests and support group members
Cost - Free / Donations Appreciated
Where - Lexington Medical - Park 1 Auditorium
2720 Sunset Boulevard, West Columbia, SC 29169


For our open forum meetings we usually start with a theme or topic and go from there.
Our members have an opportunity to share their own experiences; ask questions of each other; and help each other by proving solutions that they have for various issues, concerns, problems, etc.
At the open forum meetings, our members tell us they learn about things that they can't find anywhere else, because they are learning directly from other Parkinson patients and their caregivers.
We welcome all visitors and guests to our monthly meetings. There is no cost to attend our meetings. Visit our website page for more information about our meetings and directions to the Lexington Medical Center Park 1 Auditorium. We would be pleased to see you at our next meeting.


THE WATERFORD RESOURCE HEALTH FAIR - Sponsored by the Columbia Northeast Parkinson Support Group -- Please visit our website for more information about this event!

As always, we thank you for your constructive feedback, comments, and input to our website and support group meetings - they are very much appreciated!

We would be pleased to see you at our next meeting! Thank you for your support of the Parkinson's community.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

New Report Reviews Key Provisions in the Affordable Care Act for Children with Special Healthcare Needss

AAIDD (Feb. 2, 2011)- A new report by the National Academy for State Health Policy for The Catalyst Center at Boston University provides an in-depth analysis of the Affordable Care Act and specific steps policymakers can take to better achieve three major coverage goals for children with special health care needs: universal, continuous coverage; adequate coverage; and affordable coverage. Approximately one of every seven children under 18 years of age, or 14 percent of children in the United States, has a special health care need.

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

Monday, February 14, 2011


AAIDD (Feb2, 2011)- In a study of adults with intellectual disability attempting to follow a new bus route and get off the bus at a previously unknown location, researchers observed that when using a GPS-based system providing visual and auditory prompts, participants were significantly more successful at completing a bus route than were people using a map and verbal directions. For example, 73% of participants with the PDS-based software successfully rang the bell and exited the bus at the right stop compared with only 8% of the control group.

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


AAIDD (Feb2,2011)- The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) released a report on sheltered and segregated work environments for people with disabilities. Segregated and Exploited: The Failure of the Disability Service System to Provide Quality Work identifies the barriers to employment that people with disabilities face and dispels myths about their capability to be a fully employed, equally compensated, and integral member of American workplaces and communities.

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

Friday, February 11, 2011


AAIDD (Feb. 2, 2011)- In response to the current economic crisis, many state officials are grappling with difficult decisions on budget cuts and reductions in services. A new report from AARP provides a comprehensive analysis on the budget cuts to both Medicaid and non-Medicaid–funded long-term services and supports (LTSS) in each state, and illustrates state-by-state how LTSS are financed. In addition, the study provides a very early snapshot of the likelihood of states pursuing some of the LTSS provisions within the Affordable Care Act. Overall, the report finds that the impact of the Great Recession on LTSS lingers; balancing remains a priority; the ARRA stimulus funds preserved programs; and the Affordable Care Act provides opportunities and challenges.

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

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The ADHD Basics from A-Z

Presented by

Chris Zeigler Dendy, M.S.

Glenforest School

1041 Harbor Drive, West Columbia, SC 29169

February 11, 2011

9:00 am - 3:30 pm

This announcement is from Pro-parents- This conference will focus on practical and effective intervention strategies and assistive technology for addressing the profound impact Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and executive function difficulties have on a student’s academic performance. Parents and educators will find that use of these strategies and assistive technology items could be helpful to students with other types of disabilities.

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


AAIDD (Feb. 2, 2011)- A study from MIT neuroscientists reveals that high-functioning adults with autism appear to have trouble using “theory of mind” to make moral judgments in certain situations. In the mid-1980s, a team of autism researchers theorized that one of the major features of autism is an inability to infer the thoughts of other people. This skill, known as theory of mind, comes naturally to most people. Though there is much anecdotal evidence that this skill is impaired in people with autism, it has been difficult to show it experimentally in adults until now.

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

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

2011 SC Assistive Technology Expo

SC assistive technology logo
The 2011 SC Assistive Technology Expo is being held on Tuesday, March 15 in Columbia at the Columbia Conference Center.
Exhibits and fifteen workshops provide the once-a-year opportunity, free of charge, to see and try the latest assistive technology. Opportunities for networking are tremendous!

This year people can also have non-electronic equipment cleaned and sanitized at a Hubscrub event, co-sponsored with the Disability Action Center and Walton Options for Independent Living. We would really appreciate your sharing this information with nursing homes, churches and assisted living facilities in Columbia, especially those near the Conference Center (off I26 between St. Andrews and Piney Grove Road). The Hubscrub doesn’t come this way very often; don’t miss this chance to clean, sanitize and prolong the life of your equipment!

