Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Swimwear Designer Plucks Model With Special Needs

Disability Scoop (July 24, 2012)- In what’s believed to be a first, a Miami girl with Down syndrome is the new face of a major fashion designer’s ad campaign.

At 10-months-old, Valentina Guerrero is the cover girl for Spanish swimwear designer Dolores Cortés’ new U.S. catalog and will be featured in ads for the brand’s DC Kids line.

“People with Down syndrome are just as beautiful and deserve the same opportunities. I’m thrilled to have Valentina modeling for us,” Cortés said, according to Adweek.

In addition to featuring Guerrero in her advertisements, Cortés also brought the youngster out on the runway during Fashion Week in Miami last Friday.

The designer has pledged to donate 10 percent of profits from the swimwear collection to the Down Syndrome Association of Miami.

Guerrero is one of a handful of children with Down syndrome who are stealing the spotlight in recent times. Earlier this year, a 6-year-old from New Jersey with the chromosomal disorder made headlines when he appeared in a national Target circular. And last year, a British toddler with Down syndrome scored modeling deals for a global toy store and a clothing shop.

To read the entire article, please click on the above title.

To access the CDR catalog, please click on this link.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Special Education Funding May Drop $900 Million

Disability Scoop (July 26, 2012)-The nation’s top education official is warning that special education programs across the country will face “devastating” budget cuts next year unless Congress acts.

Federal education spending for students with disabilities could be reduced by $900 million next year, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan told a U.S. Senate panel Wednesday.

That could translate to layoffs for over 10,000 teachers, aides and other staff who support the nation’s 6.6 million students with special needs, he said.

The cuts are expected to begin taking effect in January under a process known as sequestration which was triggered last year when Congress failed to reach a budget deal. Under the plan, education programs as well as most other federal initiatives will be subject to an across-the-board spending reduction of about 8 percent.

Unless Congress acts, special education cuts would impact schools starting in the fall of 2013, Duncan said.

“We all know that there are steps we can take so we don’t have to start down this path that puts so many critical services to students, families and communities at risk,” Duncan told senators. “As everyone knows, sequestration does not have to happen and should not happen.”

If the budget cuts go through as planned, federal spending on special education would fall to 14.5 percent, the lowest rate seen since 2001, according to an estimate from the Council for Exceptional Children, a national group that lobbies on behalf of special educators.

To read more about Special Education Funding, please click on the above title.

To access the CDR Library catalog, please click on this link.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Gene Therapy Holds Promise for Reversing Congenital Hearing Loss

ScienceDaily (July 25, 2012) A new gene therapy approach can reverse hearing loss caused by a genetic defect in a mouse model of congenital deafness, according to a preclinical study published by Cell Press in the July 26 issue of the journal Neuron. The findings present a promising therapeutic avenue for potentially treating individuals who are born deaf.

"This is the first time that an inherited, genetic hearing loss has been successfully treated in laboratory mice, and as such represents an important milestone for treating genetic deafness in humans," says senior study author Lawrence Lustig of the University of California, San Francisco.

Hearing loss is one of the most common human sensory deficits, and it results from damage to hair cells in the inner ear. About half of the cases of congenital hearing loss are caused by genetic defects. However, the current treatment options -- hearing amplification devices and cochlear implants -- do not restore hearing to normal levels. Correcting the underlying genetic defects has the potential to fully restore hearing, but previous attempts to reverse hearing loss caused by genetic mutations have not been successful.

To read more about Gene Therapy, please click on the above title.

To access the CDR Library catalog, please click on this link.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Buddy Walk 2012

Walk Details: Columbia Buddy Walk

Walk Date:
Oct 28, 2012

Walk Time:
2:00 PM
Walk Name:
Columbia Buddy Walk
Saluda Shoals Park 5605 Bush River Road
Zip Code
United States
Organizer Name
Seana McKee
(803) 252-0914

Walk Details: Family Connection Spartanburg Buddy Walk

Walk Date:
Oct 6, 2012

Walk Time:
1:00 PM
Walk Name:
Family Connection Spartanburg Buddy Walk
355 Cedar Springs Road
Zip Code
United States
Organizer Name
Lisa Anderson

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Making Sickle Cell Disease a Manageable Illness

New York Times (July 22, 2012)-On most days Giovanna Poli acts like a typical 12-year-old. She enjoys riding bikes with her brother, likes learning about the planets in science class and wants to be a pediatrician when she grows up.

