Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Visual Prosthesis

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Until very recently, restoring vision through artificial prosthesis seemed like a fantasy reserved for Star Trek characters. In the 1990s, researchers began to make the fantasy a reality: various methods were devised to allow persons with visual impairments to achieve some degree of sight, through implanted electrodes, microchips and cameras that stimulate receptor cells.

The latest advancement comes from Doctors Weiland and Humayun of the Doheny Eye Institute at the University of Southern California. The scientists and their team have developed and tested a "microelectronic implant" that has successfully allowed individuals to identify simple objects (for example, differentiate between a cup and a plate) and discern the direction of motion. The authors hope to continue their studies to improve sight resolution, enable face recognition, limit the risks of infection, and address other practical concerns.

To learn more about the human eye and implants, you can read Weiland and Humayun's paper here. For more information on visual impairments, check out these resources held at the CeDIR library:

-Blindsight (documentary)
-Children with visual impairments: a parents' guide
-No end in sight: my life as a blind Iditarod racer

Monday, September 28, 2009

City of Bloomington Council for Community Accessibility Seeks Nominees

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The City of Bloomington’s Council for Community Accessibility (CCA) is soliciting nominations for its annual awards ceremony that will recognize individuals, businesses, and organizations that make the community more accessible for people with disabilities.
The CCA advocates on behalf of people with disabilities, promotes awareness of the challenges faced by those with disabilities, and works to develop solutions to problems of accessibility. The Council meets monthly at City Hall.

Award categories include:
• Kristin Willison Volunteer Service Award
• Business Service Award
• Professional and Community Service Award
• Housing service Award
• Self-Advocacy Award
• Mayor’s Award

Nomination forms are available in the Community and Family Resources Department, City Hall, 401 North Morton Street, Suite 260 and online at www.bloomington.in.gov/cfrd. Nomination must be returned by October 2, 2009. For more information, contact Craig Brenner, Special Projects Coordinator, at (812) 349-3471 or e-mail brennerc@bloomington.in.gov.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Gifts 2

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Gifts 2: How people with Down syndrome enrich the world is the followup to the bestselling volume Gifts: mothers reflect on how children with Down syndrome enrich their lives by Kathryn Lynard Soper. The book offers a unique perspective on disabilities through inspirational essays from family members, friends, educators and medical professionals about the rewarding experiences of knowing and caring for someone with Down syndrome.

Interested in this book? Indiana resident? Email us!

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

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Patient Voices: OCD

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The New York Times has run an extensive interactive feature called Patient Voices interviewing six individuals with obsessive compulsive disorder. These individuals come from all walks of life and give illuminating insight into what it's like to live with OCD.

Want more information on Obsessive Compulsive disorder? Check out these materials available at the CeDIR library:
-What to do when your brain gets stuck: a kid's guide to overcoming OCD
-Talking back to OCD: the program that helps kids and teens say "no way"-- and parents say "way to go"
-Obsessive-compulsive disorder: help for children and adolescents

If you're interested in any of these materials and live in Indiana, email us for information on how to check them out.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Through the Same Door

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Through the same door: inclusion includes college is a DVD aimed at young people with disabilities aiming for post-secondary education. The video follows Micah, a young man with a cognitive impairment, as he enters Oakland University and lives the college life of classes, student organizations, and volunteer opportunities. Micah has written several articles and is a national speaker on inclusion in public schools. See his accomplishments here.

Interested in this resource? Indiana resident? Email us!

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

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

4th Annual Art of Mental Health Exhibit

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From Monday, October 5th to Saturday the 10th, the Mental Health America of Monroe County will promote mental well-being through the 4th Annual Art of Mental Health event. The week will consist of talks, public screening, and an ongoing art exhibit at the Monroe County Library. Lecturers include Dr. Natalie Blevins from the IU School of Medicine, actress/singer Meera Popkin-Tarack, and representatives from Centerstone, Milestones, and Oak Tree Counseling.

The event will culminate with a benefit dance on Saturday, 7:30 pm at the Bloomington Convention Center. Craig Brenner & the Crawdads will provide live music, and Bloomington's finest local music will provide desserts. Tickets are $15, available at the Busirk-Chumley ticket office.

