Tuesday, April 15, 2008


The magazine DiversityInc posted an article yesterday titled "7 Things NEVER to Say to People with Disabilities" by Daryl Hannah. Click here to check it out!

DiversityInc is the leading publication on diversity and business. Founded in 1998 as a web-based publication, their monthly print magazine was launched in 2002. DiversityInc.com has the largest dedicated career center for diverse professionals. DiversityInc defines diversity management as the proactive management of race/culture, gender, orientation, disability and age to ensure equal outcome in relationships with employees, customers, investors and suppliers. They believe that all people are created equally, and therefore, talent is distributed equally as well.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Negotiating the Special Education Maze

Anderson, W., Chitwood, S., Hayden, D. & Takemoto, C. (2008). Negotiating the special education maze: A guide for parents & teachers (4th ed.). Bethesda, MD: Woodbine House.

Ensuring that your child with a disability is getting the most out of school can be a frustrating experience even in the best of situations. This updated book from Woodbine House gives parents and teachers a step by step guide to help navigate the special education system and advocate for your child's educational needs.

Included are worksheets, forms and charts to help parents plan their IEP goals, keep important records and contacts and track progress. Also included is a glossary of terms and further resources to help parents get the support they need.

If you would like to check out this book Indiana residents can call us at 800-437-7924, or find Negotiating the Special Educaiton Maze at a library near you!

Friday, April 11, 2008

video games and disability

When most of us think of people with disabilities, the idea of playing video games might be the last thing to enter our minds. However, millions of people all over the world play video games, and with the creation of network technology, it can be a great social activity. As evidenced by these three websites, gaming is also becoming more inclusive.

Ben Heck -- Benjamin J. Heckendorn, known to the rest of the net as Ben Heck, likes to mess with video game hardware. He started out doing fun or strange modifications on video game consoles as a hobby, but impressed enough people with his mods that he now does it full time. You can find plenty of interesting and creative projects on his website, but his most important work is two attempts to make a one-handed video game controller. The first version was prompted by a request from an Iraq veteran who lost the use of one arm during combat. After making the first controller, Ben spent some time redesigning and refining the project. His second version adds functionality and the ability to completely customize the button/joystick configuration, and plans are in the works to have it mass produced and available in stores.

AbleGamers.com -- Able Gamers provides a community for gamers with disabilities. Their site has feature articles, product reviews for ergonomic hardware, and industry news. The industry news comes in two flavors: news geared toward gamers with disabilities, and general gaming news. You can find out whether or not Xbox plans to incorporate Blu-Ray into its consoles or find out about upcoming changes to World of Warcraft that could make gaming a lot tougher for people with limited movement.

Game Accessibility -- Game Accessiblity is very similar to AbleGamers. The main difference is that Game Accessibility focuses on computer games rather than console games. Another difference is that Game Accessibility divides certain portions of its website by type of disability, with sections for visually, auditory, physically and learning disabled gamers.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Disability awareness ideas for teachers

Our perspectives about disabilities often begin in childhood. CeDIR has a new book called "Teaching about Disabilities through Children's Literature" by Mary Anne Prater and Tina Taylor to help kids learn about disabilities in a positive way. This is a valuable resource for teachers that talks about representations of disabilities in literature and how to use children's books to teach about disabilities. There are lists of relevant children's books on specific disabilities as well as lesson plans, unit plans, worksheets, and activities.

Indiana residents may check out this item from us by calling 812-855-9396 or by e-mailing cedir@indiana.edu. Out-of-state residents can find this book at your local public library.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Accessible Travel & Hospitality

Want to travel? Check out this website for SATH!

The Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality (SATH), founded in 1976, is an educational nonprofit membership organization whose mission is to raise awareness of the needs of all travelers with disabilities, remove physical and attitudinal barriers to free access and expand travel opportunities in the United States and abroad.

Since its inception, SATH has served as a clearinghouse for access information. SATH’s travel magazine, Open World, features inspiring articles by travelers with disabilities and updates on destinations, cruises, web sites, legislation and more.

Interested in more accessible vacation ideas? Check out 101 Accessible Vacations by Candy Harrington. This book is the first guidebook dedicated exclusively to wheelchair-accessible destinations, lodgings, recreational opportunities, and tourist attractions! Contact us if you're an Indiana resident. If not find this book at your local library!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Indiana Summer Camps

Interested in Indiana Summer Camps geared towards youths with disabilities?