But Giovanna, a brown-haired girl from West Palm Beach, Fla., also suffers from debilitating pain, recurring infections and organ damage. She was born with sickle cell disease, a genetic disorder with unpredictable complications that causes the red blood cells to assume an abnormal sickle shape, making it difficult for blood to flow through vessels and deliver oxygen throughout the body.

“I usually feel good,” she says. “But some days it hurts so much in my legs and arms. I can’t really walk, and I don’t like people touching me. If it’s really bad, I have to go to the hospital.”

Every year, nearly 1,000 babies in the United States are born with sickle cell disease, which is thought to affect about 100,000 Americans. Forty years ago, the outlook for babies born with the disease was pretty bleak; the average child lived to be only 14. However, over the last four decades, new treatments, early intervention techniques and newborn screening programs have helped turn this disease, which was once a death sentence, into a manageable chronic illness.

To read more on Sickle Cell treatment, please click on the above title.

To access the CDR catalog, please click on this link.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Feds Redouble Disability Employment Efforts

Disability Scoop- (July 19, 2012)-Two federal agencies are joining forces in an effort to expand employment among those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Under an agreement reached this week, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy and the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities plan to work together to encourage broader adoption of so-called “employment first” policies.

The approach emphasizes integrated employment — where people with disabilities earn at least minimum wage working in environments where most employees are typically developing — as a first option for all individuals no matter how severe their needs.

The agencies plan to work together for at least the next two years to promote employment first by sharing information and resources, issuing joint policy statements and other efforts, according to the agreement.

Several states from Oregon to Delaware already have employment first policies or initiatives in place. By combining resources and working more closely together, officials at the Labor Department and the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities say they hope to spur greater expansion.

To read more of this article. please click on the above title.

To access the CDR Library catalog, please click on this link.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Mutations in Autism Susceptibility Gene Increase Risk in Boys

ScienceDaily (July 11, 2012) Researchers at Emory University School of Medicine have identified five rare mutations in a single gene that appear to increase the chances that a boy will develop an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Mutations in the AFF2 gene, and other genes like it on the X chromosome, may explain why autism spectrum disorders affect four times as many boys as girls.

The mutations in AFF2 appeared in 2.5 percent (5 out of 202) boys with an ASD. Mutations in X chromosome genes only affect boys, who have one X chromosome. Girls have a second copy of the gene that can compensate.

The results were published July 5 in the journal Human Molecular Genetics.

"Our data suggest that AFF2 could be one of the major X-linked risk factors for ASD's," says senior author Michael Zwick, PhD, assistant professor of human genetics at Emory University School of Medicine.

The finding bolsters a growing consensus among geneticists that rare variants in many different genes contribute significantly to risk for autism spectrum disorders.

The mutations in the AFF2 gene probably do not cause ASDs all by themselves, Zwick says.

"We do not think that the variants we have identified are monogenic causes of autism," he says. "Our data does support the idea that this is an autism susceptibility gene."

In some situations, mutations in a single gene are enough by themselves to lead to a neurodevelopmental disorder with autistic features, such as fragile X syndrome or tuberous sclerosis complex. But these types of mutations are thought to account for a small number of ASD cases.

Recent large-scale genetic studies of autism spectrum disorders have identified several "rare variants" that sharply increase ASD risk. Scientists believe rare variants could explain up to 15 or 20 percent of ASD cases. However, until now no single variant has been found in more than one percent of ASD cases.

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

To access the CDR library catalog, please click on this link.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Drug Shown to Improve Memory in Those With Down Syndrome

ScienceDaily (July 17, 2012) Researchers at the University of Colorado School of Medicine have found a drug that boosts memory function in those with Down syndrome, a major milestone in the treatment of this genetic disorder that could significantly improve quality of life.

"Before now there had never been any positive results in attempts to improve cognitive abilities in persons with Down syndrome through medication," said Alberto Costa, MD, Ph.D., who led the four- year study at the CU School of Medicine. "This is the first time we have been able to move the needle at all and that means improvement is possible."

The study was published July 17 in the journal Translational Psychiatry.

Costa, an associate professor of medicine, and his colleagues studied 38 adolescents and young adults with Down syndrome. Half took the drug memantine, used to treat Alzheimer's disease, and the others took a placebo.

Costa's research team hypothesized that memantine, which improved memory in mice with Down syndrome, could increase test scores of young adults with the disorder in the area of spatial and episodic memory, functions associated with the hippocampus region of the brain.

