Thursday, August 30, 2012

Free Family Guide to Assistive Technology and Transition Planning

Family Information Guide to Assistive Technology and Transition Planning

The Family Center on Technology and Disability has published the Family Information Guide to Assistive Technology and Transition Planning in both English and Spanish. The guide includes an overview of transition planning and assistive technology, guidance on how to make a successful transition with assistive technology, information on laws governing accommodations and transition in birth-12th grade and postsecondary settings, a glossary, and additional resources.

To read more, please click on the above title.
To access the CDR Library catalog, please click on this

Monday, August 27, 2012

Assistive Technology Trainings

Check out these free or low cost assistive technology trainings offered by the SC Assistive Technology Program. You can find more details and registration information at

SCATP Trainings
9/21/2012 - Adapted Art Make 'n Take - Erin Bellinder, Carol Page
Examples of how to create art using common objects around the home or classroom will be demonstrated. The fundamentals of appropriately selecting and the functional use of various art supports will be reviewed. The workshop will conclude with a make-and-take opportunity for participants to choose from different projects to construct and then take the finished project(s) home.

9/21/2012 - Adapted Music Make 'n Take - Erin Bellinder, Carol Page
Examples of how to create musical instruments using common objects around the home or classroom will be demonstrated. The fundamentals of appropriately selecting and the functional use of various music instruments will be reviewed. The workshop will conclude with a make-and-take opportunity for participants to choose from different projects to construct and then take the finished project(s) home.

10/10/2012 - NOVA Chat Series Mini-Workshop - Ken Whitley
The new NOVA chat 10 (10” touchscreen) and NOVA chat 7 (7” touchscreen) will be demonstrated. These are ground-breaking picture and word-based dynamic display communication devices that offer features found in no other including ChatPC and TouchChat functionality, a Social Chat feature with social networks like Facebook and Twitter, many vocabulary files (over 30) for both literate and emerging literate clients, built-in camera and flash, Ivona speech synthesizer (including child, teen, & adult voices), and 4 color body shells included.

11/9/2012 - AMPLIFY! LIFE - Jordyn Funderburk
Telecommunications equipment distributed by SCEDP is carefully chosen to cover various needs and is distributed at no cost to qualifying South Carolinians. Qualifying disabilities are: hard-of-hearing, deaf, deaf-blind, blind/low vision with hearing loss, or speech impaired. This workshop provides an opportunity to have hands-on use of the various pieces of telecommunications equipment distributed by SCEDP. Emphasis is placed on helping individuals become more independent through use of this free, state supported program. Participants will learn the procedure to apply for telecommunications equipment available through SCEDP.
SC Dept. of Education Technology Thursday Trainings
9/20/12 - Microsoft Accessibility - Val Gioia
In this workshop, you will be able to personalize your PC with Microsoft Accessibility Options and will learn the value of accessibility and how it facilitates learning in the classroom. Educators and service providers are often unaware of the many tools that are available for free through Microsoft. We will go over various accessibility options such as Speech Recognition, tools for individuals with visual impairments, scanning with Microsoft’s on-screen keyboard, and many more. We will also present various classroom scenarios to demonstrate practical use of the Microsoft Accessibility features.

9/27/12 - Intermediate Boardmaker - Val Gioia
Basic Boardmaker experience is needed for this workshop which will focus on creating visual supports, importing pictures and saving them, using the Boardmaker Plus! Software to create an alternative augmentative communication device on a laptop computer or interactive whiteboard, and using the templates that are included on the Boardmaker Plus! Supplemental CD. This is a hands-on workshop that guides you through the Boardmaker Plus! Software and give you the ability to create wonderful visual supports and communication opportunities for students in your classroom.

10/18/12 - Free Digital Books - Val Gioia
There are numerous open source literacy websites that are available for free access to literature in the classroom. Many of these websites have text-to-speech included with the literature or can be downloaded in a digital format to be accessed with iPads and iPods, Android devices, Kindles, and MP3 players. In this workshop, we will review the various literacy websites and demonstrate how to download books in various formats. We will discuss how these literacy websites can be used in conjunction with free text-to-speech software. You will also learn the criteria needed to get accounts from Bookshare and Learning Ally.

11/8/12 - Bookshare - Val Gioia
The U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has funded access to Bookshare for all U.S. print-disabled students in K-12, post-secondary, graduate and continuing education classes, but meeting the criteria and getting the texts can be tricky. We will go over the exact criteria needed to get a Bookshare account and how books can be searched for, requested, and downloaded through various formats. We will also go over Don Johnston’s Read Out Loud text-to speech program that is included with your Bookshare account.