Bradford Woods in Martinsville, Indiana is well known as the best residential camping facility in the Midwest available to youth with disabilities. Many of these are sponsored by Riley Children’s Foundation. One such program is the award-winning week long Camp Kan Du, which is designed for youth whose cognitive level is assessed between 0 to 48 months. Camp About Face, sponsored by the Craniofacial Clinic and Riley Children’s Foundation, is a week-long camp for children with craniofacial anomalies.
Contact them at (765) 342-2915 or check out their website!

There is also:
Isanogel Center
in Muncie, Indiana where individuals with physical & mental disabilities can make friends while enjoying activities. Contact at 765-288-1073.
Camp Millhouse in South Bend, Indiana which offers fun-filled adventurous outdoor activities for persons with special needs. Contact at 574-233-2202

Looking for summer camps in different states check out this helpful website.
My Summer Camps

Monday, April 7, 2008

Understanding Your Child's Puzzling Behavior

Curtis, S.E. (2008). Understanding your child's puzzling behavior: a guide for parents of children with behavioral, social, and learning challenges. Bainbridge Island, WA: Lifespan Press. Call No. 40.2 .C8

As a parent it's often difficult to know if your child's puzzling behavior is a kid just being a kid, or indicative of a larger issue that requires professional help. If they do need professional help where do you start and what should you expect? Dr. Steven Curtis, a licensed children's clinical psychologist, has written a step by step to help parents answer these questions.

This book is divided into three main sections:
  • A framework for understanding and finding help for your child
  • Five steps to finding the right solution
  • Where and when to seek professional help
Throughout the text you'll find helpful worksheets and examples, easy to read tables and a glossary of pertinent terms. Also included is a parent resource guide for more information on a variety of subjects related to puzzling behavior.

Interested in checking this book out? Indiana residents can contact us at cedir@indiana.edu. Not an Indiana resident? Find Understanding Your Child's Puzzling Behavior at a library near you!

Friday, April 4, 2008

The Boy Inside

Kaplan, M. (Producer). (2006). The boy inside [DVD]. Boston, MA : Fanlight Productions.

The Boy Inside gives viewers the opportunity to experience what life is really like for a child with Asperger's Syndrome. Filmmaker Marianne Kaplan chronicles her son's 7th grade year as he struggles with family tensions, bullying, social pressures and an overwhelming sense of isolation.

For more information visit www.theboyinside.com where you will find video clips, showing listing, a film synopsis as well as an online Asperger's Community where you can connect to other with Asperger's and their teachers and families. Are you interested in showing this film in your classroom? Visit Fanlight Productions for a viewers guide.

Indiana residents who would like to check out this film can call us at 800-437-7924. Not an Indiana resident? Find The Boy Inside at a library near you!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

New autism book

In honor of Autism Awareness Month, we have another new resource for families. Autism 24/7 is an easy-to-read book that helps parents pinpoint times when their child's behavior interferes with the family. Parents will learn about:
  • Using motivational strategies and powerful reinforcements
  • Teaching functional communication skills
  • Creating opportunities for learning
  • Teaching techniques
  • Managing challenging behavior
  • Evaluation progress
Indiana residents may check out this item from us by calling 812-855-9396 or by e-mailing cedir [at] indiana [dot] edu. Out-of-state residents can find it at the local public library.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

April is Autism Awareness Month

Check out this great resource put together by the folks at the Indiana Resource Center for Autism here at the IIDC!

Facts and Tips for Working with Students
on the Autism Spectrum

  • In February 2007, the Centers for Disease Control issued a report which looked at a sample of 8 year olds, and concluded that the prevalence of autism had risen to 1 in 150 in American children and almost 1 in 94 among boys.
  • According to Indiana’s Child Count data reported by the Indiana Division of Exceptional Learners, Department of Education, the incidence of autism in Indiana for public school students is 1 in 128.
  • There is no single known cause for autism, but current research points to a genetic predisposition with potential triggers, including environmental factors.
  • Autism is referred to as a spectrum disorder to signify differences among a group of people who share a common diagnosis.
  • Currently, the Autism Society of America estimates that the lifetime cost of caring for a child with autism ranges from $3.4 million to $5 million.
  • The ASA also reports that the United States is facing almost $90 billion annually in costs for autism (this includes research, insurance costs and non-covered expenses, Medicaid Wavier for autism, educational spending, housing, transportation, employment, in addition to related therapeutic services).
  • Autism is treatable. Studies show that early diagnosis and intervention lead to significantly improved outcomes.

(Source: Autism Society of America. For more information, visit their website at www.autism-society.org.)