For more information, call 812-339-1551 or visit www.artofmentalhealth.org.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Core Vocabulary as an Effective Tool for Teaching Curriculum

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This Friday, the IU School of Education will host a presentation by Bruce R. Baker, Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Pittsburgh, entitled "Core Vocabulary as an Effective Tool for Teaching Curriculum content: High Frequency Vocabulary, Language Learning, and Communicative Competence." His talk will focus on "how to involve students who use AAC in classroom interactions in a way that is enriching to all."

Baker is the President/CEO of Semantic Compaction Systems, which developed the Minspeak language representation technology now used internationally in eight different languages. He has won several awards for design and service, notably from United Cerebral Palsy and the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication.

The talk will be held in room R2277 (the Alumni Room) from 1 to 3 pm. For more information, contact Erna Alant at ealant@indiana.edu.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Augmentative and Alternative Communication Profile

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CeDIR recently acquired a diagnostic kit for professionals with Speech and Language Pathology licences: the Augmentative & alternative communication profile by Tracy M Kovach. The kit consists of a users manual and forms for the administration of "quality performance measures in speech-language therapy" for children and adults.

The kit is produced by LinguiSystems, which also produced our popular Functional Communication Profile, The Listening Comprehension Test, the Social Language Test - Elementary and more. If you're interested in any of these materials, email cedir@indiana.edu for information on how to check them out.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Disability Law Clinic at IU

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A new resource as cropped up at Indiana University: The Disability Law Clinic. Students at the IU School of Law have volunteered to provide free legal assistance to families with children grades K-3 enrolled in Monroe County Schools who have been denied benefits or are unsatisfied with the services provided to them. Students grades 4-12 with complaints may also be assisted on a case-by-case basis.

For more information about the program, contact Ginny Phero at gphero@indiana.edu with "Disability Law Clinic" as part of the subject line. The offices may be reached at (812) 855-9229.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Local Bloomington Resources on Disability

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Have you thoroughly explored all the Bloomington community has to offer individuals with disabilities and their families?

Make sure you haven't missed something by visiting the official city page on Programs and Services for People with Disabilities. The website names a whole host of information, including:

-how to request accessibility counseling and workshops
-an official list of accessible apartment housing in Bloomington
-restaurants with Braille embossed menus
-inclusive recreation programs

Also check out the side menu links to such vital information as emergency preparedness for PWDs and a growing Resource Directory maintained by the Council for Community Accessibility.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Insurance and Assistive Technology

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An author for the New York Times recently covered the inefficiencies in Medicare and other insurers with regards to assistive technology for persons with speech impairments. The article highlighted a woman named Kara Lynn who must pay out of pocket for cheap devices that allow her to communicate (like iPhones with speech-generating software) because insurers do not want to cover technologies that may be used by persons without disabilities.

The author states that "...people with speech disabilities have a choice: pay for a cheaper product from their own pockets, try to borrow one from a private assistance group or spend their insurer’s money on a specialty device" which has been severely limited to comply with insurance regulations.

You can read the original article here. For more information on assistive technologies, visit some of our old posts on the subject, or check out our Resource Guide listing titles in our library collection.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Kunstfest 2009

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This weekend, the 19th and 20th of September, CeDIR will have a booth at Historic New Harmony's Kunstfest 2009.

Also at the festival will be black smithing and weaving demonstrations, live music, family-fun activities like pumpkin painting and horse-drawn wagon rides, and traditional German foods (bring on the bratwurst!)

New Harmony is located in southern Indiana, about a three-hour drive from Bloomington.


For more information, visit http://www.newharmony.biz or call 1-800-231-2168.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Key Issues in Healthcare Decision Making and Care at End of Life

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Next Wednesday, September 16th at 1 pm EST, the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities will host a webinar entitled: Key Issues in Healthcare Decision Making and Care at End of Life: How to use person-centered to support quality planning with people with critical, chronic and/or terminal illnesses. The webinar will feature gerontologist Leigh Ann Creaney Kingsbury, the author of People planning ahead : a guide to communicating healthcare and end of life wishes held here at the CeDIR library.

For registration and more information on this event, visit the AAIDD website at http://www.aamr.org/content_2609.cfm. The IIDC's Center on Aging and Community will also host a group viewing in Building J; to RSVP email Lora Wagers.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Accommodating Students with Disabilities in Post-Secondary Education

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Next Tuesday, September 15th from 2:00 to 3:30 pm, the Center for Planning and Policy Studies will host an audio conference entitled "Accommodating Students with Disabilities in Post-Secondary Education." A summary of the conference reads:

"Because educational entities are reporting increased enrollment of individuals with a variety of disabilities that they have not traditionally served, such as autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disabilities, and other emerging groups, this audio conference is particularly relevant to the IU community. The audio conference will feature a discussion of best practices regarding the type of accommodations needed and how the campus environment needs to respond to ensure that qualified students have an equal opportunity to participate.