Participants underwent a 16-week course of either memantine or a placebo while scientists compared the adaptive and cognitive function of the two groups.

While they found no major difference between the groups in adaptive and most measures of cognitive ability, researchers discovered that those taking memantine showed significant improvement in verbal episodic memory. One of the lowest functioning individuals in the study saw a ten-fold increase in memory skills.

"People who took the medicine and memorized long lists of words did significantly better than those who took the placebo," said Costa, a neuroscientist specializing in Down syndrome research. "This is a first step in a longer quest to see how we can improve the quality of life for those with Down syndrome."

Currently, there are drugs that treat the symptoms of medical conditions associated with Down syndrome but nothing to improve brain function.

To read more about Down's Syndrome please click on the above title.

To access the CDR library catalog, please click on this link.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Disability Rights A Focus In Senate

Disability issues topped the agenda on Capitol Hill this week as members of the U.S. Senate convened two hearings focusing on the rights of those with special needs.

While a Senate panel considered ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Thursday morning, a separate committee met in the same building to consider legislation that would regulate the use of restraint and seclusion in schools.

The hearings marked the first time that either issue was taken up by the body.

Consideration of the U.N. Convention comes nearly two months after President Barack Obama sent senators the international treaty, which calls for greater community access and a better standard of living for the estimated 650 million people around the world with disabilities.

Disability Scoop- (July 13, 2012)-Already 153 countries have signed the disability convention and 117 have ratified it, according to the U.N. While the United States signed on in 2009, Senate approval is needed to make participation official.

The convention has broad support with over 165 organizations urging ratification and the backing of a bipartisan group of senators, including Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., both of whom spoke at the hearing.

“(The treaty) will provide the United States with a critical platform from which to urge other countries to improve equality of individuals with disabilities, including Americans who travel or live abroad, and including children with disabilities, whose plight is particularly neglected in many parts of the world,” Judith Heumann, special adviser for international disability rights at the U.S. Department of State told the Senate committee.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Protein Found in Spider Venom Could Treat Muscular Dystrophy

ScienceDaily (July 16, 2012) While Spider-Man is capturing the imagination of theatergoers, real-life spider men in Upstate New York are working intently to save a young boy's life.

It all began in 2009, when Jeff Harvey, a stockbroker from the Buffalo suburbs, discovered that his grandson, JB, had Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The disease is fatal. It strikes only boys, causing their muscles to waste away.

Hoping to help his grandson, Harvey searched Google for promising muscular dystrophy treatments and, in a moment of serendipity, stumbled upon University at Buffalo scientist Frederick Sachs, PhD.

Sachs was a professor of physiology and biophysics who had been studying the medical benefits of venom. In the venom of the Chilean rose tarantula, he and his colleagues discovered a protein that held promise for keeping muscular dystrophy at bay. Specifically, the protein helped stop muscle cells from deteriorating.

Within months of getting in touch, Harvey and Sachs co-founded Tonus Therapeutics, a pharmaceutical company devoted to developing the protein as a drug. Though the treatment has yet to be tested in humans, it has helped dystrophic mice gain strength in preliminary experiments.

To read more about spider venom, please click on the above title.

To access the CDR Library catalog, please click on this link.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Head Injuries and the Everyday Athlete

NY Times (July 11, 2012)- Much has been studied and reported, particularly in this newspaper, about the short-term effects of concussions on young athletes, as well as the potential longer-term outcomes for professional athletes who engage in high-level contact sports like football and ice hockey for many years, putting themselves at risk for multiple concussions and the lesser but still consequential subconcussive injuries.

But until recently, far less has been understood about the long-term implications, if any, of concussions experienced years ago by recreational athletes. Does a 55-year-old man who played high school football in the ’70s and perhaps grew dizzy or “had his bell rung” after a tackle or two need to worry about the state of his brain today, even if he never had a formal diagnosis of concussion? Or do I, because I bounced my head hard against the slopes several times while learning to snowboard 10 years ago?

The emerging answer, according to recent research, would seem to be a cautious “probably not,” although there may be reason to monitor how easily names and places come to mind.

For a study published in May in the journal Cerebral Cortex, researchers at the University of Montreal examined the brains of a group of healthy, middle-aged former athletes, all of whom had played contact sports in college about 30 years ago and some of whom had sustained concussions while doing so.