Tips: (Courtesy of Indiana’s Autism Leadership Network)

  • Approach students quietly from the side to avoid startling them. Their peripheral vision may be better and it gives them time to process information that tells them you are coming toward them. Once they are startled, it can be difficult for them to calm themselves.

  • Give the child space. Don’t hover behind.

  • Use non-verbal communication (e.g., gestures) when you can. For example, point to the location where you wish the child to be, put your finger to your lips to remind them to stop talking, or give a thumbs up when s/he is doing well.

  • Use literal, succinct and direct instructions. “First, put your coat in the closet, and then come to class.” Avoid idiomatic phrases or sarcasm that the student may not understand.

  • Use a calm even tone of voice. Excited adults yield excited students. Practice your poker face.

  • Visual supports are beneficial even after the child no longer seems to “need” them. Do not discontinue their use without a case conference discussion. In times of stress, these visual supports may be a great support.

  • Use a non-threatening stance: arms at your side or gently folded, and shoulders relaxed.

  • Remember not to take behaviors personally, even when the child has a perfect knack for targeting your most vulnerable attribute.

  • Children on the spectrum often have poor social skills. It is part of the diagnosis. Insert naturally occurring lessons into the day as they arise. For example, prior to the event, coach a child to say happy birthday to a peer, raise their hand to answer a question, cover their mouth when they sneeze, say no thank-you to non-preferred treats, etc.

  • Give the student ample time to respond BEFORE you repeat instructions.

  • Structure is your best friend. When there is down time, help students develop a repertoire of things they can do. For example, in line they can recite a poem in their head, count, read a book, make a list, etc. If there are too many choices given, narrow it to two or three and have the child choose.

  • If there is a given schedule, follow it. Prepare for any upcoming variations.

  • Information processing and sensory issues are more difficult when the child is stressed.

  • Know the signs of anxiety or stress for your students: pacing, hand-wringing, cussing, flushed face, laughing, etc. Know what causes anxiety or stress for each student. Adjust your language and demands when anxiety is heightened.

  • Spend time with a student before making programming judgments. Listen to and observe the student with input from family members, teachers/therapists or other involved staff before commenting.

  • Educate students using their knowledge, interests, and fixations. Build lessons around these special interest topics so that others see them as experts in something.

  • Stay in close contact with family members and physicians about what is working and what is not, especially when students are on medications.

  • Build in many small breaks, even in secondary school, for relaxation. Identify a safe area or safe person for the student to access when they are stressed.

  • Help find a social group, a club or some sort of organization that can connect them to peer mentors that are positive.

  • Pre-teach new concepts so they can re-hear them in the general education classroom. This allows them to contribute to the classroom discussion and promotes their success when topics have been rehearsed.

  • When you are feeling overwhelmed by a situation, surround yourself with a team of people with whom you can brainstorm. Using the resources and wisdom of all, helps us to be more creative and problem-solve more effectively.

  • The ultimate goal for any student is the ability to be independent and to have a successful adult life. No matter what the age of the student, teaching specific procedures and skills and then fading support, is essential for this to happen.

  • And finally, enjoy working with these students. They have many gifts and talents. Building a strong and positive rapport may be your most effective tool.

Special thanks to Roma Osterloo, Eilleen Kalman, Edi Powell and Olivia Schueler from Indiana’s Autism Leadership Network. Organized by Dr. Cathy Pratt, Director, Indiana Resource Center for Autism, Indiana Institute on Disability and Community. Visit our website at www.iidc.indiana.edu/irca.

Promote Woman's Day

Promote Woman’s Day Health Initiative through May 11

A new health initiative is being sponsored by ALA’s Campaign for America’s Libraries and Woman’s Day magazine. The magazine is looking for stories on how readers have used the library to improve a family member’s or their own health.

Woman’s Day, which has a readership of 4 million, announced the initiative in its March issue, where it asked its readers aged 18 and over to submit their stories in 700 words or less. Stories can be sent to womansday@ala.org. Up to four of the submissions will be featured the March 2009 issue of Woman’s Day. Deadline is May 11.

Why not go ahead and send your story in today!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

CNN Reporting on Autism

All day tomorrow, Wednesday April 2nd, CNN will be reporting on autism. They will be discussing the global impact and latest science concerning the developmental syndrome of autism in a global investigation. Their website includes various in-depth articles including one titled "Life as an Adult with Autism." There are also numerous videos including families living with autism, debates on vaccines for autism and a video titled "Autism: How Do You Know?"