Those who attend will learn more about how some institutions have implemented programs that have effectively been able to accommodate and integrate these students."

Individuals may attend in person at the Indiana Institute for Disability and Community, Building L, or access the conference online at http://www.ada-audio.org/. The cost is $25 (non-profits) or $40 (for-profit entities). For more information, email adainfo@indiana.edu.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Flu Season

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A report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention showed that two thirds of the 40 US children who have died from the swine flu had disabilities. The children had cerebral palsy, epilepsy, or other neurdevelopmental disorders, according to the summary published by the Associated Press.

For information on the H1N1 virus, a.k.a. "the swine flu," visit the Indiana state government's page, or the CDC's site. IU libraries also have several books on helping you and your children navigate this flu season, including:

-Put prevention into practice: child health guide
-What to do for childhood emergencies and illnesses
-What to do when your child gets sick
(also available in Spanish)

If you're interested in any of these titles, email us for information on how to check them out.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Essential Articulate Studio '09

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Essential Articulate Studio '09 is a guide to using the title software suite, including Presenter, Quizmaker, Engage, and Video Encoder, to "create e-learning that works." The book serves as both a technical tutorial and a beginner's guide to design, with concrete examples to show users how to build information and instruction.

Interested in this book? Indiana resident? Email us!

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

Friday, September 4, 2009

RTI in the Classroom

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RTI in the Classroom: Guidelines and Recipes for Success is a volume by Rachel Brown-Chidsey, Louise Bronaugh, and Kelly McGraw written from years of classroom experience. Brenda Whitaker, principal of Bloomington's own Edgewood Primary school, wrote of the book:

"This is not a book that teachers will just read and replace on the shelf--it will be marked with highlighters, sticky notes, and dog-eared corners! This book will encourage new teachers and energize returning ones by giving them practical tools to implement RTI in their classrooms today. Wonderful features include a tool to assist schools in taking the next steps towards implementing RTI, planning forms to track student progress, and specific intervention recipes for reading, writing, math, and behavior."

Interested in this resource? Indiana resident? Contact us!

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

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Eye of the Beholder

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Eye of the beholder: true stories of people with facial differences is a book of case studies and an easy-to-understand overview of the latest medical research in facial reconstruction by Laura Greenwald of the Cleveland Clinic. Greenwald interviewed dozens of individuals with facial abnormalities and supplements their stories with ruminations on the psychology of facial recognition, the importance of expression in communication, and the biology of regeneration.

Interested in this book? Indiana resident? Email us!

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

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Better Breakfast Month

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Do you and your children eat a nutritious breakfast every morning? Breakfast starts up the body's metabolism and ups brain functioning: dozens of studies have confirmed that children who eat a good breakfast perform better in school than those who don't.

The CeDIR library has several books on nutrition to help you choose the best ingredients for your family's most-important-meal-of-the-day.

-Tell me what to eat if I have celiac disease: nutrition you can live with by Kimberly Tessmer
-Special-needs kids eat right: strategies to help kids on the autism spectrum focus, learn, and thrive by Judy Converse
-The G free diet: a gluten-free survival guide by Elizabeth Hasselbeck
-Gluten-free quick & easy: from prep to plate without the fuss, 200+ recipes for people with food sensitivities by Carol Fenster
-The whole foods allergy cookbook: two hundred gourmet & homestyle recipes for the food allergic family by Cybele Pascal

If you're interested in any of these books, don't hesitate to email us about them!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

New Communicative Technology

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Today's The Globe and Mail ran the story of a man with cerebral palsy who spoke his first word through new communicative technology. In front of his mothers and caregivers, Dung Le, 27, spelled out the word "mother" using his mouth.

Professor Tom Chau of the University of Toronto and his colleagues developed the device, which pairs an infrared camera with computer software that recognizes when an individual opens his or her mouth. A screen cycles through the alphabet, and users open their mouths to signal when the desired letter is shown.

The developers hope the device, which is projected to cost $2000, will aid individuals with severe mobility restrictions.

Monday, August 31, 2009

"Wheelchair of the Future"

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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.