Thursday, June 30, 2011

The South Carolina Assistive Technology Exchange

Below are new listings on our SC AT Exchange.

You must login (or create a new account if you are a new user) to see the contact information
. If you have already logged in (or at least tried to) and still have questions please email Catherine Leigh Graham or call her at 803-434-3189. If you can’t get Catherine, email Janet Jendron or call her at (803) 446-2566.

Please visit the AT Exchange web page and find the contact information/details for these and other items. The Assistive Technology Exchange website includes many items listed for sale or free, as well as items that are needed. These items are not located at any one place or warehouse. These are all items that are currently owned by someone else who is willing to sell at a reduced price or even for free in some cases.

If you have questions, please don’t respond to this email, but contact BOTH AND

Note that we can try to help facilitate transportation of equipment, if that's needed. We can't promise anything, but it's always amazing who can step in to help! If you know you need and item and need help with transportation, email Janet Jendron at edu

Items Needed

Free items
674 Bruno Stair Lift - SRE 1500 Columbia
673 Bruno Stair Lift - SRE 1500 Columbia
672 Inkjet printer Columbia
666 Manual Wheelchair Columbia
668 Bicycle Seat Cutting Stool Columbia
664 Manual Wheelchair Columbia
667 Manual Transport Wheelchair Columbia
650 Wheeled walker Columbia
651 Folding walker Columbia
657 Raised toilet seat Columbia
658 Raised Toilet seat with handles Columbia
655 Portable Nebulizer Columbia
656 Raised toilet seat Columbia
649 Catheters Moore
646 Monitor and speakers Columbia
641 Keyboard Columbia
643 Laser printer Columbia
642 Monitor Columbia
638 Brace Walker Columbia
634 Laser Printer Columbia
632 Car Seat Williston
626 Pediatric wheel chair Simpsonville
617 True Touch keyboard Columbia
615 Multimedia keyboard Columbia
621 Laser fax machine Columbia
616 Keyboard Columbia
613 Child's soft left hand splint Lexington
604 Fold-Up Tub Columbia

Items for Sale

671 Power wheelchair Scooter West Columbia

665 Victor reader cd player for book reading Queens Village, NY

647 Jaws Queens Village, NY

627 Toilet System Williston

624 AD-3 Standand Head Pointer w/Rear Strap Closure Morganton, NC
629 BookWorm Talking Book Morganton, NC
623 Big Keys LX Keyboard-QWERTY/Yellow PS/2 w/USB Adapter Morganton, NC
628 Chunc Wheelchair for Child Williston

630 BookWorm Adjustable Stand Morganton, NC
631 Bath Seat Williston

622 Best Offer Focus 80 Braille display Halethorpe, MD

602 Best Offer Britax Car Seat Summerville
605 Best Offer Posture Control Walker Summerville

Items Needed (note: this listing includes everything listed since the first of the year)

450 Power wheelchair carrier for back of van
453 Camera Monitor
454 "Potty" pediatric toilet
462 Adaptive stroller/push chair
463 4 wheel scooter
464 Stroller or wheelchair with head support
466 Canopy bed with net
473 Reclining chair
474 Van w/ lift
480 child hand or wrist weights
482 Mobile Child's Stander
487 Van with Lift
488 stander
489 minivan w/ wc lift
491 18 in. Wheelchair
494 Shower Chair
503 Reclining Wheelchair
504 16"/20" Wheelchair
558 adult stander
579 ultra lightweight wheelchair
593 15 passenger van
603 Rubber Padded Mats
608 Portable Nebulizer
609 IPAD
611 Power Chair lift or Ramp for vehicle
618 Note Taker
620 Kurweilz Reader
633 mini cube talking alarm clock, victor stream, color identifier, money identifier, children’s braille books
639 Child’s walker
648 Intellikeys Keyguards
659 Wheelchair - stroller
670 Lift chair

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Catherine Zeta-Jones Treated for Bipolar Disorder

Web MD (April 14, 2011) -- Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones has been treated for bipolar disorder, her publicist has confirmed.

Zeta-Jones, 41, was admitted to a mental health facility after helping her husband, actor Michael Douglas, recover from throat cancer.

"After dealing with the stress of the past year, Catherine made the decision to check in to a mental health facility for a brief stay to treat her Bipolar II Disorder," publicist Cece Yorke says in a statement. The Oscar-winning actress reportedly checked into a clinic in Connecticut for five days earlier this month.

Bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic depression, is a severe mental health problem. It involves extreme mood swings that alternate between highs and lows.

