Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Great News about SCATP!


Great News!

As you may be aware, the 25% mandatory Alternative Financing Program funding set-aside language for the State Assistive Technology Act was removed from the Labor, Health and Human Services (LHHS) bill. The LHHS bill was approved at FY 2010 Funding levels through the rest of this fiscal year.

The South Carolina Assistive Technology Program (SCATP) sends a special thank you to everyone who wrote emails, faxed letters, and made phone calls to US Congressmen. Your efforts made all the difference! We also want to thank our Congressmen for supporting such a fiscally responsible program.

SCATP looks forward to continuing to provide assistive technology options and resources to South Carolinians with disabilities, their caregivers and the professionals who serve them for many years to come.

Best Wishes for a Happy Holiday!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

URGENT: Funding Issue for SCATP

NOW is the time to reach out to SC Congressmen about the mandatory set-aside language of the Federal Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education. The opportunity for Congress to eliminate this language from the House draft bill is NOW as this Friday, December 16th is the deadline for a Congressional vote on this issue.

The current wording would require all State Assistive Technology Programs to spend 25% of their federal allocation for alternative financing programs through contracts with community-based organizations. These cuts would have significant negative effects on SCATP’s device reutilization, device loan and device demonstration activities.

What it means for SC: The South Carolina Assistive Technology Program’s (SCATP’s) AT Reutilization Program connects consumers, agencies and other organizations in the donation and sale of used medical equipment to people who could not afford it otherwise. The past two years, this initiative resulted in a cost savings of $731,419 to consumers, state and federal agencies and other organizations. Funding cuts would also greatly reduce the offerings of SCATP’s Device Demonstration and Device Loan Programs. In FY 2011, over 350 people participated in SCATP’s device demonstration program and people got a chance to borrow approximately 400 devices to “try before they buy” through SCATP’s device loan program.

What can you do?

You may CALL and EMAIL your SC Congressmen (see below) and express your continued opposition to the mandatory set-aside funding language proposed in the House FY2012 LHHS bill and request this language be excluded from the final bill. Ask them to speak to the members of the House Appropriations LHHS Subcommittee and share how this legislation would impact SC though cuts in essential equipment reuse, demonstration and loan programs administered by SCATP. If you, a family member, friend, or client has benefitted from these programs, please share those personal stories.

Consider emphasizing the role that SCATP has played in ensuring that assistive technology is purchased or even given away, and used effectively by South Carolinians. The proposed language of the set-aside means SCATP would be forced to cut funding we currently use to implement SCATP’s AT Reutilization program, Device Demonstration program and Device Loan program. These programs reduce the demand for federal funding by millions of dollars and promote responsible decisions for purchasing devices using Medicaid and Medicare dollars.

You could mention the ways SCATP serves as a resource in helping agencies and individuals in activities ranging from education to health care and employment, as well as the outreach to rural, underserved and minority populations. If you are in the education field, you can emphasize how SCATP has helped school districts and students meet the goals of the "No Child Left Behind" legislation. It might also help if you let them know how much the SC Assistive Technology Program has helped you, a friend, relative or client with disabilities.

The Honorable Joe Wilson

Staff: Melissa Chandler- melissa.chandler@mail.house.gov, 202-225-2452, Fax: 202-225-2455

United States House of Representatives

The Honorable Trey Gowdy

Staff: Christopher Ingraham- christopher.ingraham@mail.house.gov, 202-225-6030, Fax: 202-226-1177

United States House of Representatives

The Honorable James E. Clyburn

Staff: Willie Lyles, willie.lylesIII@mail.house.gov, 202-225-3315, Fax: 202-225-2313

U.S. House of Representatives

The Honorable Jim DeMint

Staff: Erica Suares, erica_suares@demint.senate.gov, 202-224-6121, Fax: 202-228-5143

United States Senate

The Honorable Jeff Duncan

Staff: Caleb Paxton, caleb.paxton@mail.house.gov, 202-225-5301, Fax: 202-225-3216

U.S. House of Representatives

The Honorable Lindsey O. Graham

Staff: Courtney Titus, courtney_titus@lgraham.senate.gov, 202-224-5972, Fax: 202-224-3808

U. S. Senate

The Honorable Mick Mulvaney

Staff: Greg Thomas, greg.thomas@mail.house.gov, 202-225-5501, Fax: 202-225-0464

U.S. House of Representatives

The Honorable Tim Scott

Staff: Delores DaCosta, delores.dacosta@mail.house.gov, 202-225-3176, Fax: 202-225-3407

U.S. House of Representatives

We'd also appreciate your sending an electronic copy of your letter to CarolPageSLP@gmail.com>.