Check it out at CNN.com and don't forget to tune in to CNN tomorrow to watch!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Friends Who Care

In Friends who care: A disability awareness program for elementary students, children with disabilities talk about their experiences at home, at school and in everyday life. Developed by the Easter Seals Society, this video was created to help non-disabled children understand and connect with their classmates. Families may also find it useful for helping siblings relate to a brother or sister with a disability.

Indiana residents interested in this video can contact us!

Not an Indiana resident? Click here to find it at your local library!

We also want to thank you for following our blog during Disability Awareness Month. Keep checking back: we may have run out of days in DA Month, but we haven't even come close to running out of books, videos and other resources to share with you!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Kami and the Yaks

Kami and the Yaks written by Andrea Stenn Stryer and illustrated by Bert Dodson tells the story of a young Sherpa boy who is deaf and lives in the Himalaya. When he discovers his family is missing, he sets off to find them. Despite his fear of being alone in a fierce storm, Kami finds the courage to keep searching. This book has also recently won the Schneider Family Book Award. This award is given out each year by the American Libraries Association to three books that "emphasize the artistic expression of the disability experience for children and or adolescent audiences. The book must portray some aspect of living with a disability or that of a friend or family member, whether the disability is physical, mental or emotional."

Are you an Indiana resident interested in this book, contact us!
Not an Indiana resident, find this wonderful book at your local library.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Understanding Brothers and Sisters

Understanding Brothers and Sisters with Asperger Syndrome is a DVD that shows four programs for siblings of children with Asperger Syndrome and their parents. Each program covers a range of challenges and strenths, and describes techniques siblings can use to get along and support each other. Each program also has a range of age starting at 4 years old.

Coulter Video also has another DVD in this series on Understanding Brothers and Sisters with Autism. Check out their website to find out more information.

Interested in this video? If you're an Indiana resident, feel free to contact us.
If you're not an Indiana resident, find this DVD at your local library.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Children with Disabilities

Library Thinkquest has an informative, fun and interactive website on understanding children with disabilities. The site describes the characteristics and causes of autism, deafness and blindess. There is also a special section on Helen Keller, a colorful finger-spelling chart, a fun word search and quiz on Helen Keller.

Check out other websites by Thinkquest. ThinkQuest inspires students to think, connect, create, and share. Students work in teams to build innovative and educational websites to share with the world.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Disability Awareness Handouts for Children

Kathy Snow's Same and Different: Respect for All is a great PDF handout for teachers to share with children learning about disabilities. Written at a child's level, the handout explores the similarities between all of us and gives children tips on making friends with people with disabilities. The article also includes an author note with suggestions for how to use the materials and other activities to increase awareness.

Check out other materials by Kathy Snow at http://www.disabilityisnatural.com

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

What Teachers Need to Know Video Series

Asperger's -- What Teachers Need to Know. Many of the symptoms related to Asperger's are discussed to include the difficulties of transition and 'meltdowns', what triggers them and how they are dealt with, sensory issues and sensory integration therapy, and socialization are also covered. More importantly, throughout this documentary, we see the amazing capabilities of children and adults with Asperger's Syndrome.

Other topics included in this video series are Down Syndrome, Attention Deficit Disorder, Autism in the Classroom, Bipolar Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, and Dyslexia. Check out more resources at Education 2000 or World Educational Resources.

Are you an Indiana resident and interested in this video series? Contact us.
Not an Indiana resident, check out WorldCat to find a library near you that has this great series!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Intricate Minds: Understanding Classmates with Asperger Syndrome

Coulter Video. (2005). Intricate minds: Understanding classmates with Asperger syndrome. Winston Salem, NC: Coulter Video.

Sometimes the hardest disabilities for kids to accept are the ones they can't see. Kids with Asperger Syndrome are often bullied and made fun of because their peers don't understand what Asperger Syndrome is. Intricate Minds is a great resource for teachers and parents to help kids in grades 6-12 have a better idea of what it is like to have Asperger's.

For more information about this film and a free discussion guide visit Coulter Video's website. Indiana residents who would like to check out this film can give us a call at (800) 437-7924. Not an Indiana resident? Find Intricate Minds at a library near you!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Smithsonian Exhibition

The Disability Rights Movement is an interactive exhibition created by the Smithsonian Institute. Based on the exhibition's touch-screen kiosk, the web page lets users navigate through the various sections via mouse. Once inside a section, users interact with multimedia used to tell the story of the disability rights movement. Clicking on an image presents it in a larger format, with detailed description in both text and audio.