In the years since, the athletes had stopped competing but had remained physically active. None complained of failing memories or other symptoms of cognitive impairment — or at least, not more so than any group of 50- and 60-year-olds would be expected to complain.

The researchers scanned the volunteers’ brains using M.R.I. machines and automated measuring techniques that precisely determine the volume and other structural components of various brain segments. They also used separate scanning technology that looks at the metabolic health of particular neurons. Finally, they had volunteers complete tests of their long- and short-term memory, including their ability to dredge up specific words, a task that many of us who’ve reached middle age find daunting.

Child Prodigies, Autism Closely Linked

Disability Scoop (July 11, 2012)- When a team of researchers homed in on a group of eight wildly-talented child prodigies, they found that autism may have something to do with the children’s extraordinary abilities.

In a study published in the journal Intelligence this month, a research team from Yale University and Ohio State University report that autism appears to run in the family for many child prodigies.

For the study, the researchers hunted for commonalities among eight prodigies — those who displayed professional-level talents by the age of 10 in areas ranging from music to math. Though they are all famous, the study authors did not disclose the names of the whizzes they focused on, who ranged in age from 7 to 32 when they participated in the study.

Strikingly, three of the eight prodigies had an autism diagnosis themselves and four reported that they had first or second degree relatives with the disorder. What’s more, three of the prodigies had multiple family members with autism.

The study participants also all shared an unusually high affinity for attention to detail — a common trait of autism — when tested, but did not show higher levels of other characteristics of the disorder across the board, researchers found.

“The exceptional attention to detail combined with the over-representation of autism in the prodigies’ families suggests a link between prodigiousness and autism,” the researchers wrote. “The fact that the prodigies operate without many of the deficits commonly associated with the condition, however, suggests the presence of a modifier of some sort that prevents the child prodigies from displaying these deficits. The existence of such a modifier could have significant benefits for the autistic community.”

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

To access the CDR catalog, please click on this link.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

PRO-Parents Webinar

PRO-Parents of SC /Webinars & Workshops Summer 2012

Workshop Updates

PRO-Parents of SC will be doing several workshops at the 2012 Research to Practice which will be held at Lugoff Elgin Middle School 1244 Hwy 1 S. Lugoff SC 29078. Please call PRO-Parents of SC to register for these workshops 800-759-4776 or (803) 772 5688

Workshops at Research to Practice

Response to Intervention and Individuals with Disabilties Education Act (IDEA) Workshop

July 16, 2012 1:00pm-4:00pm Lugoff Elgin Middle School 1244 Hwy 1 S. Lugoff SC 29078

Susan Bruce and Mary Eaddy

Research without Resources: OSEP Technical Assistance Network

July 17, 2012 8:30am-12:00pm Lugoff Elgin Middle School 1244 Hwy 1 S. Lugoff SC 29078

Susan Bruce

Individual Health Care Plans, 504 Plans and the Americans w/Disabilites Act (ADAA)

July 18,2012 1:00pm-4:00pm Lugoff Elgin Middle School 1244 Hwy 1 S. Lugoff SC 29078

Mary Eaddy and Tanya M. Inabinet


Transitioning Into Special Education; Early Intervention August 7, 2012 1:00pm-2:30pm

Internet and phoneline required to participate

Individual Education Program (IEP)

August 9,2012 1:00pm-2:30pm

Internet and phoneline required to participate

Section 504, the ADA & Students w/Disabilities

August 14,2012 1:00pm-2:30pm

Internet and phoneline required to participate

Individual Education Program (IEP)

August 16,2012 1:00pm-2:30pm

Internet and phoneline required to participate

In This Issue

Workshop Updates

Webinar & Workshops Summer

Find PRO-Parents of SC on Facebook

Follow PRO-Parents of SC on Twitter

PRO-Parents of SC

652 Bush River Road Ste 203

Columbia, South Carolina 29210

803.772-5688 or 800.759.4776

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

South Carolina Assistive Technology Exchange

Below are wheel chairs, walkers and other items that are available on the AT Exchange. We'd love to see these put to good use.
Go to http://www.scatpexchange.net, click "I've read and accept the terms" and go to the next page. If you're not a member, click "register" and it should be easy from there. You can register even if you don't have items to sell or give or find. You'll get a password and be in the system. Please contact the owner using the Exchange. Some of these wheelchairs need only batteries, which can be obtained at a discount.