"For some of the time people are very, very depressed -- and that's not the same as just being a bit blue or having a bit of a bad day," says Jane Harris, associate director of the mental health charity Rethink. She tells WebMD that a typical symptom is "a complete lack of emotion about anything" and during episodes "people are very down, they lack self-worth, and they may have problems even getting out of bed, let alone out of the house."

Harris says the other side to the condition is a period when people feel "absolutely euphoric and pretty manic and really feel like they can take on the world and do anything."

Harris says stressful situations such as bereavement, divorce, or money worries can trigger bipolar. "Certainly caring for a husband who is very ill will certainly be a very stressful time.”

Harris thinks publicity surrounding Zeta-Jones's treatment for bipolar will be good for other people with the disorder who are prone to feeling stigmatized. "Somebody like Catherine Zeta-Jones talking so openly about it ... just shows that this can happen to anybody, and I think that is a bit of a comfort for people who are really struggling."

Some mental health professionals categorize bipolar into four main subtypes. Bipolar II, which Zeta-Jones is said to have, has similar symptoms as bipolar I. These symptoms include moods that cycle between high and low. However, in bipolar II, the “up” mood swings are much less intense.

To read the entire article on Catherine Zeta-Jones, please click on the title.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Master Switch for Adult Epilepsy Discovered

ScienceDaily (June 27, 2011) UC Irvine and French researchers have identified a central switch responsible for the transformation of healthy brain cells into epileptic ones, opening the way to both treat and prevent temporal lobe epilepsy.

Epilepsy affects 1 to 2 percent of the world's population, and TLE is the most common form of the disorder in adults. Among adult neurologic conditions, only migraine headaches are more prevalent. TLE is resistant to treatment in 30 percent of cases.

UCI neurologist and neuroscientist Dr. Tallie Z. Baram and her colleagues found that TLE manifests after a major reorganization of the molecules governing the behavior of neurons, the cells that communicate within the brain. These alterations often stem from prolonged febrile seizures, brain infections or trauma.

"This discovery marks a dramatic change in our understanding of how TLE comes about. Previously, it was believed that neurons died after damaging events and that the remaining neurons reorganized with abnormal connections," said Baram, the Danette Shepard Chair in Neurological Studies. "However, in both people and model animals, epilepsy can arise without the apparent death of brain cells. The neurons simply seem to behave in a very abnormal way."

To learn why, Baram's UCI team collaborated with a French group led by Christophe Bernard of the University of Marseille and Inserm. They focused on ion channels, molecules that straddle the boundaries of brain cells and govern how they fire and communicate among themselves.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Lyme Disease Bacteria Take Cover in Lymph Nodes

ScienceDaily (June 17, 2011) The bacteria that cause Lyme disease, one of the most important emerging diseases in the United States, appear to hide out in the lymph nodes, triggering a significant immune response, but one that is not strong enough to rout the infection, report researchers at the University of California, Davis.

Results from this groundbreaking study involving mice may explain why some people experience repeated infections of Lyme disease. The study appears online in the journal Public Library of Science Pathogens.

"Our findings suggest for the first time that Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that cause Lyme disease in people, dogs and wildlife, have developed a novel strategy for subverting the immune response of the animals they infect," said Professor Nicole Baumgarth, an authority on immune responses at the UC Davis Center for Comparative Medicine.

"At first it seems counter intuitive that an infectious organism would choose to migrate to the lymph nodes where it would automatically trigger an immune response in the host animal," Baumgarth said. "But B. burgdorferi have apparently struck an intricate balance that allows the bacteria to both provoke and elude the animal's immune response."

To read more about Lyme disease, click on the above title.

Friday, June 24, 2011

The South Carolina Assistive Technology Exchange

Please visit the AT Exchange web page and find the contact information/details for these and other items. The Assistive Technology Exchange website includes many items listed for sale or free, as well as items that are needed. These items are not located at any one place or warehouse. These are all items that are currently owned by someone else who is willing to sell at a reduced price or even for free in some cases.
If you have already logged in (or at least tried to) and still have questions please email Catherine Leigh Graham of call her at 803-434-3189. If you can’t get Catherine, email Janet Jendron or call her at (803) 446-2566.

