Monday, August 31, 2009

"Wheelchair of the Future"

DisabilityScoop highlighted the latest achievement by Japanese robotics researchers: a novel wheelchair designed for easier transfer on and off the mobility device.

Traditional wheelchairs require users to stand up, make their way into the chair, and sit back into them. This often requires the assistance of another person. This new design, however, is built scooter-style, as seen in the screen-shot from MSNBC's report on the invention to the left. This allows the users to shift their weight directly forward onto the seat. As with current chairs, movement is controlled by joystick.

The chairs are not commercially available, but research is moving quickly in that direction.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Case Studies in Communication Sciences

A generous donor added several new SLP items to our collection. One is Case studies in communication sciences and disorders by Dennis Tanner. Chapters cover various disorders--language delays, articulation disorders, aphasia, dysphagia and more--and lays out the latest research in each area. The book is filled with actual patient histories and evaluations of the best courses of treatment.

Interested in this book? Indiana resident? Email us!

Not an Indiana resident? Find this book at your local library through WorldCat.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

National Conversations on Healthy Relationships

Sign up now to participate in 3 teleconferences featuring real talk between self-advocates, family members and healthcare providers about intimate relationships, personal safety and advice from peers. We’ll be tackling the tough questions that are on a lot of people’s minds but many are afraid to talk about.

Each teleconference will start at 3pm EST and last 90 minutes, and will be facilitated by Julie Petty, a nationally respected self-advocate. During each call, our speakers will have time to talk with one another and then will answer questions from you and others across the nation.

• September 1st - Do individuals with developmental disabilities have the right to someone special in their life, such as an intimate relationship?

• October 5th - What are the dynamics of a healthy, intimate relationship? Issues of sexuality, personal safety and safe sex/birth control will be discussed.

• November 2nd - Self-advocates give their peers advice, “Dear Abby” style.

Find registration forms and more information here.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Study reveals gap in disability awareness

A survey of 500 elementary schools in Great Britain has shown that children seriously misunderstand the nature of disabilities. Responses to the survey indicate that a significant number of children believe people with disabilities cannot work, do not get married, and cannot have healthy children.

The researchers speculate that media plays a large roll in the way children view PWDs. They examined one hundred books aimed at school children, and found that most characters with disabilities had extreme conditions, were passive, or faced tragic deaths. One researcher stated, "...It was almost as though these disabled characters had been put into the story for 'freak-show' effect."

There is a silver lining to the findings: when the children were properly educated about disabilities, they readily changed their attitudes. Stories of celebrities with disabilities were especially intriguing.

To read a summary of the article, visit Emaxhealth. For more information on disability awareness, take a look at our Resource Guide of books, DVDs and websites at the CeDIR library.

Monday, August 24, 2009

"Disability History Museum"

The Disability History Museum is a digital collection of materials pertaining to documents and images related to disability history in the US. The site was designed by Straight Ahead Pictures, Inc. "to promote understanding about the historical experience of people with disabilities by recovering, chronicling, and interpreting their stories."

Their Library section contains over 800 articles, pamphlets, letters, book excerpts, and other texts, which can be browsed by category or searched if you have a specific document in mind. The rest of the site is currently under construction, but we have much to look forward to--the CeDIR staff is especially excited about the upcoming section for educators with course packets and other teacher resources.

Friday, August 21, 2009

"Back to School Basics"

DisabilityScoop highlighted a phenomenon many parents are dealing with right now: back-to-school season. Their article offers several resources for parents of students returning to IEP programs in the fall, including more in-depth articles and books. You can read the article here.

Interested in more information about transition to (or back to) school? Check out some of CeDIR's resources on the subject.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Bully Free Classroom

The bully free classroom: over 100 tips and strategies for teachers K-8 is written by Allan Beane, a professor in the Department of Special Education at Murray State University. The "tips and strategies" are formatted in tidy sections rife with lists and worksheets for easy reading. Beane covers how to create a safe environment in the classroom, how to "act quickly and effectively" in bullying situations, how to identify students at-risk for victimization, and more.

Interested in this book? Indiana resident? Email us!

Not an Indiana resident? Find this book at your local library through WorldCat.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sleep Troubles and Down Syndrome

A study published last week in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine showed that a high percentage of individuals with Down syndrome may have undiagnosed sleep apnea. Persons with DS tend to have large tongues and are prone to thyroid diseases, which are high risk factors for OSA (obstructive sleep apnea). Affected individuals can sleep up to one hour less each night than individuals without DS. You can read a summary of the study at Disability Scoop.