If help is needed with transportation, we can sometimes help coordinate that. Contact Janet Jendron at 803 935 5273.

Wheelchairs & Walkers - Free
Item 1183

Walker w/o Wheels

Description: C:\Users\janetj\AppData\Roaming\Qualcomm\Eudora\Embedded\image00926.jpg

Item 1184

Walker w/ Wheels

Description: C:\Users\janetj\AppData\Roaming\Qualcomm\Eudora\Embedded\image0272.jpg

Item 1217

Rollator Walker

Description: C:\Users\janetj\AppData\Roaming\Qualcomm\Eudora\Embedded\image0281.jpg

Item 1227

Quantum 6000Z Powerchair

Description: C:\Users\janetj\AppData\Roaming\Qualcomm\Eudora\Embedded\image0291.jpg

Item 1302

Invacare Solara Wheelchair

Description: C:\Users\janetj\AppData\Roaming\Qualcomm\Eudora\Embedded\image0301.jpg

Item 1353

Adult Walker w/ Wheels

Description: C:\Users\janetj\AppData\Roaming\Qualcomm\Eudora\Embedded\image0311.jpg

Item 1354

Adult Walker w/o Wheels

Description: C:\Users\janetj\AppData\Roaming\Qualcomm\Eudora\Embedded\image0321.jpg

Item 1350

Foldable Walker w/ Wheels

Description: C:\Users\janetj\AppData\Roaming\Qualcomm\Eudora\Embedded\image033.jpg

Item 1356

Walker w/ Wheels

Description: C:\Users\janetj\AppData\Roaming\Qualcomm\Eudora\Embedded\image034.jpg

Item 1360

Rifton Pediatric Walker

Description: C:\Users\janetj\AppData\Roaming\Qualcomm\Eudora\Embedded\image035.jpg

Available items – for sale or best offer
Wheelchairs and Walkers

Item 1180

Shower Stretcher

Description: C:\Users\janetj\AppData\Roaming\Qualcomm\Eudora\Embedded\image0361.jpg

Item 1174

Beach Wheelchair

Description: C:\Users\janetj\AppData\Roaming\Qualcomm\Eudora\Embedded\image0371.jpg

Item 1228

Quickie M11 Powerchair

Description: C:\Users\janetj\AppData\Roaming\Qualcomm\Eudora\Embedded\image0381.jpg

Item 1255

Pride Mobility Powerchair

Description: C:\Users\janetj\AppData\Roaming\Qualcomm\Eudora\Embedded\image0391.jpg

Item 1261

Tilt Manual Wheelchair


Item 1268

Invacare M91 Powerchair


Item 1304

Torque S3200 Powerchair

Description: C:\Users\janetj\AppData\Roaming\Qualcomm\Eudora\Embedded\image041.jpg

Item 1329

Invacare Sure Step Powerchair

Description: C:\Users\janetj\AppData\Roaming\Qualcomm\Eudora\Embedded\image043.jpg

Item 1333

Permobil Stander/Powerchair

Description: C:\Users\janetj\AppData\Roaming\Qualcomm\Eudora\Embedded\image045.jpg

Item 1369

Permobil C300 Powerchair


Item 1387

3-Wheeled Scooter

Description: C:\Users\janetj\AppData\Roaming\Qualcomm\Eudora\Embedded\image047.jpg

Item 1242

Folding Walker

Description: C:\Users\janetj\AppData\Roaming\Qualcomm\Eudora\Embedded\image049.jpg

Good News for Mental Illness in Health Law

NY Times (July 9, 2012)-Americans with mental illness had good reason to celebrate when the Supreme Court upheld President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. The law promises to give them something they have never had before: near-universal health insurance, not just for their medical problems but for psychiatric disorders as well.

Until now, people with mental illness and substance disorders have faced stingy annual and lifetime caps on coverage, higher deductibles or simply no coverage at all.

This was supposed to be fixed in part by the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, which mandated that psychiatric illness be covered just the same as other medical illnesses. But the law applied only to larger employers (50 or more workers) that offered a health plan with benefits for mental health and substance abuse. Since it did not mandate universal psychiatric benefits, it had a limited effect on the disparity between the treatment of psychiatric and nonpsychiatric medical diseases.

Now comes the Affordable Care Act combining parity with the individual mandate for health insurance. As Dr. Dilip V. Jeste, president of the American Psychiatric Association, told me, “This law has the potential to change the course of life for psychiatric patients for the better, and in that sense it is both humane and right.”