12/6/12 - OneNote and SkyDrive - Val Gioia
Staying organized has never been easier for students and adults with Microsoft’s OneNote software. Microsoft OneNote gives you the ideal place to store and share your information in a single, easy-to-access location. Capture text, images, as well as video and audio notes with OneNote. In this workshop we will learn all about the organizational concepts of OneNote software and create an organizational file that can be accessed anywhere as long as you have internet connectivity. Microsoft’s SkyDrive is an on-line storage program with a large storage capacity that will be used in conjunction with Microsoft OneNote for this workshop.

1/17/13 - Assistive Technology for Math and Science - Val Gioia
Assistive technology is needed for all parts of the curriculum and, in this workshop, resources will be shared that can help in the areas of math and science. Many of these resources can be used in conjunction with interactive white boards. Some of the programs we will focus on are online calculators, interactive websites, and programs that will motivate students in these areas. iPad apps that have been shown to be successful for students who need help with math and science will be demonstrated.

2/7/13 - Free Literacy Supports for Special Needs Students - Val Gioia
There are many free or low-cost literacy supports for students who have disabilities or who are struggling with reading fluency and comprehension. Many of the resources that will be demonstrated can be implemented in the classroom on a daily basis with little effort. Students who have experienced failure in academics might be motivated when they realize what tools can help them to achieve academic success. The Universal Design for Learning concept for all learning styles will be addressed with all these supports.

4/11/13 - Written Productivity Including Note-Taking Pens and Software - Val Gioia
Many students experience problems with writing and this workshop will show some of the resources that are available to help with writing difficulties. Motor problems will be addressed as well as processing and organizational concerns that many students have trouble with. We will review various programs that are low-cost or free, as well as several note-taking pens that help with writing, organization, and study skills. We will also go over speech recognition programs and the criteria that students need to meet to have success with them.

Other AT Trainings
Agencies and Companies that offer Trainings on Assistive Technology

To read more about the trainings, please click on the above title.
To access the CDR Library catalog, please click on this

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Brain Injury Association of South Carolina fundraiser!

BIASC is hosting its 9th Annual Golf Tournament Fundraiser at Timberlake Country Club in Chapin, SC on Monday, October 22, 2012. We are seeking sponsors for this event and would greatly appreciate your support.

To read more about the golf tournament, please click on the above title.
To access the CDR Library catalog, please click on this

Thursday, August 23, 2012

SC Spinal Cord Injury Association

We Need Your Bright Ideas

The South Carolina Spinal Cord Injury Association is in the process of reorganizing one of our peer support groups and we’d like your help. We want to give the group a name other than "Peer Support Group" and are looking for something that is attention-getting and inviting. We may eventually use the name for our other groups as well.

Here are some guidelines when thinking about a name:
Keep it short!
We don't want something that sounds formal or institutional.
We are also trying to reach out to young people with spinal cord injuries so we would love
a name that would also appeal to a younger audience.
To get you thinking, below are some names that have already been suggested yet not selected by the board and staff.
____ (Name of city) on Wheels
The Seventh Spoke
The Junction
Breeze (This was to tie in with our conference, WIND)
A Step Up

Send us your suggestions by Monday, September 3. If we decide to use your bright idea, not only
will we be eternally grateful but we may throw a prize in for you as well.

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SC Spinal Cord Injury Association

2935 Colonial Drive

Columbia, SC 29203

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Two Upcoming Assistive Technology Seminars

1) Seminars@Hadley Presents: Parenting Blind: Tips and Techniques from the Trenches

Are you a blind or visually impaired new parent, longtime parent, soon to be a parent, or grandparent? No matter where you are in the parenting journey questions, including those about assistive technology, arise. Bring your stories and questions of your own to this open 90 minute discussion. If you have a question you'd like to ask the panel, send it along in advance to

Date: Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Time: 2:00 PM CDT, 19:00 GMT

Registration: Prior registration required. Space in this seminar is limited. Please only register if you know you are available to attend so that others are not closed out.

Moderator: Hadley Senior Vice President Dawn Turco

Panelists: Tom Babinszki, Sharon Howerton, Sue Melrose and Vicky Prahin are all visually impaired Hadley staff or faculty and active parents with sighted children at a variety of ages.

2) Seminars@Hadley Presents: iReading on the iPad and iPhone Using the Bookshare Read2go App

Bookshare is a wonderful way to download and enjoy digital books on your computer. The Bookshare Read2go app gives you the freedom to download and listen to books, magazines and newspapers directly on your iPad or iPhone while you are on the go! A question and answer session will be included as part of the seminar.

Date: Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Time: 11:00 AM CDT, 16:00 GMT

Registration: Prior registration is required. Space in this seminar is limited. Please only register if you know you are available to attend so that others are not closed out.