**If you have questions, contact carolpageslp@gmail.com> and we can update you on progress of this legislation and help you determine what you might do.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Meeting Reminder: Columbia Parkinsons Support Group

Meeting Reminder

Date: December 18, 2011

Topic: Join Us For Our Annual Christmas / Holiday Party

Time: 3:00 pm

No RSVP is required - Just Join Us For The Party!

Place: Lexington Medical Center Auditorium - For our meeting information (time, place, map) please visit our website page of http://www.columbiaparkinsonsupportgroup.org/meeting_info.htm

Entertainment and Refreshments will be provided - Just bring yourself and your guests (family, friends, and anyone interested in Parkinson's)

We will be having live entertainment by Bob Michalski, who plays a wide variety of contemporary and jazz instrumental selections. Bob has appeared in many locations around Columbia, including churches, weddings, and corporate events. http://www.bobthesaxplayer.com/

This is a wonderful opportunity for you to enjoy the music, have some refreshments, have fun, and get to know other members of our Parkinson support group in a relaxing environment. This is where you can share information, ask questions, and learn more about our support group and its members.


VERY URGENT NEWS ABOUT SC ASSISTATIVE TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM (SCATP) FUNDING ISSUE ~
December 16th is the deadline for a Congressional vote on this issue.

For more information click on this link http://www.columbiaparkinsonsupportgroup.org/news.htm


Please Don't Forget To Visit Our Website at http://www.columbiaparkinsonsupportgroup.org/ The NEWS FOR YOU web page has been updated with "new" news and information that may be of interest to you http://www.columbiaparkinsonsupportgroup.org/news.htm


We have been busy scheduling speakers and topics for our 2012 meetings. The 2012 MEETING & EVENTS CALENDAR web page has been updated on our website at
http://www.columbiaparkinsonsupportgroup.or/meet_calendar_2012.htm
We have some really great programs planned for 2012.


Please Volunteer - We Really Need You! Our support group is operated and run by volunteers who are Parkinson patients themselves, caregivers / care partners of Parkinson patients, or people who have an interest in and support Parkinson's disease. We can always use volunteers. Please contact us if you have other experience or skills that you think can be used by our group.

A special "Thank You" to Karen Basso for volunteering to do the
Newspaper Media PR position we had advertised last month!

Below are some other positions that we need volunteers for now.

Greeters - At the beginning of our meetings, you would greet meeting attendees at the door. Requirements are ability to smile, say hello, make people feel welcome, and encourage them to sign-in. Ability to send Email is needed. Having more than one "greeter" would be desirable so that they could alternate meetings.

Program Committee Member - Currently Carol and Dottie are doing all the program planning. We could use some help. Ability to send Email is needed. You will have the opportunity to meet some really nice people who interface with the Parkinson's community in many ways. We already have the year 2012 booked up for speakers, so you will have a whole year to work with Dottie and Carol to learn how to be a member of the Program Committee. You won't be doing this by yourself, Dottie and Carol will be working with you on the committee.

Contact either Carol or Dottie if you are interested in volunteering; or if you have other experience or skills that you think can be used by our group.

Carol Baker, Vice President
Telephone 803-781-6193
Email: caroltbaker@bellsouth.net

Dottie Gantt, President
Telephone: 803-604-0061
Email: contact@columbiaparkinsonsupportgroup.org

We look forward to seeing you at the December 18th meeting / party.

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas - Happy Holidays - and Best Wishes for the New Year!

Dottie

-- 
Dottie M. Gantt, President
Columbia Parkinson's Support Group
Email  contact@columbiaparkinsonsupportgroup.org
http://www.columbiaparkinsonsupportgroup.org/
Telephone 803-604-0061

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Monday, December 12, 2011

Webinar : Lessons Learned from the 12 Demonstration Projects: Outcomes

This comes from Liz Persaud at Pass It On.

Join us for a Webinar focused on:

Lessons Learned from the 12 Demonstration Projects: Outcomes

Tuesday, December 13, 2011
2:00pm to 3:30pm Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)

Presenters:
Joy Kniskern Principal Investigator, Pass It On Center,
Trish Redmon Consultant to the Pass It On Center,
Lindsey Bean Kampwerth AT Reuse Director, Paraquad/Consultant to the Pass It On Center

Credits Available!
Free CEUs - Visit www.aacinstitute.org to register for CEUs
1.5 CRC's have been Approved - If you are requesting CRCs, please email Liz@passitoncenter.org with your name, organization, city, state and corresponding email address.