To get a sense of the magnitude of the potential benefit, consider that about half of Americans will experience a major psychiatric or substance disorder at some point, according to an authoritative 2005 survey. Yet because of the stigma surrounding mental illness, poor access to care and inadequate insurance coverage, only a fraction of those with mental illness receive treatment.

For example, surveys show that only about 50 percent of Americans with a mood disorder had psychiatric treatment in the past year — leaving the rest at high risk of suicide, to say nothing of the high cost to society in absenteeism and lost productivity. The World Health Organization ranks major depression as the world’s leading cause of disability.

To read the more about ACA, please click on the above title.

To access the CDR catalog, please click on this link.

Monday, July 09, 2012

India to give free generic drugs to hundreds of millions

Reuters (July 5, 2012) - India has put in place a $5.4 billion policy to provide free medicine to its people, a decision that could change the lives of hundreds of millions, but a ban on branded drugs stands to cut Big Pharma out of the windfall.

From city hospitals to tiny rural clinics, India's public doctors will soon be able to prescribe free generic drugs to all comers, vastly expanding access to medicine in a country where public spending on health was just $4.50 per person last year.

The plan was quietly adopted last year but not publicized. Initial funding has been allocated in recent weeks, officials said.

Under the plan, doctors will be limited to a generics-only drug list and face punishment for prescribing branded medicines, a major disadvantage for pharmaceutical giants in one of the world's fastest-growing drug markets.

"Without a doubt, it is a considerable blow to an already beleaguered industry, recently the subject of several disadvantageous decisions in India," said KPMG partner Chris Stirling, who is European head of Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals.

To read more about India, please click on the above title.

To access the CDR Library catalog, please click on this link.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Health Care Ruling A Win, Disability Advocates Say

Disability Scoop (July 2, 2012)- Advocates are hailing the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold sweeping changes to the nation’s health care system as a victory for people with disabilities.

The high court ruled Thursday that the nearly all of the Affordable Care Act is constitutional, paving the way for additional provisions of the 2010 law to take effect between now and 2014.

As Democrats applauded the decision, Republicans promptly vowed to repeal the act. Meanwhile, leaders from a host of national organizations representing individuals with developmental disabilities praised the decision.

“People with disabilities and their families have their lives dictated by the status of their health insurance,” said Katy Neas, senior vice president of government relations at Easter Seals. “The Supreme Court’s ruling today tells these families they can make decisions about what is best for them as a family, and not be controlled by fear of losing health insurance coverage.”

President Barack Obama’s signature legislative accomplishment, the health care reform law includes a number of provisions — many of which have yet to be fully implemented — that advocates say are significant for people with disabilities including:

• No more lifetime coverage limits on health insurance plans.
• Insurers will not be allowed to charge higher rates or deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions, including disabilities.
• Establishes the Community First Choice Option offering states the opportunity to receive increased federal matching funds to support community living.
• Requires health insurance plans to cover a menu of “essential benefits” including mental health services, habilitation and rehabilitation services as well as behavioral health treatment.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Charting Autism's Neural Circuitry: Deleting Single Gene Results in Autism-Like Behavior and Immunosuppressant Drug Prevents Symptoms

ScienceDaily (July 2, 2012) Deleting a single gene in the cerebellum of mice can cause key autistic-like symptoms, researchers have found. They also discovered that rapamycin, a commonly used immunosuppressant drug, prevented these symptoms.

The deleted gene is associated with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC), a rare genetic condition. Since nearly 50 percent of all people with TSC develop autism, the researchers believe their findings will help us better understand the condition's development.

"We are trying to find out if there are specific circuits in the brain that lead to autism-spectrum disorders in people with TSC," said Mustafa Sahin, Harvard Medical School associate professor of neurology at Boston Children's Hospital and senior author on the paper. "And knowing that deleting the genes associated with TSC in the cerebellum leads to autistic symptoms is a vital step in figuring out that circuitry."

This is the first time researchers have identified a molecular component for the cerebellum's role in autism. "What is so remarkable is that loss of this gene in a particular cell type in the cerebellum was sufficient to cause the autistic-like behaviors," said Peter Tsai, HMS instructor of neurology and the first author of this particular study.

These findings were published online July 1 in Nature.

TSC is a genetic disease caused by mutations in either one of two genes, TSC1 and TSC2. Patients develop benign tumors in various organs in the body, including the brain, kidneys and heart, and often suffer from seizures, delayed development and behavioral problems.