Presenter: Douglas Walker, Hadley’s instructor of Assistive Technology

Moderators: Hadley's Dean of Educational Programs and Instruction Doug Anzlovar

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

National Down Syndrome Society Buddy Walk

National Down Syndrome Society

Buddy Walk

Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012

Etiwan Park on Daniel Island

Help Our Only Fundraiser of the Year

We encourage people with Down syndrome to invite “buddies” - everyone from friends and family to teachers and co-workers to join them on the Buddy Walk. Whether you have Down syndrome or know and care for someone who does, or just want to show your support, come and join our Buddy Walk!

Buddy Walk Events
  • 12:30 — Face painting, clowns, jump castles, food and fun for the whole family!
  • 3:00 Walk! — A fun 1-mile walk through one of Daniel Island’s beautiful neighborhoods. Bring strollers and wagons! All are welcome!
  • Until 4:30 — After the walk, enjoy Etiwan Park on Daniel Island with a hot dog eating contest, games and fun

Friday, August 17, 2012

Columbia Parkinson Support Group August 19, 2012 Newsletter and Meeting Reminder

Meeting Date: August 19, 2012 - Sunday

Time: 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Location: Lexington Medical Park #1 Auditorium - 2720 Sunset Boulevard, West Columbia, SC 29169 --- For our

meeting location information and maps go to our website and click on the

"Meeting Information" link


For our open forum meetings we usually start with a theme or topic and go from

there. Our members have an opportunity to share their own experiences; ask

questions of each other; and help each other by proving solutions that they

have for various issues, concerns, problems, etc. At the open forum meetings,

our members tell us they learn about things that they cannot find anywhere

else, because they are learning directly from other Parkinson patients and their


Remember: Our meetings are free! Donations are very much appreciated.

Bring Guests: Please don't forget, we always welcome any guests to come with you. The more your family, friends, neighbors, business associates, or anyone who has an interest in Parkinson's disease can learn about Parkinson's disease, the more support they can provide. We always welcome students from our universities and colleges!

To Contact Us: Please call us between the hours of 10:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time Zone - Because we screen our telephone messages, please leave a message on our answering machines, and mention "Parkinson" -or- you can send us email

Dottie Gantt, President - Email: - Telephone: 803-604-0061

Carol Baker, Vice President - Email: - Telephone 803-781-6193

Email List: If you would like to be removed from our mailing list -or- If you are receiving multiple copies of our email, please send email to

Feel Free To Share This Email With Others

We look forward to seeing you at our meetings!



Dottie M. Gantt, President
Columbia Parkinson's Support Group
Telephone 803-604-0061

Thursday, August 16, 2012

SC LEND Family Mentorship Project

The SC Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities is currently recruiting Family Mentors for Year 2 of the program. Please see the attached brochure for more information and please distribute widely. Thank you for your assistance. If you have any questions, please contact me at the number below.

Karen Irick

SC LEND Family Faculty


803.935.5300 (fax)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Check out this New Title: Handbook of Children with Special Health Care Needs

From the Publisher: "Uses biopsychosocial, contextual, and developmental research to address needs of children.
Integrates broad spectrum of research on children with special health care needs and children with disabilities.
Combines research, clinical, and policy expertise from public health, child psychology, and medicine
Handbook of Children with Special Health Care Needs David Hollar, editor Children with chronic conditions, developmental disorders, and birth defects represent a sizeable minority of American children—as many as one in five. Often their families have financial or other issues limiting their access to appropriate care, thus limiting their adult prospects as well. Compounding the problem, many valuable resources concerning this population are difficult to access although they may be critical to the researchers, practitioners, and policymakers creating standards for quality care and services. In response, the Handbook of Children with Special Health Care Needs assembles research, applied, and policy perspectives reflecting the range of children’s problems requiring special services. Widely studied conditions (e.g., communication disorders, substance abuse) and those receiving lesser attention (e.g., tuberculosis) are covered, as are emerging ideas such as the “medical home” concept of continuity of care. Contributors offer screening and evaluation methods, research guidelines, and diagnostic and treatment interventions to inform the greatest spectrum of readers, including: Quality of life in children diagnosed with ADHD or specific learning disabilities Evaluating school-aged children with visual impairments Deaf culture advocates on deaf learners’ education Oral health access issues in children requiring special services Diagnostic and treatment issues in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders Addressing and preventing bullying of children with special health care needs Its interdisciplinary outlook makes the Handbook of Children with Special Health Care Needs a vital, forward-looking text for developmental psychologists, pediatricians, early childhood and special education researchers and practitioners, disability researchers, policymakers, and advocates, and providers for children with special health care needs."