Join us as we explore project experiences of AT Reuse programs across the country. In 2006, the Rehabilitation Services Administration awarded grants to 12 demonstration projects for AT reuse. After the completion of those projects, the Pass It On Center examined their experiences in light of the original objectives and the accomplishments during the grant period. This webinar will examine what was learned about outcomes for customers in those reuse programs as well as how AT Reuse is "filling the gap" when funding is scarce. These lessons are guaranteed to help your program maximize its potential and continue to best serve individuals with disabilities and the AT Reuse community.

Instructions to Access the Webinar

Link to Pass It On Center Webinar Conference Room: http://conference321.com/masteradmin/room.asp?id=rs21c4e11226b6
Instructions for joining the Webinar are available online at: http://www.passitoncenter.org/Webinars.aspx
For more information, please contact Liz Persaud Liz@passitoncenter.org
Please forward this announcement to anyone interested in this topic or the Pass It On Center webinars.

CO-SPONSORED BY THE GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, REHABILITATION SERVICES

Webinar : Lessons Learned from the 12 Demonstration Projects: Outcomes

This comes from Liz Persaud at Pass It On.

Join us for a Webinar focused on:

Lessons Learned from the 12 Demonstration Projects: Outcomes

Tuesday, December 13, 2011
2:00pm to 3:30pm Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)

Presenters:
Joy Kniskern Principal Investigator, Pass It On Center,
Trish Redmon Consultant to the Pass It On Center,
Lindsey Bean Kampwerth AT Reuse Director, Paraquad/Consultant to the Pass It On Center

Credits Available!
Free CEUs - Visit www.aacinstitute.org to register for CEUs
1.5 CRC's have been Approved - If you are requesting CRCs, please email Liz@passitoncenter.org with your name, organization, city, state and corresponding email address.

Join us as we explore project experiences of AT Reuse programs across the country. In 2006, the Rehabilitation Services Administration awarded grants to 12 demonstration projects for AT reuse. After the completion of those projects, the Pass It On Center examined their experiences in light of the original objectives and the accomplishments during the grant period. This webinar will examine what was learned about outcomes for customers in those reuse programs as well as how AT Reuse is "filling the gap" when funding is scarce. These lessons are guaranteed to help your program maximize its potential and continue to best serve individuals with disabilities and the AT Reuse community.

Instructions to Access the Webinar

Link to Pass It On Center Webinar Conference Room: http://conference321.com/masteradmin/room.asp?id=rs21c4e11226b6
Instructions for joining the Webinar are available online at: http://www.passitoncenter.org/Webinars.aspx
For more information, please contact Liz Persaud Liz@passitoncenter.org
Please forward this announcement to anyone interested in this topic or the Pass It On Center webinars.

CO-SPONSORED BY THE GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, REHABILITATION SERVICES

Friday, December 09, 2011

Lookout Call - An App for Motorists with Disability

Disabled World - Disability News for all the Family:
Information provided by Andrew Lawn - Published: 2011-12-08

Disabled motorists urged to stay App–solutely safe - Disabled motorists are being urged to stay safe, with the help of a new iPhone app which allows peace of mind for loved-ones, without compromising the independence of the user.

Lookout Call, which is already widely-used commercially by lone workers across the UK, is being opened up to individual use and made available via Apple's App Store, in a bid to improve the safety of disabled motorists.

To celebrate the launch Lookout Call are offering a limited one-week free subscription, allowing individuals to try out the app for themselves, alongside the chance to win one of 10 iTunes gift cards.

With millions of disabled motorists, across the UK, their safety is of paramount concern to loved-ones.

It is here that Lookout Call comes into its own, allowing friends and family to be reassured that their loved-one has the tools to help enhance their safety, without being an overbearing presence in their lives.

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

Thursday, December 08, 2011

What is Web Accessibility?


Article Updated May 1st, 2011
Joe Dolson

It is a common mistake to believe that accessibility refers exclusively to the relationship between people with disabilities and their environment. That is, that making a building, website, or other device "accessible" is merely the process of ensuring that a person with a disability will be able to use it. This is not precisely wrong; it is merely incomplete.

Making a website accessible goes well beyond providing access to the most obvious market, which is users with visual disabilities. What I'm going to describe in this article are general descriptions of the areas where accessibility needs must be taken into consideration and a brief discussion of some of the techniques used to accomplish those needs.