Note that we can try to help facilitate transportation of equipment, if that's needed. We can't promise anything, but it's always amazing who can step in to help! If you know you need and item and need help with transportation, email Janet Jendron at edu

For Sale
Item 582 Travel Ease Regal P120 - easy to travel power chair. Excellent condition in Greenwood (picture included)
Item 583 Invacare Pronto M71 with Surestep and oxygen holder. Excellent condition in Greenwood
Item 600 HARD/Stockton Twin Crib Bed located in Williston
Item 602 Britax Car. Seat Best Offer. Located in Summerville

For Free
Item 585 Sure hands Ceiling Lift with 2 Tracks. Located in Columbia (picture included)
Item 586 Pediatric Scooter Board. Located in Columbia (picture included)

Item 590 Disposable Nebulizers. Located in Columbia
Item 591 Urinary Catheter System located in Columbia
Item 592 Feeding/Decompression Tube. Located in Columbia (picture included)
Item 595 Bath Chair w/ Stand. Located in Columbia (picture included)
Item 596 Bath Chair. Located in Columbia (picture included)
Item 597 Prone Stander Located in Columbia (picture included)
Item 599 Hydraulic Lift Located in Columbia (picture included)
Item 601 Portable Baby Bath located in Columbia (picture included)
Item 604 Fold-Up Tub. Located in Columbia (picture included)
Item 605 Posture Control Walker located in Summerville
Item 606 Child's Wheelchair Located in Columbia (picture included)
Item 607 Childrens wheelchair with harness Located in Columbia (picture included)

Item 593 15 passenger van needed in Charleston.
Item 603 Rubber Padded Mats for a young girl with a vp shunt and seizures.
Item 608 Portable Nebulizer in case of emergencies needed in Gaston.
Item 609 IPAD for communication for a 3 year old with autism and ADHD in Gaston

Thursday, June 23, 2011

South Carolina Recreation Guide for Children with Disabilities

Throughout the years, summer camps and activities have evolved into
activities which emphasize childrens' abilities over their disabilities, and allow
children to have an enriching summer experience.
This summer, treat your child to exciting summer activities designed just
for them. More and more recreation boards are developing and integrating
programs for children with special needs into their regular programs. This
change makes it easier for parents to find fun and educational summer
programs that their children can enjoy.
The South Carolina Recreation Guide is a compilation of camps, parks,
playgrounds, attractions and programs which all cater to individuals with
disabilities. Listed with every activity is contact information, telephone
numbers and websites.

To access the guide, please click on the above title.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The New Family Connection Logo

Family Connection is pleased to announce the launch
of our new logo and brand identity, which you will see
throughout this publication. The new logo, which was
developed pro bono by Columbia-area designer David
Hunt, incorporates several elements that are key to Family
Connection’s rebranding process.
We wanted to make sure that families, providers and
the community understood that we serve families with
children with any special healthcare need (from asthma to
ADHD to developmental delays to cerebral palsy to a heart
defect). Thus, the new logo incorporates our new tagline,
“Making Connections for Children with Special Healthcare
Needs.” Also, we not only want to make connections
for parents, but also for the professionals who care for
children with special healthcare needs. Family Connection
desires to be “the connection” for resources, support and
education for special healthcare needs.
Just like our mission, the new logo places the Family at the
center of the circle, depicted in the logo by multi-colored
flags that represent the various systems and community
with which we encircle our families to provide them
the support and resources that they need. We hope that
this new graphic representation will help to broaden
understanding of the many ways in which we provide
services to families of children with disabilities and special
healthcare needs.

For more information on Family Connection, please click on the above title.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Parent and Child Workshops For Students on the Autism Spectrum

Fast Forward Computer Lab in Conjunction with the SC Department of Education, SC Autism Society and the SC Assistive Technology Program present:

Parent and Child Workshops For Students on the Autism Spectrum

Where: Fast Forward Computer Lab, Devine Street Columbia, S.C. 29205

Time: 10:00-12:00 p.m.


Saturday, June 25, 2011 - Internet Safety

Saturday, July 9, 2011 – Free Literacy Supports and Study Aids

Saturday, July 23, 2011 – Digital Books

Saturday, August 13, 2011 -Visual Supports

Fee: $5.00 per family payable the day of the workshop.

Registration: E-mail Val Gioia

Questions?: E-mail Val Gioia

Parents will learn about various software tools to help their children improve academic and social skills, while their children will learn about fun programs that are free or low-cost that are also designed to boost academic and social skills. The parents and children will be in different areas of the computer lab for each of the two-hour workshops. Children should be between the ages of 6-18. Snacks will be provided for all who attend.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Federal Government Not Complying with Web Site Accessibility Requirements, Study Indicates

Baltimore, Maryland (May 19, 2011)- A study that has just been published online in the journal Government Information Quarterly has found that of one-hundred Web sites operated by federal government agencies, over 90 percent do not comply with government accessibility guidelines and likely cannot be used by people who are blind or have other perceptual or motor disabilities. The study, entitled “Accessibility of U.S. federal government home pages: Section 508 compliance and site accessibility statements” and coauthored by Doctoral Student Abiodun Olalere and Professor Jonathan Lazar of Towson University, found that the home pages of over 90 percent of the Web sites they evaluated contained violations of the government’s own guidelines for compliance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. That law requires that government electronic and information technology be accessible to people with disabilities.

Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “Blind Americans are outraged that the government is failing to comply with its own guidelines to make government information and services available to citizens with disabilities. Given the clear legal requirements of Section 508 and the fact that use of the Internet is critical to education, employment, access to government benefits and services, and all other aspects of modern life, there is no excuse for failure to follow and rigorously enforce these guidelines. We demand that officials in all branches of government take immediate steps to bring all federal Web sites into compliance with the law, and we pledge to continue to hold the federal government accountable if it continues to treat the blind and others with disabilities as second-class citizens.”

To read more about the study, please click the above title.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Autism May Have Had Advantages in Humans' Hunter-Gatherer Past, Researcher Believes

ScienceDaily (June 3, 2011) — Though people with autism face many challenges because of their condition, they may have been capable hunter-gatherers in prehistoric times, according to a paper published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology in May.

The autism spectrum may represent not disease, but an ancient way of life for a minority of ancestral humans, said Jared Reser, a brain science researcher and doctoral candidate in the USC Psychology Department.

Some of the genes that contribute to autism may have been selected and maintained because they created beneficial behaviors in a solitary environment, amounting to an autism advantage, Reser said.

The "autism advantage," a relatively new perspective, contends that sometimes autism has compensating benefits, including increased abilities for spatial intelligence, concentration and memory. Although individuals with autism have trouble with social cognition, their other cognitive abilities are sometimes largely intact.

The paper looks at how autism's strengths may have played a role in evolution. Individuals on the autism spectrum would have had the mental tools to be self-sufficient foragers in environments marked by diminished social contact, Reser said.

The penchant for obsessive, repetitive activities would have been focused by hunger and thirst towards the learning and refinement of hunting and gathering skills.

Today autistic children are fed by their parents so hunger does not guide their interests and activities. Because they can obtain food free of effort, their interests are redirected toward nonsocial activities, such as stacking blocks, flipping light switches or collecting bottle tops, Reser said.

To read more about Autism's past, please click on the above title.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Summer Camps for Children and Teens with Special Needs

image of sunset
Camp Burnt Gin
Date: Early June to mid August
Where: Wedgefield, SC (Sumter County)
Cost: No charge
Participants: Four six day sessions for children 7 – 15 years old, two six day sessions for teenagers 16 – 20 years old, and a four day session for young adults, 21 – 25 years old.
Description: Camp Burnt Gin is a residential summer camping program. Activities include arts and crafts, nature study, drama, dance, sports, games, swimming and boating. All activities are adapted so that every child can participate. CBG offers children who have special needs the chance to meet new friends, learn recreational skills, improve their self esteem and independence.
Camp Burnt Gin is accredited by the American Camp Association.
Contact:For more information contact the Camp Director, Marie Aimone (803-898-0455 or or go to the camp's website:

Camp Spearhead
Date: Various 5 day camps running from June - August 2011
Where: Pleasant Ridge Camp & Retreat Center, Marietta, SC
Cost: $290/week – Greenville County residents; $350/week – residents of other counties; $540/week – residents of other States
Participants: Ages 8 years old & up; Children & adults with disabilities; Camp Spearhead reserves the right to determine eligibility of potential campers. Eligibility is determined through application forms and, if necessary, through interviews with potential camper and parent, guardian, or caregiver.
Description: Camp Spearhead, founded in 1968 and located in the foothills of upstate SC, is a residential special needs camp for children (8 and up) and adults with special needs. Each summer Spearhead serves nearly 600 campers over the course of the eight week season. During the school-year Spearhead offers continued social and recreational opportunities through the popular Weekend Program.

Rocky Bottom Retreat Summer Camp
Date: June 12-18, 2011
Where: Sunset, SC
Cost: Free
Participants: Legally blind children ages 6 through 16.
Description: Children are taught skills to cope with blindness and that it is respectable to be blind. Utilizing blind counselors to act as role models, Rocky Bottom Retreat and Conference Center of the Blind provides all the experiences of any Retreat including swimming, mountain hiking, arts & crafts, cookouts, fishing and field trips. Limited transportation is also available.
Contact: Vicki Black, Children's Camp Director