There are several workshops of particular interest:

Staying Connected: AAC for Adults
Components of effective evaluation and treatment for adults needing augcom or adaptive equipment. Importance of communication about stages of progression in diseases such as ALS. Benefits of early introduction to AT and hands-on trials to facilitate communication, computer access, telephone access and other environmental controls. Types of AT and practical application. Amy Wright, SLP, Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, NC

The Evolving World of Digital Audio Books and Players
Update on new digital book players and refinements to existing players that benefit readers of all ages. Sources and resources. Marty McKenzie, Clay Jeffcoat, SCSDB

Perspectives on Home Modifications
Practical/economical considerations in reducing barriers related to vision, hearing and mobility challenges. Resources, real life experiences. Todd Batt, Rehab Engineer, SCVRD, Wesley Farnum, Building Contractor, Roger Williams, SCDMH, Jed Elmaleh, PT. Facilitator: Catherine Graham, Rehab Engineer, USC SOM

Vehicle Modifications and Adapted Driving
Overview of resources available to people who need adapted driving instruction, support and resources. Considerations, options and resources available to those who need modified vehicles. Tom Jackman, Rehab Engineer, SCVRD, Leslie Shipp, SCVRD, Jed Elmaleh, PT

Finding Your Way Through the AT Maze
Where do you start if you know you might need assistive technology? Overview of South Carolina's online resources for AT evaluation, funding, acquisition, application and support. Resources from SC Access and the new Aging and Disability Resource Centers. Denise Rivers, Lt. Governor's Office on Aging

Apps Galore! Educational Applications for the iPad/iTouch/iPhone
Features and options of iPads and iTouches (many free or low-cost) that are universally designed to meet the needs of many students. Integrated accessibility options and a wide range of education applications, for students with disabilities and those needing additional support to be successful in the classroom or in other environments. Stacy Springer, OTR/L, Val Gioia, SCDE AT Specialists

Assistive Technology Reutilization in South Carolina
Overview of programs and resources to find and share used equipment at reduced prices or even free of charge. Online programs, equipment centers, agency collaboration and future growth of these initiatives. Catherine Graham, Rehab Engineer, USC SOM, Janet Jendron, SCATP, Kimberly Tissot, DAC

Brain Injury and Assistive Technology
Latest technology that can help people with brain injury and memory challenges, such as GPS systems, cell phones, and iPads. How everyday technology can be used to help with daily life. Perspective and experiences from a consumer who uses a variety of these options. Janet Spires, RN, SCVR


AAIDD (Feb. 2, 2011)-Effective supervision in agency and special education settings as well as positive behavior support strategies are the focus of two training workshops to be held by the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) in Charlotte, North Carolina this March. Content for both workshops is based on AAIDD publications co-authored by Dr. Dennis H. Reid: The Supervisor Training Curriculum: Evidence-Based Ways to Promote Work Quality and Enjoyment Among Support Staff by Dennis H. Reid, Marsha B. Parsons, Carolyn W. Green and The Positive Behavior Support Training Curriculum by Dennis H. Reid and Marsha B. Parsons. Learn more and register. Deadline for registration is February 25, 2010.

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

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Accessibility Survey for AT users and accessibility professionals

image of survey

If you have a few minutes, please consider giving a hand to Jimmy
Chandler who will be presenting on accessibility at the Interaction 11 conference
in Boulder, CO next week. He is looking to get perspectives from both
accessibility professionals and users of assistive technology to include
in his talk. Please see info below. Any opportunity to promote
accessibility and build awareness among folks who may know little to
nothing about the subject is never a bad thing.

If you work to make accessible interfaces and/or if you are a user of
Any assistive technologies, please take this short survey

Results (including all raw data except personal information, such as
Name or email address) will be published and shared to promote a better
understanding of the current state of accessibility. If you have any
questions about the survey, please contact Jimmy Chandler at

Monday, February 07, 2011

South Carolina Assistive Technology Expo 2011

image of SCAT Expo 2011 logo
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
9 am – 4 pm
Columbia Conference Center
169 Laurelhurst Avenue
Columbia, SC 29210

Free and open to the public
No Pre-registration
Free CEUs for many disciplines

Don’t miss the chance to see and try cutting-edge products and services for people with all types of disabilities and age-related limitations! Some workshop topics include: home and vehicle modifications, augmentative communication for people who have trouble speaking, iPad and iPod applications for students and for communication challenges, literacy and study supports for students, making electronic information accessible, and tools that help people with brain injuries.