Does your child or family member have difficulty sleeping? CeDIR has two books available to help: Sleep Better: a guide to improving sleep for children with special needs by Vincent Durand and Solve your child's sleep problems by Richard Ferber. Email us if you're interested in either of these publications.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age

Teaching every student in the Digital Age: universal design for learning by David Rose and Anne Meyer is written for educators looking to incorporate new technologies into their classrooms. The book starts off with an examination of the latest research in neuroscience and learning styles, then guides teachers through setting appropriate goals for students, choosing materials and technologies which give each student optimum support, and using the best methods to accurately track students' success.

Interested in this book? Indiana resident? Email us!

Not an Indiana resident? Find this book at your local library through WorldCat.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Literacy Beyond Picture Books

Literacy beyond picture books: teaching secondary students with moderate to severe disabilities is a compilation of creative lesson plans and games for use in the classroom. Editors Dorothy Smith, Jill DeMarco and Martha Worley and their team have come up with an assortment of activities that range from crafts (painting a "Jungle Mural", making "Mountain Views" from construction paper) to reading activities (vocabulary card games, themed word games) to everyday skills (baking "Potato Chip Cookies"). The book contains everything a teacher needs to get started with an engaging curriculum.

Interested in this book? Indiana resident? Email us!

Not an Indiana resident? Find this book at your local library through WorldCat.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Next Chapter Book Club

Next Chapter Book Club is a guide to the fast-growing NCBC program developed by author Tom Fish, Director of Family and Employment Services at The Ohio State University Nisonger Center on Disabilities. This book explains how to set up and conduct clubs of 5-8 members of all age groups and abilities to improve literacy and foster social interaction. A CD of printable forms and templates is included to help get aspiring facilitators started in founding and managing a local chapter.

Interested in this book? Indiana resident? Email us!

Not an Indiana resident? Find this book at your local library through WorldCat.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Toys to Tools

Toys to tools: connecting student cell phones to education is a ground-breaking volume by Liz Kolb, a former high school technology coordinator now teaching at Madonna University. Kolb tackles the touchy issue of new technologies in the classroom: the factors that led to school-wide bans of personal devices and how educators can alternatively use them to engage students in learning. The book highlights many modern technologies, such as web publishing, mobile notes, YouTube etc. and outlines sample projects which encourage students to use them productively.

Interested in this book? Indiana resident? Email us!

Not an Indiana resident? Find this book at your local library through WorldCat.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Study: Corporal Punishment of Students with Disabilities

A recent study by Human Rights Watch revealed that students with disabilities are disproportionately spanked, paddled, or beaten by educators in American public schools. Though they only make up 13.7% of the student population, these individuals bear the brunt of 18.8% of reported corporal punishments.

The 70-page report indicates that 20 states allow corporal punishment in public schools, including Indiana. The official press release states that "At least 41,972 students with disabilities were subjected to corporal punishment in US schools during [the 2006-2007 school year]." Reports include punishments doled out for involuntary behaviors, such as "students with Tourette syndrome being punished for exhibiting involuntary tics and students with autism being punished for repetitive behaviors such as rocking."

The Human Rights Watch organization contends that legal corporal punishment is a "violation of international human rights law" and urges Americans and politicians to instate a national ban.

You can read the full report here.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Indiana Ranked #42 for Inclusion

United Cerebral Palsy recently released their 4th annual Case for Inclusion report. The report's purpose is to "summarize of the impact and outcomes of Medicaid services to over half a million unique individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities," and rates how well each state adheres to the "four basic commitments":

• People with disabilities will live in and participate in their communities
• People with disabilities will have satisfying lives and valued social roles
• People with disabilities will have sufficient access to needed support, and control over that support so that the assistance they receive contributes to lifestyles they desire
• People will be safe and healthy in the environments in which they live.

The top ten states are mostly on the east and west coasts and the bottom ten in middle America, with outlying Michigan ranked #6 (see the Ranking Map). Indiana placed a ghastly #42, dragged down by factors such as unreasonably high personal costs for PWDs, lengthy waiting lists for residential services, and the percentage of PWDs assisted in community settings.

You can read the full report here. You can also see the breakdown of statistics for Indiana, which reveal which areas need improvement.

Monday, August 10, 2009

BHA opens Section 8 Waiting List

The Bloomington Housing Authority has announced the opening of the Section 8 Housing Assistance waiting list for two days in September. They will take applications on Tuesday, September 8th from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and on Wednesday, September 9th from 8:00 a.m. to noon.