Camp Hope
Date: Four sessions (three one-week camps, one two-week camp) throughout the summer, each accepting a different age group. The one-week camps begin June 19, June 26, and July 3, and the two-week camp is from July 17-29. See Clemson Outdoor Lab Dates and Rates page for more details.
Where: Clemson Outdoor Lab, 415 Charlie White Trail, Pendleton, SC
Cost: Minumum $370 for SC residentes, $500 for residents of other states. See Clemson Outdoor Lab Dates and Rates page for more details.
Participants: Individuals with developmental disabilities
Description: Jaycee Camp Hope is a statewide residential camp for mentally challenged citizens. Its purposes are to give the camper helpful experiences in an outdoor environment, develop the ability to work and play as a group, and provide new experiences unique to a camp setting. The SC Junior Chamber of Commerce has provided financial support for every camper attending Jaycee Camp Hope since 1969. Individuals participating in Camp Hope are ages 8 and older. Campers are grouped according to age, level of functioning, and previous camp and social experience.

Camp Sertoma
Date: One-week camps from June 19 - July 29
Where: Clemson Outdoor Lab, 415 Charlie White Trail, Pendleton, SC
Cost: Free
Participants: Ages 7 – 13 years old who are underprivileged or have speech/hearing impairments
Description: Sponsored by the Sertoma clubs of South Carolina, this program serves children between the ages of 7-13 who are either underprivileged or who have speech/hearing impairments. Children are placed in groups with seven other children according to age and previous camp experience with two counselors. The program offers opportunities for fun, skills development and education in an outdoor environment. Because of the support of Sertoma Clubs across the state, there is no fee to attend.
Application: Children are first selected from various schools by the Sertoma Clubs spread across the state. Applicants to the camp are put on a list. If there are cancellations or openings after this selection, then those on the list are offered the chance to attend.

SCSDB William W. All Adventure Camp
Date: June 19-25, 2011
Where: Spartanburg, SC
Cost: Free
Participants: Children between 6 and 14 with either a hearing or vision loss that affects learning (there are separate camps for hearing loss and vision loss). They must also be a Sourth Carolina resistent, toilet-trained, have the physical, mental and behavioral capabilities to benefit from the programs offered during the camp, and not have attended SCSDB during the 2010-2011 school year.
Description: The Adventure Camp is divided into separate camps for hearing loss and vision loss. Each camp has special activities for their respective campers, like Braille lessons for the visually impaired and special cochlear implant activities for those with hearing loss. In addition, both camps offer field trips,confidence-building activities, independent living skills activities, skits/camp songs, swimming, horseback riding, and scuba diving.
Website: SC School for the Deaf and Blind Summer Camps

Camp Puff n' Stuff
Date: June 20-24, 2011
Where: College of Charleston, Charleston, SC
Cost: $50
Participants: Children ages 8 to 11 who are on daily asthma medication and under a doctor's care are eligible to attend.
Description: Camp Puff 'n Stuff provides asthmatic children with an opportunity to experience camp activities they may otherwise be denied due to their condition. It was designed specifically for children with asthma. Through educational activities, campers learn to understand and manage their illness while improving their self esteem.

PAALS Doggone Days of Summer Camp
Date: August 1-5 for Beginner Camp; August 8-12 for Advanced Camp (returnees)
Time: Beginner Camp: 8:30am - 12:30pm; Advanced Camp: 8:30am - 3:30pm
Where: Denny Terrace Community Center, Columbia, SC
Cost: $175 for Beginner Camp if paid by May 1, otherwise $200;
$250 for Advanced Camp if paid by May 1, otherwise $275
Participants: Beginner Camp: Ages 11-14 for on target youth and ages 11- 19 for special needs; Advanced Camp: Ages 12-16 for returnees who attended previous camp and/or volunteer with dog programs
• Beginner Camp: Learn the basics of service dog training, community service ethics, and work side by side with other youth and special needs individuals, all while pairing up totrain a service dog candidate
• Advanced Camp: Building on Beginner’s camp junior trainers will get more advanced service dog behaviors to practice and more responsibility of the dogs.
Contact: Jen Rogers at (803)788-7063 or Angie Helt at (803)754-6720 ext. 209

Pattison’s Academy Summer Day Camp
Date: 5 weeks from June 20 - July 22; Mon - Fri, 9:00am - 3:00pm
Where: 2014 Bees Ferry Road, North Charleston, SC (Rutledge Baptist Church)
Cost: $150 Weekly. Costs include snacks, field trips, crafts and therapy services (as long as therapists are able to bill Medicaid or private insurance.) Pattison’s has never turned a child away because of a family’s inability to pay. Additional funding resources may be available.
Participants: Children ages 1-15 years old who have multiple and\or severe disabilities (Physical impairments, visual, hearing, cognitive impairments). Note: They cannot accept children whose primary diagnosis is autism or behavioral disorders because they will not have the staffing to provided the constant one on one supervision that many of these children deserve.
Description: Pattison's Academy Summer Camp provides therapy, enrichment and FUN for the children and a nice break for the care givers of these children. In 2009, 44 children from around the Lowcountry participated in very active days of physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and field trips for 5 weeks.
Contact: or 843-849-6707