This year's Expo features another unique opportunity, free of charge. The Disability Action Center and Walton Options for Independent Living are providing a disinfecting, cleaning service through a system known as the "Hubscrub." Bring your non-electronic equipment like wheelchairs, walkers, commode chairs and bath chairs. For more information about this event call the Disability Action Center at 1-800-681-6805 or 779-512.

Sponsored by South Carolina Assistive Technology Program, USC School of Medicine Center for Disability Resources, SC Assistive Technology Advisory Committee.
NOTE: To learn more about the expo, click on the title above.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Volunteers, Donations Needed to Build House for Disabled Veteran

The State (Feb. 3, 2011)- On Sept. 21, 2005, Staff Sgt. Ronell Bradley, then 26 years old, gave two legs and part of a hand for his country when the Humvee he was riding in was hit by a roadside bomb.

Bradley was on his third deployment — twice to Iraq and once to Bosnia — as an engineer, clearing bombs so other soldiers would be safer.

“It blew off my right leg and turned my left leg into spaghetti,” said Bradley, now assistant chief of prosthetics at Columbia’s Dorn VA Medical Center. “It set off the ammunition in my weapon, and that blew up in my hands.”
Now, donations and volunteers — both tradesmen and regular folks — are needed to build Bradley a brand-new, handicapped-accessible home at Lake Carolina, through the Homes for Our Troops program. The Massachusetts-based nonprofit has built 90 homes for severely disabled veterans across the country since 2004 and has committed to building 100 more.

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

Thursday, February 03, 2011

February 2011 Newsletter Out!

This month we had 681 hits on the CDR Blog and added three new patrons! We have also added several new titles to our collection:
Islands of Genius, Down Sydrome Association of Central Texas Educator Packet, and The Autism Spectrum in the 21st Century.

To see this month's newsletter, follow the link in this post's title.

Columbia Parkinson's Support Group

image of hands The Columbia Parkinson's Support Group (CPSG) was formed to provide SUPPORT, INFORMATION, EDUCATION, and to create AWARENESS for Parkinson's Disease (PD) patients; their care partners and caregivers; family members; and others who are working in related fields or have an interest in Parkinson's disease.

Our support group offers the Parkinson's community a safe environment to obtain encouragement and support; news and information about PD research and clinical trials - special PD events - and educational programs; as well as other opportunities and information relevant to living with Parkinson's.

The Columbia Parkinson's Support Group is located in the mid-lands of South Carolina; serving the counties of (but not limited to) Aiken, Calhoun, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lexington, Orangeburg, Newberry, Richland, Saluda, and Sumter.

We welcome all visitors and guests to our monthly meetings. There is no cost to attend our meetings.

NOTE: To learn more about Columbia Parkinson's Support Group, click on the title above. Their website has also been added to our Disability Links Page.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Cancer Drug Aids Regeneration of Spinal Cord After Injuries

ScienceDaily (Jan. 28, 2011) — After a spinal cord injury a number of factors impede the regeneration of nerve cells. Two of the most important of these factors are the destabilization of the cytoskeleton and the development of scar tissue. While the former prevents regrowth of cells, the latter creates a barrier for severed nerve cells. Scientists of the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Martinsried and their colleagues from the Kennedy Krieger Institute and University of Miami in the United States, and the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands, have now shown that the cancer drug Taxol reduces both regeneration obstacles.Paraplegia. This is often the long-lasting result, when nerve fibers have been crushed or cut in the spinal cord. In contrast, for example, to the nerves in a cut finger, the injured nerve cells in the central nervous system (CNS) won't regrow. Scientists have been working for decades to discover the reasons for this discrepancy in the regeneration abilities of nerve cells. They have found a variety of factors that prevent the regeneration of CNS nerve cells. One by one a number of substances that act like stop signs and halt the resumption of growth have been discovered. Other obstacles lie within the cells: The microtubules, small protein tubes which compose the cells' cytoskeleton, are completely jumbled in an injured CNS nerve cell. A structured growth becomes impossible. In addition to this, the lost tissue is progressively replaced by scar tissue creating a barrier for growing nerve cells.

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

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Family Connection Annual Conference

image of family connection logo

The 17th Annual Family Connection 'Of Hopes and Dreams' Conference
February 4 & 5, 2011
2011 Family Connection Conference, "Together We Can"
Hosted at Gateway Baptist Church in Irmo, SC.

Come to the 2011 Family Connection "Of Hopes and Dreams" Conference for parents with children with Special Needs and professionals who care for them.
There will be 47 helpful workshops and over 50 terrific presenters.
You will want to be there!
Three special workshops in Spanish on Saturday:
Recursos 101 * Taller de Programa de EducaciĆ³n Individual (IEP)
* Taller de ComunicaciĆ³n
Call Maggie Ortiz at 800-578-8750 for more information.

NOTE: To read more about the speakers and workshops, or to register online, click on the title above.