In order to apply, each family must provide Social Security cards and identification (birth certificates, drivers licenses etc.) for every person in the household, as well as proof of income. You can access a copy of the application at

Call Danielle Sorden at 812-339-3491 ext. 132 for more information and accommodations for disabilities.

Friday, August 7, 2009

"Mildly High Cholesterol at Midlife Linked to Alzheimer’s"

A study by the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research that analyzed the medical records of their long-time plan participants revealed that men and women with significantly elevated levels of cholesterol in their 40s were 57 percent more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease than their peers.

Of the ten thousand original participants in the study, roughly 600 developed a mental disability in their later years. Even those with only mildly elevated cholesterol were 50% more likely than those with normal levels to develop dementia. Though the study is not far reaching, and does not directly correlate high cholesterol to dementia, the authors of the study caution the public to maintain healthy lifestyles and be aware of "modifiable risk factors."

You can read a synopsis of the study published in the NY Times.

Want to learn more about Alzheimer's and dementia? Take a look at our resource guides for Alzheimer's Disease and Aging and Disabilities.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Physical Activity in Youth with Disabilities

Next Friday, August 14 2009, Dr. John Librett will give a talk in the HPER building of the IUB campus on active living for children and youth with disabilities. Librett is the executive director of SPLORE, a non-profit organization based in Salt Lake City, Utah that offers inclusive recreation and education programs.

A press release for the event reads: "Obesity among children and youth with disability is nearly twice that of children without disability. Consequently their health status is further compromised by the lack of physical activity, access to facilities, programs, and services, and social networks of the general population." Librett hopes to establish a partnership with researchers at IU to pursue potential solutions.

Librett invites "professionals in health promotion, special education, disability services, rehabilitation, special physical education, therapeutic recreation and associated disciplines" to the talk. You can contact or call 812-856-6055 for more information.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Second Workshop on Making Businesses Accessible

The City of Bloomington is offering a second workshop to educate builders, contractors and architects on federal and state regulations regarding accessibility of buildings for people with disabilities.

The City’s aim is to help businesses and organizations understand how to be fully accessible as they design and construct their buildings.

The City’s Council for Community Accessibility received funding through the Indiana Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities and ADA-Indiana for its project entitled “Making Businesses Accessible: If We Build It Right, They Will Come!” The first workshop, offered on July 28, was a great success, with 33 building inspectors from Monroe and surrounding counties attending.

The final workshop will be on Wednesday, Aug. 19, for architects, builders and contractors, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at City Hall, 401 N. Morton Street, Bloomington. The event is free for participants, and lunch will be provided.

Presenting will be representatives from the U.S. Access Board and the Great Lakes ADA Center, a program of the Department of Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The Great Lakes ADA Center provides information, materials, technical assistance and training on the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). The U.S. Access Board is an independent Federal agency devoted to enhancing accessibility for people with disabilities. It provides technical assistance and training on accessible design criteria and enforces accessibility standards that cover federally funded facilities.

For further information about the workshop, please contact Craig Brenner, Special Projects Coordinator, City of Bloomington Community and Family Resources Department, at 349-3471 or, or Barbara McKinney, Human Rights Director, City of Bloomington Legal Department, at 349-3429 or

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Differentiated School

The differentiated school: making revolutionary changes in teaching and learning by Carol Tomlinson, Kay Brimijoin, and Lane Narvaez is an essential read for school administrators and educational planners. The authors provide guidelines for "change toward differentiation" in K-12 schools, with case studies of middle and high-schools that have successfully trained teachers and implemented programs to adjust for the needs of individual students of all abilities.

Interested in this book? Indiana resident? Email us!

Not an Indiana resident? Find this book at your local library through WorldCat.

Monday, August 3, 2009

iPods do not interfere with Pacemakers

A recent media frenzy has attempted to whip up panic about the dangers of portable music players to people with pacemakers. But you don't have to toss out those MP3s and iPods just yet: a study in BioMedical Engineering has shown that such devices are incapable of producing a magnetic field strong enough to interfere with modern pacemakers (read about it in ScienceDaily).

The study shows that the Apple iPod's magnetic field is hundreds of times less than that required to effect pacemakers even when the earbuds hang directly over the chest. Moreover, the voltage produced by this field is so low that it cannot be detected by highly sensitive equipment.

So put your hearts at ease: listening to your favorite tunes will not cause an implanted pacemaker to go on the fritz.