Camp Lion's Den
Date: July 10 - 16, 2011
Where: Clemson Outdoor Lab, 415 Charlie White Trail, Pendleton, SC
Cost: Free
Participants: Children with visual impairments
Description: Serving the visually handicapped children of South Carolina, this program is sponsored by the Mid-Day Lions Club of Anderson, SC and the South Carolina Lions, Inc. Any child with a visual impairment between the ages of 7 and 17 may attend. Because of the dedication and support of SC Lions Clubs, there is no fee for attendance.

Camp Sunshine
Date: October 14 - 16 and November 18 - 20, 2011
Where: Clemson Outdoor Lab, 415 Charlie White Trail, Pendleton, SC
Cost: $40 application fee
Participants: Children & adults who have severe & profound special needs
Description: This weekend camp programs serves children and adults who have severe and profound special needs. Designed to provide a respite to the caregivers and families, participants also benefit from the program designed to offer fun and fellowship. Camp Sunshine is funded through the Sunshine Lady Foundation and is offered six weekends throughout the fall and spring. Campers enjoy pontoon boat rides, archery, crafts, campfire programs, hayrides and many other special events throughout the weekend. Clemson University students and former summer staff members serve as counselors for the program.

Summer Camps outside of South Carolina

Extra Special People (ESP) Summer Camp
NOTE: All camp weeks are full, but you can be put on a waiting list.
Date: Seven week-long camps from June 5 - July 29, 2011
Where: Watkinsville, GA
• $65 - One-time registration and summer camp activity fee
• $200 - Each week of day camp ($100 if 100 Parent Involvement Credits are earned by 4/15/11)
• $250 - “No Kids Allowed” for ages 16+ (Week 3)
• $250 - Residential Week at Camp Twin Lakes (Week 6)
Participants: All individuals with a diagnosed developmental disability, starting at age 4.
Description: A seven week program that provides continuous learning as well as social and recreational opportunities for young people with disabilities. Camp runs 9:00am- 3:00pm. Before/after care can be arranged with individual staff for extra charges. Day camp is split into 4 units by age: Youngest, Younger-Middle, Older-Middle, and Oldest units.
Website: Extra Special People summer camp

Camp Chatterbox
Date: August 21 to 27, 2011
Where: Outdoor Center at Happiness is Camping, 62 Sunset Lake Road, Hardwick, NJ
Cost: The cost of attending Camp Chatterbox is $900 for a child and parent. This includes a $550 Therapy fee and a $400 Camp fee. (A significant portion of the actual camp cost for each family is subsidized by grant funding or other forms of charitable contributions.) Additional family members may attend Camp for an added fee.
Participants: Children ages 5-15 who are nonspeaking or severely speech impaired and functionally use synthesized Augmentative & Alternative Communication devices
Description: Camp Chatterbox, founded by Joan Bruno in 1992, is an intensive therapy camp for children, ages 5 -15, who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices and a training program for their parents. It is sponsored by the Children's Specialized Hospital in Mountainside, NJ.

Victory Junction
Date: Various themed weeks from June 12 - August 12 for the Summer with separately scheduled weekends. See the full Victory Junction schedule for more details.
Where: Randleman, NC
Cost: Free
Participants: Children between 6 and 16 with a diagnosis in accordance with one of the many accepted conditions. The camp also has a page with eligibility requirements.
Description: Victory Junction enriches the lives of children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses by providing life-changing camping experiences that are exciting, fun, and empowering, in a safe and medically-sound environment. Located in Randleman, NC, Victory Junction is built upon 84 beautiful acres donated by Richard and Lynda Petty. Themed around NASCAR racing, the camp is echoes the sights, sounds, and feel of a real racetrack.
Contact: The camp's Contact page has a number of different e-mail addresses parents can use, each addressing a different concern. There is also a toll-free number: 877-VJG-CAMP

Camp Communicate
Date: Friday, August 26 to Sunday, August 28, 2011
Where: Pine Tree Camp, Rome, ME
Cost: $375. This fee includes the programming, meals and accommodations for one camper and one parent/caregiver. For information on additional caregiver costs – please see the website.
Participants: Ages 8-20; use a high tech communication device; be accompanied by a caregiver. There are two programs, one for ages 8-14 and another for ages 15-20. Each program has a limit of 10 participants.
Description: Camp Communicate is an innovative weekend designed specifically for non-verbal children who use computerized devices, known as augmentative communication, to communicate. Each camper attends Camp Communicate along with a parent/caregiver. Parents will have the opportunity to attend workshops and share information and strategies in a supportive environment. Learning opportunities for parents will support more effective augmentative communication device use at home and will foster more proficient use in school.