To read the entire article, please click on the above title.

To access the CDR Library catalog, please click on this link.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Disability Action Center Events

ADA Celebration ~ July 18, 2012

Come and celebrate the 22nd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act from 2pm -4pm.

Join us for:

· Showing of “Lives Worth Living” – a documentary about America’s disability rights movement

· A review of the Americans with Disabilities Act

Wednesday, July 18, 2012
2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
136 Stonemark Lane; Suite 100,
Columbia, South Carolina 29210

Refreshments will be served. Please RSVP by July 11th at 803-779-5121 Ext. 126 or dtempio@dacsc.org

Decisions, Decisions: Self Advocacy & Decision Making Training – August 8th, 2012

Please join the Disability Action Center and Protection & Advocacy for People with Disabilities on August 8th for the Decisions, Decisions Training. This training will cover decision making for Individuals with disabilities & teach skills on how to communicate with family members and loved ones.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012
2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
136 Stonemark Lane; Suite 100,
Columbia, South Carolina 29210

To attend the training, please contact DAC’s Training Coordinator by July 26th, at (803) 779-5121 Ext. 126 or by e-mail at dtempio@dacsc.org.

Please help us spread the word.

Equipment Donation Drive

Take the time to clean out your closets and garage!If you're not using or have outgrown equipment, theres a good chance it would be useful to another person. Declutter your life and help others!

The South Carolina Assistive Technology Program (SCATP) and the Disability Action Center (DAC) are sponsoring an Equipment Donation Drive, in collaboration with the statewide "Life with Brain Injury" Conference July 12-13, 2012, at the Columbia Conference Center, 169 Laurelhurst Avenue, Columbia, S.C. 29212. See more information at http://sc.edu/scatp/donationdrive.html.

If you’re planning to bring equipment or have questions about the Equipment Donation Drive, contact:

Janet Jendron
(803)935-5273 or Janet.Jendron@uscmed.sc.edu

Kimberly Tissot
(803)779-5121 or KTissot@dacsc.org
1-800-681-6805 (Toll Free)

We may arrange to pick up your equipment before the conference. If you are bringing equipment the day of the conference and you're attending the Brain Injury Conference, you can bring it directly to the Conference Center. If you aren't attending the conference, you can deliver it directly to the Disability Action Center. If requested, donations can be tax deductible.

Below are some examples of items that are in high demand:
  • Tub benches
  • Transfer benches
  • Manual wheel chairs in good condition
  • Powered mobility with batteries that work
  • Rollator walkers
  • Portable ramps
  • Vehicle Lifts
  • Adapted Computer Technology
  • Pediatric equipment such as gait trainers
  • Adapted recreational items such as hand bikes, beach wheelchairs

Registration for the Brain Injury Conference has closed, but you can call to see if there are still available spots. Call 803-731-9823, or 1-877-824-3228, or email scbraininjury@bellsouth.net. Find more information on the web at http://www.biausa.org/SC/.

To access the CDR Library catalog, please click on this link.

Monday, July 02, 2012

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Elvis Tune Offers Insight On Developmental Disabilities

Disability Scoop (June 26, 2012)-Elvis Presley’s sultry singing voice may hold the key to understanding the social deficits affecting some with developmental disabilities, new research suggests.

Using Presley’s “Love Me Tender” and a handful of other songs, scientists say they were able to obtain a better understanding of the biological triggers involved in Williams syndrome, a developmental disorder marked by extreme friendliness.

The findings could also have implications for those with conditions ranging from autism to anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, researchers said.

For the study, music was played for 13 people with Williams syndrome and eight typically developing individuals in an effort to elicit an emotional response. Blood was drawn from each study participant before the music started and while it played in order to measure levels of two hormones — oxytocin and arginine vasopressin.

Oxytocin levels in particular increased in those with Williams syndrome when they listened to the music, with levels bouncing as the songs played. However, study participants without the condition exhibited little change in hormone levels, according to the research published this month in the journal PLoS ONE.

The findings suggest that oxytocin and arginine vasopressin are not well regulated in those with Williams syndrome, the researchers said.

“The association between abnormal levels of oxytocin and AVP and altered social behaviors found in people with Williams Syndrome points to surprising, entirely unsuspected deleted genes involved in regulation of these hormones and human sociability,” said Julie Korenberg of the University of Utah who worked on the study.

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