News You Can Use
When we find useful information related to assistive technology or disability, we'll post it here.
December 5, 2006: Parents with Visual Impairments Asked to Participate in Telephone Interview
Researchers at the University of Arizona and Northern Iowa University are seeking parents who have visual impairments to participate in a telephone interview. The purpose of the study is to learn about the strategies, concerns, and experiences these parents have as they raise their children. Parenting partners of participants will also be invited to participate in the study.
Who Qualifies as a Parent with a Visual Impairment for this Study?
- One whose visual impairment impacts daily life (e.g., ability to read standard print, drive)
- Individuals raising one or more children, one or more of whom must be a senior in high school or younger
- If separated from the other parent, your child(ren) are with you on average 50% of the time or more during a given month.
Who Qualifies as a Parenting Partner for this Study?
- A husband or wife
- An ex-husband or ex-wife
- A same-sex partner who is sharing in the raising of the child(ren)
- A roommate or family member who is living in the home and sharing in the raising of the child(ren).
To participate, please go to the Web page linked below or contact Dr. Sunggye Hong by telephone at 319-273-7954 or by email at email@example.com.
This research will be conducted by Dr. Sunggye Hong of Northern Iowa University and Dr. L. Penny Rosenblum and Ms. Beth Harris of the University of Arizona.
Link to source: http://www.ed.arizona.edu/rosenblum/recruit.htm.
December 1, 2006: NFB Helps Santa Respond to Letters from Blind Children
Santa Claus has made the staff at the National Federation of the Blind's Jernigan Institute honorary elves. They will help him answer the letters he receives from blind boys and girls. If you fill out the form linked below by December 15, 2006, and click submit, they will make sure Santa gets your letter. You will receive a reply from the North Pole in print and in Braille.
November 29, 2006: FDA Issues New Guidance on Bed Rail Safety
During 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA) released several documents that offer guidance on the safe use of bed rails to reduce the risk of side rail entrapment in hospital beds. This guidance provides recommendations for manufacturers of new hospital beds and for facilities with existing beds (including hospitals, nursing homes, and private residences).
To aid in the development of these guidelines, the FDA formed the Hospital Bed Safety Workgroup, a partnership among FDA, the medical bed industry, national health care organizations, patient advocacy groups, and other Federal agencies (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the Veterans Administration). The efforts of the FDA and the Hospital Bed Safety Workgroup have culminated in FDA's release of several guidance documents that can be viewed at FDA's Hospital Bed Safety page linked below.
Link to source: http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/beds/.
November 28, 2006: Online Game Aims to Make the Web More Accessible
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have designed Phetch, an online game that aims to challenges players to describe pictures randomly selected on the Internet. The game will apply these captions to the pictures to improve the accessibilty of Web sites using these images for visually impaired people who use screen reading software. As multiple descriptions for individual images are collected by Phetch, they are tested with single players to produce an accurate caption. Play for free at the Web site below!
Link to source: http://www.peekaboom.org/phetch/.
September 22, 2006: Chicken Soup for the Special Needs Community
Do you have heart-warming, insightful and powerfully moving stories about what life has taught you and how to live life to its fullest? The authors of the New York Times Best-selling book series "Chicken Soup for the Soul" are currently seeking stories to be included in a new book tentatively titled "Chicken Soup for the Special Needs Community: 101 Heartwarming, Helpful, Healing Stories that Offer Inspiration and Promise Surrounding the Lives of Special Needs Individuals. Through these stories, the readers will learn how others facing similar challenges can learn to overcome the many obstacles they have. They do this by connecting with emotions in the real life experience by learning they can choose peace and happiness in each situation regardless of how challenging it appears from the outside. A Chicken Soup story is an inspirational, true story that opens the heart and re-kindles the spirit. It is the personal account of an event, an obstacle overcome, a lesson learned or a dream fulfilled that helps the reader discover basic principles they can use in their own lives.