Camp To Be Independent
Date: July 17 - 22, 2011
Where: Camp Twin Lakes, Rutledge, GA
Cost: Free
Participants: Children and adults ages 8 – 21 with traumatic brain injury. The camp usually hosts between 35 and 40 kids.
Description: Camp TBI offers parents/caregivers a respite while their children enjoy the fully accessible facilities at Camp Twin Lakes. Children will enjoy fishing, archery, arts and crafts, a zip line, bicycling, swimming, dancing, karaoke and talent nights in the care of counselors provided by the Medical College of Georgia Occupational Therapy School.
Contact: Call 706-826-5809 or email for registration information.
Scroll to the bottom of Outreach Programs webpage for more info and application details:

Courage Camps
Date: Various from June 19 until August 6
Where: Maple Lake, MN
Cost: Varies. Camp offers scholarships for campers who need financial assistance. Qualified applicants will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
Participants: Varies depending on camp; See website for more information
Description: There are a very large variety of camps for people with disabilities organized by the Courage Camps. Below are only a couple of them. Please visit the website for a wealth of camps provided. Since 1955, Courage Camps offer safe, accessible, natural environments where children and adults with physical disabilities, sensory and language impairments, and other disabilities or illnesses discover abilities they never knew they had or they thought they had lost. Campers make new friends, and are often introduced to sports or hobbies they develop further at home or at school.
Some of the camps offered:
• Literacy Session
June 19-24, 2011 - Ages 12 to 18
This unique session is for campers who are struggling readers. Campers' reading skills range from beginning readers to reading several years behind grade level. In addition to enjoying the many fun recreational activities offered, campers work daily with educational specialists on literacy-related activities. The session is under the direction of national literacy experts Drs. David Koppenhaver and Karen Erickson. Informal descriptive reports of literacy assessments and interventions are provided to families and campers to take back to their home schools. Campers attending this session should be independent in their personal care needs and have a means of communication, which may include an AAC(augmentative communication) system.
Full Cost: $800
• Youth Session
July 18-23, 2011 - Ages 7 to 12
Designed for campers with a physical disability or visual impairment, this session provides opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities ranging from swimming and horseback riding to sailing and crafts. As part of this experience, youth increase self-confidence, learn responsibility and develop essential leadership skills.
Full Cost: $800
• Teen Session
July 18-23, 2011 - Ages 13 to 17
This session is designed for teens with a physical disability or visual impairment. Enjoy a fun-filled week of traditional camp activities such as sailing, fishing, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, digital photography, nature and environmental studies, arts and crafts, and overnight camping. In addition to having fun, campers learn social and leadership skills and gain independence in a safe environment. Campers select activities based on their individual interests.
Full Cost: $800
• Communication Disorders
July 31-Aug. 6, 2011 - Ages 7 to 14
Help your child maintain valuable speech skills over the long summer break. Geared for youngsters who have a primary diagnosis of a speech, language or hearing disorder. Counselors and program staff reinforce camper language and communication skills throughout the day in activities ranging from swimming and boating to horseback riding and crafts.
Full Cost: $800
• 5th annual National Power Soccer Family Camp
Aug. 8-13, 2011
Join us for six days of power soccer training and camp fun. Top power soccer coaches and players from across the United States teach you the latest drills and training methods to make you the best power soccer player ever! If you are a first timer or a current player, come and learn the latest techniques and drills from the experts! Families are welcome to participate.
Full Cost: $600-Athletes
$500-Family Members
• Summer Sampler for Youth
July 20-23, 2011
The Summer Sampler is a special session for youth with a physical disability or visual impairment. The session offers campers an opportunity to try out overnight camp for the first time! During this three-day experience, campers will enjoy cabin life, make new friends and participate in many traditional camp activities. This is a wonderful introduction to the unique experience that overnight camp provides.
Full Cost: $400
• Teen Leadership Session
July 31 - Aug. 6, 2011 - Ages 13-17
Designed for teens with a physical disability or sensory impairment. The Teen Leadership Session offers eight days of intensive leadership and life skills. Training while engaged in a variety of traditional outdoor camp activities. Each camper has the opportunity to develop a personal leadership style, as well as learn about communication styles and conflict resolution. Campers develop self-confidence, foster independence and improve community identity.
Full Cost: $800
• amp Discovery 1 & 2
Co-sponsored with the Autism Society of Minnesota at Camp Courage
Session 1 June 26-July 1, 2011
Session 2 July 3-8, 2011
Two, five day sessions for children with Asperger’s Syndrome. For more information and an application, call the Autism Society of Minnesota at 651.647.1083.
• Hemophilia Session
Co-sponsored by the Hemophilia Foundation of Minnesota and Dakotas
July 10-16, 2011
Geared for children who have hemophilia and other related bleeding disorders. Campers take advantage of the safe facilities and great outdoor settings to explore their interests. Applications can be requested from the Courage Center Camps office at 763.520.0504 or
• Oncology/Blood Disorder Session
Co-sponsored by Children’s Hospitals and Clinics - Minneapolis and The Miracles of Mitch Foundation
July 25-29, 2011
Campers, ages 7 to 17, who have or had leukemia or other blood disorders, brain tumors and other forms of cancer, or get to know their peers in a safe, healthy, recreational setting. Siblings can participate in a special program that focuses on living with a brother or sister with cancer. Activities range from crafts and nature study to photography, swimming, horseback riding and more. Link to Oncology/Blood Disorders/Siblings Camp Application.