Individual exhibits cover topics ranging from self definition to mobility and technology, and some exhibits provide video in addition to the images, audio and text. With such a wide variety of accessible content, the Smithsonian tells the story of America's disability rights movement in a powerful and compelling way.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Creating Partnerships

Communicate, Collaborate, Celebrate: Creating Partnerships between Physicians and Parents of Children with Disabilities by Judy O. Berry, Ed.D. This is a wonderful short publication on stories that endorse the positive benefits of support networks for families of children with disabilities. The author is concerned with the need for optimal communication between parents of children with disabilities and the physicians who provide services for these children and families. It was published by the Center for Learning and Leadership at the University of Oklahoma.

Indiana residents, interested in this book? Contact us.

Find this at your local library if you're not an Indiana resident.

Kid Ability

Flemming, M. (2001). Kid ability: One & two [DVD recording]. Cicero, NY: Program Development Associates. (Call Number: 19 .K53)

This DVD consists of two discs. Disc One is on Sensitivity Education in which the children host the video and educate themselves and the viewer about disabilities. Disc Two is on Assistive Technology and introduces the viewer to a few of the AT devices that kids might see being used in their school or community. Recommended for children and teens grades K-12. Kid Ability is distributed by Program Development Associates. For more information about their other resources visit them on the web.

Interested in this DVD? If you're an Indiana resident, contact us at cedir@indiana.edu.
Click here to find this item in your local library if not.

Friday, March 21, 2008


Everybody's Different: Understanding and Changing Our Reactions to Disabilities by Nancy B. Miller & Catherine C. Sammons

This is an excellent book to help us enrich our interactions with people who have disability differences. The authors explore how our reactions to and beliefs about disabilities influence our progress toward an inclusive society and share their innovation approach to becoming more at ease with the concept of disability.

Are you an Indiana resident? Interested in checking out this book? Contact us! cedir@indiana.edu
Not an Indiana resident? Don't worry click here to find this book at your local library!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Different perspectives

Reflections from a Different Journey: What Adults with Disabilities Wish All Parents Knew

This book is written by 40 adults with disabilities and what it feels like to grow up with a disability and what their families and communities did to help them become successful. In a world of parenting books written mostly by professionals or fellow parents, this book provides a unique perspective from people with disabilities themselves.

If you are an an Indiana resident, contact us to check out this item. If you are a non-resident, find it at a library near you.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Song of Our Children

Song of Our Children is a documentary film about inclusive education of kids with special needs. The film vividly portrays the struggles and successes of inclusion by accompanying four students with disabilities, preschool through high school, who learn alongside their non-disabled peers. For a free resource & discussion guide, check out www.landlockedfilms.com.

If you're an Indiana resident and want to checkout this item contact us at cedir@indiana.edu or call 812-855-9396. Not an Indiana resident, check with WorldCat to find this film at your own local library!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Father's Voices: Journey from the Heart fills a special space in the world of materials for parents of children with disabilities. More often than not, books and DVDs are written by or for mothers. This unique DVD by the Fathers Network showcases four dads and how their children have changed their lives.

Indiana residents may contact us at 812-855-9396 or at cedir [at] indiana.edu to borrow this item. Non-Indiana residents should contact their local libraries.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Voices from the Edge

O'Brien, R. (2004). Voices from the edge: Narrative about the Americans with Disabilities Act. New York: Oxford University Press.

When many people think of the Disability Rights movement the first thing they think of is the American's with Disabilities Act. At face value the ADA seems to be an expression of the goals of the disability rights movement. But what is the outcome of the ADA in the lives of people with disabilities? In Voices from the Edge Ruth O'Brien brings together personal accounts of discrimination and pairs it with legal as well as social research to paint a rich picture of how people with disabilities are being impacted by this law.

For an in-depth review check out Richard Scotch's for the American Political Science Association's Law and Political Book Reviews.

This book is available for checkout to Indiana residents by contacting us at cedir@indiana.edu. Not an Indiana resident? Find Voices from the Edge at a library near you with WorldCat!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Aunt Katie's Visit

Banister, K.R. (2003). Aunt Katie's Visit. St. Louis, Mo.: Access-4-All, Inc.

Elementary School students everywhere will enjoy Katie Banister's Aunt Katie's Visit. This book lets kids know what a regular "day in the life" is like for Aunt Katie, who became paralyzed from the chest down in 1990. It also does a great job of teaching kids to see the person and not just the disability. This upbeat story is a great way to help kids be more accepting of others and foster disability awareness.

Want a sneak peak? Visit Access-4-All. Find Aunt Katie's Visit in a library near you.