Some of the topics to be included are:
- On Attitude
- Family Dynamics
- Early Learning
- The Teen Years
- On Friendships and Relationships
- Celebrating Differences
- Humor is Healing
- Empowering Everyone
The editors are looking for "teaching tales" that inspire the reader to draw their own conclusions and insights from the story itself. If you have a story you would like to submit, please visit http://www.chickensoupstories.com. The deadline is November 2006.
Link to source: http://www.chickensoupstories.com.
July 20, 2006: CNN Highlights Students with Disabilities in Transition to College
CNN.com has posted a story describing programs that assist high school students with disabilities in planning their transition from high school to college higher education. The article discusses the challenges that arise when students supported by IDEA through primary and secondary school find that those programs end when a student graduates from high school. The different learning environment and independent living issues are also highlighted.
Link to source: http://www.cnn.com/2006/EDUCATION/07/17/college.bound.ap/index.html.
June 8, 2006: Wanted: People with Disabilities to Discuss Emergency Preparedness
The American Red Cross is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and ORC Macro to develop educational materials on terrorism and emergency preparedness for people with disabilities. As part of this project, people with disabilities are invited to take part in on-line focus groups to discuss how emergency preparedness information may best address specific experiences and concerns. The eight focus groups will take place between June 27 and July 6. Each person who takes part in a group will receive $50.00.
The educational materials will cover five major preparedness topics, including mass evacuation and evacuation planning for people with disabilities and their caregivers; emergency water and food supplies; shelter-in-place during chemical or radiation emergency; quarantine and isolation; and maintaining a healthy state of mind.
Each focus group will consist of people in one of the following groups:
- people with severe hearing impairments (June 27 and July 6)
- caretakers of adults with severe cognitive disabilities (June 27 and July 6)
- people with severe vision impairments (June 26 and June 29)
- people with severe mobility disabilities (June 26 and June 29).
All focus participants must be 18 years of age or older.
The focus groups are being conducted over the Internet – you can participate from home, from work, or any place you have access to the Web. You will need a computer with a high-speed Internet connection over which you can receive and respond to questions from a moderator. People with visual disabilities, people with mobility disabilities and caregivers will need to be able to connect to the Internet and make a phone call at the same time because during part of the discussions, participants will interact with the moderator and the group by phone as well as by Internet. Focus groups with people with hearing disabilities will be on-line only. Each focus group will last approximately 90 minutes. Approximately 6 people will participate in each focus group.
If you are interested, please contact Deb Allen at ORC Macro.
Toll-Free Telephone: 877-539-9696 (V) (TTY users - please use your state relay service).
April 18, 2006: Tots 'n Tech Needs Your Help!
The Tots 'n Tech Research Institute (TnT) is an inter-university collaboration between Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA and Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ. TnT conducts a national research program about use of assistive technology (AT) to enhance the development of infants and toddlers with disabilities. A major component of the TnT's mission is to produce new knowledge and information about AT use and practices and, specifically, about the ways in which AT may optimize children's development and learning. TnT is currently conducting two surveys to learn more about how Assistive Technology (AT) may have been helpful to (1) parents and (2) infants and toddlers.
The first survey, entitled "Family Survey," seeks information from parents whose children are under the age of three years on what kinds of training and experience the parents have had with AT. The second survey, the "Early Intervention Provider Survey," seeks information from multidisciplinary providers who work in early intervention at least one day per week to learn more about how AT may have been helpful to infants and toddlers. If you qualify as either a parent or a provider, please take a few minutes to respond to the appropriate survey.
Link to source: http://tnt.asu.edu/.
January 11, 2006: New Menu for ABLEDATA Web Site
In response to user requests, we have reorganized and, in some cases, renamed the items in the menu bar at the top of the ABLEDATA Web pages. Conferences, International, and Links A to Z are now found under Resources. Also under Resources is a new feature--Companies by State. Site visitors can discover what companies each state or Canadian Province is home to. The Library now houses ABLEDATA's publications and news items and will be home to A.T. Literature at its completion.