If you know of other summer camps for children and teens with special needs other than those listed on the SCATP camp website, be sure to let them know. Thanks!

Friday, June 03, 2011

2 Studies Examine Syndrome of Fatigue

New York Times (June 1, 2011)- In a blow to patients with chronic fatigue syndrome, two new studies published on Tuesday raised serious doubts about earlier reports that the disabling disease is linked to infection with XMRV, a poorly understood retrovirus.

The new papers were posted online in the journal Science, which in October 2009 published the initial research linking XMRV to chronic fatigue syndrome. In an “editorial expression of concern” accompanying the two new studies, Bruce Alberts, editor in chief of the journal, declared that the earlier finding “is now seriously in question” and was most likely due to laboratory contamination.

Based on those earlier findings, some people with chronic fatigue syndrome tried to obtain access to antiretroviral drugs used to treat H.I.V., which had been shown in laboratory studies to inhibit the replication of XMRV.

But in one of the two new studies, researchers found no trace of XMRV or related viruses in the blood of 43 patients who had previously tested positive for XMRV. In the second study, scientists reported evidence that XMRV was likely a recombination of two mouse leukemia viruses created accidentally in laboratory experiments.

The new studies are the latest in a series of disappointments for people struggling with chronic fatigue syndrome. Other researchers have been unable to duplicate the original findings implicating XMRV, although none of their studies fully replicated the methods of the original research from the Cleveland Clinic, the National Cancer Institute and the Whittemore Peterson Institute for Neuro-Immune Disease in Reno, Nev.

To read more about chronic fatigue sydrome, click the above title.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Successful First Test Drive of 'Sighted' Wheelchair

ScienceDaily (May 16, 2011) — Research on an electric wheelchair that can sense it´s environment and transmit information to a person who is visually impaired, has been tested at Luleå University of Technology. Daniel Innala Ahlmark, a prospective graduate student in the research project, and himself visually impaired, dared to make the first public test.

The wheelchair has a joystick for steering and a haptic robot that acts as a virtual white cane. With the help of a laser scanner a simplified 3D map is created of the wheelchair surroundings. The laser scanner uses Time-of-flight technique. The 3D map is transferred to the haptic robot so that a visually impaired wheelchair driver can "feel or see" obstacles such as open doors or oncoming people, and navigate past them.

The "sighted" wheelchair has been developed by Kalevi Hyyppä, a professor at Luleå University of Technology and his research team at the LTU division EISLAB. The other members of the research team are prospective Ph.D. student Daniel Innala Ahlmark, assistant professor Håkan Fredriksson and Ph.D. student Fredrik Broström.

"This may be important aids for the visually impaired who are wheelchair users. Many have already been in touch with me and asked if they can come for a test drive," says Kalevi Hyyppä.

The first test of the "sighted" wheelchair for an audience was carried out in one of the corridors of the Department of Computer Science, Electrical- and Space Engineering at Luleå University of Technology.

There are several classrooms in the corridor, which means that students often pass there. For those who are visually impaired or blind, it is quite a changing environment to move in. Daniel Innala Ahlmark, who is visually impaired, dared to test the wheelchair while explaining how he experienced it -- and he did so before the entire local and even national media in Sweden.

Click on the above title to read the entire article,