Technology Problems

Yes, one of the biggest barriers to the use of a website can be technology itself. If the entire world was using a single browser on one computer, then technology would cease to be an issue. However, this is very far from the case!

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

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Discrimination Against Disabled Children

Medical News Today--Article Date: 05 Dec 2011 - 0:00 PST

Many disabled children fail to reach their full potential because they continue to be marginalised in schools, health and social care, according to new research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

"We found that disabled children often experience discrimination, exclusion and even violence," say Professor Dan Goodley and Dr Katherine Runswick-Cole, who implemented the study at the Manchester Metropolitan University. "The biggest barriers they meet are the attitudes of other people and widespread forms of institutional discrimination."

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

Monday, December 05, 2011

Why Do We Dream? To Ease Painful Memories, Study Hints

image of girl sleeping
National Geographic News, Published November 29, 2011 -- "Dreaming may act like a type of overnight therapy, taking the edge off painful memories, a new study says.
In a recent experiment, brain scans of people who viewed emotionally provocative pictures and then went to sleep showed that the part of the brain that handles emotions powered down during rapid eye movement, or REM, sleep—the stage in which dreams occur.
What's more, the subjects reported that the images had less of an emotional charge the morning after. This suggests that REM sleep may help us work through difficult events in our lives, the researchers say.
Why we sleep is still unknown, and even more elusive is the relationship between sleep and our emotional well-being, said study leader Matthew Walker, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Berkeley.
There's already anecdotal evidence for sleep's therapeutic benefits—such as the oft-repeated adage that a person will go to bed and feel better in the morning, Walker said.
And clinical data show that psychiatric mood disorders, from anxiety to post-traumatic stress disorder, can lead to sleep abnormalities.
"Despite that suggested interplay, we've understood remarkably little about the basic brain science that may underlie a relationship between our emotional lives and our sleeping lives," he said.
As his new research now suggests, "it's not time that heals all wounds—it's REM sleep."

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Eating Fish Reduces Risk of Alzheimer's Disease, Study Finds


ScienceDaily (Nov. 30, 2011) — People who eat baked or broiled fish on a weekly basis may be improving their brain health and reducing their risk of developing mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer's disease, according to a study presented November 30 at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

"This is the first study to establish a direct relationship between fish consumption, brain structure and Alzheimer's risk," said Cyrus Raji, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. "The results showed that people who consumed baked or broiled fish at least one time per week had better preservation of gray matter volume on MRI in brain areas at risk for Alzheimer's disease."

Alzheimer's disease is an incurable, progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory and cognitive skills. According to the National Institute on Aging, as many as 5.1 million Americans may have Alzheimer's disease. In MCI, memory loss is present but to a lesser extent than in Alzheimer's disease. People with MCI often go on to develop Alzheimer's disease.
To read the entire article, please click the above title.

Violent Video Games Alter Brain Function in Young Men

image of young men playing video game
ScienceDaily (Nov. 30, 2011) — "A functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) analysis of long-term effects of violent video game play on the brain has found changes in brain regions associated with cognitive function and emotional control in young adult men after one week of game play.The results of the study were presented November 30 at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).
The controversy over whether or not violent video games are potentially harmful to users has raged for many years, making it as far as the Supreme Court in 2010. But there has been little scientific evidence demonstrating that the games have a prolonged negative neurological effect.
"For the first time, we have found that a sample of randomly assigned young adults showed less activation in certain frontal brain regions following a week of playing violent video games at home," said Yang Wang, M.D., assistant research professor in the Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. "These brain regions are important for controlling emotion and aggressive behavior."
For the study, 22 healthy adult males, age 18 to 29, with low past exposure to violent video games were randomly assigned to two groups of 11. Members of the first group were instructed to play a shooting video game for 10 hours at home for one week and refrain from playing the following week. The second group did not play a violent video game at all during the two-week period.
Each of the 22 men underwent fMRI at the beginning of the study, with follow-up exams at one and two weeks. During fMRI, the participants completed an emotional interference task, pressing buttons according to the color of visually presented words. Words indicating violent actions were interspersed among nonviolent action words. In addition, the participants completed a cognitive inhibition counting task.
The results showed that after one week of violent game play, the video game group members showed less activation in the left inferior frontal lobe during the emotional task and less activation in the anterior cingulate cortex during the counting task, compared to their baseline results and the results of the control group after one week. After the second week without game play, the changes to the executive regions of the brain were diminished."
NOTE: To read the entire article, click on the title above.