NOTE: Click on the title above to go to the Publisher's link.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Learning disabled athletes make a welcome return to the Olympic fold

Guardian UK (July24, 2012)- Like other elite athletes, Victoria Bromley exhibits impressive commitment and drive. Since first taking up table tennis at the age of 10 she has won a string of competitions. Now at 26, she is training upwards of 25 hours a week in preparation for the Paralympic Games.

Bromley, who lives in Wolverhampton and works full time as a carer, is one of nine British athletes with a learning disability to qualify for the 2012 Games. She is clearly thrilled. "It was such an enormous surprise," she says. "I couldn't believe it. I'm training really hard, and really looking forward to going to London."

The Games will be the first for 12 years in which athletes with learning disabilities will be allowed to compete. A controversial ban was imposed by the International Paralympics Committee after the Sydney Games in 2000, which saw the Spanish basketball team stripped of its gold medals after some members were accused of faking learning disabilities. The lifting of the ban means people with learning disabilities are now permitted to compete in certain events in three sports: swimming, athletics and table tennis.

"It's so good that learning disability is allowed back in," says Bromley, who has a mild disability that affects her ability with literacy and numeracy. While qualifying for the Paralympic Games is a formidable achievement for Bromley, she says she could not have done it without the support of her partner, friends, teachers, and in particular, Special Olympics – a global organisation that works year-round with people with learning difficulties.

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

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

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Promising Step Forward Toward Muscular Dystrophy Treatment: Symptoms Reversed in Mice

ScienceDaily (Aug. 1, 2012) Scientists have reversed symptoms of myotonic muscular dystrophy in mice by eliminating a buildup of toxic RNA in muscle cells. The work, carried out by scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center, Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Genzyme, is published in the August 2 issue of Nature.

After experimental antisense compounds were administered to mice twice a week for four weeks, symptoms of the disease were reduced for up to one year -- a significant portion of a mouse's lifespan.

The investigators say that while the work is an encouraging step forward against myotonic dystrophy, one of the most common forms of muscular dystrophy, it's too soon to know whether the approach will work in patients. But they are cautiously optimistic, noting that the compound is extremely effective at reversing the disease -- whose genetic underpinnings make it particularly vulnerable to an antisense approach -- in a mouse model.

"These results give us strong encouragement about the possibility of developing a treatment that could fundamentally alter the disease. It's an important step on a long path," said senior author Charles Thornton, M.D., a neurologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center who has been pursuing new treatments for the disease for more than two decades.

"But, it's too early to know if this treatment will work as well in people as it did in the laboratory. Unfortunately, in biomedical research there are previous examples of compounds that worked in mice but not in people," added Thornton, the Saunders Family Distinguished Professor in Neuromuscular Research.

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

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

Monday, August 06, 2012

First Indication of People Naturally Protected Against Rabies Found in Remote Amazonian Communities Regularly Exposed to Vampire Bats

ScienceDaily (Aug. 1, 2012)Challenging conventional wisdom that rabies infections are 100 percent fatal unless immediately treated, scientists studying remote populations in the Peruvian Amazon at risk of rabies from vampire bats found 11 percent of those tested showed protection against the disease, with only one person reporting a prior rabies vaccination. Ten percent appear to have survived exposure to the virus without any medical intervention. The findings from investigators at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were published August 2in the August 2012 issue of the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

"The overwhelming majority of rabies exposures that proceed to infections are fatal. However, our results open the door to the idea that there may be some type of natural resistance or enhanced immune response in certain communities regularly exposed to the disease," said Amy Gilbert with the CDC's National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, who is the paper's lead author. "This means there may be ways to develop effective treatments that can save lives in areas where rabies remains a persistent cause of death."

Rabies experts estimate the disease kills 55,000 people each year in Africa and Asia alone, and appears to be on the rise in China, the former Soviet Republics, southern Africa, and Central and South America. According to the CDC, in the United States, human deaths from rabies have declined over the past century from 100 annually to an average of two per year thanks to an aggressive campaign to vaccinate domestic animals against the disease.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Football Player Who Killed Himself Had Brain Disease

NY Times (July 26, 2012)- An autopsy report released this week, just before N.F.L. training camps opened, concluded that the former Atlanta Falcons safety Ray Easterling, who committed suicide in April, had a degenerative brain disease widely connected to athletes who have absorbed frequent blows to the head.

Easterling, who played for the Falcons for eight seasons in the 1970s, began coping with apparent dementia and depression about a decade into his retirement. Easterling was 62 when he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his longtime home in Richmond, Va.

The autopsy by the medical examiner in Richmond found signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, progressive damage that has been linked to blows to the head, and determined that it was the underlying major condition that accounted for Easterling’s difficulties.

Learning the results was bittersweet for his widow, Mary Ann Easterling, who spoke Thursday just hours after the N.F.L. rolled out a confidential mental health hot line developed and operated in part by specialists in suicide prevention.

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

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